As usual: This story was written when I was still in high school. It has a couple of different TV shows meshed into one, plus a personal character. I wrote this with complete respect to any and all persons. Plus all of the stuff about how Emergency! and its characters, as well as those from Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, do not belong to me - I'm just borrowing them for the sake of a story.
The Pow-Wow: an EMERGENCY! Fanfiction Story
It is a pretty well-known fact that Johnny Gage is a full-blooded Seminole Indian. The guys have teased him several times about this. However, it is also clear to everyone that Johnny is proud of his heritage.
A big pow-wow was being held later that week, and Johnny was trying to promote it for all its worth. He had arranged his schedule so that he would be off during the same time as the pow-wow, and was trying to get the rest of us to promise to drop by sometime during those three days.
I tell you, he really thought he was doing well when I informed him that yes, I was going to go, and was planning on spending the whole three days at the pow-wow, too. He seemed to deflate a little, though, when I told him that I had known about the pow-wow for two months, compared to his two weeks.
Of course, Johnny was curious as to how, as a “white man’s squaw”, I knew before the “Redskin” that there was to be a pow-wow. So I told him.
A few years ago, I went on a so-called “aid trip” to help set up medical clinics in some of the reservation camps here in the state of California. I got to meet several tribes on that trip, and became friends with several of the Indians. At several of the tribes, it seemed like I showed up at just the right time. It seemed like there was always some sort of medical emergency or emergencies that happened while I was at one tribe or another. I had wondered about this, wondered if it was following me wherever I went, but I was told that what I was seeing happened often in these areas.
Anyway, there were two tribes in which I seemed to endear myself to the people- the Shoshone and a small Cheyenne tribe that had moved to California, even though that was not their native land region. In both tribes I saved the life of at least one tribal leader or tribal leader’s family member. I also encountered much hostility in areas from people who could not seem to see the Indian as just another human being. Because of my medical expertise and railing against those prejudiced people, I earned the name of “Medicine Warrior”- first from the Shoshone, and then agreed on by the Cheyenne.
The Shoshone I kept in touch with- I kept in touch with the Cheyenne too, for that matter- informed me about the pow-wow that was to occur in two months from the postmark on that letter. They asked me to come to the pow-wow, as I was an Indian and deserved to participate in certain Indian gatherings and rituals. I replied that I was honored to receive the invitation and would do everything humanly possible so that I would not miss the celebration.
There was only one problem with my revealing this little tidbit of information- Chet and his bad jokes. Now Johnny was not the only butt of the jokes- I had joined him. The peace pipe was back out, and the treaty bit was back in circulation. However, I told Chet that he had two choices: either he quit with the jokes, or else be in danger of Johnny and me scalping him one night. He quit.
The next day, Johnny came to my apartment to pick me up. Both of us were as excited as two kids going into a candy shop. We sure did make an unsightly pair in the hall, us in our traditional tribal garb. He did seem a little resentful when I loaded him down with not only bead- and quill-work, but also with a lot of medical supplies. He wanted to know why on earth I was hauling half the hospital with me to the pow-wow. After all, as he said, I was on my days off. I politely informed him that I had been asked to provide any emergency/ first aid treatment that might be necessary, and I had agreed to do it. He shook his head and helped me lug the equipment downstairs.
We arrived at the pow-wow thirty minutes later. After unloading the medical equipment with the help of my Shoshone friend, Red Paws, into a teepee set up especially for this purpose and me, Johnny and I were directed over to his booth, where his wife, Smiles-Like-the-Sun, was fixing specialties from the Shoshone tribes. After greeting her, she served us all lunch, which was delicious. Then, we set up a booth for Johnny and me so that we could sell my bead- and quill-work and some things that Johnny had brought.
We had fun visiting the different booths and displays all afternoon. Johnny and I both sold a few of our items, which was nice, because that meant spending money for both of us. We shared dinner with some of my Cheyenne friends- Runs-On-Water, his wife Singing Bird, and their 7-month daughter, Neet (short for Mosquito- she was pretty small when she was born).
That evening, we got as close to the “front row audience” seating as we possibly could, in order to see the dancing really well. We both were enjoying the dancing, and were right in the middle of a hunting dance when one of the “hunters” suddenly stopped, grabbed at his chest, and collapsed. Johnny and I quickly scrambled up and ran towards the old man. I recognized him to be the chief of one of the Paiute tribes I set up a clinic for- Chief Friendly Eyes. He was terrified. Quickly, Red Paws showed up with a stretcher and three other men. We quickly transferred him to the prepared teepee, where we started checking vitals. I gave the go-ahead on an IV with Ringer’s, and contacted Rampart while Johnny set up the IV and started to patch the Chief in.
Dr. Joe Early answered the biophone. I told him the situation, informed him about the IV, and sent in a strip to double-check my readings. He told me to keep it up, and that an ambulance would be dispatched immediately. I thanked him, and told him that we’d keep him posted.
Suddenly and elderly woman ran up and pushed through the crowd that was gathering outside the teepee. She ran up to her husband and cradled his head in her lap. Crying, she asked what was wrong with him. I found out her name was Rainbow Cloud, Chief Friendly Eyes’ squaw. I inquired for health problems and was informed about the possibility of a heart murmur.
I reached for my stethoscope, and noticed the heart monitor: v-fib! I hollered to Johnny and ordered Rainbow Cloud out of the teepee. Johnny ran up and grabbed the jell bottle, squirting some on the paddles I held. He counted the charge, I called “Clear”, and shocked him. He returned to sinus rhythm. I rushed over to the biophone and called Rampart. After informing Dr. Early as to the arrest and defibrillation, I asked for an ETA on the ambulance. Just then, I heard the sirens of the ambulance, and told Joe that the ETA was zero as the ambulance had just arrived. After informing Joe that I’d see him soon, we loaded the Chief into the ambulance, I hopped in, and we sped towards the hospital.
I didn’t get back to the fairgrounds until after four-thirty the next morning: the Chief was going to be fine after the pacemaker I put in. This was a necessary procedure, because he had had another heart attack at the hospital. When he was aware enough to give consent to the surgery, he insisted that I perform the operation. Tired as I was, I agreed and headed upstairs to scrub in at approximately 2130 hours. The surgery was finished successfully close to 0130 hours. I accompanied the stretcher to the recovery room, told the nurses on duty where to find me if an emergency arose, and went to my office. I set the alarm clock and promptly fell asleep on the cot I had stashed away for such occasions. I slept for an hour before the alarm went off at 0245 hours. I hauled myself up and went to check on Chief Friendly Eyes. Seeing that he was fine, I sent him down to a ward, put him in the care of Dr. Morton (he wound up with duty that night), and headed to the fairgrounds, arriving around 0435 hours. I tossed my stuff on the ground in the teepee and tossed myself onto my cot, where I passed out.
At 0700 hours, Johnny started hollering for me to open up and let him in. I dragged myself off my cot, grabbed the main equipment, opened the flap and shoved them at him. He wanted to know what in the world was eating me. After I curtly informed him that I didn’t get back until 0435, he apologized and retreated in order to let me sleep.
Later that morning, a young woman accidentally scalded her arm when she was cooking. She had been stirring the pot and some of the hot liquid sloshed over the side. She ran to the teepee, but the flap was shut, so she went to find Johnny. He did the best he could, and drove her to the hospital to get the arm properly cared for.
When they arrived back about three hours later, Johnny went to look in on me. He found me right where he’d left me- asleep. It was after noon, so he woke me to get me to eat something. I was still exhausted and sluggish, with absolutely no appetite and no desire to eat. I apologized for being curt with him earlier, and begged him to let me sleep some more. He agreed, but only after I promised that the next time I woke up or was awakened, I would eat.
Johnny woke me up again at 1519 hours. I was still super-tired, but knew that I had to get up, or else I wouldn’t sleep well that night. Johnny had brought me some succotash and hominy, which I devoured quickly. I then shooed him out of the tent, got cleaned up, and dressed in the costume of a Cheyenne woman and shaman, as that was what they adopted me as into the tribes. I found Johnny sitting on the bench outside the teepee. I joined him and asked what all had happened while I was asleep. Then, he wanted to know about Chief Friendly Eyes and why I didn’t get back until 0435. I explained about the second heart attack and the surgery to put in the pacemaker. He told me that he was glad that the elderly Chief was going to recover. Getting up, he offered to walk with me around the camp. Several people stopped to ask about the Chief, and were gratified to hear that he was going to recover just fine.
I had heard about a half-blooded Cheyenne man named Sully who was to be at the pow-wow with Cheyenne shaman Cloud Dancing. I had heard a lot about him from Runs-On-Water, and wanted to meet him. Well, I got my chance, all right. I was making a stew of corn, venison, and squash over my cooking fire when I saw two pairs of moccasined feet standing a respectful distance from my fire and me. I looked up into the brown eyes of Cloud Dancing, who I recognized from the Cheyenne tribal clothing designs and shaman’s pouch. The other man was dressed in deerskin clothing, but was obviously of a half white, half Indian origin. Brushing the dirt off of my skirt, I rose and met them. I was pleasantly surprised when Cloud Dancing informed me that he had heard much about me, and had been looking for me so that he could meet me. That was a great honor, because Indians that adhere to the old tribal customs usually do not go seeking company in such a manner. We talked, and I invited them to join me for dinner, to which they agreed. I made some corn tortillas and baked them on flat rocks set close to my fire. As they were baking, I asked some questions about the tribal customs, which Sully and Cloud Dancing were pleased to answer. After a few minutes, Johnny walked up. After the introductions were made, we all started talking again. The tortillas were soon done, and we enjoyed my stew. After dinner, we cleaned up, and then started to head toward the main area to see the pow-wow when I got a call on the radio I carried with me. Down the road about three miles was a pregnant woman who had gone into labor and wasn’t going to make it to the hospital. Dispatch asked if I would be willing to go to the house and deliver the child. Heaving a sigh, I agreed and told Johnny that I was taking the car and would be back in about two hours. Meanwhile, Cloud Dancing and Sully had heard me talking with Central Dispatch. They approached me with a request: could Cloud Dancing accompany me? Sully would follow with Johnny and see the pow-wow. I agreed, and we ran for the teepee to get the obstetrics box I always carry with me, along with one of the drug boxes we brought.
After about a fifteen-minute drive down a bad, dusty road, we arrived at the house of the OB case. The husband was waiting outside for me, very nervous and jumpy. He wanted to know WHAT IN THE WORLD had taken us so long. I told him to calm down, that I was a doctor and that his wife would be just fine. He then directed us to his bedroom, where his wife was wailing with pain. I introduced Cloud Dancing and myself and asked if it would be okay if he stayed and observed. She said that it would be okay, and then screamed. Her husband was about to freak out. I quickly removed him to the hallway outside the bedroom, and asked him to please stay outside. After the baby had been delivered and cleaned up somewhat, I’d let him come in and see his wife and new baby. With Cloud Dancing’s help, I laid out the equipment I needed, and then sent him after some supplies. During that time, I got the bed, the mother, and myself ready. Pretty soon, Cloud Dancing came back with the towels and chairs I had asked for. I checked the mother, but it wasn’t time yet, so we sat back to wait.
Thirty minutes later, the time had come. After getting the mother into position, I told her to push. She gave birth to a healthy baby boy with no incidents. I called the hospital after cleaning up both the mother and baby, along with the room somewhat. I reported that the baby and mother were fine, and that we’d only had one incident- when informed about being a father, the man passed out, only to come out of it upon arrival at the floor.
After I turned the family over to the ambulance, I went back inside, where Cloud Dancing and I cleaned up, made the bed with clean sheets, and rearranged the house back to normal from where we had to displace the rooms. After that was done, we carried the equipment out to the car and, after making sure the house was secure, headed back towards the fairgrounds. On the way back, Cloud Dancing remarked about how interesting and gratifying it was to see a baby being born and thanked me for letting him come and observe. I told him not to mention it.
We made it back by 1930 hours. I was tired, but still wanted to see the dancing that night. We met Johnny and Sully by the teepee. They wanted to know how things turned out, so I enlightened them as they helped carry the equipment back to the teepee. We stopped at a booth that was still selling food, because I was ravenous. Then, we headed to the pow-wow bonfire “arena”. This was a special night for me, because I was scheduled to dance solo for the crowd.
I finally turned in around 2250 hours. I was exhausted, but I had done an excellent job on the dance, and had won an award for my performance. Johnny walked me back to my teepee, and bid me goodnight. I quickly got ready for bed, and fell asleep.
We enjoyed the last day of the pow-wow, and were pleasantly surprised when the guys from the station showed up, some with their families. They seemed to enjoy their day with us, and left pretty reluctantly. Johnny and I spent the last night at the fairground, and left the next morning.
When we came in for work later that day, the guys told us how much they enjoyed the pow-wow, and teased us for returning to elementary civility. We retorted about those white savages who took our land in the name of peace treaties. Then everyone laughed. Just then, Chet walked in with a headdress souvenir he had gotten at the pow-wow and, you guessed it, his peace pipe prepared with bubble solution. I advanced in a threatening manner towards Chet, and he fairly ran out of the room. I walked back to Johnny, who gave me a high five. Just then, we got a run for a two-story structure fire. Johnny and I looked at each other, grinned, and both gave identical war whoops as we ran out towards the squad. We hopped in to the squad, and raced out of the station, sirens blaring. A new adventure had begun.