Just when I thought the bi monthly tribulation has ended I get a call from home. Seems my brother Rayburn is only a few days from death. And the great mystery about his condition has finally made its way to my ears. He is in the final throws of cirrhosis of the liver with a MELD score of 39. If you followed my story earlier this year you will know of the struggle I had to save my sisters life for the very same thing.

That would be a sad story unto itself if it were not for another phone call I received from my aunt in Taos. A niece is dying of full blown AIDS. Sadly she was involved with crack cocaine and hitting the pipe almost everyday. Apparently she was slamming coke as well hence contracting AIDS. In any event she is going down and now I have two challenges to test my mettle.

By no means is this my first or second rodeo since I have done this before with great success. I’ve worked on hepatitis, cirrhosis, AIDS/HIV, and a variety of cancers in my life already. I just did not have my own brother and sister to work on

The journey with my sister taught me plenty in dealing with family relations who face terminal disease. Since she was so close it was hard to be objective and I had a tendency to obsess as I struggled with blood tests and lab reports to find the exact nutritional deficiencies within her body. But the real lesson was not in obsessing over disease and cure but it was in letting go once a person was finished with therapy. Well having her almost die in my arms three times on the road trip back to the rez had a little to do with it. Being with a close relation during their final moments in life has a tendency to wear on a guy. I can still remember rushing to the emergency room franticly trying to get someone’s attention. Watching her yellow eyes roll as if it was the big one still sends waves of emotions throughout my body. My baby sister made it after all those close calls, to close. And boy, it was like a day job and it took every bit of focus I could muster to keep from getting to emotional.

Think the hard part for me was dropping her off back in that den of iniquity or an apartment complex filled with crack-heads, dealers and that drunken puke of a boyfriend of hers. All I wanted was an excuse to “splain” my deepest concerns to this pinhead in a fashion I felt appropriate under the circumstances. But my elders know me very well and they cautioned me on one simple fact, I am only privy to the illness not to her personal life or the bonehead decisions she or anyone makes once they are well. I hate that part. Just thinking about it enrages me though but I think it’s my autonomic response to traumatic events called PTSD.

Well I have my herbs and “them things” all packed and ready to go. I’ll just take a deep breath, make medicine and face my latest challenge. As it is, I have to hurry up and wait while I await word on my other family relations in Taos. Now that story is sad in it’s own right since I remember bouncing my niece on my leg when she was a little chubby cheek baby.

Now she is strung out, Jonesing like a bad dog and dying of full blown AIDS. And people wonder why I am such a prick to corporate pinheads that target the suffering with bogus claims of wellness or good fortune. I live this life as a Native and I’ve witnessed false claims and promises that came and went over the years but nothing changed. We are still dying of third world diseases with inadequate healthcare. Our people are still living in squalor, sorrow and grief while we are systematically being exterminated with poisoned food and water. Funny how victuals have become the cholera infested blankets of the 21st Century. Meth and Coke are just a few more nails in the coffin of a once thriving civilization.

Well its PTSD time I do believe. I can feel the rage and fear as if makes its way from my core. Guess its time to burn come cedar and make a few prayers.

Your Devil’s Advocate
Creativity is the byproduct of a fertile mind

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