Very little scares me, violent drunks, dark alleys, terrorist bombs, careening around corners at silly speeds – none of these things bother me.
But I do have one completely irrational fear.
And today, I faced that fear.
Terror is often depicted as happening at night, in the middle of a thunderstorm – but for me terror happened on a sunny Monday morning…
The first job of the day was nice and simple, a little old lady with a leg infection who needs some antibiotics that can only be given at hospital.
Just don't ask me why this was a high priority call, and therefore needed a rapid response unit.
I spent some time chatting with the patient and her relative, nice enough folks just feeling let down by their GP. Little did I know the trauma that would soon be inflicted on me…
The ambulance crew turned up, and put the carry chair next to the patient. The patient was having severe pain on standing, so one of the crew and the patient's daughter grabbed an arm each and gave her some help standing.
During this I'm standing in the kitchen door, and the other crew is standing in the hallway door.
Then I see it.
I have big hands, and the spider that ran up the back of the patient was just a shade smaller. I was standing some way away and even with my poor eyesight, I could see it's huge fangs, it's hairy legs, and an evil glint in it's eyes.
I'm not f**king wrestling with that monster, was the first thing that sprang to mind.
Sprinting onto the patient's head it sat there for a moment, no doubt deciding which of us would make the tastiest meal.
The daughter screamed, the (female) crew helping the patient screamed, the (male) crew standing in the doorway swore, screamed, and ran out into the hallway to hide.
“Get it off! Get it off”, the daughter screamed.
The spider decided to sit on the face of the patient, it's legs gripping the patient's ears like a facehugger from the Alien films.
“Eeek!” screamed the patient.
The daughter then smacked her mother right in the face, and the spider went flying across the room. I had visions of it smashing into a vase, bringing it crashing to the floor.
(Did I mention that this spider was fairly large?)
I'm standing there like a lemon – my long dormant arachnophobia flaring into action, I was petrified.
I don't like killing
things animals, I even fish out the silverfish from my bath before washing my hair – but if this thing came near me it would be a fight to the death.
The patient sat alone in the room in the carry chair, breathing heavily from her daughter's assault.
Neither of the crew wanted to go near the patient in case the spider was merely lurking…biding its time until it could attack. My bags were taken off me and I was told in no uncertain terms that it would be me who would approach the corner in order to actually collect the patient.
A deep breath, a muttered Litany against fear, and I scooted across the room and, keeping my eyes on the many dark corners, swiftly bundled the patient up and got her out of the house.
“Don't worry”, said the daughter as we left the house, “Mum's dog will soon eat it”.
Depends how big the dog is, I thought…