Friday, May 11

The devil in a white shirt

I had an interesting encounter this morning with a patient that really gave me the hee-bee-jeebies. My partner and I, totally different partner since this is an extra shift, were called into another zone because of a woman experiencing hallucinations. It took us several minutes to get there thus giving the first responders ample time to drive this lady completely over the deep end. When we drove up we were met by a fireman who looked kind of scared. I thought he was going to open the door to the ambulance and drag me out he was so upset. He then proceeded to rattle off that they were holding here down and she keeps calling them devils. "Oh this is going to be interesting I thought." I immediately called the appropriate people so that I could restrain the patient before making contact. Just as we were stepping into the home husband walks out dripping in sweat and appearing exhausted. "I just make it worse" He said as he continue down the steps into the yard and not stopping. By this time the yelling was audible and it wasn't difficult to find the patient. As I stepped up and assessed her I was surprised by the fact that the patient appears healthy and neat in appearance. However, she was very agitated and screaming the same things over and over. Interestingly she did not even acknowledge the fact that we had entered the room. I reached out to touch her wrist and asked the fireman to let her go for a moment. I received a very apprehensive stare as you might imagine. When they let go of her she stood up and as I was taking her pulse, which was rapid, she began to walk with me. "This is good" I thought, so we just sauntered together, the devil and the patient, all of the way to the ambulance without any question. As we were walking two police officers stepped out of the front the house carrying large leather restraints and very serious looks. Apparently the first responders were going to restrain this lady a chair or someone I didn't want to ask. We continued to the truck and was able to sit the patient down and apply the normal straps that keep patient's from lying to and fro around inside the ambulance. the patient didn't mind at all but she was beginning to breath very very rapidly. It was obviously self initiated and not secondary to any medical condition we could help without Haldol. She then began screaming about how she had to look away but continued to stare at me. At this point everyone was thinning out and it was just the patient and me in the back of a very small ambulance. This made me rethink my decision to not restrain her. As we were beginning our one hour drive she continued to scream about looking away and also continued to stare at me. By this time I began to get a little weirded out by this and could understand why the first responders wanted to tie this lady up before she really did flip out. I continued to speak to her calmly but it really didn't change the situation. I placed a NRB mask on her in hopes of her not spitting on me. That's another war story altogether. I checked her BGL and it was normal. That nearly became a fight when I pricked her finger. Because of this I did not even begin to start an IV. The cardiac monitor wasn't a problem after the BGL though. As we continued her antics became louder and weirder and I suddenly was the devil and that was why she had to look away. Apparently it isn't prudent to stare the devil in the eyes. How weird can you get. I think her eyes became larger and larger as we drove and the stare was wearing me down. All I could think about was the movie Excorist that gave me nightmares for most of my childhood. We finally made it to the hospital but not until I made the ritualistic call via radio to the ed to let them know we were coming. The entire report was masked by the continually "you are the devil I can't look" scream which did get us a bed at the ER quicker than I have seen in a while.

Crazy.

2 comments:

Chris said...

Totally bizarre. I ran a fire call once where we had to chance an attempted suicide, but nothing like this. Devil!

I'm redoing my blog. Once I get it settled I'll add your link. But only if you keep telling stories like this one!

Chris said...

And that would be "chase," not chance.