Thursday, August 5, 2010

Adventures in ER

You see, I happen to work for my veterinarian: I'm good with animals, and I do kennel work. (I have no idea why animals so seldom figure in my stories. Few of my characters have pets.) Since I was about to leave a little early--and with blood on the floor, yet--I thought I should explain what was going on. He said he would be over in a few minutes and could give me a ride to the emergency room if necessary.

It's hard being a vet sometimes: you can't give people medical advice, not legally, anyway. So I asked him what he would do in my situation--I had the flow down to a trickle at the moment, and I hoped I could get it stopped and just go home. He said he would go to ER because (1) two major nosebleeds in less than a week would worry him and (2) it might be hypertension related, and that should be checked anyway.

Well, that's what he would do, and it seemed reasonable to me. I still almost tried to make it home on my own, but by then I had agreed to the ride and was too ashamed to back out.

It was a good thing, too: about a minute or two into the trip, the bleeding started up again in earnest, and I had my hands full containing it with some paper towels brought from work. We were making good progress until we found ourselves behind three other vehicles and a slow-moving tractor, whose driver was slow to grasp the concept of pulling over to let others pass.

It was a relatively slow night in ER, I'm pleased to say. We had the place pretty much to ourselves initially, so I got right in. The sight of all the blood helped.

They tried clamping my nose shut, but no luck. They asked a bunch of questions I had already answered: what was going on when the bleeding started? Nothing. I had taken a bite out of a cookie when the trickle began. I wasn't hitting myself in the face with a bat or anything. Someone commented that all the fingers on my right hand were bloody (the same was true of those on my left hand--thanks for noticing) and asked whether I had been picking my nose. By great good fortune (which also had me in clean underwear, as it happened), no. My boss, the vet, found this reasoning amusing afterward: did they think I was pioneering a four-fingered nose-picking technique? It's actually just what happens when you spend nearly an hour holding paper towels under your bleeding nose.

No blunt trauma, either. I think I would've noticed.

For that matter, I wasn't using or being subjected to psychic powers at the time, either--so far as I know.

But my blood pressure was high, and not all of that could be explained by the bleeding and the ER experience. The last doctor I dealt with (not Friday night but the following Tuesday) seemed to think dryness was an issue as well.

But in the meantime, they needed to stop the bleeding, and they opted for a special method beyond the Vulcan Nose Clamp.

It wasn't Cardinal Fang and the Comfy Hanky.

Tune in next time to see what it was.


cafaristeir said...

What's an ER exactly ?
I seldom have nosebleeds, but I did have some, mainly due to... say... "nasal infixes".
I remembered that one happened suddenly at the National Library of Strasbourg (France's second biggest Library)and the girl near me was terrorized at seeing the blooddrop on the marmor (and, unlike in kennels, there were no dogs to lick the spot...)

Steve said...

Emergency Room--the place in a hospital for people whose problem requires immediate attention.

And for anyone who doesn't know, "marmor" = "marble."

I wound up with a nasal infix of my own.

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