Journal Entry: Gary Goulin-02/15/2024-PATIENCE

Journal Entry

I have been here now over 48 hours. Compared to what I had prepared for (BOP = Backwards on Purpose) I’ve been mostly pleasantly surprised.

My biggest concerns were my medications. I presented with a 30 day supply of my meds. By yesterday afternoon I heard nothing. I went to the pill line and was told I’d have to see the doctor first and that could take 2 weeks. I spoke to other inmates yesterday who suggested I go to sick all this morning. I was very worried about missing multiple days of medications. This morning I was informed by the commanding officer that I was to report to “medical” at 7:30am. So I went there, was briefly interviewed by the nurse practitioner who stated my meds would be ready for pickup at 1:00pm – which they were!

The afternoon yesterday was a whole bunch of “hurry up and wait”. Apparently, a transformer blew which caused the entire institution to go on lockdown for security reasons for over 4 hours. Luckily, I had a book from the library that I was able to read. Unfortunately, it was during the lockdown period that I was supposed to meet with the unit manager to get me my phone, email, and commissary access. I’m hoping to meet with him tomorrow. Unfortunately, the commissary is closed on Fridays, and Monday is a holiday so it will be Tuesday before I can purchase some necessities like a sweatshirt, sweatpants, better toiletries, and a watch. We are only allowed to spend 90 dollars a week. It will take me a good month or two to get all my necessities. Fortunately, postage stamps and over the counter medications don’t count towards the 90 dollar limit. But you can only buy 20 stamps at a time (each week). Sounds like a lot, but it’s the currency here, and needed, if you want something from someone before you can get to the commissary. I also need to purchase athletic shoes, a radio and a tablet for watching movies, etc. Like I said, this will take a good month or two before I have all that I need. But, I’m learning to be patient and make do with what I have. And the people here are more than willing to help.

There is a lovely indigent gentleman who is my bunkmate. His life story is very sad. He works here in the leather shop and made me a beautiful leather wallet to carry my ID card and my copy card (when I finally get that). All he asked for is that in the next month or so when I have all my necessities is that I buy him some Pantene shampoo so he doesn’t have to use the awful prison issued one. It’s 6 dollars. I’m happy to do that. I’ll probably buy one for myself too.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the quality and quantity of the food. Much better than my hospital’s cafeteria! For lunch today, we had baked chicken (thigh and leg), cornbread, salad and grapefruit. I have a big appetite and sometimes I can’t even finish my meal. Most people here eat a lot of snacks. I have not ever felt hungry and if this continues, will be spending very little on snacks, – which is where most people here spend the majority of their money.

So all in all, things are going well. I was very well prepared to accept the delays and inefficiencies, so I was prepared to be patient. The “Serenity Prayer” definitely comes in handy.