Today was a bad day, but not for me. The black guy named Paul had his meds changed a week or 2 ago. Apparently he was on Thorazine and seroquel, both anti-psychotic meds. They had reduced his dosage according to his cellie and for at least the past week he had been becoming more and more manic. During gym time he couldn’t sit still, he would jump up and try and referee the handball games but mostly he interrupted their play. He got hit with the handball a couple times (which can happen if you sit near the court) and nearly went off on just about anyone near him. Every meal he would try and sell his tray of food for 2 envelopes, even though he supposedly had several already, and he would be walking around the day-room interrupting everyone else’s meal asking if they wanted his tray rather than sitting down and eating. I had been saying for days that he needed his meds back and I was hoping one of the times he would rattle on and on to CO would cause them to notify mental health that he was behaving oddly because anyone who talked to him for any amount of time could see that he was a textbook case of mania. But no, no one in authority did anything…until tonight.
When we came back from the gym we were supposed to get an hour and a half of uninterrupted day-room but because someone in medical had flooded their cell by clogging their toilet and the water was dripping through our ceiling our day-room was canceled and we got locked down. As the CO, Johnson who was just back from a vacation, was checking on cells I heard him yell to the bubble to pop cell 8’s door. That’s Paul’s cell. I guess the bubble CO didn’t do it right away because Johnson yelled in quite an urgent, almost panicked voice for the bubble CO to open up 8. I could hear a commotion but couldn’t see what was going on but when I saw 3 other guards come rushing into the unit and head to cell 8 I knew Paul was going to be taken out, and 5 min. later they had him in handcuffs, shirtless, with a washcloth on his head and walked him out. When they let us out to drop of laundry we got to hear what had happened from Luther, Paul’s cellie. Luther had been having to live in confined quarters with someone who was becoming progressively more manic over the past few days so he had gotten in the habit of putting on his headphones and playing music loudly to attempt to block out Paul’s non-stop ramblings. Tonight started out that way he said, with Paul talking and talking and talking no stop but this time apparently he was having an argument with someone, not Luther, but Albert Einstein, whom Paul talk to as if he were in the cell too. The argument was getting heated and eventually Paul wrestled the imaginary Einstein into a headlock and pinned him to the wall then started shouting for the CO to come to the door. Luther was like “well this is it now” and knew what was coming next. The CO popped the door to a clearly hallucinating inmate, a large guy too, and the other COs show up as they try and calm him down at least enough to handcuff him (for everyone’s safety). From what I could hear Paul resisted some, probably put the washcloth on his head to cool down, was begging pitifully to not be taken out of his cell because he knew that it wouldn’t even be THIS comfortable in an empty observation cell in medical, but they got him cuffed and took him out.
I feel a little guilty because I thought about approaching a CO and telling them he needed his meds increased but there’s 3 problems with that. I’m an inmate and many COs just won’t listen to an inmate for anything. Also, I’m not a trained medical expert or psych so who am I to diagnose someone’s mental state. Finally, going to a CO to report on another inmate is highly frowned upon in prison, no matter what the circumstances. If they changed his dosage of anti-psychotics perhaps they should have monitored him more closely to see that he was OK. I feel really badly for Paul because he was up for parole review in under a month and some shrink changed his meds and likely blew any shot he had at parole. *sigh*