Carolyn L. Braun (

The holiday curse … once again

Many years I have found myself sick, especially during the Christmas holiday season. I just chalked it up to working too much in getting prepared for the holiday. I was diagnosed with my lung aliment during the Christmas season. Later – during the Thanksgiving – Christmas season, it was the heart disease. Occasionally I’d get sick after finishing a big work project.

But now I am seeing the holiday curse once again – and it wasn’t from working too hard. On Thanksgiving this year, I had more minor – but repetitive – heart attacks, and another stent. I made it through a very low key Christmas. On to Easter. Almost made it. But nope. A nosebleed. I have to be on a blood thinner after having the recent stent; however, the blood thinner simply does not agree with my system. (The same thing happened twice a couple of years ago – after a heart attack and placement of a stent – one episode leading to the need for a blood transfusion.)

After two days of wiping my nose – first a drop of blood every hour or so, then every 15 -30 minutes or so, then almost constantly, I gave in and let my husband call the hospital. I have to admit I was a bit terrified to even go close to the hospital. But I just couldn’t get the bleeding to stop. We were going to drive to the hospital but based on Covid-19 procedures, an ambulance was sent to pick me up.

I spent several hours alone while they tried to get the bleeding to stop. I would not allow the Rapid Rhino – which I had once before (See: The doctor tried cauterization – twice – and it didn’t work. After each attempt, he would wait 15 mintues or more to see if it worked. He then packed styrofoam-like pieces in my nose. And then we waited. It did not work – so he added more. And then we waited. Finally the bleeding stopped and I could go home – with an oxygen mask instead of the nose cannula.

Eating and talking are difficult with a face mask for oxygen – especially with a plugged nose. Thankfully, the packing came out two days later – and I have returned to the cannula nose piece for breathing. On the mend, again.

I just don’t know what it is about holidays. I guess I’ll have to celebrate them on a different day – a day later or a day earlier – or maybe in the summer. The current approach is just not working.

Thanks for reading, I hope you’ll return.

Sorry about the graphic quality. Sheltering in place prevented having the actual sketch to scan. The graphic was custom-designed by my talented granddaughter Selena.

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