I’d just like to say that opposites attract. Just bear this in mind when you read this entry.
Picture the scene – our first call of a beautiful sunny Sunday morning. Most folks were in bed, so the ambulance station had been particularly quiet, it was 8:30 and no ambulances had gone out. Then we got a call, it came down to our ambulance as “68 year old man, clammy, possible stroke or heart attack”, so we got to the address as quickly as possible.
The gentleman was lying on the floor, he was a short Indian man and he was swearing at three younger Indian lads. I learned that they were his next door neighbours and had heard him shouting. When he didn’t answer his door they had kicked it down and found him…
The first thing that I thought was that the patient was a diabetic with a low blood sugar. He was shouting and screaming about Allah and the Devil, telling us that we were all going to die. He also told me that he was thirsty, but when I gave him some water he told me, “Allah won’t let me drink it”.
He then slapped me in the face.
My crewmate and I leapt on him and restrained him as gently as possible. I had three times his body mass, my crewmate is a dedicated martial artist and a wall of muscle.
We managed to get enough blood to check his sugar levels – they were fine.
Getting what little history that we could it seemed that the patient had suddenly ‘gone mad’.
He was swinging between being calm, talkative and fairly pleasant and being a little hellion of violence. There was no hints as to when he would change his attitude.
We were getting a bit concerned, we were trying to work out how to get this aggressive, violent and delusional patient out of his house and into the ambulance. His neighbours tried talking to him, and they got slapped for their trouble.
My crewmate went down to the ambulance and radioed Control to ask for police assistance. He let them know that they weren’t needed ‘mob handed’ as the patient was pretty small and frail.
While he was doing this I managed to get slapped again. I was also called a ‘pharoah’ and was told that I would drop dead in the next five minutes so that I could be sent to Hell.
While he was annoying I was feeling sorry for this man, as he was obviously ‘mad’ and not ‘bad’.
My crewmate returned and the patient indicated that he wanted to spit on him – but his mouth was so dry he could summon up the liquid required.
Somehow we managed to get the patient to go down the stairs (after slapping my mate on the arm) and as we made it to the front door the police turned up. They did act in a very ‘softly softly’ manner, but as we crossed the pavement the closest policeman was called a “bastard” and got a hell of a slap on the face.
The patient ended up on the floor – and then got manhandled into the back of the ambulance. He was handcuffed and we made our way to the nearest hospital with one of the police aiding me in restraining the patient in the back of the ambulance.
The policeman nearly got a punch in the testicles.
All throughout the transport the patient was shouting about how we were all going to be ‘blown up’, and that Allah would alternately love us, or damn us. It was an interesting five minutes. He nearly managed to kick me once or twice.
We reached the hospital, and were met by one of the Sisters. She didn’t seem too impressed with the two brawny men sitting on a little old man. So she tried to be nice to him.
Until he called her a “cow” and tried to kick her.
We left the patient in the tender mercies of the hospital. I love my job and I especially love it when I can leave patients like this with someone else looking after them.
Control contacted us to ask if we were alright.
“Fine”, I replied, “apart from us both being bitchslapped by a 68 year old man”.
My crewmate and I had a cup of tea and returned to the station to fill in our paperwork. I know it might sound strange (and I’m guessing it’s one of those things where you really had to be there), but we were laughing all the way back. It just struck us as amusing that this little man was so aggressive, and that he managed to strike everyone that he met. Obviously no-one was hurt, even the patient. We agreed that if it had been a drunk thirty year old then it may have ended differently – but we really didn’t want this patient to get hurt.
We took great pleasure in telling this story to every workmate who would listen.
I hope that the patient had nothing wrong with him that couldn’t be cured.
Today my first job was to a near repeat of this patient, except in this case the cause was drugs, and he wasn’t as aggressive, just annoying with a vague undercurrent of threat.