Thursday, March 15, 2007

Some days...

I've been really sick for the last 3 or 4 days. The doctor thought I had hepatitis. I was beginning to think so, too. And being sick, with a baby, not easy. Plus worrying about him having hepatitis, too. But today I found out my tests are negative. Probably just all my usual chronic illnesses, coupled with lots of stress. So I figure my body is trying (really hard) to tell me something. Slow down and remember what's important. Taking more care to eat right. To do some yoga - how many years have I been talking about that?

Anyway, I made it through my first day back at work today. And got rewarded by seeing Luke's sweet face waiting for me at daycare. Our little routine of his dinner, play, bath, story, bottle, and bed. What an incredible joy he is in my life.

This evening I'm just so incredibly grateful for so many things. Neither of us has hepatitis. I'm smart enough to figure out what my body is trying to tell me. My comfortable home and pets waiting for me. Just stuff. Just another day in paradise. Gotta go make some baby bottles for tomorrow's day in paradise.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


I know I complain a lot about my job at prison. Some things about it are really nice. Like the people I work with. Being able to find your "no-shows" and fuss at them, because they're locked up somewhere in the dadgum prison. I also like the paycheck and of course, the benefits.

Yesterday, I thought I was being smart by getting to work a half hour early. Just to have a head start. Had to work in the morning at the prison next door. Fortunately, I only work there one day a week. Walked in and found they had a homicidal patient waiting for me. Evidently he had been waiting over an hour. The nurses had called the on-call psyc doctor, who had told them to just wait until the psychotherapist came it. I had barely turned the computer on when I had security officers in riot gear bring the offender to my office. Then, get this, they left. That's right. The offender was such a danger they had to use shields and all sorts of protective gear to get him to my office. But apparently once he sat down in the office with little old me, he was no danger at all! I would have put up a fuss about it but I really didn't feel any danger from the guy. He was definitely a strange one though. Said he was feeling bad and he wanted to hurt someone. Then he would feel better. He had no preference on who he hurt. And from a few questions I asked, he had a long history of hurting others in not-so-pretty ways, then feeling much better about it all. Now when you get a truly antisocial personality disorder guy talking to you, you realize that they have absolutely no conscience. They recount these incidents with no more passion than they would read a grocery list. I didn't argue with him. Just transferred him to a crisis mangement unit. Bye-bye.

Saw a few other offenders there who have figured out that I go on Fridays. My boss, a male, covers the other days there. These guys try to time their sick calls to be seen by me. Trust me, I don't feel special. Just female. And a bit yukky about it.

On to my own unit after I finish there. I walk in to find the offenders walking around in their underwear. Please remember, my own unit is a medical one. Mostly old guys or just severely chronically ill guys, a lot of AIDS and Hepatitis C. Seeing these guys in their underwear is NOT a pretty sight. Turns out the unit is on lockdown. Someone saw a handgun and everything gets real serious until they find it. There is a lot more drama about the incident that I am not at liberty to discuss. Not due to patient confidentiality but due to me wanting to stay safe personally. Working in prison may be many things but it is rarely dull. Turns out I transferred another patient to crisis management yesterday. The intake folks at that unit were getting a little curious when I was calling from different units.

I started out to mention something about personal and professional conflicts. So just briefly, I sometimes treat offenders (my most frequent patients) who are convicted of sexual assault of children. Most of them tell me they are falsely convicted. And maybe they are, who knows? The others tell me they offended because they were victimized as children so it's not really their fault. Still others will say the children looked much older. I don't encourage them to discuss their crime. Pedophiles will never change. And talking about it sometimes excites them in ways I don't care to participate in. Here's the thing, when they get to prison, obviously their population of sexual preference, children, is not available. So they get frustrated and depressed. Then they come in for medication and/or counseling. They just want to feel better. As a therapist, my job is to treat the target symptoms. So I help them get access to medication. And they feel better. As an individual though, there is a big part of me that does not want them to feel better. I want them to feel very, very bad.

Even if you can't personally relate, can anyone give me input on how they would handle the conflict? Any suggestions?