Medical Issues (Part 8 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.
10.25am. Jewel popped her head up. “Renee they want you at medical right now.”
I jumped up, and darted for medical. I was third in line, but knew it would be a long wait. Amy and Tiffany were ahead of me. Sandra showed up a few moments later. Amy has a long list of medical problems. Tiffany was waiting for her results to see if she has breast cancer. Sandra was there for a post-surgery visit. I was waiting for lab results. We sat in the medical enclosure, anxiety rolling off us. I couldn’t sit still. I felt as though as I was going to crawl out of my skin.
One by one they called us in to take our vitals.
I went in, sat on a chair, had my blood pressure and temperature taken. I hopped on the weighing scale, deciding not to look.
“132 pounds.” The nurse said.
I looked at the scale in disbelief. A week and a half ago I was 122 pounds, but it was a different scale.
The nurse opened the door, and called my name.
I jumped up and walked into the doctor’s office, only slightly larger than one of our cells.
“Sit on the table,” someone said to me. There were four people: the provider, a nurse and two women I’ve never seen.
The provider read my HNR, and looked at my charts. “Oh, your lab results are back. Your thyroid is normal. White blood cell count is fine. No signs of infection. We tested you for several different types of infection, including mono.”
Why in the world would you test me for mono? was screaming through my head, but the words never fell from my lips.
“Your lab results really are beautiful.”
“Then why are my ears hurting and I have a sore throat and headaches?”
He looked dumbfounded.
“Just last week, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday my left ear hurt. Last time I was here you said I had a sinus infection. Since then I’ve taken the allergy tabs from the store, and still nothing.”
“That stuff really doesn’t work,” he said as he stood up. He grabbed a small light to look in my ears and nose. He checked my ears again.
“My right ear hurts right now.”
He examined it again.
“I do not see anything wrong. Your ear looks fine. I’m going to give you Loratadine once a day. It’s just allergies.”
I left medical again confused, and waiting for my new medication to arrive.