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a logo for Bruised Behind Bars with handcuffs over one of the letters
  • Writer's pictureJennifer Emmi

January 24, 2024

Yesterday and today have been rather stressful and my chest pains have returned. The prison (Fluvanna, VA) still ignores my health concerns. I was taken all around the compound yesterday in some sort of charade to go through my belongings, including my files, which of course they did. This is on par with the day all the written pages were ripped from my journal sneakily by someone with really strong hands after meeting with the Warden. I say this because it was a hard-bound book and it would take someone with some real strength to rip it out from the binding like it was.


Anyway, yesterday, after hours of packing and unpacking, I became very weak and dizzy and had chest pains again. It was so disappointing because I had it under control with constant rest. They denied me the use of a wheelchair and said if I could not walk, I would go to solitary confinement. So basically, if you are disabled and unable to walk, you are punished at Fluvanna prison. I can not wait for the Department of Justice to hear about this fabulous policy. I started having the chest pains and Lieutenant Riner told me he would feel better if I went to medical and that he would see to it that I got there. So with his help (there are a few kind people in the mix thank goodness) I went to medical and got an EKG and made them measure my legs, which they found that my left leg is swollen much larger. This is even more odd since that is the paralyzed side and SHOULD BE less muscled and smaller, which it is without the fluid swelling. I have been working hard to get both sides of my body even.


I got my first medical tele-health visit yesterday. The first thing the doctor said was, "why have they not had you visit with us since September 19th of last year?" Then she said that none of the tests or bloodwork they ordered were ever done. She explained that she did get some bloodwork from when I was rushed to the hospital on December 29th and I was in fact anemic. She asked why I was taken to the hospital and I told her it was my heart. She looked at my records and said I need to be treated for pericarditis, which is inflammation around my heart. She started me on Colchicine for this and seemed very upset about how poorly the prison was handling my care. She also asked about my port and I told her they have never flushed it here. The nurses in the room jumped and said they flush ports all the time. Then she asked if they could do bloodwork and they told her, "Dr. Sheffield (the medical director here) said that there needs to be a medical basis to take blood from the port."


Almost simultaneously the doctor and I said, "having the port itself IS the medical reason." I said in addition that the port was put in to access for treatments like IVIG and for bloodwork. Then the other nurse argued that accessing the port for blood was risky. Well, you need to access the port that goes to my heart and take the risk to flush it and put saline IN, so what is the increased risk of taking blood out of the same hole? This is how stupid these people are at this place. Mind blown. Seriously. You cannot make this stuff up.


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