December 08, 2014

Over the years I’ve come to have several bad back and neck problems due to careless activities, lifting heavy things improperly, bad posture and sleeping in poor positions. My five year stay in prison has only amplified these problems. Having to spend so much time in a cell every single day has really taken its toll. Working out and doing yoga a couple of hours each day have no match against the countless hours spent on a steel rack with a paper thin mattress. Wither lying down or attempting to sit up, the positions that we’re forced to place our bodies in each day is anything but helpful. These cells are unequipped with a desk or chair, forcing us to sit on our beds all day. My entire stay has been spent on the coveted bottom bunk in every cell, jail, and prison that I’ve been in thus far, but it comes with a hefty price. The bunk beds are built very close together, enabling the inmate residing at the top bunk accessibility without too much difficulty. With the top rack being so close to the bottom, it makes it impossible to sit up straight on the bottom rack. All day, no matter what it is that I’m doing, whether it’s writing, drawing, carving soap, or just watching the television, it has to be done hunched over, creating severe pain, discomfort, poor posture and more than likely permanent problems that will affect me for the rest of my life. Before coming to prison I already had fairly poor posture, I hunched over a little more lazily than most others. Now that I recognize the direct correlation between my posture, strenuous physical activities, and the chronic re-occurring pains in my neck and back I do what I can to correct these problems as often as possible by stretching, working out, sitting and standing up straight and strength training, but it has no match against the damaging, relentless wrath of 23 hour a day cell confinement.

Steven Dybvad

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