March 26, 2011

The Little Nosebleed that Could

Disclaimer: In sharing stories from our lives like this, we ask that you not tease or patronize our kids over it. They're kids. They're hilarious! But they're sensitive and impressionable. You can laugh AT me while you laugh WITH them. Thanks!

Over the past 2 years my son has begun having nosebleeds. Like the kind where you're sitting there minding your own business and a stream of what feels like syrup begins running down your face. I've had those, too. No fun! But last night at 8:30 it was as if the Lord had cursed Nathan's sinus cavity with the Nile River plague. The blood just kept flowing. Which (again) I've seen before. Last time I broke my nose it bled for a good 45 minutes. (That's a story for another day.) But where this nose bleed turned from annoying to "Holy crap!" is when blood started coming out his eye...running from his tear duct...flowing down his face. Yes my friends, you heard that right. And that's where the screaming went from loud to deafening! Let's continue.

Both my children are incredibly panic-stricken. Nathan can run through a wall and laugh about it, but show him an ounce of blood and he comes unglued. Especially if it's his own. So the nosebleed was already a crisis. But when my wife's eyes got big - or HUGE, I should say - and she started saying, "Brian? Brian. BRIAN! BRIAN!!!", and Nathan had to see what it was his incredibly calm mother was getting a bit worked up over, and he caught a glimpse of the red river flowing out of his eye, it was all over. The adventure began.

Most of my friends know I have always had a slight aversion to blood. Aversion means I don't want to see it. And when I get my blood taken I get light-headed and dizzy. I've gotten better about this in the last years. But all of a sudden seeing blood flowing out my child's eye erased every ounce of progress I had made. Back to the story. I made Nathan sit back down on the toilet. I was holding ice on the back of his head. And then I felt that cold, tingly rush all over my body and running through my cranium that says, "You better look out. I'm getting ready to go all Paul Bunyan on you and hit the floor like timber!" I looked at Morgan and told her, "I've got to sit down. Like NOW!" And that was the last thing I remember. [Pause here for 45 seconds of unconsciousness.] I was suddenly awakened by my wife's normally soothing voice, screaming in an ear-piercing shrill: "MOM!!!!!" She' calling my mother-in-law in to come make sure I hadn't destroyed the plumbing - in the bathroom or on my face. Apparently - as if my nose needs anymore help being broken, deformed, or swollen - the side of my face met the toilet like the Coyote used to meet the bottom of the canyon after being schooled by that crafty Road Runner. BAMMMM! If I hadn't had my glasses on it probably would have broken my nose. For the 3rd time. But I regained composure and I was back in the game. Where were we?

We decided after the "blood coming from the eye" incident which only lasted 15 seconds or so, to call 9-1-1. I figure freak things like that deserve a larger audience. The paramedics AND the firemen came. It was very exciting. Sadly, I think most of the neighbors were scared that one of our 2 elderly neighbors were in trouble. But nope. It's just the Mayfields. (They'll get used to it, eventually.) This was just the beginning of our adventure. And so here, in bullet form, I'll give you the rest of the details of the story about "The Little Nosebleed that Could":
  • 9:30 - Decided to let the Ambulance take Nathan & Morgan to the ER. I drove the car. I beat them there by 15-20 minutes. And no, I wasn't speeding.
  • Nathan fell asleep 2 minutes into the Ambulance ride and didn't wake up for at least an hour.
  • While the word "Emergency" is the 1st word in Emergency Room, apparently the people who work in the Emergency Room at times operate under a different definition of this word. The words "urgent" & "hurry" do not necessarily apply. [And in all seriousness, we have to keep in mind that OUR emergencies are viewed much more objectively & professionally by these hard-working folks. There were easily 30 other families joining us in the ER for the late-night fun!]
  • Nathan is still asleep. We were offered drinks. I asked what the "hardest" thing they had was. Morgan got OJ. I had Diet Pepsi.
  • Midnight - A doctor looked at Nathan's nose. Every time she stuck the instrument up his nose it tickled so bad he couldn't hold still. Which was weird to me, since he shoves his finger up there all the time with no problem at all. 
  • She said they were going to give him Afrin. [This constricts your blood vessels. I know this from previous experience.] At home, retrieving the Afrin takes 30 seconds. In the ER it takes 45 minutes. I've heard of Afrin shortages at the hospital pharmacy, but never witnessed it firsthand.
  • 12:15-1:00 - They forgot about us.
  • 1:15am - We remind them about us.
  • 2:00am - Home. Bed. No more blood. Visions of pancakes.
Yes, everything in our family and in our home seems to turn into an "experience". While we're simple people, it always tends to get complicated. And no, I can't tell a short story. But you only live once. And sometimes - actually, a LOT of times - it's either laugh or cry. Or in our case, cry...then laugh. Laugh really hard! And times like these, I figure someone else should get to laugh along with us.


Edward Ott said...

You nosebleed story made me laugh. my middle child used to get nosebleeds all the time when he was little. when he was in kindergarten he got one and the teacher freaked, fortunetly he was used to it and calmed her down while tilting his head back and getting a tissue. she was so embarrassed.

Brian Mayfield said...

Good stuff!

My Digital Caffeine said...

This is one of those stories you save for a rainy day when you need a good laugh. I used to get constant nosebleeds when I was a kid, especially when the air was really dry. By the time I was in 4th grade, I could just grab a tissue, nod to the teacher, and head to the nurse without saying a word. I had my fair share of trips to the ER because they wouldn't stop, but none of them were like your adventure. ;)

Did the doctor explain what could have caused the blood from the eye?