One Hundred Naked Ladies
We are called to a rural community for a patient who has psychological problems. As we pull up the home of our next patient we see firefighters attending a young man standing on his front porch. He looks like Carrie in the horror movie. He has taken a bath in his own blood and he is shaking like a leaf in the wind. We are told that his condition is self inflicted and that he is a self mutilator they have responded to on one other occasion but nothing like this. We grab our protective gowns, masks, gloves and glasses. We look like amateur surgeons ready to perform field surgery. The man is only seventeen years old and already a psychological mess. I approach the young man with four by four dressings and apply them to the wounds that seem to be bleeding the most. Razor has cut himself with a razor blade multiple times. He has practically filleted the skin from his arms. His cuts are mostly superficial but the bleeding is extensive since he has cut himself so many times it is hard to determine which cut is bleeding the most. The lacerations are on the inside of both arms, up his chest and on both side of his neck. He has also cut his face and ears. Blood is oozing out a wound on his forehead and dripping down his nose and over his eyelids. His shaking is splattering blood on all around and we are glad we gowned up. As I treat each wound I run out of dressings and ask the firefighters to get some more. I turn to the medic in charge and ask if he has any information for me. He just looks at me and shrugs.
“We have not been here long but I can tell you he does this to get high, we have responded to him before.”
My partner follows the blood trail into the house to find out the rest of the story. The firefighters help me get Razor onto our gurney and I ask him what I believe is a simple but pertinent question, “Why have you done this to yourself?”
Razor, in a trembling voice tells me he was afraid and had to cut himself. He says he had to cut himself to let the fear out. I ask him what he was afraid of and he tells me that he was being chased and had to cut himself in order to get away. He had to cut himself to get away from the ladies chasing him. I ask him, what was chasing him? He tells me he was being chased by a hundred naked ladies. I was taken aback by a teenager running away from naked ladies but whatever these ladies looked like they must have been very scary.
My partner came out to the ambulance with a look of concern on her face. She told me to take a good look at the wound on the forehead. I remove the dressing and arterial blood shoots out onto my gurney and back board. The wound looks like a hole but I can’t tell how deep. My partner tells me the bathroom was like a horror movie. She tells me she found razor blades and a bloody screw driver. I tell her we are going to make Razor a trauma system entry, the terminology for getting Razor to a hospital equipped for the medical care Razor will need. As we go lights and sirens to the hospital Razor mumbles things about naked ladies and the fear of many women that will grab him and pull him into the darkness or something like that. I am kept pretty busy keeping Razor from bleeding to death. The body is pretty amazing and the bleeding is slowing. The adrenaline that is generated by Razors pain is shutting down some of the bleeding and my bandaging is starting to work. Razors blood pressure is stabilizing and the fluids I am giving him is helping. The hundred naked ladies are nowhere to be seen, so we should be safe. My curiosity is piqued. I ask Razor why the naked ladies were so scary. He tells me they were all fat and ugly and had no teeth.
I guess that would be scary, but I’m not sure if I would cut myself with razor blades or stab myself in the forehead with a screw driver to let the fear out in an attempt to escape from a hundred ugly naked ladies.