Monday, October 09, 2006

Not Up To Par: Part II

Well, the packing got yanked out of my honker this morning. It was a delightful experience. As it passed my line of sight, I checked the disgusting bloody wad to make sure that my eyeball wasn't still attached to it. The ENT doc was very, very nice and I am sure he is extraordinarily competent. But he wasn't very reassuring.

I was surprised to learn that these types of nosebleeds (epistaxis) are fairly common. The causes aren't completely understood. Obviously since my blood does not want to stay where it belongs (inside), this is an circulatory problem, specificially the carotid artery. There are two major branches of this artery, the internal and external. My problem lies with a lesser branch of the Internal Carotid Artery, which supplies blood to the nose. For some reason a portion(s) of the arterial wall has broken down. Why? Lots of different reasons:

Allergic and non-allergic rhinitis
Use of "blood thinning medications"
Alcohol abuse
Less common causes include, tumors and inherited bleeding problems.

I don't have an infection.

I haven't been in a fight in many years so trauma is out. I never had my nose broken. The resident ENT in the ER asked me that because the top of my septum (the interior wall of the nose separating the nostrils) is screwy. I think it excited him.

I am not allergic to anything other than fools.

I do not have high blood pressure, except when I'm around fools.

I had recurring nosebleeds over two years ago and my cardiac doctor reduced my aspirin dosage from 325 mg (which is the normal adult tablet) to 81 mg (baby aspirin). I haven't been on Plavix for over five years and I take no other blood thinners.

I don't drink (stopped in 1979). No, I wasn't an alkie, I made a promise to God. I kept my end of it and so did He, Bless His Name.

I stopped smoking when I had my heart attack in 2001.

So far there is no evidence of a tumor and as far as I know, no one in my family has had bleeding problems. My mom was an only child after her brother and sister died from congenital birth defects. My uncle weighed almost 90 pounds when he died at age 5; he was 18 pounds at birth. My aunt died at the age of nine from a "hole in the heart." Back in the 30's there were no surgical procedures to correct this.

Too much sex ain't on the list and even if it was, I'd still be okay.

Maybe I just pissed my nose off.

The bleeding does seem to be under control for now. I can feel a seepage of some kind that is annoying and I am very congested, but at least that red crap isn't pouring out of my face. If it starts up again there is an escalating scale of more aggressive treatments that the doctor will use. They are:

Nasal Humiliation:
Using this technique reduces the nostril's self esteem. The ENT will call my right nostril names, comparing it to the other nostril – the “good” left nostril. He will tell it that I always loved the left one more than him.

He will stuff a box of Tampons up the right nostril and call it “The Girlie Hole.” “So Ya Wanna Bleeeeed?!?!?! Here ya go!!!” This treatment is very similar to what I just went through.

Nose Porn:
He will shock the nostril and force the artery to shrink by showing classic pornographic and horror nasal videos such as A Fist Full Of Tissues, Any Hole Will Do, Sinuses Gone Wild I & II, Kathy Does Kleenex, Sleepy and Grumpy Snuff Sneezy, and of course, Boogers: The Movie.

All kidding aside, he said I may have to be admitted for surgery. Out I go under a general anesthetic and they bring out the Deep Bore Sinus Excavator to really take a look at my upper plumbing.

I am so not looking forward to this.

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