“Bisi, you know I love you, don’t you?’’
‘’Do you now?’’ she rolled her eyes playfully and her laughter was hearty, melodious, like the strains of a finely tuned violin. Her hair was dancing to the rhythm of the cool breeze and I swallowed as I took in her beauty.
Her eyes caught mine and held. The effect on me was beyond words, and I lost myself in those dark brown eyes of hers. The contact was brief and she averted her eyes.
‘’I love you too’’ her voice was barely above a whisper. I drew her to me and hugged her tight. She smelled nice, a smell that was uniquely hers- a blend of her Victoria secrets perfume and her scent. I closed my eyes and inhaled deeply.
Then she looked up at me, her eyes holding mine, and inviting me. I bent down to kiss her, and she closed her eyes and parted her lips.
Then all was dark.
It took a few seconds to get my bearings and that was helped by the knock on the door.
I groaned inwardly. Can’t a man have some moments of peace? And to revel in his romantic fantasies? Why did the nursing overall have to come now, when the dream was getting juicier? I stayed in bed for a few seconds as I tried to regurgitate the dream. It had been so real and vivid and I could still smell the air and her scent. And then the kiss.
My thoughts was interrupted by the knock again, this time louder. The nursing overall’s voice was a bit higher and had a hint of annoyance. ‘’Dr Dipo!’’
‘’I am coming’’ I shouted. It was not necessary, but I was angry too. I looked at the screen of my phone and the time read 1:00am, barely thirty minutes after I went to bed. I yawned and put my leg in my slip on and went to the door.
‘’your attention is needed in the female ward’’ the nursing overall said without preamble. He was a short man, skinny and bald. He was one of the few nice nursing overall but he was irritable tonight and I presumed he must have been under a lot of stress.
‘’you look tired’’ I said.
He sighed and yawned, ‘’my brother, I am tired o. I have not had a single moment of rest since yesterday night. I left the hospital around 2:00pm and by the time I got home, one of my children was running a fever and I had to take him to the hospital’’
‘’eiya. Hope he is better now?’’
‘’yes, thank you. It was malaria and he was given some injections and then tablets to take at home’’
‘’but what were you doing till 2pm?’’
‘’I had to attend a meeting of the supervisors o’’
‘’well done o’’ I said as I locked the door and walked towards the female ward. ‘’ and they are not allowing you to rest again this night’’
‘’ you can imagine eh’’ he lamented.
My mind returned to the dream. I wondered what it would be like to kiss Rayo. The thought was still on my mind when I entered the female ward and the sight that greeted me sent every romantic thought away from my mind.
The first sight that caught my attention was the ceiling fan in the middle of the ward. It was bent out of shape. Next, was a bed in the middle of the ward bare and with the sheets strewn on the flow and standing on the bed was a young woman about twenty two years, seminude and shouting at the top of her voice and singing. Standing a few metres from her were two female nurses, one heavily pregnant and the other, skinny and looked like she could be snapped into two. None of them was a match for the patient.
The pregnant nurse was trying to pacify the patient and talk her down but the patient was not paying attention. Other patients in the ward were sitting up in bed staring with sleepy eyes at the patient and some were grumbling at the disruption of their sleep. One or two patients were still fast asleep, most likely from heavy sedation.
Seeing me approach, the patient shouted ‘’you have come to give me injection abi?’’ pointing at me ‘’If you come near me ehn, I will kill you!’’
The nurses turned and a look of relief was evident in their eyes. I greeted them and asked what had happened to make the patient agitated.
The patient, I was told was newly admitted and had been sedated earlier while she was admitted and it had taken three male nurse to hold her down before she could be given the injections. She had awoken about thirty minutes ago and had been shouting and threatening violence at the nurses and attempts to pacify her had not worked.
I pointed at the fan and asked ‘’did she do that?’’
‘’yes, she did’’ the skinny nurse answered ‘’she is extremely strong’’
This is going to be hard, I thought. The patient would need to be sedated and that was not going to be an easy feat.
‘’Matron, please send for more hands’’ I said to the pregnant nurse.
‘’The overall has made the call’’ she replied ‘’they will be here anytime soon’’
I moved towards the patient. Trying to make eye contact with the patient. I remembered the first step in talking down a violent patient, appear non-threatening and try to gain their confidence; establish a rapport.
‘’Don’t come near me’’ the patient screamed.
‘’Hello, miss – ‘’ I drew a blank. I had forgotten to check the patient’s case note. Wrong move, I chided myself.
‘’I said don’t come near me’’ she shouted.
I stood where I was. ‘’I am Dr Dipo’’ I said trying to sound cheerful ‘’and I would like to talk to you. Will you start by telling me your name?’’ I hoped she would respond.
She stared at me without talking. I was already looking for another approach to getting her to talk to me. I remembered the nurse saying that the patient had to be sedated to be admitted. ‘’I know that you are not happy being in the hospital and I understand how you feel. I wouldn’t be too happy myself if I was admitted against my will’’
I paused. Not sure if I had said the right thing or if I was getting through to her. She was not looking at me but rather at the window. I tried to remember what I had read about the act of verbal de-escalation. Do not antagonize the patient and be understanding, I recalled.
‘’do you want to talk about your anger?” that didn’t sound right. I inhaled and let out my breath slowly.
‘’Why don’t you come down from the bed and tell me all about your grievances and see how we can settle them amicably?” I tried again. Still she did not respond. I glanced at the nurses and at the door, and the skinny one shrugged seemingly understanding my unspoken question. The help was taking so long in arriving.
I knew I had to do something but I had no idea what to do or say. If I try to move closer, the patient might get agitated and become violent.
“You want to go home, is that it?” it wasn’t a nice move but I didn’t know what else to do. It would be wrong to give her a false reassurance or make a promise I wouldn’t be able to keep as that might further incite her later when the promises are not kept. Well, we would cross that bridge if we get there I reasoned and continued. “I know you want to go home and that can be arranged” I continued.
That got her attention and she looked at me sharply, her eyes boring into mine and gauging the sincerity of my words. I stared right back and for what seemed like eternity, our eyes were locked on each other. Then I saw something flick across her eyes, and they softened. That was a good sign.
“Come talk to me about why you were forced to the hospital and how to get in contact with them to come pick you” I stretched my hands towards her and moved closer. She stared at the hand I proffered for a while, and there was an uncertain look on her face.
“You can trust me” I said in a soft voice. She stretched her hands to take mine and just as her hand made contact with mine, the door to the ward burst open and four male nurses walked in. “where is the patient that needs chemical restraints” one of them asked from the door.
God, not now! I screamed inwardly. There was a second when everything froze and I watched as the soft looked on the patient vanished and a look of shock and betrayal replace them and then anger. Then the moment passed and in one swift motion, her hand left mine and she took a few step back on the bed that she was standing on. Her eyes became wild and she shouted “you are a liar and a deceiver! If anybody comes near me to give me any injection, I will kill them!”
She then began pulling on the blades of the ceiling fan again with such force that was at variance with her small frame, her eyes bulging and her neck veins prominent. This is not going to end well, I thought despondently and as if to confirm my fears, I saw trickles of blood running down her hands.
“We have to stop her now!” I barked at the other nurses who stood frozen on the spot shocked by the sight before them.
Just as I finished barking the order, the whole ward was thrown into darkness. The Power Holding Company had chosen the most inconvenient of time to hold power.