One of my earliest memories is of a hot, Sacramento afternoon. I was a curly-haired four year old, standing outside in the spring, wearing a sundress, heat warming on my shoulders. I stood by the car that was in the driveway and ate some cherries. They were juicy and ripe, freshly picked. They were so juicy in fact, plops of red were landing on the grey cement driveway, making splotchy patterns. Soon, my hands were covered with the sticky red juice. Then, I noticed it - the gushing from my nose. I put my hand up to wipe, and streaks of red cherry showed up. Those drops weren't juice - they were blood! I'm sure I squealed and ran into the house. That was my first bloody nose and the beginnings of a lifetime of sinus problems.
Fast forward to 48 years later. Last night, I was playing on the computer when I felt that old familiar gush. I grabbed a kleenex and dabbed. Blood all-right, but not red blood. This blood was purplish black - the color of those cherries I'd eaten long ago.
I leaned forward, squeezed for five minutes. The second I let up, it continued to gush. I got a new kleenex and pinched again, this time for 15 minutes. I gently unhinged my thumb and finger and let go. Gushing continues. Now I'm getting worried - 20 minutes of a nosebleed means I'm supposed to call the doctor. But, they will only send me to the ER to pack it so I'm not doing that. So I added ice to the squeezing and added on 20 minutes. At that point, it had slowed. It took an hour to stop, and then I rubbed the insides of my nasal passages with vaseline to prevent the bleeding from beginning.
I'm not sure why this happened - I had my platelets done on Wednesday and they were within the normal range. If they can go down that much in one day, that is a surprise.
I'll guess I need a humidifier to help with the dry air. And, I guess, a rocking chair and false teeth. I am starting to feel like a person who has cancer. Even the loss of my breast hadn't nailed that thought to my brain. All it took was a hard-to-control nosebleed.