Medical Issues (Part 7 by Lifer Renee)
Renee – Only a teenager, she received a 60-year sentence. Sixteen years later, Renee is writing from Perryville prison in Goodyear, Arizona, providing a rare and unique insight into a women's prison.
Just as I hit the stairs a guard called mail call. My room mate brought me a copy of the recent HNR [Health Needs Request Form] I submitted. I hurried to open it. It said I was scheduled for the provider, but it did not say when. So once again, I was waiting. I needed some fresh air, so I threw on my headphones and hit the track.
Everyday for the last two weeks I’ve waited for Ms. G to say, “Oh, Renee, I was looking for you.” Tonight I wasn’t paying attention when I heard a light tap on the door. I opened it, and saw Ms G, about 4 foot 8, maybe 95 pounds, huge blue blocker sunglass covering three quarters of her face, baseball cap on. She looked like she should be baking her grandkids cookies not serving time in prison.
“Oh, Renee, I’m looking for you,” she said, smiling.
“You have providers line tomorrow at 1 pm. Can you sign for me?”
“You got it, tomorrow at 1.” I signed the medical paper and wrote the appointment time on my hand. I was instantly starting to panic. My stomach was flipping.
3.38 am. Sleep was futile. I tossed and turned, not because of the lumps in my mattress, or because of my hips grinding into the metal bunk, but because I am overwhelmed. I knew today was going to be a long day. I once read that with every breaking dawn there is a new chance at happiness.
I started my day off just the same as any other, feeling sick, having ear aches. Every morning with aches I go to work just the same. At work, I went through the motions in a haze. I could not help watching the clock, hoping for my medical appointment.