What better way to celebrate my FOUR HUNDREDTH POST than to give you a little window into my humiliating, no good, very bad day.
As you know, I'm back in good old Pennsylvania to spread my cheer and good nature. Today there were grand plans for a road trip to the Baltimore Aquarium with our own wee motley crew - The Dude, our kid, me, my brother, and Mom. We left the house on time, had some pleasing McDonald's coffee, and enjoyed the scenic drive through the south of the state into Inner Harbor. All was well until we parked, whereupon I felt a slight drip emerge from my right nostril.
Most people are fortunate enough to be able to grab a tissue, give the nose a quick wipe, and move on. Unfortunately, I am blessed with a fucked up inner nose which makes me prone to spontaneous and aggressive nosebleeds. Most of my life I've been subject to others' confusion as to why my nose would start bleeding without the aid of a solid punch, brain tumour, or heavy cocaine addiction. I don't know why - it just does. It's not a few drips and I'm done, it's full-fledged gushing and it can go on for 20 minutes or more. I got a double-nostril nosebleed during a studio art class in college which forced me into a cramped bathroom stall for half an hour; the best part is that I had my period then as well. My body just loves to expel blood with urgency.
This morning I sat in the backseat of the car grabbing dirty McDonald's napkins off the floor, utilising P's snotty muslin cloth, whilst frantically trying to mop up the escaping blood streaming down my hands with baby wipes. Meanwhile, P was sitting in the trunk (the car is a hatchback) with my brother singing nursery rhymes, while Mom peered at me nervously from one of the doors, and The Dude held a frozen juice box to the back of my neck in an effort to slow the bleeding. The occupants of neighbouring cars pretended not to notice, but we all know how hard it is not to rubberneck when a random stranger is bleeding inexplicably.
After panicking about the amount of blood and duration of the nosebleed, it seemed things started to slow. I was immensely relieved, as ever since the Celexa-induced fainting spell at Christmas caused by a panic attack, any time I start to get anxious, I picture myself suddenly falling over like one of those fainting goats. Once I was finally able to withdraw the coiled up tissue from my nose, I noticed that my khaki trousers featured numerous, very noticeable blood splatters - one on the inside of my right knee the size of a very large piece of chewing gum, gradual drips down my left leg, and a particularly charming accumulation of spots in the upper crotch area. Yes. It does not get better than having a massive nosebleed which leaves you looking as if your tampon isn't the extra jumbo one that was needed.
The plan of attack was to buy replacement clothes so as not to enter the Aquarium looking like a mugging victim. Unfortunately, we were on borrowed time thanks to the Aquarium's rather rigid ticketing schedule and the fact that the only apparel store evident was Filene's Basement. I was dreading the experience because I avoid clothing shopping at all costs due to residual body image issues, as well as having to arrange my bag in such a way to cover the apparent period blood. I optimistically gathered a handful of trousers in the size I believed myself to be. Unfortunately it seems the size I think I should be after all the godforsaken running and exercising I have been doing is a mirage that is not yet a reality. Cue dressing room tears (because I'm nearly 31 years old and all), which carried over to shop floor tears, which triggered the nosebleed switch in my brain and led to me leaning over my bag trying to be covert about the blood streaming from my nose.
The Dude ushered me to a chair, where I praised all that is holy that I have long hair which can cover a face streaming with tears and dripping with blood. We gave up on the shopping expedition, so I faced a day in Baltimore with blood stained trousers. I'm still at the point where this is preferable to having to view my unclothed self in a full-length mirror.
Once in the Aquarium, it became apparent that wearing new shoes, though Puma trainers which look comfortable, is unadvisable on a long day out. In addition to constantly attempting to cover up the crotch blood, I was soon shuffling along like a pensioner. Thank god for accompanying family members, because the toddlers, they're not so much on slowing down for bloodied, temporarily disabled mothers. Friday is also the most popular day at the Aquarium they say, so lines were long and in the hot temperatures, body odour was rife.
Post-aquarium we hoped to have a nice dinner. My Mom has a problem with her feet, so she was desperate to sit down. The Dude and my brother went to scope out restaurant availability, leaving P with the cripples. P dashed away from me at one point, and as I was chasing her down, I felt The Drip. I was away from my bag, which no longer had anything helpful in it anyway vis a vis nosebleeds anyway, so I had to continuously sniff to keep it all from spilling out. I finally caught up with P, got back to my bag, and used a wipe to impede the bleeding until I could reach a bathroom. Fellow sufferers will know that sniffing or head-tilting are not the best methods when dealing with heavy nosebleeds, so as I was scoping out a restroom, I could feel the blood pooling in my throat. What followed was a moment which always makes me feel like a wan, consumptive Victorian maiden and isn't the fondest of nosebleed side effects.
Upon locking myself in a cubicle for 15 minutes with only rice paper-like toilet paper, the bleeding finally stopped. I managed to have that nice dinner, and even had an uneventful ride home. I'm now sitting here in an empty room, blogging about things which should probably remain private, and getting ready to watch Roseanne. I bet this is just the return to blogging you were hoping for, right?