One morning, my husband had the kids in the car ready for me to drive them to school, and my nosebleed from the hour before started again. I grabbed a fistful of tissues, but as blood started dripping onto the garage floor it became clear that this scene from CSI really shouldn’t travel.
A nosebleed seems like a misdemeanor-level injury. You should be able to go about your business without too much interference. I mean, the nose is small, no bones are broken, a little bleeding should stop on its own.
Twenty-five minutes later, I was in bed still working on getting my nose to behave normally. You’re supposed to keep constant pressure with one hand, which makes it very easy to have a pity party, but strangely difficult to do any other activity. Like eat. Or get dressed.
At this point I went to ZoomCare.
Jenn, the physician’s assistant, stuck a light up my nose. “Your membranes look angry: Pregnancy gives you way more blood flow, you have allergies, the air’s been really dry. Apply pressure, use an icepack, buy tampons to stick up your nose… I don’t think we need to cauterize your capillaries yet, which is good news, because that’s painful.”
“Jenn, while I’m here, can you take a look at the scaly skin around my eyes and nose?”
“Sure! Exczema. Normally I would prescribe a steroid, but that’s not recommended during pregnancy. You’re a mess, huh?”
Jenn was not like the yo mama midwife. As she gamely told me what a wreck I was it felt like we were in on a little joke together. I know, I’m a disaster! And there’s no hope except to push this baby out in June. Until then we’ll watch as my body falls apart from the inside out! Ha ha ha ha ha!
As I was leaving, I picked up my purse, and Jenn saw the giant pound of strawberries sticking out in its grocery-store container. “I couldn’t eat breakfast, so I just shoved those in my purse,” I said.
“Evelyn, you’re a mess!” she laughed.
It’s nice to have an official diagnosis.
Epilogue: Last night at dinner I got another nosebleed in spite of my precautionary work. It was a bad one, and I got really overwhelmed. Having blood spurt uncontrollably out of your nose and onto your clothes will do that to you.
“I should… have bought… tampons,” I sobbed to my husband, hoping he would run out to the store to brave the feminine products aisle so that his incredibly pregnant wife could shove tampons up her nose.
He would have, but we located a box at the back of my cabinet, and now we’ve stashed them around the house ready for my next nosebleed. So if you come over, that’s why three men and a pregnant lady are using tampons for home decor these days.