“”No one holds your hand tighter than someone trying to hold onto their life”
I seem to recall these being the cheesy words of wisdom used somewhere in a trailer/advert for the overtly hysterical, typically gun-ho yet rather unsuccessful USA tv drama series “Trauma“.
What a croc-o’-shite! As I sat there having my hand slowly crushed into diamond proportions by the superhuman strength of the patient laid beside me, I couldn’t help but think these words being further from the truth.
“GET. THIS. FUCKING. THING. OUT. OF. ME!! AAAAAAAAAAGGGHHH!!”
You see, she wasn’t dying . . . she was merely in labour.
“You’re doing really well sweetheart . . . ” I lied through gritted teeth – and at the same time, desperately tried to claw the remnants of my shredded hand back into possession. Her 15 inch razor edged saw toothed dagger-like nails were beginning to draw blood. My blood!
“PLEEEEAAASE!! DO. SOMETHING! AAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGHHHHH!!!!”
“Well sweetie, ow-ow-ow, I’m going to ow-oo-ah-ow have to have a ngngngng look . . . to see if baby’s head ah-ah-ow is coming eh, jeessfuckingchristman!”
“NO. FUCKING. WAY . . . AAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHH!!!”
And then all of a sudden, the contraction ceased. Her vice like grip eased just long enough for me to retract my mutilated hand into my chest for close protection. She spoke to me softly now – her voice tender, sweet, angelic and a complete contrast to the psychotic onslaught it was moments before.
“I’m really sorry . . . I hope I haven’t offended you. I’m not like this normally. It’s my first baby. Will it take long do you think?”
“When did the contractions start?”
“About an hour ago”
“I don’t think so . . . do you think it’ll be long?”
“I don’t know dear . . . but don’t worry, the ambulance will be here soon”
God – how I wished that ambulance would be there soon.
“Oh dear . . . oh, oh, I can feel another contraction coming on . . . oh, please, I’m scared, can I hold your hand. Please”
Before I could even turn away and run, she snatched up my mortally wounded hand again and started squeezing the last remnants of any life out of it. In a fit of desperation I tried to pry her fingers off me. She saw this only as encouragement and grabbed my other hand. Now – both my hands started to receive tortuous crushing.
At that moment in time I honestly thought I would prefer having my testicles crushed between two bricks than have to suffer this insane pain anymore.
But then – oh my god – the cavalry arrived, in the form of an ambulance crew. Their slightly bemused looks upon entry offered no sympathy for my plight. I’m pretty certain they would have, if they could, just sat there and amused themselves at my suffering for as long as possible. Thankfully, my patient’s contractions ceased – allowing me to almost fall back off the chair in retreat. And, after getting myself well out of reach of my patient’s killer talons I gave the crew the quickest of handovers before limping off back to my car.
“Donna. 19. 39+1. First baby. Contractions from two hours ago. No waters broken. Your patient*”
Another school boy error . . . let someone else hold the patient’s hand whilst in labour!
*not her real details of course
NB I heard afterwards it was another twelve hours before she gave birth to a “lovely” baby boy. Her partner was present throughout the entire time . . . poor bloke!