My Dentist Experience At Herlong Prison Camp



I had a cop-out one day to see the dentist. It was an experience I would NEVER do again. I just felt they were too rough with my gums and my mouth was killing me the whole hour. Not to mention, I had a difficult time keeping my mouth open the whole time.

See it was supposed to be a cleaning so I only worked a half day at the Power House. They did do that, but when they poked around to clean the plaque out, the dentist, scrapped hell plaque out from between my teeth. Every scrap felt like she was scrapping the actually insides of the teeth. It just felt helpless.

At the same time, it was free. I got one cavity and decay in one of my teeth. I guess they did a good job. However, I wanted to wait until I get home. I don’t want to go through that anymore.

That helpless feeling all I could do is to sit there I shook and squirmed  a little starting at the light, forced to “open”  and “lower my chin” and “turn left/right.” I hated every moment. I’ll later hear a rumor that she didn’t know English because she was from Brazil.  Well, I don’t know how true that is, but I don’t remember her telling me any other English words. Come to think of it, the assistant was the only person who did any real talking to me.

Her assistant was a White inmate I’ll call Vetti.  Vetti was a stockbroker and got five years for insider trading. The medical staff figured he was smart enough to do dentistry. I don’t know the process of how they get hired, inmates. Now he was telling me to stay calm and telling me procedures the doctor is going. The doctor doesn’t say a word except for the words I mentioned above.

At the time, I was thinking this wasn’t worth losing work over. I started to get teary eyed hours later just rethinking and journalizing the whole event. Oh, and my teeth would bleed when my tongue pushed against my teeth.  Not a lot of blood, but my spit was red and you could see blood around the side of my teeth. Also, my bottom gums are sore. I’m decayed tooth is sore.

When I asked Vetti a few hours later, he just told me not to worry about it. Of course, he tried to avoid talking to me too much. At first, I didn’t understand. Later, I’ll find out later that Vetti didn’t get along with the Black because of some racist things he said.

I missed the rest of the day of work. Not because of the pain, but I thought I didn’t have to go back. I was told by another inmate at the Power House that once you have a cop out, you never have to go back. More on that inmate in another blog post. But he was died wrong. Good thing nothing came from it.

Oh yeah, and my teeth would bleed for about two weeks before it would stop.

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