An individual brought into the county jail following an arrest for drugs, theft, and assault became one of the weirdest situations I’ve seen in my twenty-two year career. The police had caught her selling and using drugs, and when she spotted them, she ran in hopes of finding a way to escape. The officers followed and found her in an abandoned building, hiding in one of the rooms. The officers tried talking with her, but she refused to answer or cuff up. Stepping forward to arrest her, she lashed out, screaming and flailing her arms. She hit the officers a few times in the process.
Upon arrival at the jail, she refused to get out of the car and tried grabbing ahold of anything she could. This isn’t completely unusual. She was talking gibberish, and drool was coming out of her mouth. It was as if she had lost her mind. She kept mumbling and talking to someone who wasn’t there. She picked at her skin hard. Once inside, she adamantly refused to see a nurse, be fingerprinted, have her picture taken, and pretty much everything else. She was well known to the jail, and this type of behavior for her was usual. She was challenging and combative until she came off of her drugs and sobered up.
Nurse Phillip approached the patient in her cell and tried talking with her. “Ms. Bly. We need to get a urine sample to check if you’re pregnant and to see if there are any other issues.”
“Screw you and your mom and the president of the United freaking States,” shouted Bambi Bly. “I’m not doing anything you ask.” This time, her words were mostly understandable, but she slurred them.
“You just left jail a few weeks ago. Do you remember me helping you when you went through withdrawals the last time? I gave you something to drink and your medications.”
“You’re the devil’s spawn of underwater mermaids, and I’ve never seen you before.”
“Well. I’ll come back and check on you again in half an hour. Maybe you’ll remember me by then.”
Bambi did not remember the nurse and spent the next several hours in a mania state followed by twelve hours of deep sleep. She was monitored closely by jail and medical staff. When she woke up the following day, she was somewhat better. She was still paranoid and confused and certainly did not want to be in jail. She was provided some fluids to drink and some Jell-o to eat. After keeping this down, nurse Phillip returned to talk with Bambi.
“Hello, Ms. Bly. How are you feeling today?”
“Die you coward!”
“We need to get your nursing assessment done.”
“Leave me alone.”
“I can once we make sure that we get your medications reordered and make sure there aren’t other problems.”
With the help of an officer, the patient was brought to a separate office for a nursing assessment. The officer remained in the room the entire time. At one point, Bambi said, “I swallowed a whole bunch of meth, and I stuck a pipe in my hidden area. Are you going to get that out?”
Nurse Phillip replied, “We can order an X-ray to see what you have placed in there. Unless you want to take it out yourself.”
“I can do that.”
The patient was moved to a different room, and she removed two balloons of heroin and small pieces of tinfoil items and other things. She said, “I guess the meth pipe was the last time I was here.”
Bambi finished her medical screening and was brought to the infirmary for close monitoring. She was placed in a cell where she could be closely monitored by the nurses and other staff. She was given medications, fluids, and other things to help with her withdrawals. The nurses monitored her several times, and her behavior, confusion, and withdrawals improved gradually over time. She refused the X-ray that was ordered.
About five days after arriving, the doctor was passing by her cell, and Bambi Bly called her over. The doctor was performing her rounds, and she had already spoken a few times to Ms. Bly over the last few days.
“Doctor,” Bambi said. “Please help me. I have a huge problem, and you are the only one who can help me.”
“What kind of problem?” asked Dr. Duncan.
“I have something stuck in my vagina.”
“I heard that you had brought in some drugs and such when you were first searched.”
“No. This is something else. Can I be seen in the clinic?”
“Why did you refuse your X-ray when they were looking for the meth pipe?”
“It’s not a meth pipe,” she said flatly.
Ms. Bly was brought down to the exam room. A female officer – Fuller and nurse Otterson were present. Dr. Duncan said, “Ms. Bly. What is going on today?”
“I’m freaking out that I lost something. Maybe it fell into the toilet while I wasn’t looking.”
Dr. Duncan asked, “What would you have lost?”
“A piece of jewelry that is near and dear to my heart.”
“As you know, when you are brought into jail, all of your property was placed in a bag for you to retrieve once you leave jail. Maybe this piece of jewelry is in your property and not lost.”
“I know. But the nurses were kind enough to go looking in my property, and they didn’t find the necklace.”
“Could the necklace be somewhere else? Maybe in your car or at your home.”
“I don’t think so.”
“You were disoriented when you arrived at the jail. Maybe you could call someone and have them search for the necklace.”
“I have no one that could help me. The last thing I remember was stuffing it in my vagina for safekeeping.”
Dr. Duncan glanced at the officer and the nurse. She asked. “Was an officer with Ms. Bly when she pulled out the other times?”
“Yes,” replied officer Fuller. “It was someone that I work with. She pulled out some balloons of meth and a few more things. I don’t think a necklace was removed.”
“It has to be up there. Maybe it moved around or fell out.”
After another moment of thought, Dr. Duncan said, “I can order you another X-ray. The soonest it can be done is tomorrow. The necklace will have metal, and if it happens to be there, we will find out.”
“Thank you so much,” replied Bambi.
“Why is this necklace so important to you.”
“It’s a family heirloom.”
Nurse Otterson asked, “Is it from your grandmother or something? Is it old and valuable?”
“Oh no. I was adopted and in foster care for years and years. This is an heirloom from my family. It is something I bought after my boyfriend overdosed and died. We were going to get married.”
“He was your fiancé?” asked Dr. Duncan, feeling slightly confused.
“I had seen him around on the streets. I think I even did drugs with him a few times in an abandoned building before I really connected with him. One time, we nearly were caught by the cops, and we hid together in a field for like hours. We ended up falling in love with each other right there, and we hung out every day for like three weeks. He didn’t have anyone else either, and he told me that I made him feel special. I miss him so much. The heirloom helps me think of him whenever I am about to do drugs. It reminds me of what we could have had. He told me that he wanted to marry me when he got sober.”
“That’s cute…in a weird sort of way,” replied Dr. Duncan.
“What is the necklace?”
“It has a chain and two sets of metal teeth. They are the coolest thing ever.”
“Okay,” replied nurse Otterson. “What kind of heirloom is this?”
“Well,” Bambi said, and her voice dropped. “I was able to get some blood from my boyfriend, and his sister gave me some of his ashes. Each tooth opens,” and she used her hands to show that she was unscrewing a lid, “…and you can put a little bit into each side. You close it tight, and I have some of my boyfriend with me all at all times. I keep the necklace close to my heart or in my private place. It makes me feel calm and better about life. If it is missing, I’m going to die.”
“Thanks for sharing,” replied Dr. Duncan, feeling slightly nauseous. “We will get that X-ray ordered right away and figure out what happened to your necklace.”
The following day, the X-ray was scheduled and done. Turned out, the chain and the two metal pieces, like teeth, were clearly visible. Dr. Duncan and the entire staff were amazed and horrified at the findings. The metal had wrapped itself around like a ball.
Dr. Duncan called Ms. Bly back in and told her of the results.
“Oh. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.” Bambi was so relieved, but she tried and tried and could not remove it herself.
Dr. Duncan said, “That means that I will have to go in and remove it. Are you okay with that?”
“As long as you don’t break it.”
Dr. Duncan performed an exam and was able to get the necklace removed with minimal issues. There was some slight bleeding of the skin afterward as it had clamped onto some of the skin.
Bambi was eternally grateful to know that she hadn’t lost her necklace. She became quite a bit more upset when she learned that she could not keep the necklace with her during her stay in jail. She held onto it for a long time. Finally, it was taken to her property with her other items, and it would be waiting for her when she was released.