November 2004: Letter from Richard Lester
Hello. A voice from the past, you are probably thinking. Well, I have been on a rollercoaster, mentally and physically. As you know, I was taken to the facility in Tuscon because it was hard for me to breathe with the fire raging on the mountain behind the prison. Then I was taken to the hospital in Safford because of continuing pulmonary problems. During my stay there, the idiot doctor changed all my medications and before long he had my blood sugar up to 500 and my blood pressure down to 65 over 56 - extremely dangerous levels for anyone.
Also my urine was not passing properly. My kidneys were said to be failing. The prison druggist told me that they had been prescribing a certain medication for the last four years and it should never have been changed. My liver and kidney functions should have been monitored while I was away, which they were not. Now they claimed that the diabetes from which I suffer was the cause of these abnormalities.
They hired a private jet for $15,000 and flew me to the FCI at Terminal Island on the pretext this was a medical facility. There the tests showed that my kidney function was all right. But now they had to begin treatment for SYPHILIS.
That blew me away. I have been in prison for 11 years, all the time celibate, and before then was married for 28 years to a former Catholic nun and was always faithful to that union.
The new doctor, a Doctor Castro from the Philippines, heard my argument that a syphilitic infection was impossible. She discovered the mistake and said the test was a false positive. She had been prepared to start treatment immediately had I not raised hell.
In Safford they gave me six months to live. Here I am getting better. Perhaps it is the California weather.
I know this is not the sort of column I would like it to be. They are closing this place down and I want to share one last thing before I go. It is a very long walk to get to where I am and use the typewriter. I have difficulty making the journey. If I don't write for the web site as often as I would like to, please ask the readers to forgive me.
Remember I love you folks and will do better when and if I can.