Bertha Moses

Bertha Moses,
Transcript Section 11

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MARLA:  What -- what do you think was the hardest part of your -- of being a health aide? 

BERTHA:  I think the hardest part was before they tell you what's -- what they knocking at the door for.  Made me really -- made me scared.  When somebody knock at night, no telephones in village, you knock at the door at night, and I know somebody must be sick.  And it's kind of hard before you know what's going on. 

MARLA:  Yeah. 

BERTHA:  You never know what somebody's going to tell you. 

MARLA:  And what got you through those hard times? 

BERTHA:  Prayer, just determination to do something good for the patients.
Even if I feel afraid, I still -- still have to be -- be there.  There's no escape from it, it seems like. 

MARLA:  And they are all people you know.

BERTHA:  And everybody, yeah, relatives, nieces, sisters, brothers, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and I'm their aunty, and all that. 

My -- my little grandson didn't like me because the first time he remembers, all that he remembers seeing me every time is looking in his ears or checking his throat and listening to -- taking his temperature and stuff.  And he didn't like me much after for a while. 

MARLA:  That must be difficult. 

BERTHA:  Yeah.  I had to do that to my kids, too.  Giving them injections and you know, that medicine is dangerous, too.  They might have reaction. 

MARLA:  Yeah. 

BERTHA:  The two people that had reaction to penicillin was both my daughters, too.

MARLA:  And were you able to get them to the hospital? 

BERTHA:  The first one, I gave her -- what -- I gave her epinephrine.  The second one, I had to give her epinephrine twice.  I was able to talk with the doctor.  I didn't -- I didn't medevac them.  The doctor -- or else I couldn't get the doctor and I was talking to someone in Fort Yukon, she was a -- she was a nurse, but she was not a PA but she was a nurse.  And she told me what to do. 

MARLA:  So you had epinephrine in your medical kit? 

BERTHA:  Yes. 

MARLA:  What else did you have in your medical kit? 

BERTHA:  First -- first medicine we had were just all tetracycline that's given orally, and sulfa, the first antibiotics we had.  And penicillin was injection, at that time it was.  They don't have the orally ones yet.  And cough medicine.  Aspirin. 

The first medicine box I had was my dad made it for me.  He didn't want the kids to accidentally take medicine, so he made me a medicine box.  I didn't even ask him, he just -- with padlock and even everything.  And it was two and a half feet wide, two and a half feet square and then two and a half feet high.  And all our whole village medicine fit inside. 

MARLA:  Wow. 

BERTHA:  Then after a while we started having more and more medication, so all people automatically filled, and you know, people's high blood pressure medicines, and all the -- all kinds of medicine for each person who are on medication. 

Then we had to -- a big, old cabinet.  We had a big metal cabinet with lock in our house.  Then I told the Chief, I don't like to work in our house anymore.
My children doesn't like it either.  And I say, we really need a clinic.  So they build a clinic.  It's still down -- down in -- down in the old village.  They use it for mental health clinic now.  Log cabin. 

MARLA:  Oh.  I've seen it.  And is it still used as a -- as a clinic?  Or --

BERTHA:  Mental health. 

MARLA:  But for physical illnesses or --


MARLA:  Just for only for mental health? 

BERTHA:  For the counsel. 

MARLA:  Is there -- is there another clinic? 

BERTHA:  Yes, that clinic is down here, down by the road when you were coming here.  Frame building. 

MARLA:  Okay.