Medical Holding Cell (by Warrior)
Warrior - Serving fourteen years for kidnapping and aggravated assault. Half Hispanic and Scottish-Irish with family still in Mexico. Brought up by a family steeped in drug commerce. He writes some of the best prison-fight stories on the Internet.
As I stepped into the medical holding cell, an old gaunt man of 50 with a bulging cheek full of gauze hacked up blood all over the concrete floor. “Ehcuu-mehh,” he mumbled as gravity stretched a sliver of blood-mixed spit from his lower lip onto the floor. He struggled to bend down and clean up the mess with a thin piece of toilet paper, but only fanned it out in wider and wider circles. His name was Bill.
God I hate Medical, a voice inside me echoed.
There were four of us waiting in a 10 x 15 foot holding cell, inside the Complex Medical Unit. Decrepit blue paint was peeling like scabs off the cinder-block walls. Graffiti scarred the back of the steel sliding door. We were there to see the dentist.
Mike, a bald-headed guy about forty, whose tattoos covered not only his body but where his hair used to be, cackled away at Bill’s momentary misfortune. “Ha ha ha! You a nasty mofo! Geez!” Mike said. As his laughter erupted once more, the only presence of teeth in Mike’s mouth were his two upper canines. He reminded me of an old vampire. Years of crystal-meth use were apparent. “That’ll learn ya!” he said, and cackled away.
I motioned over to Mike, shook his hand, and sat down. We were on the same tier on the same yard.
You learn quickly that exercise in prison isn’t solely for passing time, or a safety requirement to deter predators. It’s a preventative measure to stay healthy to avoid the Medical Unit.
A broken rib or arm: “Give ’im a band-aid or some ibuprofens.”
Cancer: “Give ’im some ibuprofens.”
A stab: “Clean it and give ’im some ibuprofens.”
That’s prison medical for you, cheap and easy. It’s no surprise that inmates become quite adept in home surgery and other medical procedures.
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Shaun P. Attwood