Dutifully I appear at the appointed dates, as previously arranged with the Health Programme that I work with.
I arrived at the country of UmonHon Indians after a long and circuitous trip from Cochin in Kerala.
We have created an unusual set up. I work closely with a Nurse Educator, an out reach worker and a Peer Educator (modelled after the Peer Educators at MoPoTsyo.org in Cambodia). They select patients for me to see but all the screening and pre-counselling is done by them, and the room where we sit together and chat (seeing a patient will not be the correct way to describe our encounters) is large and roomy and the persons have large, comfortable chairs to sit on.
It is like visiting someone at their home. There is nothing to suggest that it is a Clinic since there are no Pharmacy or Laboratory or people walking around interrupting our chatter.
We have also plenty of time, so that no one is in a hurry. We have a CEO who is innovative and forward thinking that we have been provided with this luxury, us the providers of health care and the patients.
As I entered the premises, the office workers came out to greet me and warmly embraced me. It is true that I have been absent longer than my usual four weeks, and the welcome embraces were stronger.
The peer educator informed me that she has brought the coffee and tea capsules for the Coffee machine as well as Perrier water, as they know I prefer sparkling water to still water. Our morning together was a very social one, with patients coming in at their hourly appointments.
Just before lunch the person in charge of IT division dropped in and I repeated my request to him. I truly would like a MacBook Pro, as the computer I am using now belongs to the Nurse Educator and I have long overstayed the welcome of the loan! He said there is a MacBook Pro that can be assigned to me, and we drove to the Tribal Headquarters where he presented me with a 13 inch MacBook Pro, so that I can return the laptop on loan to the Nurse Educator.
The patient who came in the afternoon was one of the first people I had seen with Acanthosis Nigricans Grade 4 which denotes severe insulin resistance. While we were all engaged in social banter, I was amazed and very grateful to be associated with a group of people such as the UmonHon Indians!
It was a Friday evening and I decided to drive to the next village where there is a Dollar General Store to buy some candles. On my way back to this village, I was stopped by the BIA police car. I pulled over and the police officer came over and I recognized him as one of my patients.
I joked: If you want to see me, you have to make an appointment at the Clinic
He smiled and told me that the reason he pulled me over was the fact that I had crossed the white line on the right hand side of the road. He advised that I drive between the yellow line in the middle and the white line on the right..
Did you know that?
I have never known it nor have I taken note of that.
I came to the Blue House in the Reservation where I stay, lit the Shabbat Candles and said my thanks with a nice glass of Vouvray!