ya Allah! what world was i in today? i nearly lost myself. i have been trying different things as a nurse to try to find something new. to rejuvenate my positive feelings about this long lived career of mine. so today, the agency i work for sent me to train at the COUNTY JAIL. siggghhhh. they have asked me for a long long time if i wanted to go and i always said no. and my husband always said no. and sometimes to get the pressure off of my back, i simply said no my husband really really wont let me so they would just hush for a while. they finally stopped asking. but today i went. i agreed to it several days ago, but by the time this morning arrived............i did not want to go. i woke up on time, sat, stared, drank coffee, spilled coffee, stared at the internet, talked myself out of it, talked myself into it. i procrastinated so long that the time for me to leave came and went. finally i MADE myself get up. put my uniform on. called my boss and said, "well, i talked myself out of going. was gonna call you later and tell you that i couldnt. but....i am making myself try it for one day......and im gonna be late because of it."
i felt like i had stepped off a bus into the twilight zone. big metal doors slamming. locks clanging. officers carrying guns, mace and pepper spray. inmates of all colors, nationalities, sizes staring as if i were a valuable painting up on the auction block (the men have lost their minds lol). i had to go into their cells with an armed guard, pass out medicine and get the heck out of there. in one cell, i could hear the inmates getting really rowdy....like monkeys jumping in trees and getting riled up. i kept waiting for the tin cup to start rattling across the cell bars (there are actually no bars in this multi million dollar facilty). then i heard another officer telling my officer via radio, "get her outta there!! pull that nurse out NOW!". well i didnt even wait for that officer to tell me, i got the heck outta there NOW. my heartrate went from 80 to 180.
then the physicals. i did about 40 today. do you have tuberculosis...yes. exposed to sexually transmitted diseases....yes. do you use street drugs..yes. what kind....heroin, cocaine, marijuana. how often...daily. do you drink...yes. how much...6 pack daily ( my God). hepatitis...yes. gold teeth, no teeth. fat, skinny. clean, smelly.
when we went to eat lunch, the inmates working in the kitchen couldnt cook for staring. i began to get nauseous.
i went back to the cells to do blood sugar checks. men naked. guards saying , " boy get your f--king clothes back on while the nurse is here!!" i kept my eyes on the floor or eye to eye with the inmate i was treating.
by the end of the day, i have never been so happy to hear that last damned metal door clang and lock click behind me.....jump in my car and speed away into the night.....and home.