My first night EVER in Labour Ward as a student would just have to be dramatic. I seem to bring drama with me wherever I go.. Throughout most of the night, we heard a woman screaming and swearing next door – but seeing as she was in a different ward, it didn’t concern me too much.
At around 02:00AM, they transferred her to Labour Ward. “Agnes” was kicking up a fuss, screaming and going on and on, but I was busy watching deliveries and wasn’t really involved. I started getting worried when I didn’t hear her screaming anymore, and I was the only one concerned so I went to go look for her. I found Agnes in a bathtub, full to the brim with water, lying spread-eagled – one leg hanging out of each side of the bath. She just stared at me with blank eyes. Knowing that she was quite possibly suffering from pregnancy-induced psychosis, I felt geniunely concerned for her, so I pulled up a chair next to her and delved deeper into ‘New Moon’.
After about an hour I realized that with my luck I would be performing a waterbirth, and having never even delivered a baby yet, I thought it best to check exactly how dilated she was, etc etc. Agnes gave me permission (which is a miracle, because no one has been allowed to touch her up until this time). So, there I am.. Bending over a spread-eagled woman, with surgical gloves that only go up your wrist so far, performing a vaginal exam. Disgusting water was running into my glove, but her position at least helped me get a good idea of the fact that she most likely wasn’t in labour – however, I was still new to everything at this stage and wasn’t sure.. It was then that I realized the water was ice cold, and I convinced Agnes that she should go lie in her bed. She agreed.
I walked naked Agnes to her bed, covered her with warm blankies, and started giving her a back massage. She demanded that she wanted cream for her massage, which I didn’t have, so I ended up using Obstetric Cream which is what we use for vaginal exams. Lord. A sweet doctor came to thank me for keeping Agnes calm, and told me I’m helping everyone out so much. I turned my back on Agnes to get more “cookie juice” (as we call the cream), and suddenly heard the slap of barefeet on hospital linoleum. Agnes, heavily pregnant and heavily naked, was running out of the room. I ran after her, and grabbed her, but I wouldn’t describe myself as ‘strong’ exactly.. So Agnes wrestled me to the floor, and kept running – out of labour ward, into the main corridor of the hospital, past security guards, past waiting families. Behind her were about 10 nursing staff, and 5 security guards, screaming.
It took all 15 of us to take her down.. We got her back into the ward. Progress. The registrar (one of the main doctors of the hospital) came to see what the commotion was, and was promptly attacked by a coke bottle-wielding Agnes. Agnes then grabbed a paper punch and threw that at a nurse. Someone accidentally fell against the light switch and plunged the ward into darkness with a psychopath on the rampage. When the light came back on, there was Agnes making a run for it again, trying to crawl through an open space in the doors.
Eventually, we got her back into her cubicle and held the door shut. I looked through a crack in the door and saw her pick up a huge metal chair which she threw at the door.. When Agnes hadn’t tried to kill anyone for a couple minutes, I entered the room to find her dancing a traditional Zulu dance around the room. She screamed at me “I WANT PETHIDINE!” (a painkiller). At this stage, she was all maxed out on Pethidine and we couldn’t give any more, but she went insane, screaming for it. So, I did like in the movies and gave her a sterile water injection to really test the Placebo Effect. Well, let me tell you, it worked like a dream. She slept for an hour and all was good in the world again.
I was working in another cubicle when in ran naked Agnes. She grabbed a delivery pack saying it was her baby, and ran off. I was starting to get annoyed, walked out to go find her and when she saw me, she put the delivery pack down, took my hand and said “Come”. I didn’t want to die, so I obeyed her command. She climbed onto bed, and made me massage her. I then decided to have a ‘talk’ with Agnes. She apologized and gave me chills down my spine as she said,
“Don’t worry, I’ll never hurt you, you’re my favourite. I had a dream about my baby, and she looked like you. I love you.”
Greeeeeeeeeat. Psycho now thinks I’m her baby.
Needless to say, Agnes went nuts a couple more times that night, which resulted in me giving her two doses of Haloperidol (an anti-psychotic) which did not work; we eventually resorted to restraining her by tying her down to the bed with the help of every security guard in the hospital and I watched while she spat in a security guards’ face – Titanic style.
After approximately 5 hours of drama, it was confirmed that Agnes was in fact, not in labour, and was in Labour Ward for no good reason. Where’s my noose?