He had a good eye contact as I started questioning him when the unit deputy brought him in, his wrists handcuffed to his back. I motioned for him to sit on a chair and as I started taking his vital signs, I started probing on my own.
“How much bleach did you ingest?”
“Not a lot.”
“Just give me a minute…”
Turning away from him, I asked the deputy if they could have an access to any cleanser in their unit. He said it would be possible if they bought some from their “Commissary” but it wouldn’t be much.
I went back to asking the suicidal inmate while his blood pressure and pulse registered in the automatic machine. Both readings were normal.
“I’m not gonna’ send him out to the hospital. I don’t feel he ingested too much of that bleach he was claiming he did because the deputy told me that it wasn’t much from their Commissary. The vitals were all normal. I just wanted you to be aware,” I explained to the Charge Nurse who agreed with me.
“Do you have a problem in your unit?” I added before he was about to get up to be taken to a place where they house the suicidal inmates for closer observation.
“Oh, okay. You want to tell me or your deputy?” the deputy now with both ears open and was near both of us, awaited for his response.
“People there are all murderers! I’m not a murderer! I don’t belong in that unit!”
The Charge Nurse heard the answer and that was why she exclaimed that he was just playing games.
“I’m still suicidal!” he responded with an annoyed tone of voice.
I knew he was just playing games the moment I started asking him questions. His behavior had given me a lot of clues. Even more toward the end, he gave me the true intention of his heart. But whether he was playing a game or not, his belief that he shouldn’t belong with other inmates who he thought were murderers would still make him feel low which could later drive him to intentionally inflict injury to himself.
“You may take him to Suicide Watch,” I advised the deputy as he took his cuffed hands and led him away from us.
This reminded me of how often I was like him. Pursuing what I wanted to happen in prayers, instead of seeking God's will for me often end up hurting me rather than helping me.
"5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight." - Proverbs 3:5,6 (NIV)