PQ is on file!
I don't even like to call it that, because there isn't much "care" involved.
The many examples I could give on this non-care would take more than the page limit here...but I will give just a few examples...
Shortly after intake at FDC Miami I was taken down to the Medical Dept. where a dental exam was to take place. Sat down in the chair, opened my mouth, closed it and I was done. No questions, comments, concerns...
They are very big on "TB" testing though.
At FCI-Tallahassee I had an appointment for lab work which I did not know about until an hour or so prior to said appointment. Sadly I had eaten a couple of cookies before I read the "call out sheet" (aka compound newspaper that advertised to everyone who works where, what classes they're enrolled, what appointments they have and where). So I still went to the doctor, but told him right away... I was told it would be okay, so blood was drawn and I left.
Five months later I was called to the doctor where he advised that I must be placed on cholesterol medication immediately! I again advised about the cookies, but he insisted on the meds... Semvistatin... I resolved at that time not to take them. And I didn't...
Fast forward a few months to FCI-Aliceville. The way things are done in the BOP is when someone is
PG 2 transferred from another prison with medication, those meds are taken away until the "doctor" at the new prison determines the person's need of them. Needless to say I never saw another bottle of those pills!
So then I had my very first eye exam after almost four years. My eyes were dialated but no protection was provided. So I had to find my way back to work in the middle of the day during August in Alabama.
Eight months later (when it was almost time for yet another exam...in the real world) I was called to medical.
In the lobby, behind glass, the records lady shoved a paper down the chute, telling me to sign it and send it back. I had no idea what was happening, so I just did as I was told.
Within seconds of me returning the now signed paper my new glasses were sent...inside of a soft case. The lady told me to grab the case and leave. Somehow I thought I received the glasses I had hoped for and desperately needed. Once I got outside I expected to pull out my new glasses which were supposed to be progressive as well as bi-focal (since I've had a prescription for that for years), but they were neither. To top it off they were so big I would have to look straight up because the second I moved (even just a tiny bit) they slid right down my nose.
So I turned around and went back to tell the records lady about my dilemma and she advised that when I
PG 3 signed the paper I confirmed my satisfaction with the glasses and therefore it was too bad. in 2017 I decided to file a grievance, because I had a difficult time reading and anyone who wears glasses knows how goofy one looks with sunglasses over top eyeglasses.
So in the Optometrist's response to my complaint he said that he told me that he would try to get those features but I should be aware that inmates do not get to choose what features should be prescribed.
Long story short...er I never did get the features I need, but that's part of the retaliation for filing a grievance.
It's June 2020 and I have not even seen the eye doctor, so I suppose I will have to wait for real glasses until I leave prison.
I should probably mention that I have had glasses since I was 8yrs old and I was told that I'd be blind by the time I'm 35... Well, I just turned 50, so I only have the Grace of God to thank for preserving my eyes. Because these people here sure don't care.
In 2013 I was diagnosed three times with Cystocele, it's a condition were the bladder "hangs out". I was told I could have a hysterectomy or "just live with it". I opted for the hysterectomy as the latter just seemed wrong. In 2016 (yes, I know they got right on that) I had the surgery. I went to the hospital on Friday morning, under the knife by 8 am. They took everything and I was okay with that focusing on the end result: my bladder being
PG 4 back inside the body. Chained to the bed in two places the doctor said he also closed the top of the vaginal canal to keep the bladder from dropping back out.
By Sunday afternoon, freshly stapled, I was back at the prison. Returning to my upstairs housing unit that would require me to climb four flights of stairs, for meals that meant at least three times a day.
Tuesday morning I had a doctor's appointment, during which I was examined and cleared to return back to work. So with no written restrictions whatsoever I went to work. So now I'm climbing stairs to and from work, meals and I was to go back to the doctor three days later to have the staples removed.
Within four weeks and several bleeding episodes later my bladder was back out. I think I made six or seven attempts to see the doctor about bleeding but he did not see me until July, which was two months later.
I was told that I had a consultation pending with an outside physician and I should "watch the call out" it's this department's favorite saying.
At that time I was also told that they would have me taken care of before I am released...in 2023... Might I mention that this was 2017? Well, as of today - June 2020 - I am still awaiting this appointment.
Again listening to advice of staff and other inmates to file a grievance I did. In their response they scolded me for my refusal of the pain medication they wanted to give me when I came back from the hospital. But I'm not big on medication,
PG 5 plus I'm in prison - I need to be aware of what's going on around me at all times. Being doped up is not a safe state to be in.
Again, the only result stemming from this grievance was the retaliation of the Department because as I've said I've not been seen still.
Then I asked for a brace for my wrist. It's been hurting and is swollen at times. Pressure always seemed to help, so again I went to the Medical Department. Told them how a doctor in early 2000 advised that what I described sounded like the beginning stages of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). I did not think of that during intake into prison, so this was not on any record. Anyways, I dealt with the pain until it started waking me some nights. It took a long time before I was seen (and only because of a grievance). They took x-rays and so in their response stated that the results showed that I do not have CTS and will not be receiving a brace. Ok, so last I know CTS is diagnosed via stress test not x-ray! Also, I'm still in pain today - so what causes it? Nobody knows and nobody cares to find out.
So, after the series of grievances I simply gave up. Their responses make no sense whatsoever. The usually just parrot what the complaint states except different words. Nowadays I "get to" go to medical for my annual chronic care visit which goes something like this: "Hi, you're here for chronic care, any problems?" ... "Yes, my bladder is still hanging out!" ... "You have an appointment pending, I can't make any promises, but you should be going out."... "Ok,
PG 6 so what about...". "I can't answer any questions that do not pertain to your chronic care issue! Anything else?" "No, sir thank you" ... "Ok, watch the callout."
Not to mention the TB tests every few months. In my humble opinion those should be conducted when one arrives at this prison and they should be placed in the Special Housing Unit until they're "cleared". That way they can save the money for those tests and spend it on new equipment (wheelchairs etc).
Also, if there was more preventive care the BOP would be saving a lot of money spent on hospitalizations.
There are vitamins for sale at commissary, but not everyone can afford them. Nutrition is of non-existence (even though we have a right to nutritious meals!) especially now that we've been confined to our rooms 22 1/2 hrs a day, for the past 3 months. Dinner has consisted of peanut butter sandwiches, mystery meat sandwiches, imitation cheese and chips. Yes... same food every night... There is lots of fat, sodium and sugar in everything we get.
So, healthier meals (ie. beef without muscle, veins and/or fur), vitamins for everyone who wants them, annual dental hygiene and real treatment for issues, annual physicals would cut the cost tremendously.
But hey it's not my pocket the money's coming out of... It's the poor American tax payer who has no clue just how badly they're being ripped off
If you are working on an APWA-related project, please let us know how you plan to utilize the Archive. We hope to share information about your work with our readers and, whenever possible, with relevant APWA authors.
APWA is an open access archive. We encourage use of the writings for research, course planning, and projects engaged in examination of the criminal legal system. Reproduction of essays in their entirety infringes on author copyright without their explicit consent from the writers. Please contact us if you plan to reproduce entire essays; we will do our best to put you in contact with the authors for consent, and their compensation for any project that is profit making.