Generally, I know the tone of our Saturday phone calls within the first few seconds. Saturdays are special days for him, because he participates in sports at his facility. They have organized leagues almost. Anyway, on any given Saturday evening, I get a phone call that gives me the run down on whatever game was played that day. Now, to be fair, I don’t give shits about sports, and honestly, I wish he wouldn’t play so many. Not because I don’t care about sports, really, they give him a nice break from the routine, he likes them, and they are a good chance for him to build some healthy self esteem. The only thing I don’t like about him playing them is that occasionally he gets hurt.
A few years ago, he was playing field hockey and someone ran into him and he partially tore his PCL. You may be familiar with an ACL injury, your PCL is in the same space, but runs behind the ACL. Basically, its a knee injury. If he weren’t in prison this would be a minor inconvienance, we’d go to the doctor, get an MRI, go have surgery blah blah…it would take a month tops to start physicial therapy.
I doubt your surprised to read that this isn’t the case when you’re in prison. When you’re injured in prison this is what happens. You put in to go see a doctor. The doctor tells you that you’re not really hurt even though you can’t walk on your leg because it causes you too much pain. So he gives you pain pills which can be (and in a lot of cases are) habit forming. After a few more days you go back to the doctor because you still can’t walk on your leg and it isn’t getting any better and he still doesn’t think its injured that bad.
At this point, you call your girlfriend, who was already pissed off when you told her you were injured, and ask her to call up to the prison because you want to get an MRI or something done on this injury. She does. After a week of calling, she finally gets someone with some rank on the phone and this guy is in a rush to leave so he gives her his email address. (This was perfect actually.)
Now, if you’re smart, you’ve been keeping notes of who you saw and when and what you’ve been being told by whom about why you can’t get the MRI and you relay this to your girlfriend who can now send a detailed email, with dates and names to this guy. He responds he will get it taken care of. The next week you get an MRI. That was three or four years ago. I don’t remember exactly. What I do remember was that until it was clear that I wasn’t letting up and that I was keeping notes on what was going on nothing was happening.
My advice is get a notebook that is ONLY used for when you have to make calls to the DOC or facility about him. Keep it organized and write the date, time, name, and a summary of every single conversation. Also, be nice to everyone you talk to. I know how frustrating it can be and how much it might seem like the person you’re on the phone with at the moment doesn’t care, but I promise you even with the assholes you’re going to make more headway if you’re polite and firm than if you’re raising your voice and being nuts.
So yea.. they won a hockey game and tied the soccer game today. Go sports.