The Inmate With The Heart Problem

"Do you know what that means?" I asked the Charge Nurse last night at work.

"That was embarrassing. That whatever reason I sent the inmate for, he was treated for something else."

She just smiled but knew where I was coming from as she also went through that somehow, as our county hospital sometimes fails to evaluate the sick inmates further. The hospital sometimes doesn't understand that our prison is not equipped with other medical stuff needed to treat the sick inmates.

I saw his figure disappeared behind the restroom in the waiting area. Upon emerging, he was fixing the strands of his dark hair with his hands on each side of his head. His hair very wet from the water he doused it with.

He was only 24. Well-built. Tall. Scanning his medical chart prior to his arrival in Infirmary, I gathered he often came complaining of chest pain. Always demanding that he needed to have a cardiac echo done because someone told him he had some heart issues. Evading the symptoms and the demands he started whining about, I explained that I was not ignoring his complaint of chest pain but I was trying to rule out if there were any other possible causes as no cause was ever found out anyway from the last time he made a trip to ER.

"You know, like what were you doing prior to having this pain?" I continued...

"Were you exercising heavily or some other games in the yard?"

"I told you, Nurse. I was just resting on my bed." Then, he paused as if he didn't want to spill the next words.

"2 days ago, yes, I did 200 burpees...But I didn't want to go to the hospital so I didn't complain," he softly uttered though it was only him and I chatting in front of the Exam Room I already opened and with the EKG machine nearby.

I asked him to urinate and tested his urine for presence of blood. The urine dipstick came back positive for a large amount of blood. I sensed he could be having Rhabdo. So I decided to send him out with the help of our Transportation Deputy.

When he got back from being treated in ER, most of written notes were about his heart. Nothing was addressed regarding the symptoms I suspected. He probably demanded for his heart to be examined more that all the doctor's orders were about having cardiac echo and that he had a history of Congestive Heart Failure. Yet, all the exams they did were marked normal, including his urine dipstick.

"How could that be?" I asked the Charge Nurse.

"Either there was something wrong with my eyes because I saw the result or there was something wrong with our test strips." She didn't know what to say.

As I talked to the inmate prior to sending him back to his unit, he thanked me and that he said he felt much better. I reassured him but couldn't help and asked him if they said anything regarding the "burpees" he did. He didn't say anything but..."Oh yeah, the nurse there did tell me that I had a little bit of blood in my urine but it should be okay."

I already knew. He didn't say anything about those exercises he did and kept on insisting regarding his heart condition though nothing was previously found at a well-known hospital.

As I kept writing about all my observations and the inmate's statement in his chart, I noticed how the ER doctor had noted that he was diaphoretic (sweating profusely) when he wasn't as I examined him. It dawned on me that he went to the restroom twice and kept wetting his hair. I warned the other nurses because of the possibility of him always coming down for complaints of chest pains. I left a note inside the chart to observe him if he would do that behavior again to make it look like he was in distress.

Just like that inmate, we all make demands in our prayers to God. We want things to happen our way without understanding first that He has the best reasons even when we don't understand why things happen in our lives. We often think about ourselves and always forget to think about what God wants from us. What we want seems to be complicated at times. What God wants from us is one and plain simple:

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." (Mark 12:30 NIV)

It is only by putting Him first in our hearts that our lives will be in order.

 "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need."
- Matthew 6:33 (NLT)
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The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]

Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.

Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.

All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.

When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.

The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.

When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himself and ended up injuring his attacker severely.

[Source: NLT Bible ]:

We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.

“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14

Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].

Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.

Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.

Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].