I’m a professional who moved to the Rice Lake, Wisconsin, area a few years ago.  Due to various circumstances I did not have any insurance once I got here. I thought… I can tough it out and wait until my place of business can afford to get me some insurance. They did not and I ended up with some problems that I could not simply “tough” out.

Finally, I had to have help and the Rice Lake Area Free Clinic was pointed out to me. My blood pressure was abnormally high and my stress levels while caring for a wife with Alzheimer’s were dramatically affecting my work, fatigue dogged my every step, and my ability to cope was diminishing.

The first thing I had to get through was my pride. I was used to giving, not taking. I was used to being a provider, not receiving help. I walked into the clinic uncertain what I would find or how I would be treated. What I found was that I was treated as a human with a need, as an individual that had value.  I also found a staff that was professional and very responsive to my situation. From the intake people, to the nurses who took my vitals, to the doctors who spent time with me, to the pharmacy and lab, each person treated me with respect. And I was not alone. They treated others that were there in the same manner.

Rice Lake Area Clinic Volunteers

The second thing I faced was that I was in need for a long duration. It wasn’t only one visit but several. Each time I found the same concern for me. In fact, one of the intake volunteers was a retired minister. On several occasions, he sat in the waiting area and let me talk with him. He showed genuine concern for me as a person. As the visits increased and various people knew my situation, they would talk with me. The doctors would treat the physical and speak to the emotional toll of my condition. The nurses touched my heart with their concern. And nobody ever made me feel like a second class citizen because of my situation. I even received phone calls following up on me.

All these people were volunteers. Why they did what they did was evident. They cared. Where they got all the meds, I don’t know. But never once was I denied what I needed to care for my multiple needs. When I needed things they did not have, they made arrangements for me to go where the exam or x-ray could be taken.

Because of their concern for me, I have come through many physical ailments and emotional battles and I continue to be effective as a professional in my area of expertise. I owe them in ways I cannot repay except to be as attentive and aware of the individuals who come cross my path and need to be loved. Thank you to everyone at the Rice Lake Area Free Clinic.

– Patient story share with permission.  For more information about the VIM Alliance clinic located in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, visit Rice Lake Area Free Clinic.