Medical Issues (Part 1 by Lifer Renee)

Renee – Only a teenager, she received a 60-year sentence. Now 15 years in, Renee is writing from Perryville prison in Goodyear, Arizona, providing a rare and unique insight into a women's prison.

For the past nine months, I’ve had either an earache, headache, sore throat, light-headedness, or nausea. I’ve lost at least 20lbs. If it ends in ache, I’ve felt it. I thought I had a bug and it would pass, but it hasn’t.

I woke up one morning three weeks ago with an earache and a sore throat. Tired of not feeling well, I decided to report it to Medical. I got a Health Needs Request form (HNR), and sat down at the metal desk in my cell. It was silent and I was alone. I stared at the blank page, unsure what to say, where to start, how to describe what is wrong with me.

The pen hit the paper and my long list of symptoms poured onto the page. I asked to be tested for diabetes, thyroid, anemia, infections and cancer. When I read what I’d wrote, I felt a little like a hypochondriac.

Panic set in. My palms began to sweat. I rubbed my hands on my pants and walked the HNR to the drop box, telling myself, It is better to know you are a hypochondriac than really being sick. I dropped the HNR. My day ended with more questions and concerns than I’ve had in a long time.

Shaun Attwood

1 comment:

webby said...

Hope you're ok.