A Chuckle

I got a chuck­le* from this on page 376 in Com­ing Into the Coun­try. The speak­er is a woman named Elva. Elva has a mas­ter’s degree in edu­ca­tion and for many years ran the school-dis­tricts health pro­gram in Anchor­age. This expe­ri­ence leaves her the most qual­i­fied med­ical provider in the town of Eagle.

Peo­ple come in off the riv­er with blood infec­tions, red streaks up their arm. They get cys­ti­tis from not enough water. They come down from Daw­son with v.d. We don’t have lab­o­ra­to­ry tests. We treat on symp­toms. An out­board motor chewed on a guy’s legs awhile. We sewed him up. I tell every­one, ‘I don’t mind help­ing you out. Just don’t use me.’ We don’t want to be awak­ened for noth­ing, for some­one who is mere­ly drunk. For gun­shot wounds and stab­bings I of course get up. Oh, we have enough of that sort of thing. Yeah. You betcha. We’re get­ting ready to have din­ner with com­pa­ny and they come in and bleed all over the sink. Who needs TV in Eagle? We’ve got action enough in the streets.

You betcha.

I’m guess­ing health care costs in Eagle were (are?) on the low end.

*I won­der if I’ve ever used that word before.….

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