Cannibals, Schizophrenics and Hermaphrodites (Oh My…)

We got called as a 'second crew' to an address. Sometimes, when a situation is beyond the capability of one crew to deal with, they will request another crew – normally this is because they have two patients, or the one patient that they have is too heavy for one crew to lift on their own.
We got the job as “female giving apple to 7 day old baby”, which had us wondering…

As we turned up we saw the other ambulance and a police car, on entering the flat we saw two policemen standing in the corner, with a 5'2″ female ambulance crew sitting on a young woman (Patient Number 1), her crewmate was dealing with a male who had a nasty bite on his arm (Patient Number 2). The police were talking between themselves deciding what to do, as we got a quick briefing from the crew who was sitting on the woman.

It turned out that the woman (who had a previous mental illness episode), had given birth by Cesarean section seven days earlier, and today had tried to feed the baby apple pie, she had then 'freaked' (note the professional medical terminology) shouting that the man wasn't her husband and had attacked him. The ambulance crew had been called and as they arrived the woman had sunk her teeth into her husband's arm. The crew had fought the woman to, ahem, disengage her teeth, and this is why they were sitting on her. The police had been called, but were reluctant to do anything (I got the impression that they were a rather crap pair of coppers) and the second crew (us) had been called to deal with the husband (with new teeth-mark wound) and baby.

This woman was (brace yourself for more medical terms) 'completely bonkers', she had the rolling eyes, the delusional thoughts and the inability to communicate that separates the mildly strange from those who need immediate medication. It was actually quite sad to see this family come apart at the seams, the husband was shell-shocked, the wife was completely detached from reality and the police weren't being very helpful (which is unusual).

We got the husband and baby out of the house and into the back of our ambulance, and then returned to see the police (finally) manhandling the woman out of the house, and into the back of the first ambulance. She was securely strapped down (although we don't have restraints and so she could have easily gotten free if she so desired), and we had to lend the first crew a belt-strap as the one on their trolley was broken. The first crew then forewarned the hospital about what they were bringing in (violent schizophrenic female) and we all set off for the hospital.

We got there first and advised the nurse in charge that this was a 'real' warning, and that security guards would be needed, along with the private 'psychiatric' room. It took her twenty minutes to arrange both, while the ambulance took less than five minutes to get to the hospital. So while the secure room and security was being arranged this very disturbed woman was laying on the ambulance trolley…Not a good situation, and it made the job a lot harder than it should have been.

The husband was completely stunned, he had no idea how to look after a baby and quite simple couldn't cope. Social services were informed, and the child was admitted to the paediatric ward for a while, until the husband could be taught how to look after a baby. The woman was sent to the local psychiatric unit for assessment and treatment, hopefully this is a temporary condition brought on by childbirth (Puerperal psychosis). The husband had his wound treated, and was sent home.

Oh, and the baby is a hermaphrodite.

14 thoughts on “Cannibals, Schizophrenics and Hermaphrodites (Oh My…)

  1. “she had the rolling eyes, the delusional thoughts and the inability to communicate”oh, you mean a londoner.

    heh. just kidding.

    re-minisce

  2. Wow. And people ask me how I can do MY job. Piece of p**s compared to yours, I think. What a punchline… poor, poor baby.

  3. I can recommend Jeffrey Eugenides “Middlesex” for anyone wishing to read up on hermaphrodites. A great read (and very informative in addition)….

  4. Hiya; I was introduced to your blog about 2 months ago. Since I've been addicted and have kept on meaning to sign up to leave a comment. Recently I've been feeling really sorry for myself (stressed at work, no boyf, boo hoo hoo blah blah blah) – your last article kinda snapped me out of it.

  5. The link describes the symptoms of pueperal psychosis as 'quite florid'. This translates as the most crazy crazies you are ever likely to meet. Terrifying when, of course, they are in charge of a brand new baby. How does nature let this happen?

  6. Had the same reaction as others: man and I thought *I* had it bad. My prayers go to the husband and the poor innocent child. You did a good day's work that day; you should be proud of yourselves.

  7. I know nobody's gonna read this now as it was last year, but I have to say, where are the prayers for the woman? Don't you think she deserves any?Mental illness is one of the worst experiences imaginable in life: not only do you have to fight to get well, you have to do it while being surrounded by stigma and negative attitudes. The whole family deserves compassion and sympathy, and help. I hope they got it.

  8. Although i probably won't read this article again -Schizophrenia is a brain disease. It does not deserve jokes or poignant statements which further the stigma attached to it. People suffering from the illness can live normal lives, however when there brain (It's a BRAIN disease) begins to produce too much of a certain brain chemical, they lose touch with reality and the subconscious blends with the conscious.

    When someone is living in that kind of hell, the last thing they need is stigma and isolation, insults and improper care. It's a very real problem, and a very complex and misunderstood one.

    Stupid people will yield stupid comments about something they don't understand. Atleast the ill mother has recieved the attention and care she needs.

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