The last few days have been quite an adventure … but not the fun type of adventure. I’ve been having nose bleeds for the last few weeks. On Sunday I had another – lasting for hours; it just wouldn’t stop. I tried ice packs. Nothing worked. Midafternoon I gave in and went to the emergency room, thinking they could simply cauterize my nose to stop the bleeding. Wrong. Not that simple.
To control the bleeding, they inserted a Rapid Rhino (nose balloon) into my left nostril. Indeed, it felt like a rhino! The device is 4 1/2 inches long – and none of it was sticking out of my nose when they finished!! I’m sure I saw stars – maybe planets, galaxies and more – as the Doctor nonchalantly pushed the device into my nose. But the torture doesn’t end there. A device is attached to the rapid rhino that adds air for pressure against the bleeding area. Adding the air had me seeing those stars again. They also sent the device along with me – to add air should the bleeding continue. And then they sent me home to wait from Sunday to Wednesday afternoon to have the device removed.
Since I hadn’t eaten all day, we decided to order some hot wings. Perhaps this wasn’t the best idea – but they sure tasted good. Within minutes of finishing eating, however, I started to get dizzy and nauseous. I knew what was coming. I just made it across the room to the reclining loveseat before I passed out. I suspect it was my body’s reaction to the stress of the balloon- not the hot wings.
The nurse and doctor told me that the balloon would be uncomfortable. Well, this gives a whole new meaning to the word uncomfortable. My teeth and eyes were in constant pain; my blood pressure skyrocketed. Regular doses of tylenol were added to dim the discomfort. No sleeping in a bed, either, with that contraption taped to my face. So, I slept in the recliner for three nights.
On Monday, the bleeding started again. More air pressure was added – another one of those ‘seeing stars’ moments. Luckily, that was the last time I needed to add air. For two more days, I lingered between pain, a little relief, and taking naps – something I never typically do during the day.
Finally, Wednesday arrived; time to remove the balloon. As the doctor removed the balloon, I thought my left eye was going to fall out. Another stars moment … or two. The doctor advised that I could not blow my nose for a couple of days. When I mentioned that my nose was full, he simply replied: “Here’s some kleenex; after you blow your nose, I will insert another balloon.” Funny guy (or not) – but point well taken; I did not blow my nose.
After going through this adventure, I am pretty sure I know what can be used if they need to torture people. Relatively simple and quick.
Seriously, however, even though this past few days was not much fun, I realize that I am the lucky one. One of my high school classmates just endured removal of bones that had died from a previous jaw reconstruction (due to cancer). It will take up to 24 months to reconstruct his jaw/face again. The good news – there is no evidence of cancer. In comparison, my three days of pain was miniscule. So, for all the complaining I have done, I realize that I could have it much, much worse.
Thanks for reading! I hope you will return.