Wednesday, 28 November 2012
Yesterday I got into work, and B_ said to me, 'you're going to thank me when you see who I've booked in for you.' I thought he was being sarcastic, because I always get given the people with mental health problems (I worked in mental health for years), or people who are difficult to deal with for whatever reason. So I sort of went, 'oh yes, what have you got for me now?' and he said, 'no, I mean it, you really are going to thank me.'
So I looked. And I thanked him. Mr Eyecandy was back!
Mr Eyecandy was initially B_'s patient a few years ago, and (as his name may suggest) he was HOT! Every Tuesday when I knew he was coming in, I'd put my lipstick on and I'd find any old excuse to go into the waiting room when he was there - the magazine rack had never been so tidy or the fish so well fed. If I had no feasible excuse, I'd just wander back and forth past the door trying not to let my tongue hang out too far.
And then he became my patient. He needed craniosacral therapy, and I'm the only one who does it at the clinic, so there wasn't another option. It was one of the biggest challenges of my professional career.
I have never, ever dated a patient - I have never even been interested in one (well, there was that one incident in 1989 where I gave a patient an appointment on Xmas Eve at the Accident Hospital mainly so he could sing Xmas carols for me, but that's not exactly the same thing). Even when I've got really close to long-term patients, so close that they have asked ME out, I've always said no, and been internally quite shocked, because (and this is apparently quite old-fashioned of me) I don't for one second allow myself to think of a patient in that way, however hot they may be. I know some physios think it is ok to date a patient if you transfer them to another physio, but I think it shows you were thinking about them in an unprofessional way in the first place. Patients should only ever know Karen the Physiotherapist, and as a physiotherapist I am nothing like the out-of-work me. Well, I am, obviously, but work me is a lot more tolerant and a lot more caring than out-of-work me. She also doesn't swear like a trouper, drink like a fish and snog unsuitably young men.
So having Mr Eyecandy as a patient was wonderful, but horrendous in equal measure. I already fancied the pants off him, because he hadn't been off limits, because he hadn't been my patient. And now here he was, in all his lovely partially-dressed glory and I was trying my best to be professional, even though I SWEAR he was flirting with me. Although B_ in the adjoining room was apparently trying really hard not to laugh because I 'was using my flirty voice.' Now craniosacral therapy is very hands-on, but the patient is always lying down, so once treatment was started, I could concentrate on business. And his lovely hair. And his lovely nose. And his lovely hands. And - well, you get the idea. But then I realised (with a little thrill) that he needed visceral manipulation. Which means you have them sitting on the plinth in front of you and you put your arms around them to reach under the rib cage. Then you try not to let them know that your heart is beating nearly out of your chest and you are having to try really hard not to snog their neck. That last sentence only applying to Mr Eyecandy of course.
Oh, they were happy Tuesdays, those were. Somehow I managed to keep my head enough that I didn't make a complete idiot of myself/get struck off/get anything more than slightly told off by The Boss.
But now Mr Eyecandy was back and my heart was flipping, because I would have to go through this all again (poor me, hahaha!). Thing is, it isn't just the way he looks - he is in general so totally my type. A bit arty, skinny but wiry, nice hair, well-spoken, sensitive, into self-help, damaged by life.
Still, maybe in 3 years he had pigged out, lost his job, his dress sense and his hair, and joined the Tories.
But of course he hadn't. If anything he was even more perfect than I remembered, and I LEURVED HIM again on sight. But I was prepared, and I was determined. I WOULD maintain my professional demeanour at all times, not least because no patient deserves some loony physio mooning over them.
It was a partial success. I spoke to him completely professionally, no flirty voice, no girly giggling at his funny little comments, no cheeky through-the-fringe glances (seriously, I do think I maybe did all those things 3 years ago. I am ashamed. But maybe I can use it as an example of how my experience has improved my practice. Or maybe not). Then he got on the plinth, and I was fine while I was going through some exercises. Then I had to go to his head to do the craniosacral, and HIS HAIR IS SO BLOODY PERFECT, all shiny and soft. Plus, he's chatting away with his beautiful lips and can't tell that I had a little bit of a bigger breath-in than normal, and could smell his shampoo, and it is lovely and the smell of HIM is lovely too. Then there is that face, that perfect face, and I can see the perfect shape of his perfect nose to really good advantage from here.
The end of the appointment time comes, but we are still chatting, so I don't even finish on time. I book him in for next week. He wants a specific time to fit in with his work, so I offer to book him a second week ahead to make sure he can get it. I leave the offer of an appointment every week til the end of time unspoken.
I need his notes from 3 years ago, so I leave his current notes for the secretaries with a post-it attached - 'please can I have this man's old notes, because I heart him'. I am SO unprofessional :-(
At lunchtime when I was whittering on about this to B_ , M_ and J_, M_ asked, 'do you think he knows?'
Good question. Hmmm. 'I think he might remember :-( ' Because I was more obvious before, I think. If he was completely new, I don't think he would have noticed any of my secret adoration.
B_ says I am going to get into trouble. At this rate, he is right. It's not like I'm being like the GP who would give completely spurious breast examinations. Or like the medics I used to live with who talked about 'teat clinics' and really objectified women in a pretty horrible way. But as much as I joke about it for entertainment purposes at work, I do feel bad.
If anyone has a hair shirt, I can make good use of it.