Life can be a hilarious circus show at times and Somehow I find myself slap bang in the middle of the organised chaos, im still not sure why (insert confused face).
It happened to be a rainy Friday night during the middle of the month, which within reason, should be relatively quiet (i use this term very loosely). Im not sure why I still believe that rain deters patients from visiting the emergency department because that has never proven to be true.
Two middle aged gentleman were wheeled in with stretchers drenched in rain water. I didn’t quite realise the seriousness of the situation until ofcourse, i heard the paramedic relay the story.
A domestic dispute at home turned ugly and forced one gentleman (Lets call him Rambo) to whip out a panga and start clobbering at the second man’s head.
When he had failed to get the man down, Rambo resorted to a knife which he intended to land square in the heart but fortunately missed and found itself in the left arm. When Rambo had failed to render this man dead, he did what any reasonable South African would do..
He pulled out a handgun and shot the man in the face. Rambo had been off target once again and the man escaped with only a grazed right cheek.
I wondered why Rambo had failed since the other man looked in fairly good health (alive) under the aforementioned occurances. When I approached Rambo I found out why. He reeked of alcohol. The smell so pungent I’m sure he marinated in it for days. I imagined his senses were blurred and vision impaired , I did however commend him on a valiant attempt. I patted him on his back and received a drunken snort in reply.
Despite being extremely hungover, Rambo had sustained a bruised left arm due to a fall (Probably caused by the alcohol intoxication) which needed to be investigated.
Upon closer inspection I found the other man’s arm to be bleeding quite profusely so I began suturing immediately. The bullet grazen cheek was dressed and the scalp laceration sutured. I suspected he had a skull fracture so I intended to send him for an x-ray.
I was grateful no one was dead. At that exact moment I noticed the injured man’s BP on the decline. Puzzled, I reassessed. He was not actively bleeding from any wounds nor was he stabbed anywhere near the heart. I put it down to the blood loss he suffered due to the nasty left arm stab.
I began poking him in various places to retrieve arterial blood to run a blood gas. The gas confirmed my worry, his hemoglobin was low due to the blood loss. I accompanied a cross match tube to the blood bank and ordered a unit of donor blood.
I watched as the unit ran into the pale man and pushed his blood pressure up. I smiled. Success. I was winning.
I left the men to rest and enjoy some analgesia whilst i attended to the loyal 3am skin rashes.
As soon as i returned i noticed something was very wrong. Rambo was missing. Where could he go? He possibly had a fractured arm and a bad hangover. I searched the lavatories and recruited the security guard to help me. Luckily he returned with Rambo behind him. According to Rambo, he needed to run and hide..
After Rambo furnished me with the details of the happening, I agreed. You see The man laying next to him was in fact his blood brother and the entire dispute arose because Rambo had paid a lobola (dowry) for his brothers girlfriend behind his back.
My tongue was glued to my hard palate and i forced out a squeak. “What. Why would you try to kill your own brother ??” Rambo announced proudly that he would do anything for his “wife”. I debated whether i should get a psychiatric consult but i thought that’s tomorrows problem.
As shocked as I was, I sent Rambo for an X-ray whilst i digested the information. During that time, Rambos brother had awoken. Groggy but very much alive. The power of a packed cell unit always amazes me.
As Rambo emerged from the x-ray department, I felt the air in the room turn sinister. The room felt too still. I saw Rambo notice the movement in his brother and halt. I smelled trouble.
Rambos brother jumped up with the strength of 10 men and screeched a challenging growl at rambo. I suspected the unit of blood had awarded him extra human abilities and he was ready for action. He approached Rambo and began the rant.
“You. You stole my wife. You came into my house. You made me drunk and you tried to kill me! In my own house. You failed and now I must kill YOU”
All hell broke loose and i found myself, all 155cm’s of me, stuck between two very angry and intoxicated men. Security ran through the door but looked very much like he wanted to make a u-turn (understandably).
Rambo and his brother got right to it and started fisting each other violently. I was left speechless with my tongue still glued to the roof of my mouth.
Suddenly my reflexes kicked in and I yielded my medicinal superpowers. I grabbed the drug cupboard keys and made a run for it. I received the biggest baddest sedative i could find and popped it open.
This was the tricky part. How do I sedate 2 violent men in the middle of a fight? I decided to go for Rambos brother as he was the weaker one. I waited for the opportune time as I watched them attempt to kill each other. All we needed was an audience and the exert would be fit for a gladiator show.
As Rambos brother tired, I could see his fists get heavier and slower. Now was my chance. I ordered the security to pull Rambo off whilst I jumped on his brother and injected all the sedative into his buttock.
He heaved me off and attempted to cut loose. The security was still holding Rambo and handcuffed him to the door.
There lay an 80kg man who was sedated to the brim. We moved him to a bed and handcuffed him to the railing whilst we waited for the police to arrive.
I still cannot fathom how such an incident could have happened and the logistics tend to give me a headache.
All in all I should have known, 2 grown men attempting to kill each other can only ever be about a woman.