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


Anonymous said...

that's kinda like they way they treat you in the UK, they recently banned drinking laws so folks wouldn't get sick, so the gov't wouldn't have to pay for it.

Jolie Beth Michaels

Anonymous said...

"It’s no surprise that inmates become quite adept in home surgery and other medical procedures." Like what? I'd like to hear more about that, if possible...

Be well,


Jon said...


Read what Xena wrote about the time Xena tried to cut Xena's testicles off and almost bled to death:

leigh said...

what is the process for someone to be seen by a doctor there? do you have to pay for seeing a doctor and/ or being treated? can you buy the magical ibuprofen in the store or must it be handed out by medical/ pill call?

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

I guess the best ailment to have is something that is communicable (sp?)...then you are apparently treated immediately and left alone by co's. My son contracted scabies-he was seen as soon as he requested to be. No one would go into his cell for a time, lol. Everything worked out ok, thank God. It's my worst fear-too many horror stories of poor to no treatment. The wait for dental is a year I think where he is (teeth cleaning, preventive if any).

Matt said...

Man...these stories are interesting. Having never been to prison, it sure paints a vivid picture.

leigh said...

Sue O! that's horrible to hear about your son! my friend had it in GA and it took 6 months before any kind of treatment was administered, never mind appropriate treatment----and at least a 3rd of the place was infected by then! they've also cut dentures out but only after pulling all of some guys' teeth!

Ms Fit said...

@ Leigh, It's been 15 years since my 2nd and last stint in a US prison and if I remember. They were given out once a day and you could also buy from commiseray (the store).

To see a doctor in the Californian womens prison I was in you had to fill out a request slip. You also could ask to see the nurse or MT who comes around morning and evening to administer medication as you are not allowed to have prescribed medication in your property. And no you don't pay for treatment.ini