Cheeseburger In Paradise

Posted: April 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

I had survived my first weekend at Jackson Correctional Institution (JCI), a facility in the Wisconsin Prison System (WPS).  The most exciting thing was learning the state issued laundry procedure.  You fill out a slip advising how many and what size you are turning in to be cleaned, and you get that slip back with that same clothing the following day.  I missed this last week as I didn’t know about it and I didn’t understand the guards over the PA system announcing it, because they sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher from the “Peanuts” cartoons.  That reference probably dates mea  bit, but oh well!  Anyway, I’m told I’ll get used to the PA system.  I’m sure they are right.  I’m still not used to Leroy however. I could go on and on about the incessant chatter and programming choices but we’ve covered this

Tuesday morning came.  I’d been here a week and it was my day for chemotherapy.  They never tell me their plans because to do so would be a security risk.  But when 6:25 am came and I still was not on my way to Madison, I worried a bit they’d dropped the ball. I had never left this late before.  So off I went to the Health Services Unit (HSU) for medication as we do every day at this time.  Happy to say, I’m pretty used to the cold and walk now.  As I started turning the circle I saw a guard come running out the door and motion for me to come to him.  I thought well this is odd and that probably was reflected on the look on my face.  The guard said I shouldn’t look at him like he’s crazy, and I had to wait for HSU to be called.  I’ve been in long enough now to know not to argue with a guard so I just went inside.  Once there, everyone else had gathered who normally would have been gone to HSU by now, were assembled by the door, all of them wondering what the heck this guy was up to, along with a  few colorful words of discontent.  He released us to go a couple minutes later.  I was told by another guard when I related what happened that “you can’t fix stupid” and he was known for this sort of thing.  Somehow it didn’t surprise me to hear this. 

I got my meds and returned.  On my way in, this same guard demanded, “Are you Martin?” I said I was.  He told me to report to intake, the same place I was when I got to JCI right away, they were waiting on me.  I wanted to say if you’d allowed me to go when I was suppose to they wouldn’t be waiting!  But I didn’t.  I turned around and again made the 400+ yard walk back to intake.

Once there it was a familiar scene.  I got naked while they watched.  I got bound with chains and cuffs and put into a van just like at Dodge Correctional Institution (DCI).  One difference from DCI – it was now a 2 1/2 hour ride.  I’m sure its just me, but the more I wanted to get there the slower they seemed to go.

Chemotherapy itself went without a hitch though I could tell the guards weren’t used to all the waiting you have to do.  At one point, they were going to return me to the cell at the hospital as they were tired of waiting.  The staff quickly told them not to do that.  They did seem to get the chemicals out to me quicker though.  Might be my imagination.  Hard to say.

Because of the late start we weren’t done until after 4 pm.  I was probably surprised by the news that I would get a hot meal, which they do when inmates have medical treatment after 4 pm.  I was asked if a cheeseburger was ok.  I laughed and said, “Hell, yeah!”  Food isn’t what i normally desire after chemo but no way I’m missing this.  It was a good thing too.  The cheeseburger was awesome!  And there were actual French fries! And apple pie!  I was a happy camper on the way back to JCI.  After I got back, not so much, as my stomach rebelled.  But I’ll spare you the details!

All in all not a bad day.  Any day with French fries in it is a good one as far as I am concerned.  The big deal with the guard this morning didn’t seem as annoying as it did then.  The long rides, well that’s just another part of the day.  And as I fell asleep, I’m still thinking about that cheeseburger!  For hospital food, not bad at all!

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