Prison 101:8

STOP! This material is NOT edited for content. It is not fiction. It contains explicit language and descriptions of real situations. It is not suitable for minors, and may not be suitable for people who easily disturbed…


In 2005 I had a massive heart attack and stroke. I had been in the system a few years by then. And I was paying for all the drugs and alcohol I had done. I Would have died except an officer I worked for was there and got me, carried by six big guys, right to the clinic, where it just so happened that the lady on duty was a Cardiac ER nurse during the day. Shot me full of blood thinners and got me to a hospital where the surgery was done. She saved my life.

I spent two weeks in a cardiac unit chained to the bed. The nurses used to piss off the C. O’s and hang out and talk to me. The C. O’s were like ‘Hey! Don’t talk to the prisoner!’ The day I left they bought me the biggest hamburger I ever saw. I said, I can eat that? They laughed and said, ‘Yes, not all the time, but on occasion you can.’

I transferred back to the prison, spent some time in the hospital there, an overheated, dirty hospital with a doctor that did not care what your problems were. You stayed locked down. No recreation of any kind. Sealed, overheated rooms, no fresh air. No walking. No exercise as I was told I should try to get daily. No bandage changes as there should have been. You learn fast that the quality of care you sometimes get in a prison hospital is going to be pretty poor. At other times though you get top rate care. It was a contrast to me how quickly I was moved out when I had the heart attack, how well I was treated, and how poorly treated afterwards.

In prison we used to laugh at the doctors they had. What kind of doctor are you going to get for 35k a year? Well usually ones that were forced out of their regular practice by lawsuits or ones that were just fuck ups. We had one doctor, his line was, “I doctor, you okay. Now get fuck out for I tell cop lock you up!” Nice guy, that doctor. I have fond memories, warm and fuzzy even. I remember I saw him one day because I needed my pills re-filled. He does the pills, and then he says, “You need something else?” I said, “Well now that you mention it I need my other prescription soon. You could do it now.” He looked at me, I am not making this up, and says “Good…Good… Then you drop fuckin’ swip (He meant slip, we had to send a slip or request to see him) see me.” What a dick. In other words he asked me only so he could tell me to go fuck myself. I had to laugh, that’s the kind of guy he was. A few weeks of that sort of care and I was glad to get back to Pop., and reality.

When I got all the way back on my feet I realized that prison is not the place you want to be if you’re not taking care of your health. I started workouts with a few of the guys I had begun hanging out with. It took about six months, after heart surgery no less, to get myself back in fair shape. Another six months and I was strong. Going to yard rec every morning at sunup, including the middle of winter. I stayed away from weights and went for pushups, cardio. Not a few hundred a day but well over a thousand in an hour, at least five times a week. I went through a lot of work out partners over the years, but I always found guys willing to jump into workouts with me. It was something that stayed with me for the rest of my bid too.

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