Today I feel great, I just ran three miles and I can’t feel a single pain or soreness in my knee. I just hope that the soreness doesn’t return in a few hours like it did the last time.
I’m hooked on carving soap. A couple of weeks ago I got the idea of carving something (I can’t yet say) for my mom on Mothers’ Day, it turned out great. Since then I’ve made other things, like a teddy bear for my daughter and now I’m almost finished with a Sponge Bob for my son. Carving soap isn’t the same as carving wood, but it is just as enjoyable, it’s also quicker, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it’s easier because I don’t have a knife, or any other sharp object to carve with, I simply use a clip from my ink pen. Doing things like this are good for filling up down time in my day, I just do things like this for so long that I get burnt out on them, just like drawing, I’ve done it over and over for so long, so many times that I get a little tired of it, then it becomes more of a task then a hobby. I just hope I don’t get tired of this, so I’ll probably slow down a little bit. People are already asking me to carve objects for them for money and I had to tell them no, because it takes too long. They tell me that they’ll pay for my time, but the truth is that I just don’t want to get burnt out. If I do more soap carving, then it will be for my loved ones only.
This morning I ran five miles and I still feel great, no pain in my knee. It looks like I’m back in shape, ready to start working on my goal of ten miles a day again. If my knee continues to feel good, then tomorrow I’ll run six miles, I’m increasing my length and speed every chance I get, making sure not to push myself too hard or far.
Since the doctor lanced my ear just a few days ago, the swelling and fluid buildup has already returned to the way it was before the doctor lanced it. I’ve been taking antibiotics for two days now, so I think it’s safe to go ahead and lance it myself one more time and let the antibiotics do their job.
I had to lance my ear again yesterday because the pressure and fluid buildup was just too great. As soon as I cut my ear open, clear fluid came gushing out so fast that it shot across my cell, all the way to the far wall, I had no idea it was that bad, instantly my ear felt better, relieving pressure from my head and neck.
I woke up sometime around four o’clock this morning from pain in my ear, so I got up and looked in the mirror to see that my ear was swollen again, looking even worse than yesterday before I lanced it again. This is the third time in a week that my ear swelled up like a balloon. I’m very worried about my health, having an infection or any other kind of health problem in prison is bad, inmates get medical treatment like some third world countries, one never knows what kind of care we’re going to get. As soon as they unlocked our cell this morning I went down to the guards’ desk and asked them to let me see the nurse, the guard called down to medical and found out that the doctor will be in tomorrow, so hopefully I can get it looked at again tomorrow, then maybe, hopefully the doctor can do something more for me.
My mother ordered me a book last week that I’m really enjoying, it’s called Meditations from the Mat, it’s a daily reflections book that’s centered on the path of yoga, but more than that, it really touches many subjects that pertain to daily life and makes simple suggestions to straighten our path. I really enjoy it because the author takes bits and pieces from many great things, like the bible and Depak Chopra; even today he quoted methods used in Alcoholics Anonymous. Daily devotionals like this are very helpful for me in here, they give me something to focus on each day, something to reflect on and something to motivate attaining goals I already have set in place.
A dear friend of my family and of course friend of me has also ordered me a daily devotional book, this one is the bible that’s apparently broken down into 365 entries, one for every day of the year to reflect on. I haven’t received this book yet, but I look forward to reading it also and making it another part of my daily reading, meditation and prayer.
I had a good start to the day, with my knee feeling good, I decided to try running the track, but sadly once I started to run I could feel soreness in my knee. Frustrated and stubborn I kept running for two miles then stopped.
For a few days now I’ve had some swelling and fluid buildup on the outer part of my ear. I tried to ignore the swelling and hoped it would eventually go back to normal, unfortunately that wasn’t the case, and the swelling has only increased. Later in the day, after lunch, my ear progressed, causing pressure in my head and neck. Being more concerned I asked to be seen by the nurse immediately, having to show the guard my ear, thus verifying my emergency. The nurse saw me immediately and decided my ear was worthy of being seen by the doctor. The doctor said it was probably some sort of infection, noticing the swelling had moved to my neck as well. The doctor numbed my ear, and then lanced it open, squeezing the fluid out, immediately relieving much of the pressure in my head and neck. The doctor told me that the fluid was clear and was probably the result of being hit in my ear, but I can’t recall getting hit. I’m just glad I got it taken care of because he said it could have turned to cauliflower ear if I hadn’t gotten it drained
This afternoon I finally get to have a video visit with Justin Paperny, that is if the jpay machine doesn’t have another malfunction. I really look forward to talking with Justin, he always has things to say, things that help straighten out my compass, zero in on my goals and motivate me to work even harder.
I just had a great video visit with Justin, we talked about a lot of things going on with my life right now in prison, as well as what I’m going to do after my release and getting started on my new life. We also talked about many other things that pertain to my writing and blogging on multiple web sites for maximum exposure to increase opportunity and success after my release. I look forward to working in this new direction with Justin more specifically in the near future and having more video visits.
Today I ran 3 1/2 miles without any pain in my knee. I could have run a great deal more, but I didn’t want to risk pushing my knee to another injury before completely heeling up. I could still feel tightness in my knee and it did feel a little weak, yet no pain. I’m so happy that I’m back to working out with no pain, not being able to work out as hard as I wanted for the past couple of weeks just felt like punishment if the weather permits, I’ll probably just run another three or so miles instead of five or more. I want to be smart about my body and that means not pushing myself to the extreme like I’m used to. A few hours have gone by since my last entry, now my knee feels sore again. As I stepped out of my cell and headed down the steps I could feel pain once again. I just don’t understand it, I get so frustrated. I guess I pushed myself a little too hard this morning. If my knee is sore tomorrow when I get up, then I’ll just have to wait, but if it feels good again, then I’ll try to run at least a mile or so. I just wish I had a better relationship and understanding with my body, I’ve spent so many years tearing it down, trying to destroy my body with substances, now I’m paying the price for so many years of abuse.
I was talking to another inmate who I also consider as a friend. He has a significant other that’s suffering from cancer and going through treatment right now. Often I ask him how she’s doing, I tell him to tell her that I said hello and also that I’m praying for her health and recovery in these difficult times. My friend told me that he spoke with her just yesterday, he told her what I said and of course she said hello in return, but what really caught my attention was her comment towards my own health, she asked how my knee was doing. The funny thing is that nobody told her about my knee, she found out from keeping up with my blog. Hearing that others are reading my blog validates all the work I’ve put into maintaining this, meaning that someone other than just me and my family are getting something out of this. Yes, I do this for my own growth and recovery to a successful life upon release, but a part of my own growth and recovery is also being able to help others, whether it be another man on his way to prison, the family members of someone in/or going to prison, or inquiring minds who just want to know if a prisoner can in fact change the outcome of life from inside these walls, or maybe even just get a better idea of what day to day life is really like in prison. Whatever the reason may be, I’m just glad that I can help someone.
I continue to practice the guitar each and every day, but now I feel as if I’ve reached a point where I’m just not learning as much as I was in the beginning. At first I was getting lessons from my friend Kurt and I still am, but now I’m at the point where I need to learn more technical parts of the guitar that apply to music in general, for that reason I think I’m going to need to order some books to help me with my learning process. The prison just issued a new rule that won’t allow us to play our guitars in the dayroom anymore, so now we can only play in our cells and outside for recreation, which of course depends on the weather, disabling me from getting as much time learning with my friend, Kurt. Until then I’m going to work with what I’ve got, at the end of the day I’m still making great headway in my learning and practice.
Often lately I find myself contemplating the benefits of intentionally getting myself into some kind of trouble in order to stay on this level two side of Madison prison. I know that to an outsider this may sound crazy, but it’s a common practice in here for inmates that don’t want to be uprooted from their, for lack of a better word, comfortable and familiar surroundings. The only answer I come up with that keeps stopping me from doing this is that it’s just not right, it goes completely against all the good ethics, morals and values that I’ve worked so hard over the past couple of years to achieve and live by in every aspect of my life and yet at the end of the day I continue to ask myself if one carefully thought out plan to break a rule that will hurt no one other than myself in order to ensure that the rest of my stay in prison is productive and beneficial to myself and the preparations for my future is worth it?…. The other side of Madison is open dorm areas rather than two man cells; this means that I would have no peace, solitude, time to myself, or opportunity to complete many of my daily tasks that require such solitude. On the other side, people are up all hours of the night, televisions are always on, inmates are always stealing from each other, etc. The list goes on and on with reasons for me to stay over here, so ask yourself, would I be making the right decision? As of now the only thing that would keep me over here is the twelve month horticulture class that I signed up for when I first arrived, but if I don’t make the list this time around I will undoubtedly be transfer as a result of my untarnished record of good behavior. I only hope and pray that I make the list because I just don’t think I could bring myself to breaking any rules for any reason. This is an old way of life and an old way of thinking that I make a personal commitment never to return to.
Unfortunately, due to the fact that my blog has been flagged by prison staff, therefor now closely monitored, I have to be extra careful about what I write, because I can not only cause myself problems, but I can also cause other inmates problems and that would be detrimental to my stay here. Having said that, there are always temptations to face here in prison, but now more than ever there seems to be a flood of temptations in here. I’m not saying that these temptations are bad for me; I actually think that they are extremely important for me to face and continue to make the right choice, choices that are important and affect the outcome of my future success. Each time I’m faced with difficult decisions, saying no to these temptations makes me realize how much I’ve grown, how far I’ve come in my recovery and at the same time it’s also a reminder of how far I still have to go. Temptations can still be tempting, however small they are still apparent, reminding me that this is a battle I will have to fight for the rest of my life, but as long as I keep working hard I will always stay on top, dominating and prevailing over the evil that wants to take over.
I ran three miles this morning and it felt great at first. After I returned to my unit, walking up the stairs to my cell I noticed soreness in my knee. As the day has progressed, the soreness in my knee has increased. I can’t say that I’m in pain, but I am concerned with what exactly it is I did to my knee specifically and when exactly is it going to heal completely.