Thursday, August 26, 2010

Painting the house red

Sometimes things happen and there's no better therapy than a glass of wine and a good ol' blog-post vent. Sometimes things happen and you wish you'd done a little research ahead of time. So you're prepared. Clearly I wasn't. So if my story will help someone else avoid the freak-out I just lived, I'll have done my good deed of the day.

So I pick up Caroline at pre-K and Ms. Faith hands me an Owie Report (no, it's not about our Dawie Owie). Apparently C had a nosebleed to the point her clothes and socks came home in a baggie. No big deal. We talk about it on the way home, how it's no big deal. Sometimes noses bleed. So I get her settled at home with a snack and not 15 minutes later, she comes flying into the kitchen with blood running down her face. I say, "No big deal. It's okay. We'll get it stopped. Don't worry." I press a rag to her face, then another, then another. And as she's soaking through washcloth after washcloth, she's also gagging because the blood is running down her throat.

But I can't figure out what to do because I can't let go of her nose to call anyone, or look up a phone number to call anyone, or get on the computer and figure out what to do when my baby's nose is a complete freaking faucet!

Finally, I get her to lean over the toilet and drip and spit, and I go grab the phone. Only I have to look all the numbers up in the phone book because who knows numbers in cell phone world. And I can't use the cell phone where I have all the numbers programmed because cell phones don't work in the 18th-century-no-cell-phone-tower-valley I live in. After an eternity the pediatric nurse comes on the phone and tells me to squeeze her nose. Actually I make her yell it because I can't hear her over Caroline's crying. So squeeze. Duh! I'm sure you're all saying, "duh!" But honestly that didn't even occur to me. I was too busy trying to remember if she should lean her head back or tilt forward. So the nurse talks me off the ledge and we hang up.

Then...her nose continues to gush for 16 hours. It seems like 16 hours. Maybe it was only 20 minutes or so. But the whole time I'm thinking I can't drive and hold her nose. Maybe I could put her in the front seat, but wait, Britney got in trouble for that. I should call a neighbor, so I call the only neighbor whose number I know, and she doesn't answer. I start to call my other neighbor, but I'm not sure she'd want to be my neighbor anymore if I make her drive me the 45 minutes to an urgent care center in Cookeville using the very long detour because both bridges downstream and upstream of our houses are OUT. So I resort to calling my father-in-law at work, and he proceeds to talk me off the ledge again. He suggests I might just stay put, add pressure and see what happens in 10 minutes. When he calls back 10 minutes later, her nose has dried up from a gush to a drip, and he reads what he Googled (another thing you can't do when you're holding your child's nose).

In case you ever find yourself living 45 minutes from civilization and your child decides to paint your house with her blood: lean head forward not back, pressure on the bridge of nose at the fleshy point for at least 10 minutes, maybe longer, spit if necessary. Ice and/or 4-hour nose spray can also help shrink the blood vessels. Most important: don't panic. As I said to Caroline 500 times while she was freaking and I was internally freaking: "It's no big deal."

An hour later she's dancing around the house in her underwear singing, "It's no big deal."


blessedmomto8 said...

THE SAME THING has happened to me! It is SO SCARY!

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Judy said...

And don't forget, she told me "It was disgusting". Glad it all ended well. You're a great Mom!

Evelyn said...

Sheesh! Forward, not back. Got it. Glad she is ok. Sounds scary!

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I will remember this.

Also? I'm so happy to find someone else who lives in a valley where you can't use your cell phone and where the nearest "major" health care facility is located 45 minutes away. Just two weeks ago we finally got high speed internet access- prior to that it was satellite. Sick. But now? No longer sick.