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General Health Care Prison Health Care.. Medical, medications and all that go with it related to health care in the prison system...

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  #1  
Old 07-23-2009, 02:38 PM
mysonsinyankton mysonsinyankton is offline
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Default Diet for Celiacs

My son is in a federal facility. He has celiac disease and is unable to eat any food with wheat or gluten. It is hidden in many foods. He has been told to "self-limit" what he eats. He has only been there a month and a half and has lost a lot of weight. Even what he can eat from the commissary is limited. My understanding is that this is the way it is, that there is no "medical diet" for celiacs, and if there were he is not entitled to any special dietary treatment.
Does anyone have information that is factual that may be helpful in seeing that an adequate and appropriate diet is provided to him and others in his situation? Celiac disease is not that uncommon. It is more than an allergy and eating gluten seriously impacts one's health, in addition to making you plain miserable. Thanks for your help.
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Old 07-23-2009, 03:08 PM
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Who said there is "no Medical diet" for Celiacs? It falls under the category of digestive disorder, doesn't it? Is this coming from his counselor? Have you called the warden? I'd call anyone that would listen....

I would make it abundantly clear that the implications from malnourishment and anemia would "cost" the system much more than a proper diet. It's probably the expense they are concerned about.

I am so sorry for your son. He must be so miserable. I hope he doesn't have to server very long under that condition.
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  #3  
Old 07-23-2009, 04:06 PM
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You could contact FedCure and see if they can assist you with contacting BOP with that special request? That is one idea that I can think of right now... or you can write to the warden and explain the nature of his situation and he is not allowed to eat gluten or it will make a big impact on his disease.
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Old 07-23-2009, 04:47 PM
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I admit to not knowing what Celiacs is and so I looked it up. Sounds like some drastic measures are called for. I would print out articles and over night them to my State rep. and request help getting through to the BOP. Look up the facility and who the warden is and call him, give him the web addresses so that he can get first hand information. If you have to get a lawyer to intervene for you. I am sure that a Judge can get some action going.
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Old 07-23-2009, 05:12 PM
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I don't know of any case where a judge has had any impact on BOP food practices for an individual.
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Old 07-24-2009, 06:53 AM
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Its a sad world we live in! I don't have much suggestion as i am new to the system but I will def pray for you.
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  #7  
Old 07-24-2009, 12:02 PM
mysonsinyankton mysonsinyankton is offline
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Thanks to all. My son presented medical documentation to the BOP prior to his incarceration. When seen by the physician assistant upon admission he again reported his medical condition and dietary needs. Lawsuits seem ineffective. I've been googling and researching and I saw a lawsuit from a prisoner who was given a medical diet while he was in a medical facitility, but was it was denied once sent to another facility. He lost the lawsuit and it was stated that the prisoner had been counceled and instructed in what he needs to do to "self-limit" the things he needs to avoid. Therefore, a special diet was not necessary.
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Old 07-24-2009, 12:29 PM
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Thanks princessD.
I'v seen other instances (by googling and researching) where prisoners sued and lost and were denied special diets for medical needs. They were "councelled" and told how to "self-limit" their diets. Initially he said he didn't want to ask for a special diet as what he saw consisted of a plate of raw shredded cabbage with nothing on it and some peanut butter. Also, I'm sure he doesn't want to rock the boat and antagonize the warden. The facility where he is placed is one of the best in the system and from what I've read I don't think he would want to be sent to a medical facility. Nor would his current condition warrant it. He has lost considerable weight in a month and a half and he was by no means overweight to start with.

The BOP was made aware of his medical condition prior to his incarceration and again upon his arrival when seen by the physician assistant. I will ask my son how he wants to proceed at this time.
It may be different than initially.

I think what you said about going thru the councelor may be beneficial.
He was told to go on the waiting list for the Doctor, which he is, and was told it could take up to a year.

Thanks. Oh, his sentence is for 41 months, but if the "good time bill" HR 1475 goes thru, it may be shorter as will others.
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Old 07-24-2009, 08:29 PM
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Good Luck,

I will pray that he gets good time and will not have to endure that type of neglect. It's so infuriating.

Prayers
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  #10  
Old 07-27-2009, 10:34 AM
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I know that in similar cases Section 1983 lawsuits have been effective.
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  #11  
Old 08-07-2009, 03:48 PM
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Thanks for all the helpful input. Just wanted to let everyone know that my son has finally been able to convince the powers that be that his condition is serious and if not given appropriate food to eat, that he would pursue it howevever necessary.
So, just got a letter that tells me he was able to meet with the dietician and is allowed to read labels on foodstuff in the kitchen and provide input to the person/people that prepares his food and he has actually received trays with food that he can eat. He has lost about an average of two pounds per week in the two months that he's been there, and that's with supplementing everyday with chicken/tuna/nuts/peanut butter from the commissary. (Very expensive). I am so relieved. We are both greateful that this was resolved and he wasn't just moved to another prison.
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Old 08-08-2009, 10:39 PM
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When I read one of your earlier post about it being "one of the best" I thought yeah right, but they seem to have that reputation for a reason... More prisons need to realize that they can have a positive light shined on them when they act and react in positive ways....

I'm happy for you and your son!
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  #13  
Old 08-12-2009, 08:22 PM
kristininla kristininla is offline
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I have just be diagonsed with celiac disease. I do understand what it is about. If I eat anything with gluten or wheat I get really sick. For the longest time I did not know what was going on in my body and the doctors could not figure it out. Finally the did blood test and a endoscopy and that how i discovered what i had. It is not anything to play around with at all it is very serious.
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:08 PM
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My son is in county waiting for his ride out to state. He has celiacs. I'm wondering if I should send the letter we have from his dr ahead of him to RGC at Jackson MI.
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:11 PM
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Absolutely. And keep copies of everything. My son is in a federal facility, so I don't know how things will be the same or different for your son. When he first goes in and gets to see the medical person, physician assistant or whoever it is, the councelor, anyone he talks to, he needs to make it clear his diagnosis and the seriousness of not following a diet. It seems from what I've read that people in need of medical diets are "councelled" and told to "self limit". He should be allowed to go into the kitchen and read labels and communicate what he is able to eat and not eat. Where my son is, it took about two months, but he is able to go into the kitchen and read the labels and talk to the person(s) that prepare the religious meals and they prepare a tray and cover it in saran wrap in the room where they prepare the religious meals and have it available for him. Sometimes it's cold, but he would rather have that than nothing.
There is a process called "cop-out". It involves filling out form, "Inmate Request to Staff Member Form" and sending it to the appropirate place. Then the carbon comes back in the mail with a note or resolution. His last cop-out to Medical asked "Please see me to discuss continuing need for gluten-free diet accomodation."He filled out a "BP-8" - Administrative Remedy Process to go to the councelor. There is a 3 day turnaround to get a resolution. He said if that failed he would fill out a BP-9 to go to the Warden. If that doesn't work there is a BP-10 form to go to Regional. Then the BP-11 to go to the Bureau of Prisons Director.
He had written down points (in case he needed to use them) to make it obvious that accomodating him would be easy, cheap, and represents the least-difficult and most common-sense solution; and that refusing him would bring further well-organized complaint and opening the door to legal action, should they refuse, on ground of cruel and unusual punishement.
Some of his points were:
-By maintaining a gluten-freee diet, his disease is well-managed and he will not require medical intervention or chronic care due to non-adherence to the diet.
-A gluten-free diet is medically necessary and the only medically-recommended course of treatment and managment for celiac disease.
-Depriving him of an adequate amount of gluten-free food is sufficiently serious as to cause him harm, subject him to pain and suffering, and expose him to possible risk of serious injury, potential disability, or death.
-the lengthy delay in providing an adequate amount of necessacry food, despite his repeated requests, raises the issue of deliberate indifference to his serious medical need.
-As always, he would take responsibiltiy for monitoring his diet and selecting appropriate foods when available. As it is now, appropriate foods are often times not available at all, and he continues to lose weight.
-In taking great care so as to minimize burden and expense to the facility by utilizing only foods currently prepared and served in the kitchen, without requiring the import of specialty foods, he provided written suggestion to the medical staff of appropriate foods/menue items. He demonstrated how easy it would be to provide the needed gluten-free meals and suggested that this represented the most sensible, economical and responsible approach to managing his celiac disease and maintaining his health.
He explained, in writing, in detail how cross-contaimination should be avoided and seasonings and spice mixes should be avoided unless they have been identified as "gluten-fee" and detailed a list of wheat, barley, gluten, and oat products and other foods to avoid, and listed foods he could eat.
I hope this is helpful and I wish your son and you and your family the best.
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Old 08-26-2009, 06:02 AM
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Great news on your son! Glad they are finally listening. I have always said when it comes to inmate health care the "squeaky wheels get the oil". Keep fighting everyone!
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:55 AM
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I'm sorry to hear that your son is also in this mess but I'm glad to hear that we are not alone in expecting corrections to know what celiacs is and to respond appropriately. Seriously, following the food guidelines for celiacs (freshly cooked meats, veggies, fruit, rice, potatoes) would be healthier and cheaper in the long run than all that pasta,bread and cake they serve in Michigan prisons.

And I will take your advise and send a letter with a copy of the dr's letter down to intake.
Please let me know how this works out for your son.
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  #18  
Old 09-05-2009, 12:35 PM
mysonsinyankton mysonsinyankton is offline
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For RAJustice: Thanks. As of last letter, my son said the diet is working out quite well. He continues to lose weight, as he requires a very high caloric intake, since part of celiac disease means poor absorption of nutrients in the intestines. He continues to supplement through the commissary. Let me know how it turns out for your son.
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Old 09-05-2009, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysonsinyankton View Post
For RAJustice: Thanks. As of last letter, my son said the diet is working out quite well. He continues to lose weight, as he requires a very high caloric intake, since part of celiac disease means poor absorption of nutrients in the intestines. He continues to supplement through the commissary. Let me know how it turns out for your son.
I got a letter from him and he says that he is not gluten free but feels OK. So without talking to him I don't know why he isn't gluten free. I do know that the feeling ok part just isn't true. He's young and wants to be able to eat like everyone else but he can only deal with the "D" and sore throats for a little while. And he doesn't recognise when the gluten his messing with his head. I just don't know what to do at this point.

I am glad to hear that your son is doing well. Maybe as his intestines heal and he begins to absorb more nutrients the weight loss will reverse. I've read about that happening on celiacs.com.
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Old 09-07-2009, 09:16 AM
mysonsinyankton mysonsinyankton is offline
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To RAJustice: I just watched a video yesterday someone have given me to watch of s seminar presenteed in 2006 by a doctor (chiropractor) who has spent the last 20 years studying c.d. It seems there have been a lot of studies and there is info out there, but buried to the conventional medical world. He gave an "iceburg model" the upper tip showing clincially overt signs, the middle bing silent, and the biggest bottom part being latent. One of the most important things to know about cd is that is it NOT just a gut disease. It can affect any organ or system, which ever is the weakest link in the chain. Some people have no gastro intestinal symptoms. The second most common system affected is the brain and the nervous system, where inflammation and lesions are caused in the brain, mostly the frontal lobe. This area of the brain can affect anxiety and depression. And right now, the only treatment is TO AVOID GLUTEN, even in shampoos and lotions which are absorbed through the skin. Damage can continue, even unoticed, by having gluten ONE time per month.
I don't mean to sound all doom and gloom, but hope this to be informative.
My son was willing to be proactive on his own, because he knows how miserable and sick he is when he eats gluten. You may have to step in yourself to see what can be done to get things changed. I will keep you and your son in my thought and prayers.
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  #21  
Old 11-04-2009, 01:50 AM
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You might want to see if you can get his packages from a health food store that will send appropriate gluten free foods to the prison. It seems with a special order request that they should be able to do that because it is coming from a company and not a person. That way they could have rice bread and there are rice noodle ramen type soups. It might be worth it to try and see if the prisons will accept it.

I was just diagnosed with Celiac's Disease last week and I am amazed at where you find gluten when reading labels. Tomato soup has flour in it so does several varieties of imitation crab and even some candies. Not just the ones with cookies.
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