I knew right away at first glance that she was not lying. Constantly rubbing her upper stomach area, she kept complaining of burning pain that just wouldn't go away. She just wanted help to make her more comfortable. Not in a demanding way. More of a pleasant request, allowing me to intervene to the best of my ability.
I gave her a white concoction of 3 medications that usually treat any epigastric discomfort. With complete submission, she downed it despite the awful taste that coated her tongue as soon as the liquid touched her mouth. She quickly flushed the medication with a small cup of water I gave with it. Few minutes later, I saw her grimacing more and seemed to be in distress. Yet, she never came up to the window to demand to be sent to the hospital.
I loved helping those kind of inmates. They were the kind that never abused the system. They were the ones who seemed to be contented with the kind of treatment they were getting, despite the delay, or inadequate relief for their suffering.
I phoned the on-call physician and relating with him the symptoms I noted on my own, at first, he didn't want me to send the inmate to the ER. But he changed his mind when I kept telling him that she looked more in distress. He gave me a "go" signal. No rush. Just with our transportation deputy.
With tears falling down on her cheeks, she thanked me and breathed a sigh of relief when I informed her that she was going to see the doctor. She uttered a soft but warm "thank you" and sat back down on one of the plastic chairs and quietly rubbed her stomach. I knew she would be patient to wait for the deputy but I reassured her. She thanked me for my kind gesture. Little did she know, I was the one who should thank her for her contentment. By seeing her not whine and tried to endure and be contented with all the efforts I did, she reminded me of Paul, the apostle. The man in love with Jesus who learned to be satisfied through all circumstances that he faced.
"How grateful I am, and how I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but for a while you didn't have the chance to help me. Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything with the help of Christ Who gives me the strength I need." - Philippians 4:10-13
Oh Lord, with us living in this world full of discontent: discontent with laborious or low paying jobs, discontent with spouses, discontent with our looks, and I can go on and on, please help us learn contentment, the way Paul discovered it. Help us to have confidence and strength that comes from You. Help us to remain trusting in only You. That is the only way to be contented no matter what is going on around us. Thank You Lord for all of Your provisions. Please forgive me for the times that I have complained and was just focused on the gifts, instead of You, the Giver. Thank You Lord for always being merciful, for Your faithful love and grace. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
By the way, that inmate came back all smiling and felt much better after the doctor gave her something stronger for pain. She was diagnosed with gallstones. Then, we went from there and knew what advices to give her prior to sending her back to her unit. And our jail doctor would see her again for a follow up treatment.