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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

All's Well that Ends Well!

So where was I?

I looked down at my hands and was startled to see some blood. "Oh, I seem to have cut myself", I said in a puzzled kind of way...

The Man and Sam said together, "You've got a nose bleed!"

Paper towels suddenly appeared on my plate and I was barraged with advice, I knew from past experience to be wrong ... Namely to put my head back and hold my nose. No, no no! I was about to panic, but knew from past experience that was not a good idea. I needed to stay calm, not easy when the red stuff was gushing -- yes gushing -- all over the paper-towelled plate!

Seventeen years ago was the last time I had a nose bleed. I woke up in the middle of the night to discover my pillow completely saturated. We lived in Germany at the time and fortunately our next door neighbour and friend was also our Internist. He was able to stem the flow that night, but for the next two days the nose-bleeds recurred until I ended up in hospital being treated for extremely high blood pressure. The positive side to the saga is that without the nose-bleed it would have probably been a stroke -- so lucky me!

As I said, that was seventeen years ago and since then my blood pressure has been very good. But last Thursday, all I could think was my pressure has gone haywire again. I couldn't understand it, but it was all I could do not to panic and to remember what to do. I leaned forward and with more paper towel in hand, applied pressure to the fleshy part of my nose. 

In the meantime, The Man, after an initial panic, called the emergency surgery and after talking to the lady on the other end I had to go to the phone myself to answer questions. After what seemed like an eternity she advised me to get to the emergency room -- within the hour. I was feeling quite worried -- especially after a huge blood clot deposited itself into the paper towel I'd been using. Within 5 minutes we set off for the hospital, leaving Sam with a family of friends nearby. 

Southport Hospital is about  10 minutes away. It was around 7.30, there was no traffic and the hospital was very quiet. There were two or three people in the waiting room when we walked in and up to the window to make ourselves known. We were directed to have a seat and told that the triage nurse would be with me shortly. Less than a minute later, I was called in to be assessed. Passed experience had taught us that triage would see you and then you would wait and wait and wait.

Not so ... not last Thursday night. After checking me out I was led directly to a cubicle and a trolley brought for me to rest upon! Within 5 minutes I was seeing the doctor -- who was the loveliest man -- named 'Mike'. Old enough to be my son!!! I explained to him what had happened and about the blood-pressure problem. 

"But," he said, "your blood pressure is quite low!" I was so surprised -- so pleasantly surprised! By this time the nose-bleed had abated and after a good look up the nostril with his little flash-light had determined that the next step would be to apply a pain killer to the affected area before cauterizing the blood vessel that had ruptured. After the procedure was completed he wanted to keep me for a while to make sure things had settled down and The Man was allowed in to keep me company. And also I wanted the doctor to explain to him what he was explaining to me.

The Man looked at me and suggested that we really should cancel the dinner party the following day. And I had to agree. We were both mightily relieved that all this had happened when it did and not in front of guests and we didn't want to take a chance on a repeat performance! Besides I was feeling quite exhausted -- as much from relief as anything else. We both agreed I should rest for the next few days.

Amazingly, we left for the emergency room at 7.30 and I was back home again by 9.30 -- two hours later. Well done, NHS. At no time did I have to look for an ID. They asked for my name and my doctor. Within a short time I had a bracelet on my arm with my name and NHS number -- one, two, three. I didn't even have to go to a pharmacy for the antibiotic cream. Mike handed it to me himself.

Fortunately, I had forgotten to take the lamb out of the freezer until just before dinner so we were able to put it back for another day. Our guests were of course completely understanding and they got together anyway, which made me feel much better about having to cancel. 

As far as why it happened -- there is no telling. It could be the lining in the nostril was weakened by a cold or become dry from the central heating. The doctor said he could see the blood vessel affected so I'm believing it's now been fixed. So far so good ...

I'll say one thing more though ... there is nothing that ruins the look of a beautiful manicure more than seeing it caked with blood...

45 comments:

  1. I'm glad it wasn't something more sinister, like you having cut the end of your finger off !!
    The NHS came up trumps again and I'm also glad you got "fixed" quickly. Keeping fingers crossed that it doesn't recur......

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  2. But all the blood washed off, no? That happened to my sister, and she got the same cure. Glad your outcome was a good one! Three cheers for Dr. Mike.

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    1. Oh, Yes! All now good as 'new'! I've been cheering Dr. Mike ever since!

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  3. Glad you got quick help! What caused the rupture, did they say? I'm impressed with the way all was taken care of in just a couple of hours. Wow!

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    1. Of course it helped that I picked a very quiet time for my 'emergency'... I complimented the staff and they said that they had a policy of seeing people quickly whenever possible. I once took a child to ER in the States and it there were no patients waiting and it took an hour to be seen! It would seem that there is no 'right' answer to the cause. Over time the vessel could have been weakened by colds, dry air, -- various combinations of things. Apparently, it happens 'a lot'!

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  4. Very dramatic! Hope it doesn't happen again.

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  5. That must have been quite scary. Drama at the dinner table, a good title for a thriller. Just as well that you went off to hospital, at least you now know that it isn’t a recurrence of the previous cause.

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  6. A pretty dramatic couple of hours but glad alls well that end well. Diane

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    1. Thanks, Diane... Great relief felt all around!

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  7. A ghastly couple of hours...but what a good service from the NHS!
    I hope it won't be too long before you can all get together again.

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    1. The NHS is tops in my book... We are hoping to be able to get together again around Easter!

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  8. Scary indeed! One summer when I was ten I woke up every morning with a bloody pillow case. We were at the shore for the month of August. My mother was so alarmed she insisted that I go to see a doctor when vacation was over. That was two weeks later.

    She was not a helecopter mom!

    Turned out to be anemeia. I ate a lot of liver and spinach and was fine.

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    1. I hate liver and cooked spinach. I wonder if spinach salad and fois gras would do? ;-)

      My youngest son has the occasional bloody nose when at high altitude!

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  9. SOrry to hear about the nose bleed. And happy it wasn't anything serious.
    You certainly know how to write with great suspense and keep us wanting more.
    You'll need to put that into a piece of fiction.
    Blessings!

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    1. I wish I could write fiction. I love reading it, but find it difficult to do myself!

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  10. Oh no - that sounded scary. So glad things turned out OK. I have found our doctors and nurses brilliant too.

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    1. It was so unexpected and I'd been feeling so well, that it was quite frightening to have it happen so suddenly -- and of course the past experience didn't help.

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  11. I used to have frequent nose bleeds in one nostril and I finally had the blood vessel cauterized and haven't had a problem since. Would this work for you?

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    1. Yes, that's what the doctor did -- so far, so good!

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  12. Hello Katherine:
    What a dreadful and rather frightening experience. We are so pleased to learn that everything was all right in the end and we are certain that the lamb will come into its own before too long.

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    1. It's time will come! No doubt about that!!

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  13. What good news! No HBP and now maybe no nose bleeds. I used to have them in Colorado where it's so dry, only one nostril and it was over quickly, but when it started I had to deal with it. Nothing quite like your dramatic event! All's well that ends well. :-)

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  14. Chapeau to the NHS! How pleased you must be that it was 'just a nose bleed' if a rather spectacular one, and that your BP is fine.

    The lamb will keep :-)

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    1. You'll get no complaints from me about the NHS. It's hard to believe how wonderful it is...

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  15. After your previous experience that must have been very worrying until you saw the doctor, Broad. I'm glad he was able to find the cause and deal with it so quickly and that you were home again so quickly. Another gold star for the NHS!

    I have a small vein in one nostril which gives me regular but very minor nosebleeds, nothing like yours. I've had it cauterised in the past and it can't be done again, so if the nosebleeds gets worse I'll need minor surgery. So far I'm hanging in there and mopping up as necessary. :-)

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    1. So far so good -- no recurrences! Hope you manage to be able to 'stem the flow' without any surgery. Such a nuisance...

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  16. This must have been very scary. I am so glad that it all worked out so well. ...and, as Perpetua says.... another gold star for the NHS.
    My only significant nose bleed, was as a 4 year old child, clambering on the window sill, seeking attention from my mother who had, hours earlier brought my new born brother home from hospital...she was actually feeding him at the time that I fell.....she threw the 4 day old baby on the bed and ran to me...... I guess I got her attention !
    Take care, and bravo Mike. Jx

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    1. Lovely to hear from you, Janice. I do hope all is going well ... Lots of gold stars for the NHS ... we are so lucky in the UK!

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  17. Sorry to hear of your bloody misadventure. Glad it was nothing more serious.

    I have high bp, but no nosebleeds. Yes, things could be worse.

    Blessings and Bear hugs.

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    1. Thanks for your blessings and those Bear hugs! I can never get enough of those!

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  18. G'day Broad. Glad everything turned out ok. Good that you got through the hospital system so fast. Doesn't always work that quickly here in Oz though, at least not in my part of this beautiful country. I work in the local hospital here in the country town where I live and some time ago I cut my finger really bad and had to wait and wait and wait, with blood soaking the towel they gave me. Hubby was not impressed to say the least !!!Take care. Liz...

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    1. Good Lord! That's terrible. But that sort of thing is not unheard of here, either. In fact, our usual experience with the Emergency Room is one of hours not minutes ...

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  19. DEar Broad, of course the bottom line is that you seem okay now and that you have a sense of humor that can find something funny about all this--blood smeared on a shellacked manicure!

    This had to be scary. I've never had a nosebleed but with all that blood gushing from your nose you must have truly worried about a blood transfusion. At least I would. And of course there was the worry of high blood pressure.

    I'm so glad that all ended well. I hope you'll tell us how the dinner went and if the leg of lamb turned out as well as the lemon meringue pie. Peace.

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    1. Well, a sense of humour is always a good thing to have to get through this and that. Right now, looking out my window at the wind and the rain and the black skies, I may very well have a serious case of Lost Humour!

      The dinner will have to wait another day, but we did enjoy the pie!

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  20. So glad to hear all appears to be OK. Nose bleeds can be scary, as you obviously know. I haven't had one in several years, really, although occasionally I'll see a spot of blood on the pillowcase (which is, I'm quite sure, due to the dryness of the bedroom.) My Father once got a nosebleed from having blown his nose too hard (or so the doctor said while cauterizing it, and speaking of that I hope there wasn't too much pain after.)

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    1. Absolutely no pain! Thanks, Sully!

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  21. What a scary episode! I'm so glad it ended well and that you put in a good word for the NHS. Here you have to deal with all the uninsured people who show up with their colds and sniffles in emergency rooms, but then you know all that, of course. Take care and how great that it was nothing worse.

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    1. I live in the hope the U.S.A. is on the road to a future where there is good affordable healthcare for everyone. It's very long over due...

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  22. You must have been stressed about your blood pressure – as it is difficult to know what is happening. I can’t believe how fast you were treated – here when one goes to ER, unless it is life and death, there is a long wait. It’s good that you are OK now and relieved to know your blood pressure is not going crazy.

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    1. I still can't believe how fast I was treated! I once waited an hour in an empty waiting room in a hospital in Olympia, WA. When we were finally seen there were no other patients to be seen. Now that can make the blood pressure rise!!! Indeed, I was so relieved that it was not my blood pressure.

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  23. A long time since I was in blog land Broad. But worth the wait what with the drama. I thought for a second that we were going to end up with a red wine sauce! Glad that you are better and I agree about the NHS. A remarkable service considering what we pay - nothing!

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    1. Great to see you back, Craig. Your absence has been noticed!

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  24. scarey! lucky all was well and also to get such fast medical attention...sometimes the wait is hours!

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    1. The wait here is usually much longer! I was just a 'victim' of good timing...

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