Behind The Door

I opened the door and said, “Hi, my name is Angie, how can I help you today?” Scowling she said curtly, “I am sick” ,not elaborating any further…Scrunched up face, staring me down,she said, “I came here to see a doctor.” I explained that I had to triage her… Getting any answer out of her was like pulling teeth, as I filled out my form. She looked hardened..tattoos on her fingers, zipped up hoodie..I started to feel annoyed, I was really busy with other patients, but for some reason I placed my hand on her arm, and gently said, ”Are you ok?” That’s all it took to break through the tough exterior..she crumbled, offering a tale of rough circumstances that are beyond my comprehension. She admitted as the tears came down her cheek that she hadn’t wanted to talk, because she was afraid that she would cry…

Let’s go back several years..Matthew had high pressures in his brain for years, and he would get migraines for several days after he finished his 5 days of high dose steroids. He had terrible insomnia while on the steroids, so combine exhaustion with a migraine in a five year old..not good. For two days, we would have a vicious cycle of nausea, photo-phobia, taking pills for the migraine, throwing the pill up, trying again, hoping he hadn’t absorbed too much from the first pill, trying a different pill, hopefully get him to go to sleep..clean up the vomit, keep the other child who was two quiet, make sure the dog didn’t bark, turn off the phones, entertain two year old…and so on. I knew he was having really high intracranial pressure, and on blood thinners, so the fear that maybe this time it wasn’t just a migraine, but a bleed, was very real. So, one day, after cleaning up the vomit with the pill, after the other pill was taken, I actually got both boys in bed to take a nap. I hung a sign on the door to not ring the bell. I even put a smiley face..but, …someone rang the bell…The dog barks, the boys wake up, and we all begin the psychotic circle of events…

A neighbor stood at the door holding prepared meals that a group had made for our family. Beautiful gesture, so very appreciated, but I am certain that upon answering the door, I probably looked like a maniac. Behind my door hell on earth. I was exhausted, frazzled and terrified of what was about to start again. I said thank you, but my expression of appreciation was not what was expected. A few months later, another neighbor told me that the person who was at my door that day told her I yelled when I answered the door. I truly don’t think I did that, but I am sure the energy was pretty bad. I was crushed..My intention was never to hurt someone, but they picked up on the craziness in our home.

What’s behind the next door that you open? How about behind the eyes of that cashier who just rolled her eyes at you? Or the person that takes your parking lot? Chances are there is much more than meets the eye…

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