Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Oops, On So Many Levels

This is a picture of me in the shower today.

My mouth tasted a little weird. It was a flavor I knew but couldn't quite place, something I hadn't tasted in a long while. It was also gross so I tried to spit it out. I watched the spit because I don't like to spit on myself even in the shower when you're washing gross stuff off of yourself anyway and it was colored! I'm almost completely blind without my glasses so it could have been red, could have been chocolate. My thoughts went, "That's not right. Have I eaten breakfast? No. Oh. OH. That's blood, that taste in my mouth is blood, why is my MOUTH bleeding!!! What is wrong with my...oh, no, hold on..." at which point I swiped a hand across my upper lip and discovered the real issue.

I have had nosebleeds all my life. Some eras more spectacular than others. When I was a toddler I would wake up with my face and pillow all encrusted even. As first grader I got so sick that my nose bled every night in epic, gushing horror and I very nearly had to go to the hospital and have the aforementioned nose packed. Fortunately the horror of the description of what packing one's nose is like was enough for even my 6 year old self to be able to mind over bloody matter that nonsense. This apartment and my newly-grown-into allergies have made the nosebleeding situation more exciting. Hence the drinking more water and the militant humidifying and moisturizing and whatnot.

A few days ago I ran out of allergy spray. It's prescription and apparently the prescription expired and it was from a specialist so I don't know insurance-wise if I have to call my primary or the specialist or one and then the other and how many appointments that will take before I can get more spray and the spray is steroidal so long term use is probably not super smart anyway so I decided to wing it. Too many phone calls, too much having to fight for something I wasn't sure I wanted anyway, also laziness. Since I started using this allergy spray 2 years ago I have had not one nosebleed. This morning...well, see the picture above.

Have you ever tried to stop a nosebleed while having a hot shower? It ain't easy. Cold water is for stopping bleeding not warm water and pleasant steam. Water, indeed of any temperature is not for stopping bleeding, it's for washing away dirt and debris. You can hold a wash cloth firmly to your face and hope that simple pressure will do it but it's gonna be a long, long shower my prom-going friend. You can hold one side to your face while holding the other under the spray to wash out the blood until you actually go blind from the backsplash and still when you remove the pressure you're going to feel *pulse* and have to rinse your entire chest off again.

How about getting out of a shower with a nosebleed? Ever given that a shot? Try drying off without getting blood on the towel. Twisting your hair up in the towel with one hand is also a fun party game, try it the next time you throw a bridal shower. Especially since every time you bend over to put the towel on, dry between your toes, shoo the cat away from your dripping legs you get *pulse* and the game gets infinitely harder. It's like if you were playing World of Warcraft and they surprised you by just jumping you to the next level with no warning. (I've never played World of Warcraft, it might not be like that at all, I'm really just guessing. I've had blood loss people!) What I'm getting at is that my morning routine is pretty much all muscle memory. It looks like I'm awake before 10:00am but really it's just that once I set myself rolling down the slope it's all my limbs simply remembering on their own which way to lean to avoid the rocks. Trying to do that while trying not to bleed on anything important (cats don't count!) and to stay calm so the bleeding will actually stop and not to yak when you swallow the huge clumpy blood clots (how's your lunch by the way? mine is not so spectacular, no decent portable proteins in the house) totally fucks up the muscles. They can't remember a damn thing. Muscle amnesia is no joking matter.

Which is how I got to work today without remembering to brush my teeth.

That's not really me. That's Sissy Spacek in Carrie. Thanks Google Images!


  1. Oh, Kizz, I know of the horror of which you speak. Both my kids get regular, gushing nosebleeds-I've never had one, but I have jumped out of bed hundreds of times to grab a towel and help them stop the flow. They get them while sleeping and ALWAYS wake up. Miss G. keeps a washcloth in her purse for emergency situations.

    What a sucky way to start the day. I think you need some mint chocolate chip icecream with sprinkles to boost your iron.

  2. Eeeww! I was okay until we started swallowing huge, clumpy blood clots. The swallowing doesn't bother me, it's the puking that's likely to immediately follow...

    So sorry, Honey.

  3. Oh, Kizz, that sounds just awful. I've had one as an adult. They really come out of nowhere and are very unnerving.

    I hope you're back in spirits and maybe on second thought you should HAVE some spirits.

    Ahhh...memories of my youth..The Carrie film.

  4. GAHhhhhhhhh. hork. snork. bleagh.

  5. Man, when I was a kid all you had to do was look at me and the crimson geyser would commence. Sometime around 13 or 14 I learned how to clot and I don't think I've had one since. But I still remember the feeling of the trickle down the face and, if I was in bed or otherwise inclined toward the sky, down the throat. Yuck.