Friday, August 04, 2006


Have you ever had a nosebleed?

My son used to have them, and I remember how terrified he was when he was very young (hell, I wasn't all that calm inside, either). I don't remember having nosebleeds when I was a kid, but I get them from time to time now, mainly when the humidity is very low.

So last night, after a dinner of Hot Lips Pizza (our current local favorite) and salad, we were watching Lewis Black's latest HBO special, when I realized that my nose was bleeding.

Usually, I get a nosebleed and it stops within a minute or so.

This one was different. I couldn't stop the damned bleeding, and I was reminded that my dad used to get nosebleeds, caused by high blood pressure. Once, a doctor told him if he hadn't had the nosebleed, he would have had a stroke. (Eventually, he did have strokes, a lot of small ones, and he ended up in a nursing home, unable to communicate -- a prisoner in his body. May I say now that I am TERRIFIED of ending up like that?)

I don't have high blood pressure. When I was younger (and thinner!), my blood pressure was usually something like 90/70. Even now, when I'm at the doctor's office, it's something like 125/70. But I gotta tell ya: in my mind, a nosebleed is never 'just a nosebleed'. It's a reminder of just how fragile and vulnerable I am -- we all are -- and how possible it is for my life to be turned upside-down (uh, like with Multiple Sclerosis, for example) overnight.

Anyway, David found the chapter on nosebleeds in our Mayo Clinic reference guide, and I managed to stop it quickly when I figured out what to do, but ... the spectre of my dad and his situation has remained with me.

1 comment:

Donna said...

My son is 18 and was dx'd with MS when he was 14. He seems to get nosebleeds when his MS flares. He also gets migraines with them, at times. He's in a flare right now and he's really having problems with confusion, dizziness, nosebleeds, migraines, and nausea. Kind of scary, since he also has a congenital heart defect. I hope its not mini strokes from high blood pressure. He's on BP meds, but doesn't have high blood pressure, as far as I know. Its kind of scarey-I can't get him in to his neuro. They say May 7th is the earliest. That's too long.