CURRENT STATUS

If you have any questions for Andy about the prison system, what it is like, what goes on there, or anything, please leave the question in a blog comment and Andy would be happy to answer it. It keeps him occupied and allow us to learn about the system.

Also, for his friends, he would LOVE to get pictures of anything, so if you have his address, please send them to him, or if you would like to email them to the blog editor, you can do that and he will print out the pics and mail them to him.

He is now attending the class he must take before his release, and he will mention the journal entry memo they discussed that day in class.

Even if you don't know Andy, feel free to comment on his blog entries, which he gets and will respond to.

Friday, March 12, 2010

THOUGHTS ABOUT PAROLE, MORE ANXIETY, STRESS, AND NOW HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

3/7

It's Sunday afternoon at about 2:30pm.  I've been writing personal letters to friends for the last couple of hours while also watching "Road Trip" and "American Pie III".  I think the tv is tuned to TBS.  I enjoy doing paperwork with the tv on in the background, so I'm pretty content right now.  I watched a bunch of basketball and the hilarious movie "Mean Girls" yesterday.

During my initial physical exam here I had a high blood pressure reading.  For the past 4-5 days I have gone to the medical department at around 10 each morning to have it rechecked, and it has been high every time.  This is peculiar because
I have never had high blood pressure in the past and aside from the jail food I have been eating for the past  month and a half my diet is better now than it has been at any other period in my life.  My blood pressure was fine when I went into County jail on January 27th.  I'm not sure if I should attribute the high reading to any added stress I am feeling in here or not.  I'll keep everyone up to date.  Although it is a little high, it is nowhere close to a dangerous level.  I'm sure it will "normal out" over the next few weeks.

Speaking of stress....over the last few days I have felt more anxious and stressed than I have since the days leading up to my incarceration.  I'm not exactly sure why, but it has something to do with me trying to come to terms with the open-endedness of my sentence.  I am a person that likes to be in control of a situation.  Not having further control of how long I will be in here is not sitting well with me to say the least.  I know that what I'm about to say seems awkward, but at this point I just wish I knew the exact length of my prison stay.  I think I would trade a longer stay for a shorter stay if I only had a specific release date.  Now I know that will change once I get a little more acclimated to things in here and once I learn a little more about parole, but for now that is the thought running through my mind.

With the above being said, I do want to reassure everyone that I'm still in a good mood and I'm working hard to convince myself of a couple of things.  First, that my next transfer to a different until will be my final move, and second, that after my transfer I will be able to relax and get comfortable in my new spot until I learn more about parole.

Let me explain my thought process.  What I am about to say may not be entirely correct, but it is the best conclusion I have been able to draw based on my own research prior to entering jail, the advice of my attorney, and the jailhouse knowledge I have gained.  At some point in time (hopefully prior to my parole eligibility date) I will be visited by and Institutional Parole Officer (IPO).  This person will interview me in prison and make a recommendation to the parole board.  Roughly a month or so after I am interviewed by the IPO I will have an answer as to whether or not I made parole.  I am oversimplifying the process, but this visit by the IPO will, in my mind, allow a time frame to begin.  I'll know that in a month I'll have an answer.  Once I have an answer I should have a very good idea of a release time.  There are many scenarios that could occur concerning the parole board's decision.  There could be anything from an answer of "no" on parole to some sort of conditional release.  In any case, however, seeing the IPO will get the ball rolling.

That being said, I guess that my quickly upcoming transfer followed by my interview with the IPO are the two things I am going to focus on looking forward to.  My mind works better and I am less stressed when I'm able to set and achieve these short term waypoints.

I suppose that is enough serious talk for now.  It does make me feel a little better to have gotten that off my chest.  I hope everyone had an exciting weekend.  The weather was decent here, but it could have been a little sunnier.  Hopefully it will turn a little more Spring-like before everyone heads to their exotic Spring Break destinations.

I just finished an hour long conversation with two guys about Summer boating, and a few lakes.  I think missing Memorial Weekend on the lake this year is going to make me cry.  I almost wish Memorial Weekend was sooner.  That way it could just pass by and I could be done with my thoughts about missing it.  At least the lake isn't going anywhere and it will be there when I get out.

Thanks again to everyone for reading.  I hope you all have (had) a great week and I look forward to writing again soon.  *Interesting....and I'll try to find out more about this, but one of the young guys in here (that I have been sitting next to for the last hour) is in here for murder.  Twenty five year sentence I think.  Crazy, crazy, crazy...

6 comments:

  1. ...waiting...waiting...oh, I have a question. You mentioned having 5 minutes to eat once you sit down. How do they keep track? Surely its not 1,2,3 GO!

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  2. Me again. After reading your post, I wanna put my 2cents in, for whatever its worth. Your anxiety level is perfectly understandable. Sometimes a particularly stressful event will show up as anxiety, after the fact. You have been running on adrenaline and nerves, for awhile now. Once things start to change and what you were initially dealing with has past (your incarceration, jail confinement, transfer etc), then when you slow down, boom, it can hit ya. Does that with me. In fact, I had been prescribed anti-anxiety meds. Things have kinda settled down and Ive been feeling better, so I weaned myself down to only occasionally as needed. Well, out of the blue I had a full blown panic attack last weekend while driving home from my daughters house.
    Give yourself some time. Everything you are thinking and feeling is perfectly understandable/normal for your situation. As for the time situation. I can only tell you what I know from experience. I have learned that I must take things a tiny bit at a time and each small hurdle is another one down and that much closer to my son coming home. Spring break, then Easter, then a couple family birthdays, then Memorial Day, then school out....I have to break it down into "bite size" pieces. At first I just went into panic mode thinking of the entire length, and it was just too much to digest. Bits and pieces, bits and pieces. You will have your highs and lows, good days and bad, all normal. You will begin to settle into your situation and learn what you can do to make the time pass faster. Once you find out your "assignment" and begin that adventure, you will be well on your way to a new normalcy and routine. You will make it just fine and trust me (although it doesnt seem like it right now), time will begin to go by faster, especially with your blog and when you are given a work assignment and something to do. Before you know it you will be putting this whole situation behind you and moving on to a better life. You wont fail. We wont let you.

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  3. If you do have high blood pressure I know a guy that has some medicine to take care of that-I should go on the prison diet with you-lord knows my fat ass could use the weight loss too. I was just thinking about you the other day as I was talking to someone about bars in N.O. and the Old Absinthe Bar came up. I wonder if pinocchio is still working there and if she looks just as good in daylight as she did at 3:30 in the morning. Guess there is only one way to find out-first round is on me! Keep the faith brother! big daddy

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  4. p.s. how do we get set up in jpay to e-mail you? I have no inmate # to enter. Guess the editor can hook that up? big daddy

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