The moment the door opened in his apartment, the first thing that crossed my mind was…
“I need to call my husband.”
But I went in anyway. My new patient evaluation looked like most of my older gentlemen patients. However, cigarette smoke was wafting through his apartment and when I saw another figure sitting at a couch. I thought it was his siginificant other, but it was not. It was another man, wearing a bonnet with slit-like eyes, with red cheeks and much like my new patient – had hints of alcohol seeping from his skin. And was almost half-passed out on the couch.
I was terrified. I have survived a couple of close calls – but this was by far the worst. I was alone in a closed door with two men that are more capable of doing harm than good.
This was the fastest eval that I have done in my life. I took his vitals, have him sign the visit, asked him to walk, to stand, close his eyes while standing and then I checked the swelling on his feet…
And that’s when I felt his detestable hand on my back – slightly caressing me in the most awful way. I took a deep breath and as professionally as possible stood up and gave him a smile and wrapped up my visit. I had my computer on my left hand between us – and my ballpoint pen in my right hand – all ready to stab him in the neck if I needed to. I was also eyeing the hammer that was propped on a table near the door the whole time, afraid that the other guy might try to hit me with it. And the same time, I was thinking of using it as my second weapon – should the need arise.
I have had some training in self-defense, so I had a game plan in mind.
Thank goodness that I didn’t have to do any of that. I high-tailed myself out of there and went straight to our office to report the incident.
And off I went to my last patient for the day, and as much as I wanted to do another evaluation. All I wanted to do was go home – to my family.
I was rattled from it, and I have been composed the whole time – until I started driving home.
I just started bawling.
My tears would not stop flowing, unfortunately nobody was home that afternoon. And I took everything off – even my coat. Took a really hot shower – and cried while I sat on the shower floor. Thinking of all the What If’s and Should have’s. And mostly, I was kicking myself for not trusting my instinct, my sixth sense.
And all I can think of is my husband and my son. We are barely starting and that guy could have taken it away from us.
It was a big lesson for me that afternoon. If you don’t feel right even if the door opens – don’t go in.
My husband and I talked about the incident and he helped me with scripts that I can use, just in case I get that funny feeling again when I see a new patient.
So, this weekend – the only thing I wanted to do is BE with my family. Long conversations with Tony. Playing the WiiU with Sky. Dozing off with Felony on the couch. It was the best way to spend to help me recuperate from the shit that almost was last Friday afternoon.
Note to Self: Trust Your Instinct and Family will always come first.