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


Anonymous said...

this is funny shit


leigh said...

i know it is horrible for someone to have to wait so long to see a doctor and to get such basic treatment but i'm just a little bit in awe of the "speed" with which this was addressed! actual doctors on site----optometrist! and anyone being on site aside from gaurds after 4pm? god i wish we could get that in our state! not to mention getting some kind of pay for work.

my friend had a "rash" that he developed in late winter----the end of february. a guy in the bunk next to him had it longer and brought it over with him in november. it took about seven months to get it properly treated (ie: going along with the initial diagnoses and agreeing that it was in fact scabies after having treated it as multiple forms of an allergic reaction that was magically spreading dorm to dorm) and this included multiple visits to the assorted medical related persons below any kind of registered nurse much less a nurse practitioner or doctor! the only doctor involved saw a guy who got shipped halfway across the state to the medical prison and sent back to reinfect while recovering. another guy was sent to a neighboring prison for a medical teleconference where a doctor is in one place diagnosing a guy via webcam.

the outbreak continues now (what, 3 months shy of a year of that first case) and finally in addition to being treated the guys are getting the official diagnoses by having skin samples taken. before that the state was denying ANY skin problem existed.

if we hadn't started a blog and likely better yet the twitter account asking every day for people to call a certain person to demand medical attention, filed complaints against the physicians with the state medical board, complaints with the various other agencies, contacted the CDC and health departments, and just plain bugged the hell out of everyone i don't know that we'd have gotten as far as we did. and we didn't get far. they got treatment but the core problem remains and it continues to spread.

i don't see a need for Brandon to even be serving time but thank god he's not serving time in GA, at least when it comes to medical issues (and this whole getting paid business).

i wonder, is there a copay for medical visits there in Pennsylvania? and what about the cost of the prescribed treatment? how much is that? do people even get to have dentures when their teeth are pulled out?

one guy i know had all of his teeth pulled because they said he needed dentures in order to fix the many problems he had with his teeth but after all were pulled the dentures stopped being supplied due to funding issues. now when the kitchen staff is feeling attentive they remember to give him his soft food special tray instead of the regular one.

Sue O. (aka Joannie, SS) said...

Brandon is very fortunate in this respect-my greatest fear has been that serious medical problems will not be dealt with. Thankfully this was not one of those and was a minor inconvenience that was quickly treated that made for a funny recollection. He did specifically ask to have money sent for medical, but I'm not sure what the costs are. He also lost time on the job.

Thanks for comments, Leigh. It may not seem like he needed to be in prison, but really, he did. It has worked to change some very reckless behaviors and help him understand a whole different world than the protected one he grew up in.

Jon said...

Looks like he's developing good writing skills too.