Blood, Sweat, and Tears

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?


Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if there isn't some sort of medical procedure that could stop your nosebleeds. Perhaps some sort of cautery type thing? In this day and age one shouldn't have to endure nosebleeds of epic proportion, right? I mean, this isn't the dark ages for crying out loud.

Did P, at least, enjoy the aquarium?

Jen said...

What a craptastic day! I'm sorry.

I hope you at least got some tasty crab cakes out of the day...

Brigindo said...

Angel gets horrendous nosebleeds as well. b found him QuickClot Nosebleed and I think it does the job pretty well. They come in little one application packages and you could keep them in your bag. Look 'em up at quickclot.com.

I'm sorry for your horrible day but your telling of the tale is so perfect, that yes this is the return of blogging I was hoping for. Sorry if that seems cruel. I hope the rest of the vacation is better.

Heather said...

I do love Roseanne. And I think Erica may be onto something with the cauterizing of something in there. Helpful, no?

I used to have bleeders like that until I was a teenager, then they stopped.

On an aside, I do hope you return with more Tales of the Aunt.

Unknown said...

Oh honey, what an absolute fuckaroonied day from start to finish! I'm so sorry, there was evidently a big black cloud of shitty karma perched squarely over you. At least your Mom didn't make silly remarks about your ass... did she...?

Yo-yo Mama said...

If you had no idea how hot I was for you before, my god woman - Take me now!!

Long story (aren't you glad I asked): the fedex dude was telling me about his nosebleed that ended him in the ER and then his bp dropped and all kinds of scary shit. Something to do with the vagus (I thought it was vegas at first) nerve. He did also tell me they gave him cocaine to stem the bleeding. Count me in. *I kid people-back off*

kate said...

Oh, wow. What a shit day. I've found myself crying in the dressing room on more than one occasion, though most recently, I was just really fucking angry instead*.

*(why the FUCK is it that I felt downright *thin* in most of the German cities I visited, but at every. single. H&M I went to, I was looked at like a total fucking retard when I asked where the XLs were... And how is it that I wear a size 16 at home, but over there, suddenly my breasts are enormous and exploding out of every size 16 shirt I dare to try on. I don't get it. The Germans are not small folk, after all...)

I know your day sucked, but at least it served to entertain all of us for a few hours, right? No bigger win than knowing that you've provided diversion for random strangers for a few minutes.

Ah, well. Here's hoping the rest of your trip is better. Any time you feel like coming down to Winston-Salem, you're more than welcome. I cannot promise aquariums and such, but I can promise a really pretty place to run.

Miz S said...

Let's hope that someday you can look back on this and laugh?

Nico said...

That's definitely up there on the list of crappy days! I also had to go the ER once and got a cocaine infused cloth shoved up my nose to stop the bleeding, as DD mentioned. No pleasant side effects though. The quickclot stuff sounds worth looking into, for sure.

Molly said...


I'm glad I didn't read this before calling you. It would have been far too traumatic to talk to you with that knowledge in mind.

Cocaine, though. Tempting.

My word verification: sewpip. Like sewer pipe? Fitting.

Jenn said...

Ahh you were only about 20 mins from me. Sorry it was such a crappy day.

Betty M said...

Sorry you had a lousy day. Hoping that the rest of your holidays has proved less grim.