The Occult Killer Goes to Medical with a Rash (by Occult Killer)
Dubbed the Occult Killer by the media, Brandon is serving 6 to 12 years in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. His crime: he killed his best friend in a drunk-driving accident. When police investigators discovered Gothic paraphernalia in his bedroom, they naturally concluded Brandon had committed a sacrificial murder for the benefit of Satan.
Took a little adventure for myself yesterday. I’d been dealing with this rash on my hands for a little while that looks like hives or nano-bee stings or something. It never progressed from the back of my hands, so I tried to wait it out. Though it never got worse, it persisted even over the weekend, which began to spook me, so I finally talked to my boss in the prison laundry. To keep inconvenience to a minimum, I asked to go when we were on break after 1600 count. How long could it take, right? I went up at 1630 when count cleared, blasting past the chow halls, foregoing dinner. I wanted it addressed, ASAP.
I go to the waiting room adjacent to the dispensary (where the pills are given out, as the name may suggest) and check my pass with the cop on duty. And I wait. And wait. Insulin Line is called. I know those guys take priority, so I settle in further for a longer haul. And I wait. It takes so long, the cop tells me I should go eat before they stop running dinner, which happens around 6pm.
Upon returning from my hamburger, I’m called in. A nurse gets my info, looks me over, and takes my vitals. Before I know it, I’m sitting with my arms outstretched, a cuff on my right bicep, thermometer in my mouth, and a pulse clamp on my right index finger, cables all running into a single machine. Tests complete, she removes the apparatus and we discuss the possibilities of my ailment’s origin.
Her conclusion is constant exposure to something in the workplace, be it protective gear or chemicals and detergents, has garnered a spontaneous allergic reaction. I explain I’m not the allergic type and provide the anecdote that I’ve lived around and worked in a dental lab all my life, contacting all sorts of dangerous chemicals from irritants to carcinogens, AND all manner of gloves. This being my 1st run-in with medical, I’m trying to make the best of impressions. My demeanor is calm and mild, my manner, polite, i.e. nowhere near argumentative. After her services are rendered, I thank her for her time and she asks me to wait for the doctor outside, for only he can prognose and prescribe.
In the interim, a group of about a dozen have gathered for the optometrist, who isn’t here yet. Treatment Line guys come and go. 1900 Pill Line comes and goes. I see a few co-workers who, through the glass, contort their faces and raise their arms as if to say, “What the hell are YOU doing in there?” I convey my exasperation with the appropriate exaggerated head-shaking and shoulder-shrugging that can only mean “I don’t even know anymore. I give up.”
The optometrist somehow turns up, alive, and takes guys one by one for 15-min-long check-ups. Nearly everyone is gone by the time I see the doctor after EIGHT o’clock. Mind you, I still have to check back in to work to tie up loose ends, go back to the block to cross my name off the CI out-count list so 2100 count is right, and get a shower.
Finally seeing the doctor, rejuvenates my appreciative, easy-going side. He was an Indian guy, with only the thickest of accents. He looks over the nurse’s paperwork, gives me a secondary check-up, and provides his assessment.
DR: Okay, what you will do is apply cold compress, no ice, just cold water, and then some hy-dro-cor-ti-sone cream. (turns to the nurse) Do we have hydrocortisone?
NURSE: Yes, we do. (she hands me about 10 HC condiment packets)
DR: Okay, cold compress and hydrocortisone cream, twice a day. Now, I’ll give you a script for Benadryl…
NURSE: You’ll have to come to Pill Line for that, morning, noon, and night.
DR: …50 mg, forty times a day for three days…(I knew instantly is was four, but it sounded like forty).
NURSE: We can only give it three times a day.
DR: …3 times a day for three days, okay…
The whole time this is going on, I’m imagining him prescribing me pilgrimages to the Ganges, to bathe in it three times a day for three days, or plug my nose with cotton soaked in the urine of a pregnant cow. If I wasn’t wholly ignorant of the culture, I could more accurately and descriptively make jokes at its expense.
“You will journey to the ashram, and feed the holy stale bread to the sacred rats who divinely infest that hallowed place, then your hands shall be cured of their bumpiness.”
So, in the end, I got my creams, my pill pass for Benadryl super doses, two days off work, then went about my business. They gave me one for the road, said it might make me drowsy. There weren’t kidding. Couple hours later, I wasn’t any good to anybody, slurring my words and nodding out.
The whole deal took nearly four hours, too long really. It’s their policy to cover work-related injury, however slight, but they fight you sometimes. Plus I have to hash out my pay. With a medical lay-in as I’m on, you’re compensated for hours missed at the normal rate, minus the bonus. That’s great, I don’t expect a bonus for time I didn’t put in. What they in turn will claim is because I missed more than 10% of the work month, I’ll only receive a half bonus for the hours I did work. Sneaky, sneaky. I have no control over a medical lay-in, I can’t be punished for it, sigh…
Click here to read Occult Killer’s previous blog.
Click here to read more from the Occult Killer at Prison Mom by Sue O.
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Shaun P. Attwood