I was still trying to finish a particular inmate’s medical chart after seeing him when I saw the Charge Nurse opening an envelope that had the ER doctor’s orders in it. I knew that another inmate had just arrived from the hospital.
“Let me just finish my charting and I can see her,” I told the Charge Nurse.
Seeing I was so busy, it was nice enough for her to take the inmate’s vital signs and so I didn’t need to do anything but just take care of the orders. Except…I still wanted to see her and make sure she was okay because the charting of our observations would fall on me then. I didn’t want to write “inmate without distress and doing well” without even seeing her even though the other nurse had seen and already talked with her.
She went out for vaginal bleeding. 3 months on the way. 9th pregnancy as I recalled. Looking tired, she was dressed up in those blue paper gowns except her back was not showing. Everything was paper even her shoes.
“What happened? Are you okay?” I asked as she looked up and gave me a weary smile.
“I’m fine now, Nurse. I bled a lot earlier,” she replied.
“Are you still bleeding a lot now? Are you still having pain?” I asked with deep concern knowing how the Charge Nurse had passed on to me that she felt that ER had returned her to the prison so soon.
“I’m not bleeding as much now, Nurse. My tummy is okay,” she reassured me instead.
“Any stress from your unit or from home that could be the source of your worries?” I asked (It became my routine to ask any inmates this kind of question to probe more as sometimes, the true source of their sufferings which are the not so obvious ones are not known).
“It’s my first time here, Ma’am. Do you know that it’s an assault to use that Mace?”
“If not used properly, yes, I know…”I paused to give her more room to allow her to vent her anger if she wanted to.
“My niece and I had a fight and she was about to attack me. So, I had to defend myself and I pressed on that Mace to ward her off from hurting me…Guess who got arrested? Of course, me!” she uttered with disbelief.
“I’m so sorry that happened. Thank you for telling me. I know it’s easier said than done but I want you to concentrate on healing and focusing on what is in you if you want this baby.”
“I do,” she quickly replied.
“Just be careful next time and while you’re in here, I want you to know that you can ask your unit to call us if there would be any further bleeding or other symptoms you feel are not right. Even if you’re not sure.”
“Thank you,” she replied with a wave of calmness coating her words.
As I had been going through a tough battle regarding my career in the prison against some of the highest seated people who wanted to end my career without any valid reasons, I almost had the tendency to use the wrong weapons at the beginning to repel them. I could have been gossiping, remained angry, and unforgiving. Wrong weapons not provided by God in such unseen battles. It had been a little over a year now and even if I awaited some help from another agency, God reminded me all this time that the battle had been on His hands and the weapons were readily available for me to use.
Using my own strength will never accomplish anything. Keeping God’s weapons inside will just leave me vulnerable to the enemies’ attacks. But used defensively, the enemies’ darts of lies, doubts or temptations are actively repelled. (Glory be to God!).
“11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.” – Revelation 19:11-13 (NIV) –emphasis is mine…
“17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”