Doctor Doctor Dentist!

I recently tried to arrange for some doctor visits. Nothing serious is going on but I am a type 2 diabetic, and I am having some shoulder pain. I have not had a physical since I arrived in South Dakota. It is hard to find a new medical team. I have been with the same primary care doctor for 23 years. We have a relationship, and we know what to expect from each other. I have been with the eye doctor for 16 years. He is more of a friend than a doctor. My dentist is newer but came as a recommendation from a close friend who is an orthodontist.

Last year I broke my glasses and had an appointment to get new glasses. But, I did not connect with the doctor so with a change in eye care insurance I am going to a new eye doctor. My wife already went to a dentist and liked them so I will be going there on Monday. I do have an appointment for a potential new primary care Doctor in March.

But getting medical care out here can be hard. Yes, there is a hospital in town, but it is run by the Indian Health Service, so it is only for natives. The closest hospital I can go to is over an hour away and the medical offices are the same distance. So, deciding to go for care is something you think about first. My first year here I cut off the tip of my finger. I was not going to go but then there were rumors of a pending lockdown of the reservation. I ended up getting my finger treated. Last year I broke a rib. I took hours to decide to get treatment.

Medical care for the native population is a different story. For a different day.

I am not looking forward to getting to know new doctors. But I know I can only serve the people of Pine Ridge if I take care of myself first.

Take care of yourself. God Loves you and so do I.

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