Dear Kerry:

Thank you so much! I would love to have you give some updates. I know quite a few people have asked about me. That’s very kind and really makes me feel good. I’ve had a few miracles/blessings lately: On May 16th I was buffing the floors in the housing unit, which I routinely do.

I’m not very mechanically inclined…there is a reason I’m a computer nerd and desk jockey. Anyway, the machine is very old, heavy and prone to malfunctioning. On this occasion, it got stuck in the “on” position and swirled around and around. It ran over my left foot (isn’t that the name of a move?). I was instantly in quite a bit of pain and couldn’t move my foot. I went to Health Services, even thought the health care is pretty much non- existent. Surprisingly, they saw me right away but only because it was a work injury. The x-ray technician just so happened to be there, which is very rare since he is only here once a month. I was able to get right in for x-rays instead of having to wait weeks or even months. Miracle #1.

I went back on May 17 but they didn’t have any results yet. I was given a work “idle” for a week and told to put ice on it and rest. Our joke here about the bad medical care is that the prescription for every injury is “ice, rest, ibuprofen and oh yeah, rub some dirt on it”. My big toe was very purple, bruised, swollen and had red lines. The rest of the foot was also swollen.

That same day, my name was put on a list to work Food Service in the kitchen at the men’s maximum prison or “pen”. The men were locked down due to a death. When the men screw up, it’s us women who get punished and have to go clean up after them. Pretty much just like in regular life! I spoke to numerous staff and officers regarding my injury and idle but was told “too bad” and that they would find something for me to do. As you can imagine, I was very upset.

On Friday, I went to health services again to wait for the doctor, who is only here 1-day a week for a few hours. They were not taking any walk-ins but when the nurse saw me, she told me to wait as they confirmed I had broken my big toe. when I saw the doctor, he said I also damaged the plantar fascia and had a bone chip in my heel. He wrote me another work idle until 6/4 and gave me a walking shoe in my size (size 6), which was a surprise as they never have anything here in my smaller size! Miracle #2. He said 4-6 weeks to heal. I still had to deal with the kitchen duty. When I got back to the housing unit, the warden was here! He rarely ever comes here. I spoke to him and explained the situation. He could tell I was very upset and very near to tears, whether it was from the pain or the frustration. He had his “guy” radio over to the pen and got my name removed from the list. Miracle #3!

Even though I still broke my toe, hurt my foot and lost some income (not like I make very much anyway), there were so many blessings and miracles that have come from it. I feel it’s just a gentle reminder to slow down and take better care of myself.

Overall I’m doing okay. Still having dizzy spells and will just have to wait until I am out to get medical care and help. I’m taking a few more classes, mainly to make the time go by faster. I am now interested in culinary school and focus either on baking, cooking or pastry. I’m a very good cook and would love to have better technique. I am getting my self-esteem and self-confidence back. I had lost myself and forgotten who I was over the years. Thankfully, I won’t be here too much longer and it is going very quickly. I have a long road ahead of me getting my life back. I don’t have anywhere to live and that will be the first hurdle. I have faith I will be blessed again and watched over.

Thank you so much to everyone for being my friends and your continued love, support and prayers. You have no idea how much they mean to me!

Much love,
Melissa

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