Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Blood sugar blues

Statistics show that about 8% of Americans suffer from diabetes. My guess is that the number also holds true in prison. Michigan usually has around 45,000 people in prison, so do the math. We have many diabetics in prison, and from the increasing number of reports we are getting, many claim inadequate treatment.

Many diabetes suffer from a condition called neuropathy, a painful foot problem that requires special shoes. Michigan's prison system decided on doing away with the the line of doctor-ordered shoes, and use prison labor to make their own. From all reports, it's not working. One inmate reports he has gone through 7 pairs of these inferior shoes in six months. The sizes aren't right, and they rip apart at the seams. Because of these problems he's had numerous sores on his feet.

Another report indicates that the medical care system has been switching to different and less costly types of insulin. It's something that we cannot confirm, and our medical consultants aren't sure about. But the inmates are convinced of one thing: The change in medication has resulted in much higher blood sugar rates, and they're only recourse is to file grievances or file suit. Either alternative takes time. Meanwhile the unsatisfactory sugar level remains.

A report from the women's prison says that diabetics are given meters to check their sugar levels, but no needles. So, these ladies must save up their sewing needles and use them to check their blood.

A report from another of the men's facilities says that medical personnel in that unit have been randomly taking away meters from diabetics. "Someone's going to die here," he said, "and it won't be their fault."

I was reading the other day about the wonderful, caring health treatment that is becoming available for our pets.

How much more valuable are our prisoners, created in the image of God? The least of these.

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