Monday, February 23, 2009

Nothing says Monday like uncontrolled bleeding...

Yes, today was a day that started out poorly. It was the kind of day where you really, really wish that you could have done just a few things differently, or even called in sick to work and stayed in bed. Let me explain...

I woke up at my usual time this morning, about 5:30AM. I got up, threw on some jeans and a sweatshirt and I let Samson out to hunt and go potty. By the time Samson and I got back inside, Deirdre was up an about, and she started a pot of coffee for herself. I filled Samson's dish with some dry
kibble, a few spoons of wet food, and some left overs from last night's dinner. I put him in a sit-stay in front of his dish and then gave him the "OK" command for him to start eating. Yes, it all seemed like the ordinary start to an ordinary day here on the western plains of the Enchanted mitten.

I hopped in the shower to get ready for work and I actually thought about not shaving. One of the great things about working for GE Aviation is that there is no hard and fast rule about facial hair. Unlike my previous employer, which had extensive rules and regulations about facial hair. GE does not really care. However, I had a day's worth of beard growth on my face and old habits die hard. After toweling off, I decided that I would remove the day old stubble from my face.

I applied some Neutrogena shaving cream to my face and started to work. I ran the razor over the left side of my face and I immediately realized that the blade needed to be replaced. I replaced the blade and went back to the task at hand. I continued to remove the hair from my face, but with one of my last moves, I accidentally nicked the underside of my nose with the razor. When a very sharp razor cuts your face, you barely feel it and this was the case with me. I continued to shave the rest of my face, but I then noticed a drop of blood on my nose, which got increasingly larger and larger. I immediately knew that this was a bad sign. I finished shaving, rinsed my face and tried to assess the damage.

It did not look that bad, actually. I had barely sliced through the epidermis on the underside of my nose. However, there are all kinds of capillaries and veins near the skin of one's face, so there was plenty of blood coursing around my nose and some of it was dripping onto the sink. Knowing a few things about first aid, I immediately applied direct pressure to the wound, hoping that the blood would soon do its work, coagulate and stop the wound from bleeding. I was wrong.

Because I had barely sliced into the top layer of skin, there was not enough blood flowing to start the coagulation process. Instead, the wound weeped a little bit of blood in interstitial fluid. All I could do was dab the wound with some tissue and hope that eventually the bleeding would stop. I sat on a nearby sofa, tilted my head back and tried to think of happy thought that would channel coagulatory signals to my nose and stop the bleeding. However, no matter what I did, the wound kept bleeding.

After about 30 minutes of trying to stop the bleeding, I realized that I needed help. I needed a styptic pencil of some sort. It was now a little after 8AM so I
knew that the nearby Rite-Aid would be open. I drove there, all the while dabbing away the blood from the underside of my nose. I went inside and I found an item called new-skin. It is a liquid bandage with an anti-coagulant as part of its chemical matrix. For those of you who have ever used an anti-coagulant, you know what happened next. I drove back home, dabbed away as much blood as I could then applied some of this new-skin to the wound. The moment I touched the applicator to my nose, I felt the sting of an electric shock as that was a sign that it was working. Though I knew that new-skin would solve my immediate problem, I also knew that it was going to hurt. A lot.

Hurt it did, but after 3 or 4 applications (and the subsequent jolt of pain from the site of the injury), the bleeding stopped. By now, it was about 0830, and a small scab had formed to the left of my left nostril, which was the point of injury. Satisfied that the bleeding was controlled, I got in my car and headed to work. I kept the bottle of new-skin with me, however, in case the bleeding started again. Thankfully, the applications I made held and there was no more bleeding.

So, that is how my week began. I did something that I did not have to do, which cased well over an hour of uncontrolled bleeding. It was just another reason why Mondays are, well, Mondays.


Lisa said...

Here's hoping for a medical-emergency-free Tuesday!


Big Johnny said...

A scenario for next season's "House" !!