Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The night before Christmas...

Dear Sis~

Christmas is within sight and, while this is commonly a depressing time in jails and prisons across the land (it reminds you of what you don't have and perhaps never will), I'm focusing on the many things I'm thankful for, from a sound mind and healthy body to all those who love and care for me. It may sound syrupy but I can truly say that, even on death row, I am blessed. All I have to do is consider the many around me who are so much worse off (many here have nothing and nobody), not to mention those in even more wretched places (how about an Iranian prison?!) It's easy (and human) to feel blue and despondent, but since we all have the power to choose how we feel, I choose to feel good!
Well, Old Roy, my neighbor, went to DR court on his charge of "refusing to provide a urine sample" and predictably, he was found guilty and sentenced to the maximum 60 days in disciplinary confinement. This was in spite of the fact that the medical department verified, in writing, his medical condition. Right after he got his charge, I wrote a request for him to the medical doctor, asking them to verify, in writing, his inability to urinate normally. The response came form a nurse, not a doctor, and it stated: "I referred to your request to P.A. Matthews. Your medical records reflect that you are on medication to help you urinate. However, there is no reason that you should not have been able to provide the required urine sample." Besides being inherently contradictory (it confirms that he has a medical condition making it difficult for him to urinate, then turns around and says that he should have been able to urinate), a doctor was not consulted; it was a doctor who prescribed the medication. The P.A. Matthews is a notorious quack here. He's a "Physician's Assistant" who has worked here for at least 30 years that I know of, and he should not be allowed to practice medicine at all. I know him well, and he's as inept incompetent as you imagine, not to mention being a dangerous megalomaniac. About 25 years ago I sat in his office while he regaled me with his outlandish stories. He spent considerable time trying to convince me that he spent years performing heart transplants, working side by side with Dr. Michael DeBakey in Houston (DeBakey was the world's most renowned heart surgeon back then). Matthews performed the lethal injection executions here until he badly botched the Diaz execution 2 years ago, causing an 18-month moratorium on executions in Florida. Anyway, the disciplinary committee had a copy of this reply, but in finding Roy guilty anyway, they told him (according to Roy) "There's one rule and it applies equally to everyone." This is incorrect, since the rule, and case law, acknowledges medical exceptions. I wrote up an appeal for Roy, but I'm not optimistic...
I hope you and the doggies enjoy the holidays. I know my gift will be our visit on Christmas Day! Tell old C.P. that I wish him a Merry Christmas (his 91st!) and an interesting New Year.
Here's a good maxim to reflect on for the new year:

The greatest Joy in life is Service
The greatest Power in life is Love
And the greatest battle in life is the battle against oneself.

Love & Peace,

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