“What is wrong with me?” asked this young female inmate sitting in front of me as she straightened her left arm so I could apply the blood pressure cuff. Her tears in little beads slowly flowed down on each of her cheeks.
“Do you drink heavily?” I queried.
“No!” she loudly denied.
“How about illegal drugs?”
“Mmmm…” Pause….”Only marijuana, Ma’am,” she softly whispered.
I looked again at the prescribed medications started when she first came in to the prison’s Intake. I counted about 5 different kinds, the usual medications given as allowed by our protocol. All for those having alcohol withdrawal symptoms. I was hesitant to give it at first. After she denied heavy alcohol use.
The Intake Nurse who happened to screen her the previous night, fortunately, was working with me that night in the Infirmary. I approached her and asked her if she could recall anything about this crying, young inmate.
“Rcubes,” she responded right away, after seeing her through the glass windows, “She was so wasted when she came in to the prison last night. They brought her first at the hospital and she was shaking.”
“Thanks. That’s all I need to know.”
I gave this crying inmate a handful of pills and a small cup of water.
“Here…These are being given to you because of the symptoms you showed last night. You were heavily intoxicated and were shaking when you got here at the jail,” I explained.
More tears fell…She didn’t refuse. She cupped her right, slightly quivering hand. She knew she drank alcohol. But she denied that. She just turned 21. And the fun of using alcohol made it more legal for that age. Except, she was being succumbed to a deadly habit. Subtly. Taking her like a hostage. Taking her farther away from freedom she once knew.
I watched her slowly traced her heavy steps back to her unit. Her head bent down. Still not sure what was wrong with her. It was her first time in the jail. She tasted the harsh environment. Of being locked up for a few days. To live in a tiny cell with another female unknown to her. Where violence could erupt at any moment.
Another one young life. Being wasted in the process. Alcohol. Drugs. Prostitution. Robbery. Pregnancy. These are the unfamiliar roads she decided to take. These roads that distract someone with a goal in life and entangle them and make them live a life that is empty. Barren. Dry. Unproductive.
As I saw the last bit of her shadow, I could only pray. For her to see the Light in this dark place she was in. For her to get out of that unfamiliar road and be focused toward one goal. Of seeing straight and knowing the only Truth. The only Way. The only Life.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths." - Proverbs 3:5,6
"Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight and understanding. Search for them as you would for lost money or hidden treasure. Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God. For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding." - Proverbs 2:2-6
"Then you will understand what is right, just and fair, and you will know how to find the right course of action every time. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy. Wise planning will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe." - Proverbs 2:9-11
FAREWELL TO AN OLD TREE
1 day ago