second day, boy i really got into the swing of things. you have to. it started out slow...early sunday morning. few arrests here and there but by lunch time..boy it never stopped. i barely got to eat lunch.
lot of women this day.... and nearly all of them were suffering from mental illness. the thing to note here is that when you have a mentally ill inmate waiting to be booked (i promise you it takes HOURS!) we cannot give their meds and they start climbing the walls, seeing things, crying. i can talk all i want to them and it aint gonna help a thing!! if they really got bad, i can ship them back to the infirmary and throw them off on the other nurses!! one poor girl was bipolar, couldnt take her meds, her boyfriend decided to not bail her out immediatly to TEACH HER A LESSON! well you dont let someone like this go without their medicine and teach them a lesson. my God that girl was nearly nuts by the time he said he would come to get her.
the people get there and stand inside their holding cells and its according to what theyre in there for whether they are alone or with others. repeat felons and serious mental cases stay alone. the people that are seriously intoxicated have to stay alone. but most of the people just get stuck in there in groups but it helps the time pass a little faster. the thing is, my desk faces their windows and they stand there looking at me with huge puppy dog eyes. most of them young teens. will make you feel so sad. you kind of have to train yourself not to pay attention to them.
i had one guy who was in the padded cell. me oh my did he ever look like charles manson!!!!!!! even had some weird eye tattoo between HIS eyes!! loool. repeat felon, violent, attacked police officers. but i had to go in with him. of course i had an officer with me. yep with the beloved tazer. man just the sound of those things will make your knees knock. weird thing i wasnt afraid of him. i just spoke kindly and calmly to him. gave him his antispsychotropic meds and got out. now if i met him somewhere alone might be a different story!!!
my 2 favorite cases....the 30 + year old guy and the muslim.!! thats what ill call my book. the hip hop guy and the muslim!
the 30+ year old was a goodlooking black guy. smart guy. repeat offender. kinda cocky. i had already seen his rap sheet. but when i asked him why he was here he only listed the possession of marijuana. nahhhhhh, i said dont lie..ive seen the other charges..forgery, possession, alluding police and resisting arrest. he said ok ok. i said looks like you have a bday coming up soon. but youll be here for it wont you. he said yeah, he was in jail last christmas and last bday too. i said come one. is this what life is about to you? jail? is it fun here? he said oh hell no, its not fun. then why do you keep coming here. you are over 30 and coming in and out like its a game. do you have a job? nope. thats when i took my glasses off and channeled judge judy! sir do you have a mother? yep. does she know youre here AGAIN? i guess so. do you think she is sitting in her house now saying to herself, man i am so proud of maurice? or do you think she is sad, knowing that the one that was once her little sweet baby is messing up his life over and over again? he finally got that smug look off of his face and looked down at his feet. he said no she is not proud. i said dont you think you are killing her? all mothers want the best for their children. he said i know. i said do you have children? he couldnt look up at all. yes i do. how old are they? 3 months, 4 , 7 and 9. i said you missed their christmas last year. youll miss it again this year. dont you want them to be proud of you? i said that all children love their parents no matter what but do you want them to only know you on "visiting day?" and bringing you packs of cigarettes? do you want them to grow up like you? he said no he wants them to have a better life. i said then you can understand how your mother feels too. i said be somebody. grow up and be a man. dont get used to being in jail and liking it. make up your mind to get out and go to school. study anything that can make a decent living for your children and make your mother cry tears of pride not ones of sorrow. i had already started writing by this time. i put my pen down and looked up. the boy was boo hooing. i said are you crying? he said no something in my eye. i said oh both eyes? he said yeah i guess so. i said why are you crying? he said he hates life this way and hates doing this to his babies and his mother. we're not supposed to be really touching the inmates, but i put my hand on his arm and told him that he can be whatever he wants to be, if not for himself...for his kids. its not too late to change. let go of your old friends and make a future. he nodded, still crying. to lighten the mood, i said ok dry those tears up and dont let those big guys out there see you. go get some water and get yourself together. he nodded again and walked away.
the muslim. rashid. pakistani. u.s. citizen. he was sooo nervous. i said rashid, relax, im just a nurse. youre from paki? oh yes but ive lived here for 20 years. ok, well i can assume youre a muslim? yes yes i am. i said assalamu alikom. my God his demeanor changed. wa alikom salam! ok now tell me why youre here. i was driving my friends car home that he bought because he doenst have a drivers license. well it turned out that the friend hadnt put insurance on it yet so rashid came to jail and the friend got to go home. i said dont worry rashid you will get to make bail and go home. he relaxed. i started writing some things on the chart. my visual assessment. then the zinger. rashid....says here you were drinking beer. he said yes , im so sorry i was. i said rashid this is haram. he said i know i know. i said why were you drinking beer. he said i dont know. i said you are a muslim rashid. i saw his wedding band. i said plus you are married. do you have children. yes 4 and 5. you are raising them as muslims? of course i am!! i said you will teach them that this is the way of islam? that brought the tears (my kids swear i love the tears). did he ever cry. i said if you were drinking with this "friend" then you need to put this friend down. where was your wife and children while you were drinking?? he couldnt even answer for the tears. i said but you know Allah is most merciful. he said ya allahhh. i said, do you pray? yes i do. how can you say a prayer then go to drink rashid? he was 30 years old but he looked so young and pitiful. i said for the sake of Allah and your soul, this is your chance to make it right. you were drinking and look where you are now. in jail while your wife runs around looking for bail money. i gave him tissue and said inshallah brother (it was time for the kind words now) you will turn your life around. Allah is giving you this moment that seems so bad to you for a reason. he said i know i know. i will stop. inshallah rashid. salam. salam.
the worst cases? the mother and daughter (ages 57 and 42) drunk, fighting and driving. they got on my last nerve. they tried to convince me of their innocence. maam's i am just the nurse not the judge (well sometimes i am lol). they were so disheveled. you could tell they were educated, not poor by any means. but as a nurse i am trained to recognize the signs of a heavy smoker and heavy alcohol user by their skin, hair, wrinkles and appearance. they had all the signs. they got on my last nerve. but i was never mean to them. i am not mean to anyone at all.
funniest case was the cherokee indian that told me he was bipolar but had just been elected as a representative at the united nations and was being allowed to step above prez bushes authority. and as soon as he got out of jail, he was going to get in his truck and head to the u.n. he was suppperrrrr smart. and i am serious. he knew awesome details about anything. had a fantastic memory. just a poor mentally ill guy dealt a bad hand.
these 2 days have been the best experiences that i have ever had as a nurse. perhaps i should go into counseling.