“I’m having chest pain!” “If I don’t get my meds, it gets worse. I can also have a seizure!” complained a very young, newly booked inmate this morning in front of me. He was so restless and so anxious. Despite the big, glass partition window in-between us, I could hear him so clear. I could see clearly what the problem was. I knew all the things he told me like chest pain and seizure were not true. I didn’t listen to his complaints. I listened to his heart.
“What medications are you taking prior to being arrested because it seems you’re so anxious?”
“Ahhh….Valium and Oxycodone.”
“I’m assuming you are using them so much?”
“Did you have this kind of chest pain before and if you did, was it the same kind you’re having now?”
He looked at me as if he wanted to dodge my queries. He became uncomfortable and unsure where my questions would lead to. But he remained insisting that he felt he was in serious condition and that in a slightly threatening tone of voice, he demanded for me to give him the same medications.
“Sir. You don’t understand…Even before you coming down here to the Clinic complaining of chest pain to your deputy, I knew that you were just having anxiety attack because that was the condition you had told the Intake Nurse. Remember talking with a nurse when you first got here?”
“Yeah…you’re right,” he replied.
“I’m going to take your blood pressure and pulse. But I must warn you now. I can’t give you any medications because like other inmates who just got here, you must patiently wait for the Psych Doctor to see you. He is the one who can order those medications you need for your anxiety. I can’t help you except the only one who can help you is yourself.”
“What do you mean?”
“Relax…Take a lot of deep breaths. You can try to. I can’t do that for you. Your long time use of those medications are also adding to your feeling of doom. Your body craves for it now because you’ve been using them for so long and I don’t know if you’re using a lot of dose.”
He sat quietly on the chair and stopped whining. He knew he lost his demand to get the meds his way. He looked up but remained with sealed mouth as he looked at the deputy standing just right behind me. He knew he couldn’t say anything further.
We all are in this mess at one point or even now in our lives’ journey. We make wrong decisions. We choose so many things that we think will give us satisfaction. I know what his heart was saying because I had been there before. I heard his heart’s wishes out loud because now, I know the simple truth that He always reminded me of with His Word:
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” –(Matthew 6:21, ESV)