My voice echoing in the very long hallway as I hurried my pace, toting the emergency bag on my shoulder as I held down the radio housed in my scrub’s left pocket. The other nurse getting weary from the long dash it was taking us, smiled back at me, slightly shy from my unmatched, rapid steps.
The big, metal door slid as I pushed the button outside the particular unit which called for assistance as one of their inmates couldn’t get up in his cell because of severe pain. The location, we weren’t sure yet at that time. The lady controlling all the doors in that unit looked at me as she motioned her right hand and pointed at a particular segment to where we should go. I pushed the metal bars open and found most of the male inmates were locked down inside their tiny cells except for one sitting by the stainless-steel like table, where the inmates usually ate their “chows” (meals). His wrists, secured with a handcuff, he was talking loud at first and grew quieter as both of us entered their zone. Immediately, I felt all the hundreds of stares glued on the two of us, responding nurses. Curiosity scanning us from head to toe. Some of them, started talking loud. Some, with sexual gestures that wanted attention, unafraid to be disrespectful knowing that the deputy was busy with the downed inmate. I kept my eyes focused on the upper tier where one door was open and I saw the long figure of the deputy looking down at the inmate on the floor.
He was grimacing in pain. He said that he couldn’t get up because he was having too much pain. The other nurse whispered to me that she knew him. He was known to have a history of bladder cancer. I knew cancer hurt. But I knew that his pain could also be exaggerated as they hoped to be sent immediately to ER. I had to confirm my thought. So, I asked him if he was on any pain medications.
“The order had expired 2 days ago,” he replied, with slow utterance. I told him I would bring him to the Clinic so we could deal with his problem.
“But Ma’am…” he quickly uttered as he showed how he couldn’t even turn to his side as I commanded him to get up so we could help him get on a guerney I got from the nearby Clinic in their unit. “The doctor in ER told me I could always go back if I needed something for pain.”
I told him I knew that but at that moment, a trip to ER was not necessary as we could call the doctor and we could ask him for stronger pain medications. He didn’t say anything. Protesting silently with the way he looked at me. As he got up and got on the guerney, the familiar stares followed all of us. The talk becoming louder as some comments were to make fun of the situation. It wasn’t worth listening to those. It wasn’t worth paying attention to those who wanted a response from us. I could have put some of them in trouble if I wanted to. But it was just not worth it.
What needed our attention the most was this inmate. Though he exaggerated his pain, indeed, he needed something stronger for pain. As he didn’t appreciate our help of calling the ER doctor at first, I knew he would understand later that his pain was not life-threatening. But we wanted him to get back on something stronger to control his valid source of discomfort.
He swallowed the white pills the nurse had given him for pain. As he silently rested on the metal bench in the waiting area. Few minutes later, he appeared more calm. He didn’t say thank you but his stare was not piercing with anger and protest anymore. I knew…Someday… This incident would be in his heart. To make him think that the medical staff never ignored him. But wanted to apply the right intervention for his problem. Though it might not agree with what he thought was best.
And that’s how we are as servants of Christ. We don’t go after the crowds. We go after one individual like how Jesus did it. He cleansed Mary Magdalene of 7 demons. He explained to Nicodemus, a highly respected Pharisee, that their ways were not enough to get to God’s Kingdom. Jesus talked to the woman at the well and told her about the message of the Gospel which supersedes all barriers be they moral, religious or social. He had forgiven the dying thief next to Him on the cross. And many more… Changed from the inside-out as they experienced Jesus’ personal touch of love, mercy, and grace. Like Jesus, we reach not to a big audience but to specific individuals by showing our true love and compassion. Like the kind that we have received from Him. For our own efforts will produce nothing. We bring only....JESUS...
“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost." – Luke 19:10 (NLT)
“I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."- Luke 5:32 (NIV)
“When Jesus heard this, he told them, "Healthy people don't need a doctor--sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners."- Mark 2:17 (NLT)