Stateville Surviving COVID-19 Again

Stateville Surviving COVID-19 Again

Here I was at Stateville’s Health Care Unity (Hereinafter HCU), on Friday August 18, 2023…

I felt sick but not totally out of it. I had been there since 9:30 in the morning, waiting to see Dr. Perez. Some other men saw her and left but not me. Oh, they were peeved too. I was told she couldn’t hear that good: another nurse would relay the message, whatever one of us said to her. Hmm…


Listening, I decided to write down what I was gonna say. In that way, my message would not be misunderstood. My nose wasn’t running but I sneezed a lot. I coughed up phlegm; Funny thing, I had a fever but no chills. No vomiting or diarrhea. I hadn’t eaten either.

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Two hours passed, more men came; more left. Whether it was the dentist, physical therapy, talking to the psyche, or seeing the eye doctor, lunchtime they bounced. When they returned, saw patients, and they left. I knew the kitchen was done with much. In fact, the kitchen changes shifts between 12:30 and 1:00pm. I asked corrections Officer Smith, (hereafter C.O) about our trays. He was working at the HW main entrance. 

“Your trays will be waiting for you back at your units.” Unquote. 

I knew better. The closer it became 1:00. I began to realize I was S-O-L. The other men in the bullpens – places for us to sit as we waited to see the medical pro assigned to us by pass; were grumbling too. It was late.


Some men came and left. Yet, no Dr. Perez. Tired of hearing us grumbled  CT. Clark asked if anyone would like to leave. Hell yeah! I was ready to bounce. She opened the door, I waited right outside, caught the escort line back to C-house, my unit. 


It was almost two in the afternoon when I stepped into my cell. For over four and a half hours, just wasted. Getting out my cell is always cool but sitting and waiting like I did… no haps. Security will tell ya after so many hours,


“Your pass is canceled today. We’ll reschedule whoever you were here to see.” 


Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. Friday night, for institutional mail, I received a Medical Pass for Dr. Perez on Monday, the 21st.


I thought it didn’t matter. All Saturday, I tossed and turned with a fever. Sunday Morning, I tried to get up and moving but I couldn’t. I chilled, as soon as the shift changed on 3 toll, I was leaving with the C.House Medline – the Diabetes, Treatments, and Hypertension Folles. 


After I had a cellhouse worker inform Sgt. Pinto, she was okay with me leaving with the Medline.


As soon as I made,  it over to the HCU and the men received their meds and treatment, I was called. I went into the examination room, I hopped on the medbed, and the curtain was shut. The nurse took my vitals. I was still burning up! No diarrhea or vomiting, just the fever. I sneezed some but not much coughing.


“Mr. Ward, I’m Going to have to swab you for COVID-19 and the flu,” the nurse said. 


She pulled out a six- inch Q-Tip, “This is gonna feel strange. It may hurt… I’m sorry to have do it.”

 “That’s okay, “I winked at her, “I’m sort of used to it, the swabs tests.”

The First swat was for the flu; she inserted it in my right nostril, all the way up… I held onto the bedrail. The next one was for COVID-19. It was worse. Seemed like after she Inserted it into 

my left nostril, she was probing around in my brain! DAMM! Finally, she pulled out; she set them 

in test tube survey. 


“I’ll have your results in a few minutes, Mr. Ward.”

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