“Just send her down here (to the Clinic). Better be safe than be sorry,” I replied.
She was walking in a rushed pace. Everyone was talking about this specific inmate who fell few days ago from her bunk and literally hit her face flat on the floor. She was already seen and treated by another nurse. I kept reviewing her medical record to know more about her.
“Just give me ‘Tylenol’, Ma’am and I’ll be fine,” she demanded when I started taking her blood pressure and pulse.
Motioning for her to go back to the waiting area after taking the vital signs, she kept demanding for the Tylenol. Protecting myself first from her unpredictable behavior was my concern, despite the Infirmary Deputy being there close to us. In the waiting area, unable to touch any of the medical staff especially me, I summoned for her to get closer to the glass window so I could start probing and explaining at the same time.
“What happened to the 10 packets of Tylenol that was just given to you by the nurse yesterday?”
(I was surrounded by some co-workers, feeling sorry for this inmate as they thought how gruesome she appeared with very black and bluish areas around her eyes, and a small bump protruding from the left side of her forehead.)
She was caught off-guard. She didn’t expect that I would know something about her. Stuttering a bit, she replied, “Well, my ‘bunkie’ (cellmate) took it from me and she left today.”
“You know that when you are given medications, it’s understood that they are for you, not meant to be shared nor to be given to those who don’t need it. If they are stolen, you should have told your deputy.”
(Some of my co-workers could not believe that I was not going to give her any pain medications. To them, she looked horrible). I went up to the Charge Nurse and told her that this inmate did not have a new injury. She was already given medications and that she was using this injury to keep coming every other day as recorded in her medical records, demanding for ‘Tylenol’, as I flipped the pages of her records. The Charge Nurse agreed and started dialing the phone to let her unit know about her manipulative behavior. The co-workers who were puzzled started to see the situation the way I saw it. They stopped listening to my conversation with the inmate.
She started pacing, going in circles in the small waiting area, her bluish face attracting anyone who walked in into the Clinic. Mumbling to herself, she paused then started pounding on the glass window, demanding for the Tylenol and for her to be sent back to her unit.
“No!” (the Charge Nurse hollered).
“We are going to keep you so we can continue to observe you. Just relax!”
(Keeping them in the waiting area makes them to think next time around that they can’t always get what they want especially if there is no true medical emergency).
She wept a little bit. She stopped. She paced. She tried to see if anyone was looking. She didn’t know she was being observed despite her own surveillance. Calming a bit, she laid down on the green mattress given to her and stopped whining.
As I go through this battle against powerful people at work, Daniel inspires me to continue to put my 100% trust on the Lord. Like Daniel’s prayers, it is not interrupted by any of human threats but more of time pressure.Daniel had a well-disciplined prayer life and kept praying three times a day. Prayers are indeed vital to us as believers as it is our lifeline to God.
Because of Daniel's unwavering faith, even unbelievers witnessed his consistency.
I knew at that time that my co-workers were not agreeing with the way I handled the situation at first. But I didn’t want to give up and give in to that kind of pressure. As I always pray for God’s gift of discernment, it is not my own knowledge that always saves me. It is His. God has the power these unbelievers know nothing about. Only God provides for everything that we need. No matter what situations or trials we are facing, it is not impossible to remain joyful and peaceful because God provides those when we continue to rely on Him alone. So, let us not give in nor give up to pressures from trials or from anyone who sees situations in a different angle compared to our vision, knowing that there is nothing impossible with the God we serve.
King Darius was elated that God saved Daniel from the mouths of the lions, so elated that he made it known to his people:
“ 26 “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.
“For he is the living God
and he endures forever;
his kingdom will not be destroyed,
his dominion will never end.
27 He rescues and he saves;
he performs signs and wonders
in the heavens and on the earth.
He has rescued Daniel
from the power of the lions.” - Daniel 6:26-27 (NIV)