Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Saia in the Doc's Office
My daughter is my absolute favorite sick person in the whole wide world.  She is the toughest cookie I've ever met.  So often has already pushed thru some little bug before we're even aware that it was around.

Most of the time, that's a really great thing.  But, she's 7.  And mostly, as a parent, you really want to know, need to know, if something's going on with your child, because, inevitably, it either leads to something else or will oh-so-easily be transferred to someone else, or worse...YOU, and some advance notice is always a good thing.

But this was her. Yesterday.  And in case you didn't know what two days of 101-fever, after a bloody nose, a couple of headaches, and a little nausea and dizziness looks like, here it is.

I know, I know. I thought it looked different, too.

But then...

I checked in on her before I went to bed last night. She rolled over and opened her sleepy eyes and said, "Mama?"

"Yes, baby."

"So, do I have a fever? Can I go to school?"

[Yes, seriously.]

This morning, again, first thing.  And while she did register a mild temperature, it was the fact that she was moving pretty slowly that really got my attention.  And then when she finally made it downstairs and immediately handed over control of the breakfast movie pick to her brother even though it was her turn, that's when I knew something was really really wrong.
Waiting @Sbux instead of the Dr's Office Lobby

But she kept insisting that she felt fine. That she wanted to go to school. That she could make it.  (I know, WHO'S child is THIS?!?!)

But it's just a half day, I kept telling her.  She wasn't REALLY gonna miss out on all that much if she stayed home.  But they had a Stone Soup project today, she whined, and she'd already hand-picked the 4 fingerling potatoes she was taking, labeled the little baggie and placed it perfectly atop her backpack. Clearly, she was looking forward to it, and I was already bracing for the argument when I finally did have to tell her she probably wasn't gonna be able to make it...

When...she sneezed.

And the blood began to...





And we did all the things we knew to do. Applied pressure. Pinched the nostrils. Tilted her head forward. (Did you think it was backward, too? I had to double-check that one.)  And tried to calm her down.

But she kept trying to talk. Asking why? Trying to reason with us. Trying to process what was happening to her.  And even as I kept talking to her, trying to get her to look me in the eye, I realized in that moment how very much like me she is.  She was trying so hard to be brave. Trying so hard to ignore the flood gushing from her nose.  Trying not to completely flip out.  And analyzing every. single. little. moment.  So desperately searching for the answer she wanted.  Waiting so impatiently for one of us, either of us, anyone, to just say the one thing that would make her feel better, do the one thing that would make it all go away.

But it just kept coming. Fast and watery. Drenching every single tissue and cottonball as fast as we replaced them.  And beginning to make my heart pound quicker by the minute.

And if it sounds a little melodramatic, well, it really kinda was.

We've actually never experienced a nosebleed with either of them before.  And although the doctor explained just yesterday that the one she had at school was very common for someone who's coming down with something, with the change in weather, and the fever dehydrating her body and irritating the lining of her nostrils, it was an entirely different thing to stand there with your hands covered in your child's blood, hear the panic in her voice, and just not be able to make it flippin' stop!!!

And it wouldn't. Stop. It just wouldn't. And it felt like forever, although only 2 minutes had actually passed, because I remember looking up at the clock at some point as I was actively trying not to freak out in front of her, with the intention of, as soon as enough time passed (and no, I'm not really sure what that magic number would have been), legitimately allowing myself to freakthehellout, and off to the emergency room we'd be.

Saia for the rest of this morning
But then she said, "Mama, I can't see really well." And that's when it started coming out of her eye.


And now her Mommy and I are both hovered over her, taking turns switching out her blood-drenched tissues and making faces and eyes at one another over her head, which, loosely translated from parental-ese pretty much means, "WTF?!?!!?"

And, of course, the logical side of my brain tells me that we're blocking the natural route of the nosebleed, that it's gotten backed up, and so out the next closest orifice it goes.  But there was no way to tell her what we were looking at in that moment (and blocking Chago from looking at in that moment) because in that moment all I could think about was how she looked exactly like those South Texas horned toads that shoot blood out of their eyes that we were terrified of as children. Or else, a creepy demon child. Which, please, you're ALWAYS terrified of. Forever.

So, we said nothing.

But after cleaning her up, laying her down on the floor, and covering her with a blanket, the blood FINALLY stopped flowing.  And we could ALL breathe again.  As Mommy took the boy to school, I moved Saia to the sofa and got her to drink some orange juice.  Since then, she's been getting (apparently) progressively better. Her fever hovering around 99.5, but drinking and eating without problem or hesitation.

She keeps asking about school tomorrow. (Seriously, have you ever known such a determined child?!)  But whatever she's got, it's a stubborn and merciless little sucker, and I'm happy to let the fever, rest, food, and fluids work their magic for as long as they need to. Within reason, of course.

When I asked her if she was afraid this morning, she said that, at first, all of that blood flooding her nose and oozing down her throat really scared her because she didn't think it was ever going to stop.  And now that it has, the one thing that scares her most is..."sneezing again." :)

When we picked up Bubba from school this afternoon, he asked about her before even saying hello to me.  Several of his little friends came up to ask me if Saia was ok.  And the second he got into the truck, he leaned over the console, put his head on her shoulder, wrapped his scrawny little arms around her, and told her, "I'm so glad to see you."

Funny how it makes all the drama (almost) worth it.


sonia said...


I naturally ran screaming into the Web after reading this, and found this, which I thought your little "epistaxian" might want to read:

Wikipedia also tells me that: "Perhaps the most well-known epistaxis-related death was that of Attila the Hun. It is thought by some that he drank an extremely large quantity of alcohol on his wedding night after his parley with Pope Leo I, suffered a nosebleed in his sleep, and was suffocated by the blood."

Seriously... I don't know how you kept it together...


Hey, So! That website is really GREAT!! Thank you. I'll have to show the kiddos that for sure.

Saia had another little one at 4am, but she was much calmer, and we were able to stop it quickly and get back to sleep. I applied Aquaphor to the inside of her nostrils this morning, as she was determined to get back to school. I gave her tissue, a couple of cotton balls, and a fresh bottle of water. She kept repeating, "Clean, pinch, lean forward, and hold. Clean, pinch, lean forward, and hold," as she was loading up in the truck. It's almost noon now and no call from the school yet. She's such a freakin' trooper, man!! :)