So as much as I'd like to say this story's going to be one of the more 'retouched and dramatized' stories everything here was pretty much dead on accurate. So if this ever turns into a short film, please don't hesistate to put in 'Based on a True Story' right before the film begins.
This was during a mid shift in the Internal Medicine Kiosk (or koshk). It was a slow day and all we did was measure blood pressure after the other, ordering a few biochemical tests to be done every once and a while. While we were all trying to pass the time in our own ways, that's when the shit hit the fan. Our room was suddenly stormed in by the all of the civilian guards and 2 of the military police officers. Now, you guys can surmise that the ER ward is pretty dangerous. So when something like this happens, we completely freaked the fuck out. An intern ran right out of the room before anyone had a chance to say anything. They were carrying what looked like a semi conscious military officer. They then threw him on the bed and told us to fix him.
"What. What happened here? Did someone outside hurt him?" I asked.
"No! He was asleep and when he woke up he had some sort of seizure and now whenever any one of us touches him he hits us."
"Wait what? He hits you?"
"Yeah, he's really irritable and he's slurring and not making sense at all."
"Um. Okay. Well can you guys take this pressure cuff and wrap it around his arms like this?" I showed them what to do. Man was a military officer, and I'm a flabby intern.
Me + Touching him = Me in the Resuscitation Room.
So they tried to pull his sleeve up. That's when he fucking lost it. He started flailing about hitting everyone around him and punching the wall with hand as hard as he could. He still wasn't responding to voice or sound. He just reaaaaaaaaaaaaaally didn't want anyone to touch him. After seeing this, another intern decided. "Screw this" and left as well to look for the resident .
So as I'm watching 5 guys trying to hold down one very agitated man one of the guards came up to me and told me this gem of information,
"Doc, There's something I need to tell you. Might shed some light on the diagnosis."
"Is he a druggie?" I asked that because the patient was most likely having a psychotic attack. Little did I know that military officers don't like to be accused of being drug addicts.
"No no, he's not at all. When he woke up though and started acting like this, we decided to read some Qur'an on him and that's when he REALLY got angry. Is he possessed?"
"Do I look like a Sheikh to you?"
"Then how the hell would I know if he's possessed or not." I especially like that I didn't argue his logic. I argued my capability and lack thereof of being an capable fully licensed exorcist.
"You guys don't take exorcism in medicine?
"No. I'm afraid in the 6 years of med school, we couldn't quite squeeze disease of supernatural origin, sorry."
"So what are we going to do?"
" I don't know. The Psych ward is closed right now. So I think you're going to have to take him back to the office because he's scaring every goddamn person here. Look, read some Qur'an. Call a sheikh, see what happens till the Psych ward opens up again in the morning."
"Fair enough Doc. But is there a technique to reading the Qur'an."
"Again. Not an exorcist. But I can see how you can confuse doctor and exorcist. They really go together hand in hand."
So they left, after 30 minutes of finding the right way to carry AND hold him down so he wouldn't beat and/or hit anyone. But this, I needed to see. I followed them into the office and maintained a good distance from them. They put him on the floor legs and arms spread open with a guy holding down each limb. Then one of them took out a phone and started playing Qur'an.
The man lost it. I've never seen anyone quite so much lose their shit (minus the girls of Jersey Shore) as much as this guy. His screams filled the room and he almost managed to get free but was thankfully held back down again.
Then a surprising thing happened. He eventually started calming down. More and more till he eventually slept like a baby. We were all stunned and that was that.
Now, there are several logical explanations to what went down that night. The most logical being that he was having a psychotic attack and in Egypt, religion plays a very big part in the culture. So seeing exorcisms on TV can lead your brain to genuinely think that reading out loud texts from a holy book is the cure. But there was something about the whole entire thing that was just a bit too .....abnormal I want to say.
So I went back to the Kiosk and saw the resident and he asked me what the fuck happened.
I told him this,
"Well, the provisional diagnosis seems to be Possesion by Demon but our spectre-analyzer is broken right now so I couldn't confirm it."
Note: We don't have spectre analyzers in Kasr Al Aini. The government was too cheap to buy one off of the set of Ghostbusters.