It was definitely a challenge to get medical care here.
To qualify for medicaid I had to show proof of pregnancy. No big deal I thought as I had brought my medical records from Alaska. WRONG!! They would not accept it from an out of state doctor. So I began searching for places to get it from. There is a community health center up the road that offers free pregnancy testing, so we made our journey there and sat in line for a couple of hours, just to be told that they would not see me as I was not a Florida resident. But I was given a list of places where I could go and get a free test.
OK, cool I thought.
I made an appointment with one of the places on the list, and they were very happy to give me the test and a pregnancy verification. BUT, it was not by a doctor so again, it was not accepted.
I was given another list, and each one I called had a different reason why they could not see me. Finally after a couple of weeks, we found a place in the next county over and got
At that point he told me that he was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska and asked me if he could be frank with me. I told him to go right ahead. He then told me a story of how during his entire life in Anchorage he was probably one of the most racist people in Alaska against natives.
He told me he always thought of them as rude, stupid, dirty, gross, and as drunks. Until last year his company sent him to a village on the upper Kuskokwim river. He told me that he was dreading the trip and told his company that he would not go, but was told that he had to go, so he went.
During his visit there he had an awakening as to the differences of being in the village and being in Anchorage. He felt that he had gone to a whole new country. He told me that he felt incredible guilt for all of the things that he said during his lifetime. He said that the people there were the kindest and most welcoming people he had ever met. He said that he didn't meet a single person who didn't invite him
The one thing that seemed to keep popping out is that they did not talk about what they were feeling or going through. In many stories, the writer speaks of crying themselves to sleep alone at night, and feeling that they had no one to talk to.
So this makes me think of some of the things that we are taught growing up. Don't cry too much for loved ones that have passed. Right or wrong? It depends on who you ask. Forgive. What if we aren't really ready to forgive? Should we be allowed to show anger to those who have wronged us? Is it this quick forgiveness that makes sexual predators think that it's OK to do what they do? I know that when my attacker was in jail, he actually had the nerve to call me and tell me that if I didn't forgive him I was going to hell!
Regardless, I have been trying and trying to figure out what it is about Alaska Natives that makes us more susceptible to suicide? I have heard many, many theories since starting this blog, ranging from bullying, to easy access to firearms. Will we ever have an answer?
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