Against Medical Advice

"Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." - James 4:14 (NIV)

I saw the Charge Nurse very upset while another nurse was seeing the male inmate who just came back from the hospital. I just walked into the Clinic and from the window, I could see them all, together with the Deputy near them. I thought the inmate was being disrespectful but no wonder...when I saw his face as he slightly turned around, it was the man the other nurse sent to ER in an ambulance because he was having severe chest pain. We readied our AED machine as he seemed to have faded in and out and as verified by the EKG monitor resting on top of the guerney when the paramedics came in.

"Wooo...." the lady paramedic exclaimed.

"His EKG keeps on changing..."

We knew we could lose him at any moment at that time. But surely, the nurse and I were both relieved to see the paramedics so he could be immediately transported to ER.

"What were you thinking?" the Charge Nurse asked.

Photo Credit
"I wanted to see my 5-year old son tomorrow when he comes to visit me Ma'am," he confidently replied, very much aware that he was risking his own life.

"If you make it overnight..." one nurse added.

When this inmate having chest pain got to ER, he immediately signed an AMA form  (against medical advice) despite the doctors needing to evaluate his failing heart. That was what upset everyone because they knew (even me) that he could die at any given time.

I was agreeing with the Charge Nurse that it was wrong for him to refuse the treatment when we heard the reason, but as I finished my shift when the clock hit midnight, tired and excited to be home to see my family sleeping by then, I thought about this inmate as I struggled to see through the windshield being fogged up by the low temperature and an earlier shower that doused the dry earth. And like the rain that washed all the dirt in my windshield, a tear I wiped gave me a clear view minutes later: I realized the Charge Nurse, the other nurses and I were all wrong about being upset with the inmate's decision. He was the wise one of risking his own life to not miss his 5 year old son's visit the following day because in his solitude behind the thick prison walls, he must have learned what mattered the most in his life. In everyone's life....

Love from family and friends...

Things that are not seen...Things that have incorruptible inheritance...

Things that go against that of this world's...

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." - Matthew 6:21 (NIV)


  1. AMEN!! Thanks so much for your prayers, love, and encouragement.

  2. Wow, such love for your child,but I do understand.

  3. I pray he gets treatment after his visit with his little son. I feel humbled.

  4. A wise and wonderful post, as always.

  5. Oh my sweet sweet beautiful friend,

    I ALWAYS find peace, encouragement, inspiration...LOVE when I come here.

    Thank you so very very much for your prayers for our little grandson. Your heart, your caring, your LOVE always exudes from you here and wherever you leave comments. That's just who you are...BEAUTIFUL, LOVING, KIND, INSIGHTFUL, ENCOURAGING, INSPIRING, COMPASSIONATE, EMPATHETIC, KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT SOOO MANY THINGS AND SO VERY VERY VERY MUCH MORE. You my sweet sister, are beautifully handcrafted by the almighty hand of God and as I(all of us) have said so many times here, HE USES YOU TO REACH OTHERS FOR HIM.

    Can you tell I can't say enough good things about you? That's because you are TOTALLY AWESOME as the younger generation would say today.

    Love you my friend and my prayers are ALWAYS being said for you.


  6. "What matters most?" Such a good preface to every day's choices! I've found, as the years pass, the making of those choices gets easier and easier, especially as (if) I become less and less.


  7. where your treasure is there your heart will also true.....

  8. Rosel, a wonderful post of depth. Hugs to you dear one.


"Faith is taking the first step even if you don't see the whole staircase..."
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

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