Getting Healthy in Prison
In a previous post I compared the behaviors of the clients in the correctional facility to those of someone who did not learn behaviors taught in kindergarten. From one reader, I had a disappointing comment, but that is to be expected. My comment may have been perceived as demeaning, but I didn't intend it that way. My experiences with these clients are very rewarding and at times very sad. It is from their observation and perception that I get my inspiration.
The other day I had a conversation with an inmate who has a great attitude toward being in the facility. He says, “I have an out date!” unlike some who are on their way to many years in the prison system. He was able to say that while being in a correctional facility is not his first choice he found positive aspects of the experience:
- He was diagnosed with HTN and hypercholesterolemia while being incarcerated; he was unaware until he was identified at intake.
- He has healthcare and a treatment plan.
- He is getting his medication regularly and he is in good control.
- He has lost 10 pounds.
- He is not participating in those behaviors that are considered unhealthy, like smoking, excessive alcohol use and drug use.
He went on to explain how he has changed his lifestyle by making smart dietary choices from the commissary list. Unfortunately, there are very few choices to support a healthy lifestyle, but he has managed to achieve it. Sadly the only items that are considered healthy are fruit cups and canned tuna; the rest of the choices are filled with empty calories and lots of salt! He has since learned while the meals may not be as tasty as home, the meals are low in sodium, low in fat and calories, and considered heart-minded. This role is very gratifying and I appreciate the opportunity to share my knowledge as they share theirs.