Silent Treatment

God's poet is silence! His song is unspoken,
And yet so profound, so loud, and so far,
It fills you, it thrills you with measures unbroken,
And as soft, and as fair, and as far as a star.
~Joaquin Miller

Her rash seemed to have gotten red again. Itching woke her up and tired of having these rashes for a few days now, even after the doctor discontinued her pain medication, she requested to be seen, despite the time being so early in the morning.

“Don’t worry,” I reassured her. “All of your vital signs are okay. But I will keep you here at the Infirmary no matter how long it takes until you feel better. Okay?”

“Thank you,” she responded with a wide smile and a tone of gratitude, while attempting to scratch her puffy eyelids.

I consulted the on-call doctor from the county’s ER. I gave this female inmate having an allergic reaction to something with 2 kinds of shots. One to decrease the swelling and the other to help with itching. Noticing that while talking with the doctor, the pin-point rashes even got slightly redder and seemed to have been more diffused all over her body, I called the doctor back again and asked for his opinion if he wanted me to send the inmate to the hospital for further evaluation. Depending on my observations, he didn’t feel the need to have this inmate be seen, as another order for Epinephrine was given to aid with her breathing.

I reassured the inmate as she needed to wait 2 more hours and our jail doctor would be in, that very same morning. I had the deputy at the back unit bring out a mattress and blanket for her. So she could rest while waiting for the doctor. When morning came, I ordered her breakfast from the prison’s kitchen. I decided to re-check her vital signs as I saw the jail doctor walked in and started preparing all the charts she needed to see that day for doctor’s sick call.

I went up to the doctor and told her about the inmate. She remembered this particular inmate as she just saw her the day prior. I knew the rash would take a few days before they would go down. But I just wanted to make sure that there was no further evaluation or treatment needed for this particular case. She discontinued another pain medication. And told me I did the best I could and things she would have ordered. So, she didn’t need to see the inmate.

I summoned the inmate to the glass partition window. And informed her that the doctor didn’t need to see her but was aware of everything that happened. She was upset at the beginning. But when I explained that there was really nothing to do anymore for the rash since she was being given the medications for it for 2 days already, she calmed down. She accepted the fact that she needed to go back to her unit at that time. I told her to put a sick call and even to alert any staff in her unit if she felt that the symptoms would get worse.

She smiled at me and thanked me for everything I did. I told her to watch out from then on what she would eat, if there was anything new and to start keeping track of anything she would ingest to find out where this allergy was coming from. She agreed.

She accepted not being seen. She accepted that “silence treatment” as there was no other options available. How often do we go through silence treatment from our Greatest Physician when we feel that He must see us and answer our pleas? When everything seems urgent to us when in reality, that waiting period, that silence, will be a period for us to re-think things about our faith, about the way we deal with trials, about the way we trust in His plan? No matter what the outcome…Just because God is silent doesn’t mean He is not listening! God’s silence can be the answer to our pleas! Let us praise Him instead in this period of silence, knowing that during this time, there is a big revelation to come. It is not a silence of despair. For time is nothing to God.

"5guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long." - Psalm 25:5 [NIV]
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