In Giving What You Have



“Please help me! It’s really annoying and I’m having a little pain now!” pled the female inmate as I motioned for her to go to one of the exam rooms so I could take a look at what was bothering her right ear.


“Stay still!” I softly commanded. “I’m trying my best here but I need your help, too to try to be still despite the discomfort you would feel.”


“I’m sorry. Okay, I’ll try not to move around!” she answered.


Few days earlier, while being transferred from one facility to ours, she started having a vibrating-like noise inside her right ear. Crumpling a small amount of toilet paper, she thought it would be best for her to stick it inside her inner ear canal. She did feel some relief after doing so.


Except at that time when I saw her, she could barely hear. And she started having pain inside the right ear. I could have denied her request to be seen and just had the jail doctor treat her that morning. But I didn’t want to do so without even trying to help her out.


Focusing the special guided light, I saw a little wad of toilet paper stuck inside that covered the whole foramen of that inner canal. Fortunately, there was no sign of infection around the affected areas. She probably couldn’t hear because the paper blocked the whole canal.


Instilling some special eardrops, I waited a few minutes and started irrigating her ear with some warm water using a special kind of syringe. Only a small amount came out and even with a forcep, I only got out a little bit. At that time, the doctor was already there. Knowing that I had done my best, it was time for me to surrender and have the doctor do her part.


The doctor tried but still, the wad of toilet paper just wouldn’t budge. I took the syringe from the doctor. One morning nurse walked in and joined in by giving it a few more tries. She kept on irrigating the canal with warm water, this time, improvising with a special catheter tip for the syringe. All of a sudden, the entire paper came out!


The inmate beamed with joy! She kept thanking us knowing how hard the doctor, the other nurse and I tried and patiently treated her. Yet, during the entire process, her pain was minimized, despite the huge effort.


“I won’t do that again,” she promised. “I learned my lesson.” She smiled as she walked away to go back to her designated unit.


If there are situations that need our generosity, how much are you willing to give? Paul reminded us that we should give of what we have, not what we don’t have. Sacrificial giving must be responsible, too.


“If you are really eager to give, it isn’t important how much you are able to give. God wants you to give what you have, not what you don’t have. Of course, I don’t mean you should give so much that you suffer from having too little. I only mean that there should be quality.” - 2 Corinthians 8:12-13.
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