She was 94 pounds and 28 years old, but you couldnt tell her age by looking at her. She had the rotting teeth that come with using meth. But mostly, her drug of choice was heroin. Her blond hair was greasy, thin, graying and matted flat against her head. Her face was almost skeletal and she had dark circles under her eyes. Her eyes seemed big because of the loss of fat around them and they almost protruded from her eye sockets. All of her ribs were easily visible and I could actually see her heart beating against her bony chest.
In the Spirit of Medicine features the essays of Dr. Arne Vainio, an enrolled member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and a family practice doctor on the Fond Du Lac reservation in Cloquet. His essays on life, work, medicine, and spirit are published in News from Indian Country and you can find the link to this story here.