Years ago, I suffered terribly from panic attacks. If you never had a panic attack, you’re lucky! You feel like your chest is tightening, you get this numbing, tingling sensation everywhere. Your mouth is dry, you sweat but yet can shiver. You feel like you can’t breathe. Sometimes to the point you feel like hyperventilating. I finally sought help and take Zoloft to control the episodes. I’ve also learned techniques to lessen the symptoms when I feel them start. They honestly can be debilitating. On December 23rd, 2019, I was notified to pack my stuff and head to property to pack out. I was being transferred to Cambridge Springs. When you pack out, you must bring everything with you. Staff then inventories everything, packs it and gives you a property sheet. You’re allowed 2 record boxes and a tv box, or a trunk and a tv box. You don’t get totes or TV’s until general population. if you have more than that, you need to mail it at your own expense. I packed out with several other people and came back with my overnight bag. This consists of one set of clothing, toiletries and that’s it. I was ok, until lights out. I started with the cold sweats, tingling, weird breathing. I was up, I was down. I sat at the desk, I laid on my bed. One of the ways I try to cope is by distracting myself. Well, they took everything I had to entertain myself, so that wasn’t going to work. Thank goodness, I had a patient cellie who even sat up and talked to me for a while. I prayed, asking God to stop the enemy’s attack. I prayed for him to watch over all of us traveling that next day. Somehow, by God’s grace I eventually fell asleep. They woke us at about 4am to get ready to leave. We were walked down to medical to get our meds since they took all that the day before. We received a bag breakfast to eat before we left, but I don’t know that I even ate anything. I didn’t want to have to think about having to go to the bathroom or getting sick. Plus, I knew from my talks in county that we’d stop halfway for a bathroom break. One by one they then took each of us and changed us from our other outfits into yellow jumpsuits. I guess that way you stand out if you decided to run. You are then strip searched, dressed in these ill-fitting jumpsuits, shackled but then something new was added. They added what’s called “a handcuff cover”. (You can read about them here in Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handcuff_cover). Personally, I think they are barbaric and should be illegal. That’s another conversation. Once you are all ready, then you’re loaded onto a van, your belongings were already packed the night before or when you were getting dressed/shackled. The bus we went on was like a small bus you might see daycares use or paratransit operations. It wasn’t a van. There were grates on the windows, normal seats with seatbelts. One wrong or abrupt turn, you can fly out of your seat. It’s tough to hold on with your arms and hands restrained. I believe the bus can fit up to 13-14 approximately. Then you just hope to fall asleep until your halfway point. Ours was about an hour and half away. Then you get out, repeat the process in reverse. You’re unshackled to be able to eat and go to the restroom. They gave us a HUGE peanut butter and jelly sandwich, veggies, and a bottle of water. (Again, I knew this going in because of my county talks with girls who went through this process before). You’re given ample time to eat and stretch, then you are shackled by your new officers who will take you to your final destination. See, your first officers are from your starting point and then when you get halfway officers from your ending point are there with inmates going to where you came from. So, it’s a transfer hub in a sense. You are then loaded into a new van and sitting for another 2 hours or so. Your journey started at 4am and we finally arrived at about 3:00 pm give or take. Exhausted doesn’t even begin to state how we were feeling. We were unloaded, sent through a body scanner then taken to the medical area for processing. Our property was then brought in to be distributed to us. We would have to go through property there to have it inventoried again. We’d go through medical and then given our bedding, and one set of browns (clothing) until we could go to laundry the following day. It was not until almost 9:30 until we were sent to our dorms. Then a whole other set of fun (not!) started…https://amzn.to/3Q1AKqt
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