Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Devil May Care"

This poem is spillover from the January 5, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "fever / delirium" square in my 6-16-15 card for the [community profile] hc_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Daisiesrockalot. It belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series. It directly follows "Renewing a Sense of Community," and while this poem stands alone pretty well, it will make a bit more sense if you've read that one first.

Warning: This poem includes some intense and controversial topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. Jimar has a bad reaction to some contraband drugs that he took. Dr. Bloch and Nurse Espinoza do their best to take care of him. It features messy medical details, graphic description of a bad drug trip, addictive personality traits, past history of people mishandling addiction issues, current conditions undermining quality of care, controversy over how best to treat addicts, low sense of self-worth, and other challenges. If these are sensitive subjects for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before moving onward.

"Devil May Care"

A call from the group therapy session
alerted Dr. Bloch that Jimar had shown
signs of drug use with visible distress.
Dr. G's description of the symptoms --
sweating, trembling, and vomiting --
was clear and concerning.

Prisons commonly faced problems
with substance abuse, but some inmates
struggled with it far more than others.
Jimar's file cited "addictive personality"
and while Dr. Bloch often considered
that an exaggeration, in this case
it described him perfectly.

For whatever reason, Jimar
simply couldn't stay clean, and
every time someone caught him using,
it just ran up his prison sentence.

When the nurses wheeled him into the infirmary,
Jimar was huddled in a dolorous ball, and
not even Nurse Espinoza's soothing chatter
seemed to be helping very much.

"You look distressed," Dr. Bloch said to Jimar
as he began the examination. "What can you
tell me? The more I know, the better I can help."

"I couldn't stop thinking about what happened
to Ragno," said Jimar. "So when I heard about
this group therapy thing, I figured it was worth
a try. I read the prep handouts and everything."
One shoulder twitched in a subdued shrug.
"I just ... couldn't do it sober. I tried,
doc. I really, really tried."

Jimar needed to be on some kind of
maintenance medication, but his tendency
to develop an addiction to everything wiped out
whole classes of mental health drugs.

"Okay," said Dr. Bloch. "What did you take?"
He was already riffling over possibilities
and treatments, for what good it might do.

Warden Daley's stuffy position about not
coddling criminals also limited the supplies
that Dr. Bloch could get for treating drug abuse
and overdoses. All of the specifics were blocked
as "optional services" which were "too controversial"
for their facility, which left only the things that
had other uses besides caring for addicts.

"Devil," whispered Jimar, as he
turned his face away.

It was the sheer defeat
rolling off him in waves that
worried the doctor as much as
the name of the drug cocktail
which Jimar had taken.

Devil May Care wasn't a specific blend
but rather a combination of whatever
stimulant, depressant, and hallucinogen
some brewer had cooked up in attempt
to match the common goal of making
a miserable situation more tolerable
for the user. That made it hard to treat.

"That doesn't usually lay you out
like this," Dr. Bloch observed as he
pushed up Jimar's sleeves to check for
punctures. His forearms were peppered
with them. Dr. Bloch took pictures
to document the damage.

"Not a good batch," Jimar said.
"Stuff feels like rotgut. I got gypped."

Dr. Bloch gave him a thin smile.
"Well, if you'd like to name your supplier,
we'd be happy to give him a hard time."

"Maybe later," Jimar said, which made
the doctor's eyebrows go up. He was
usually more protective of his dealers.

"All right, let me know then if you want
to talk about it," Dr. Bloch said, searching
for a vein that hadn't already been tapped.
"First things first, I need a blood sample
so I can find out what I'm fighting here."

It took a careful application
of skill to get the needle in and
filled and back out again.

Jimar watched -- he almost always
watched, looking for pointers --
without protest, limp and pliant
under the doctor's hands.

Dr. Bloch jotted the timestamp
and his initials onto a bandaid,
then covered the puncture.

"How bad is the nausea?" he asked.

"Still feel like throwing up,"
Jimar said, and yes, there was
an ominous gray-green tinge to
the warm toffee tone of his skin.

"I'll get you a geltab for that,"
Dr. Bloch said. He found
the relevant carton and
pressed a sticky dot
behind Jimar's ear.

"I'm really thirsty,"
the young man said.

"Let's wait on beverages
until after the nausea stops,"
said Dr. Bloch. "Meanwhile, I can
start a line for fluid replacement
to help keep you comfortable."

That required finding another vein
and coaxing it to the surface,
setting the IV, and then
securing the tube.

Jimar still didn't protest,
but he shivered constantly.
"I'm freezing," he said.

Dr. Bloch pressed a hand
to his bare skin. It felt warm.
He checked the temperature again
and found that it had gone up a fraction.

"You're running a bit of a fever,"
he said. "Hot and cold flashes?"

"Yeah," Jimar said.

"That can happen when you
take Devil May Care," said Dr. Bloch.
"If it's not mixed competently, then you
don't get a happy medium, you get
yanked back and forth like a rag."

"I know," Jimar said glumly.
"It's not usually quite this bad.
Worst thing is, I still feel jonesy."

Dr. Bloch steepled his hands
as he mulled over the options
currently available for treatment,
his forefingers tapping in thought.

"Would you consider taking part in
a pilot program?" he asked. "As far
as we've seen, it's perfectly safe, and
I'm getting some preliminary reports
that make me think it might help
with addiction in particular."

"You know me, I'll try anything,"
Jimar said with a twist of his mouth
that was not really a smile.

"It's not a drug, it's more of
a medical device," said Dr. Bloch.
"Do you have a favorite color?"

"Purple," Jimar said, sounding puzzled.

Dr. Bloch sorted through a stack
of Microfyne blankets to find
a violet one, then draped it
carefully over Jimar.

"Oh wow," Jimar said
as he snuggled into it.

"Okay, that's definitely working
for you," said Dr. Bloch. "Let me
show you something. Press it
between the palms of your hands."

"It wriggles!" Jimar exclaimed.

"In layman's terms, it will cuddle you back,"
Dr. Bloch said. "It also flattens if you're
too warm and fluffs up if you're cold."

"I never want to let go of this,"
Jimar said. Then he winced.
"Ah fuck ... there I go again."

"Now don't work yourself into
a panic over this," Dr. Bloch said.
"Microfyne isn't addictive, but it does
encourage your body to catch up on
a lack of contact comfort or rest.
So you may feel strong effects
at first, if you've got a backlog."

"Really don't need another habit,"
said Jimar. His fingers clenched
around the blanket. "What if ...
someone takes it away?"

"Not allowed," Dr. Bloch assured him.
"It's right there in the study protocols,
because people do get fond of these things.
The guards aren't allowed to take it away
except in emergencies, and even then
only on a temporary basis. We want
you feel secure with it, that's beneficial."

"Okay," Jimar said, petting the soft cloth.
"It's really not a habit? You're sure?"

"As sure as I can be with the data
that I have so far," said Dr. Bloch.
"In fact, I'm developing a hunch that
it has the opposite effect -- it seems
to stimulate habituation. After a while,
the usage rate tapers off noticeably."

"That'd be a first," Jimar said.

He looked a little better, and
his speech was improving too.
Dr. Bloch pressed his fingertips
over the pulse point and noted that
the vital signs were less erratic.

"How are you feeling now?" he asked.

"Like crap," Jimar said.

"It will take a while to flush
all the toxins out of your body,"
Dr. Bloch said. "Would you like for
me to get one of the nurses to come
sit with you while you're still this sick?"

"Yeah," said Jimar. "I'd rather ...
have company while I can.
I hate solitary."

Dr. Bloch sighed. "I know,"
he said. "I don't think that's
very good for you either.
It's still the best way of
ensuring you can't get
any more drugs, though.
I'll see if we can keep it
to a week this time."

"Guess I deserve it," Jimar said.

There was the overwhelming sense
of despair again, that this was a game
he could never hope to win.

"I don't believe that anyone
deserves to suffer," said Dr. Bloch.
"How about I invite Nurse Espinoza?
He just finished his paramedic training
to cope with all the brawl injuries that
we get in here, and he's signing up
for a course in addiction care next."

"Okay," said Jimar.
"I like him. He's nice."

"You know, this gives me an idea,"
said Dr. Bloch. "Why don't you talk with
Nurse Espinoza about his plans? I bet he
could use a practice partner, and for once
your addictive background is an advantage --
it's experience. You could help him learn
what helps, what doesn't help, and also
what actively makes things worse. That
would rack up a lot of points, if you don't
mind being a bit of a guinea pig for him."

"Squeak," Jimar said agreeably.

Dr. Bloch smiled in relief; as long as
Jimar's sense of humor remained intact,
he wasn't too bad off. "I'll let him know."

When approached, Nurse Espinoza
was enthusiastic about the opportunity,
and sympathetic toward Jimar's problem.

"I've got a cousin who's the same way,"
he said. "We try to help, but --" He gave
a sad shrug. "-- there's only so much that
we can do. I thought getting more training
might work, so I'm glad for this opportunity."

Together they transferred Jimar
from the examination room to
one of the single rooms.

Next Dr. Bloch set up the tests that he
could do locally, and sent off the rest
to the lab that serviced the infirmary.

Some of the results came back quickly,
while others would take time to develop.
That gave him a preliminary glimpse
of what he was dealing with.

He unlocked the pharmacy room
and picked out a few medications
to help counteract the symptoms.

When he went back to Jimar's room,
he could hear patient and nurse conferring
in low tones as they discussed the challenges
of addiction and how to cope with them.

"I'm glad to see you two getting along,"
Dr. Bloch said. "Jimar, I brought
some things to help you feel better."
He added the new medications
to the IV line and then patted
Jimar on the shoulder.

Retreating to his office,
Dr. Bloch looked up the range
of non-pharmaceutical treatments
that he had at his disposal.

Jimar needed a healthy diet --
the prison's organic garden would be
a tremendous help there -- and they
could make a good start on that
even if what he really required
was advice from a nutritionist.

The prison already offered
a Healthy Touch program,
so Dr. Bloch could ask how
Jimar felt about massage.

The infirmary had a light room,
which could function as a sauna
if Dr. Bloch swapped out some of
the fixtures for infrared lamps.

Those things combined would
help expel the toxins faster.

Dr. Bloch hoped that would work.
Jimar might be an inveterate addict,
but he usually handled it a lot better
than this. The change was worrisome,
and it made him wonder if something
else might have gone wrong.

Presently he went back to check
on Jimar, and found all the blankets
kicked down to the foot of the bed
while Nurse Espinoza sponged over
his sweaty skin with a damp cloth.

"How's he doing?" Dr. Bloch asked.

"Still feverish, but he's only thrown up
once and that was right after you left,
so it's been over an hour," the nurse said.
"I think he's doing a little better now. Jimar?
Wake up a bit, the doctor's back to see you."

Jimar stirred enough to say, "Hey."

"Ready to try something
to drink?" Dr. Bloch asked.

"Yes, please," said Jimar.

Dr. Bloch went to the refrigerator
where he kept his herbal sodas
and selected a bottle.

"Here, it's ginger beer," he said
as he handed it to Jimar. "If you
can keep this down, then we'll
try some applesauce later."

"Thanks," Jimar said.

"I have some suggestions for
a treatment plan, if you're ready
to look at them," Dr. Bloch said.

Jimar sighed. "I guess so."

Dr. Bloch held out his tablet,
which showed the current remedies
in green and then proposed ones
underneath that in black.

"How do you feel about massage?"
he asked. "I know that some inmates
participate regularly in Healthy Touch,
while others prefer to avoid it."

"It's too hard to keep my points up,"
Jimar evaded. "I don't need it, really."

He hadn't fussed at all over the sponge bath,
though. That suggested a fairly high level
of body comfort, at least with Espinoza.

"You don't have to pay for it
if I write you a prescription,"
Dr. Bloch reminded him.

"Okay then," said Jimar.

"We'll start on that tomorrow,"
said Dr. Bloch. "Today let's focus
on getting you down from that
awful high you're riding."

"Yeah, it's a pretty bad trip,"
Jimar said. He shuffled his feet,
trying to move the blankets.

"Do you want your covers back?"
Nurse Espinoza asked as he
reached for the rumpled cloth.

Jimar nodded. "I'm cold again."

Dr. Bloch watched, but did not
offer any hints, as the nurse
carefully untangled the layers
and brought them up one at a time.

"That helps," Jimar said,
stroking the purple Microfyne.

Nurse Espinoza would make
an excellent addiction attendant,
Dr. Bloch concluded as he
headed back to his office.

Throughout the afternoon,
Dr. Bloch checked on them,
pleased to see slow signs
of improvement in Jimar.

For supper, Dr. Bloch prevailed
on the cafeteria to send over a batch
of the organic chicken noodle soup that
was so good for soothing digestion
and boosting the immune system.

"This is tasty," Jimar said. "It's not
like the usual hospital food."

"If the food is bad, then people don't
eat much, which undermines recovery,"
Dr. Bloch grumbled. "I can't do as much
as I'd like with diet, but the prison garden
makes it possible to do some things
that support the healing process."

"Jimar, do you like spicy food?"
Nurse Espinoza asked suddenly.
"My aunt has a great recipe
for detox chicken soup."

"Yeah, I like Mexican when
I can get it," Jimar said.

"Show me the recipe,"
Dr. Bloch invited, and
Nurse Espinoza brought up
the file for him to review.

At heart, it was a pretty typical recipe
for chicken soup, although the use of corn
instead of noodles was very interesting.
It also included enough onion, garlic,
cumin, and chili powder to suggest
warming and cleansing effects.

"You're welcome to try that
tomorrow, provided Jimar isn't
queasy then," Dr. Bloch said. "Use
the kitchen in the small dining room;
it's less busy than the community kitchen."

Jimar managed to get through the night
with no major difficulties, and by the next day
he was doing measurably better.
The fever had finally broken.

He even had visitors.

Mr. Vanburen stopped by
to see how Jimar was feeling
after what happened in therapy.

"Sorry I screwed up again,"
Jimar said. "You shouldn't have
to keep cleaning up after me."

"Hey now, it's not the end of the world,"
said Mr. Vanburen. "The important thing
is that you're still alive. Besides, you
made it almost a month this time.
That's an accomplishment."

Jimar shook his head. "It still
resets my sobriety to zero."

Both the guard and the doctor
frowned over that assessment.

"That doesn't sound very helpful,"
Dr. Bloch said. "Every day that
you spend clean is a day when
you're not risking an overdose or
otherwise wrecking your health
with hazardous substances.
Try focusing on that."

"That's not what they say in meetings,"
Jimar protested. "One drink, one drunk.
So once I start, I might as well keep going.
It's not like it matters anyway."

That devil-may-care perspective
was a significant part of his problem.

"I think maybe those meetings set
too high of a standard for some people
to reach," said Mr. Vanburen. "You
might do better with smaller steps."

"Like what Dr. G said about
putting the bottom rungs
on the ladder?" Jimar asked.

"Exactly," said Mr. Vanburen.
"Focus on the stuff you can do,
not on the stuff you can't do.
Then work your way up."

"Maybe," said Jimar.

Despite the awkwardness,
Dr. Bloch was glad that the guard
had made a point of stopping by.
Jimar seemed to value connections
with other people around him, even if
he wasn't very good at maintaining them.

The appointment with the massage therapist
went better. Jessica's easygoing personality
helped soothe Jimar's anxiety, and the bodywork
eased the muscle cramps that plagued him as
the drugs worked their way out of his system.

Afterwards, Dr. Bloch settled Jimar in
the light room and turned on the heat lamps.
The young man seemed to enjoy
basking in the ruddy glow.

Jimar was languid and sweet by the time
they pulled him out, and Nurse Espinoza
took him to the accessible shower, which
also had heat lamps for drying but was
less comfortable for lounging under them.

Finally they got Jimar settled back in his bed
with a cup of cranberry juice and a salad.

"Jimar mentioned something
to me that I think you should hear,"
Nurse Espinoza said to Dr. Bloch.
"He told me that the Microfyne
was better than methadone."

"That's quite an endorsement,"
said Dr. Bloch. "I'll have to see
if I can get him to repeat that
for the record, later on."

So far he hadn't bothered Jimar
about filling out a survey. It took
time to get familiar with the blanket,
and besides, the poor man still
wasn't feeling very well.

Dr. Bloch returned to his office
and updated Jimar's file with
the latest developments.

Then he sent a note to Dr. G,
who had expressed concern
after the way Jimar had
fallen apart at the end
of the therapy session.

Hopefully Jimar would be able
to continue attending those, without
resorting to self-medication again.
He probably did need to process
the chayne incident, and wasn't
getting anywhere by himself.

That made Dr. Bloch wonder how well
the other inmates were really coping, and
whether the new restrictions had any chance
of cutting down the flow of contraband drugs.

If the demand had increased, someone would
probably find a way to keep the pipeline open --
which was a security breach that made his skin
crawl now, in addition to the professional concerns.

When Dr. Bloch went to check on Jimar,
the young man was browsing self-help readings.

"How are you feeling?" the doctor asked
as he began assessing Jimar's health.

"Better today than yesterday," Jimar said.
"Thanks for taking care of me, doc.
Sorry that I'm such a bother.
I'm just no good at this."

"You are not a bother," said Dr. Bloch.
"I like helping people, or else I wouldn't
have taken this kind of job.

"Funny how it's the little things
that make the biggest difference,"
Jimar said quietly. "A blanket.
A bowl of soup. Someone to sit
with me and tell me that it's okay."

"You like Nurse Espinoza's bedside manner?"
said Dr. Bloch. "I'm sure he'll be happy
to hear that. We've been worrying about you."

"Yeah ... he makes me feel, I don't know,
like it matters what happens to me,"
Jimar said, rubbing his cheek against
the purple Microfyne. "I hate being sick,
but it sucks less when I have people
to take care of me until I get better."

Dr. Bloch smiled. "Well," he said,
"that's what we're here for."

* * *


Jimar Alvarez -- He has toffee skin, brown eyes, and black hair buzzed short in an attempt to make its loose nap less obvious. There are scars from defensive wounds all over his hands and forearms, including a particularly large machete scar on the outside of his left forearm and a horizonal slice clear across his left palm. His heritage is black and Hispanic. Because of that, he doesn't belong directly to Kincade or Sanquez, they kind of share him. Both of the senior gangsters feel a bit protective of Jimar because he's so vulnerable. He is currently serving time along with them in the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln.
Jimar has an addictive personality. He has had problems with alcohol, various narcotics, softer drugs, food, and oxygen. Yes, really, he caught a bad chest infection once and it took the hospital weeks to wean him off the supplemental oxygen. He cannot seem to stay sober for very long, no matter what the penalties. Jimar uses whatever he can get to self-medicate for some serious emotional problems left over from childhood abuse -- his father attacked his mother, Jimar intervened, and both of them almost died. That's how Jimar wound up spending the rest of his childhood in the foster care system. He is actively terrified of his father, and his relationship with his mother is not good because she still loves the man despite all that violence. A Microfyne blanket might help.
Qualities: Good (+2) Friends in the 'Hood, Good (+2) Gangster, Good (+2) Strength
Poor (-2) Addictive Personality

Hanh Espinoza -- He has tinted skin, black eyes, and short curly hair of dark brown. His mother is Vietnamese and his father is Mexican, so Hanh is mixed-race and first-generation American. He speaks English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. He loves ethnic fusion, especially in cooking.
Currently Hanh works at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln, gaining experience and earning money to put himself through school. He is a Licensed Practical Nurse with the rather thoughtful plan of taking a cheap basic degree and then beefing it up by earning certification in multiple specialties. He recently completed a three-month paramedic course and has just signed up for one on addiction care. Between work and school, he has little time for socializing. He gets most of his contact with coworkers and classmates, and has no romantic aspirations at this time.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Compassion, Good (+2) Ethnic Fusion, Good (+2) Prison Nurse, Good (+2) Stamina
Poor (-2) Work-Life Balance

Terramagne-America is quite serious about putting the bottom rungs on the ladder, so many programs are designed to offer basic training first which can be built up in various ways. Licensed Practical Nurse is a basic level of nursing. For local examples of specialized training, take a look at EMT and paramedic training, accelerated paramedic training, substance abuse nurse training, and an addictions nursing mission statement. Worth mentioning is that the T-American addiction programs typically address the kind of stuff shown in this poem: less-pharmaceutical methods for handling bodies that already have problematic responses to foreign substances, and plenty of coping skills and comfort which can help reduce the tendency to abuse drugs.

Jessica Stark -- She has tinted skin, brown eyes, and short sleek brown hair. She is petite, with a round face and a slender body. Jessica was raped during a fraternity party while studying massage therapy at a community college. She responded by developing a specialization in boundary awareness and comfort contact that makes her popular with other trauma survivors. She spent her victim compensation payment on a bungee chip, a super-gizmotronic device that can transport her to a safe location if threatened. Jessica currently works for the Healthy Touch program at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln.
Qualities: Good (+2) Concentration, Good (+2) Constitution, Good (+2) Easygoing, Good (+2) Massage Therapist, Good (+2) Rape Survivor
Poor (-2) Short Girl Problems

A bungee chip is an implant that monitors the user's vital signs. It is linked to a much larger super-gizmo. If the user is in sufficient distress, the chip teleports them to the safety of the base. It also has a panic button for activating transport on purpose. These were invented by a super-gizmologist who wants to fight rape and other forms of assault. It is not for sale to the military or other authorities, as the inventor is a pacifist.

* * *

“I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.”
Edgar Allan Poe

“Every habit he’s ever had is still there in his body, lying dormant like flowers in the desert. Given the right conditions, all his old addictions would burst into full and luxuriant bloom.”
Margaret Atwood

This is one of the exam and treatment rooms at the prison. There are single rooms for inmates who are contagious, hostile, or otherwise in need of private space.

"Addictive personality" is often an exaggeration, or a way of blaming people for not getting better, but it is real and based on traits common across multiple types of addiction. Related factors include genetic predisposition and self-medication. Addictive behavior can be replaced with healthier options.

Withdrawal typically refers to the readaptation when an addict stops taking drugs, but some people also use it for the "crash" coming down from a dose. The effects are often similar, although much more pronounced in a prolonged user. For an addictive personality, just being sober will do it. A detox program provides physical and mental support while the body flushes out the drug residue. Normally, T-America offers great service in this regard, which is exactly what Warden Daley has undermined. Different drugs -- such as opiates, meth, and alcohol -- require different types and levels of detox support. Here are general tips for helping someone through withdrawal.

Jonesing refers to an addict's craving for the substance of choice.

Steepling the fingers is a gesture of thought or evaluation. Tapping the fingers also indicates thought, and a release of excess energy. Put the two together and it says, "Loading program ... please wait."

Habituation involves a decreasing response to the same stimulus. This is what drives addicts to increase the dose. Closely related is the problem of failure to achieve satiation. One of the most useful things that Microfyne does is remind the brain what "enough" feels like. While not a solution for addiction unto itself, it does reorient people with regard to one of the most troublesome aspects.

There are many home remedies for drug withdrawal and other toxins. Cranberry juice can help the liver and kidneys eliminate waste products. It definitely makes people pee more, so as long as they consume plenty of fluids, it's a great way to flush the body -- and it's not as harsh as chemical diuretics. Here are some remedies for opiates and alcohol. Certain foods also support the body during withdrawal and recovery. T-America does a much better job than L-America when it comes to using food as part of the healing process.

See Dr. Bloch's office.

Massage is used in treating addiction. It provides detoxification, touch and connection. The prison has a Healthy Touch program primarily because inmates often don't get enough skin contact, and isolation destroys mental health. But massage is useful for many other purposes and it's convenient to have that in-house option.

A sauna helps the body excrete toxins through sweat, especially those formerly stored in fat cells. The heat also makes a massage more effective. It doesn't have to be fancy; some just use heat lamps to warm the air.

The Light Room is an interior room with different kinds of light panels making up artificial windows and skylights. It also has foam furniture. Originally designed for light therapy, it doubles as a quiet room or talk therapy room when not in use for its primary purpose. Light therapy is very helpful to people who spend a lot of time indoors. It turned into an auxiliary quiet room when Dr. Bloch noticed that the therapy lights dramatically improved mood for some inmates. The brighter atmosphere helps lighten some of them out of a dark mood. Substituting infrared lamps allows it to function as a sauna. This one is part of the infirmary section.

Ginger is a warming herb that soothes the digestive system. Ginger ale or ginger beer are therefore helpful to the extent that they contain actual ginger herb rather than artificial flavoring. Given T-America's better soda supply, this is not difficult there. In L-America, check the label for ginger root, juice, and/or extract; small-brew or Jamaican brands tend to be the best.

Applesauce is an easy-to-digest food. You can make a basic recipe or a healing recipe with spices. And yes, the latter is what Dr. Bloch is serving, not canned crap. Some people prefer their applesauce unsweetened; for me, that's too acidic and upsets my stomach, so I want mine sweetened with brown sugar.

Chicken soup is a healing food and comfort food. It comes in many varieties such as soothing and cleansing. This is the spicy Mexican detox soup.

This is a small dining room with attached kitchen, available for dinner parties in the privileged wing. It also provides space for the small-group or private cooking lessons.

(These links deal with iffy solutions to difficult problems, because there's no provable best practice yet.)
The 12 Steps Program and its derivatives tend to count sobriety and relapse as absolute. There are debates over whether or not to count time sober. The trend is to count the time from last use, but in Jimar's case, many addicts find this standard impossible or overwhelming. This can increase the tendency to binge during a relapse. For some people, abstinence is impossible or undesirable, so they choose to reduce consumption instead. Treatment in prison is further complicated by many factors.

The infirmary has accessible bathing facilities which include a sink, toilet, assorted showerheads and hoses, tiled bench, fans, and heat lamps all inside a secure roomlet. Across the hall from the accessible bathrooms are the accessible changing rooms, which are large enough to include a caregiver if necessary.

There are basic steps for taking care of a sick person and helping them feel better. T-America does much better at this compared to L-America, even in a prison hindered by a troublesome warden.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
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