Choked Up

“Aahh…ahhh…” Struggling for breaths, this inmate kept pointing at his throat.


“They put something in my food. I’m allergic to legumes. They must put some “soy” or something. I had pancakes.”


“Sir, pancakes here don’t have soy or legumes in them,” I replied as I hurried to strap the blood pressure cuff on one of his arms and put the oxygen saturation monitor on his thumb. The reading flashed 99% [anything more than 90% is great!].


“Something! I just told you! My throat is closing up! Aahh…” His moaning and gasping for air continued as he tried to wobble his head side to side.


Using a wooden tongue depressor, I took a peek into his mouth and with my bright flashlight, did not see any obstructive object nor there was any visible swelling. However, it didn’t mean that there was no problem down deeper with his larynx [voice box] or any structure below that might be swelling up. I needed to explore further.


I had him close his mouth and using my stethoscope, listened to him take a deep breath as I commanded him to do so. The sound of a troubled breathing was not present when he did so. He appeared calm and was able to take some breaths in without the struggle he portrayed when he first walked in. His lung sounds were clear! Watching the oxygen monitor at a close distance, it was staying at 99%.


He only had a history of seizure, nothing else. Working in the jail, the medical staff was just aware of how manipulative some inmates could be. He was one of them. And if we ignored his complaints, he could potentially fake a “seizure and become a man down”.


The other nurse called the on-call doctor anyway. And just to be on the safer side, his order was received to give him some medications to counter the allergic reaction.


“Sir, I needed you to swallow the water first.” He didn’t know that everything I had him do was to be observed and as he took a gulp or two without difficulty, I already knew that he wasn’t having an anaphylactic reaction.


Giving him his pills, one at a time, he started demanding, “I need the epinephrine shot! They gave that to me one time!”


“Sir, I can’t give you anything that the doctor had not ordered. This is what he ordered and this is all I can give you. If these don’t seem to help, I will call him back.”


Appearing more calmly, he surrendered to my advice. He started trusting me. Yet, after swallowing the pills without any difficulty, he started demanding again for the “shot!”. The day charge nurse walked in at that time and immediately recognized him and knew he was a hard kind of patient to have.


I motioned for him to relax on one of the benches in the Clinic’s waiting area so we could continue to monitor him, as his agonizing breaths, now became more normal and the demands waning.








Sad…As I went back to my charting. That we, too fall into this same habit. How easy it is to agree with Christ with no intention of obeying. We desire for things of this world that end up choking the desire to pursue Christ first.


Like this inmate wanting the shots, are we yelling, “I want money!” “I want happiness!” “I want everything that this world offers!”


Are we still desiring for Christ and His Kingdom? Or we’ll allow ourselves to get choked up by things that have no value? We need to relax, and think about the only “One” we will ever need.


“The thorny ground represents those who hear and accept the Good News, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares of this life and the lure of wealth, so no crop is produced.” -Matthew 13:22


“So don’t worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and He will give you all you need from day to day if you live for Him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.” - Matthew 6:31-33
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Encouragers

The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]


Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.


Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.


All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.


When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.


The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.


When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himseld and ended up injuring his attacker severely.


[Source: Life Application Bible]:


We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.


“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14


Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].


Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.


Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.


Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].

Friends