The “tampon” up my nose was painful all night. It was very hard to sleep. Mucus (and probably blood) kept seeping down the back of my throat, because I couldn’t blow my nose to send it out the front way. About midnight I remembered I had some “Tylenol PM” which includes a decongestant, and took one of those, which dried things up a lot.
By five am I was ready to murder the doctor who put that thing up there. Lying in the dark I figured out that by holding the left nostril closed, I could exhale through the packing log. That moistened it and softened it. After a while of doing that, I very delicately began to tug on it, and it did seem ready to move, so about 5:30 I got up and eased the sucker out into the bathroom sink. (Sharing all the deets, here.) And the good news: the bastard had actually done the job and stopped the bleed.
The rest of the day I took great care not to blow my nose or to touch it in any way, and the bleed remained stopped. But no way was I going to leave that miserable thing in place “until I saw the ENT.” (Which turned out to be a wise decision, see below.)
First thing on arising was to think about styptic pencils. I used to have one of those, back in the day, a little rod of alum(?) that would instantly clot up a shaving nick. Why the fuck doesn’t modern medicine have something like that for a nosebleed? What if the nose starts bleeding again? I want to be able to do something more effective than just packing toilet paper up there.
I did some online searches; there are a variety of styptic preparations, from chemicals like alum, to simple cornstarch powders that basically dry up a puddle of blood (not a real clot, just less mess). I ordered a liquid preparation from Amazon Prime for delivery tomorrow. (I’m picturing careful application with a Q-tip; I bet it will work.)
What if the bleed started again today, like while I’m getting a CT scan at 10am? At 8am I drove off to walk the aisles at Walgreens and CVS. Walgreen’s online store listed several styptics but all “not sold in stores.” Hah, don’t believe them. In the first-aid section was a powder preparation which I bought. As it turned out the bleed didn’t come back, but at least I had something to try right now.
At 10 I drove off to a little Stanford imaging annex I had never seen, over by California Ave, for a “CT with contrast”. That means you get an IV infusion of a chemical that makes you feel like you are blushing inside your body, which makes it easier to see something or other. The nurses were very competent; they installed an IV quickly and with no pain, and at the end whipped it out again the same. The CT scanner operator was a young woman, which was cool.
The rest of the day went pretty well, although I didn’t feel like going outside for exercise. At 3pm my neighbor Margaret, a retired doctor, gave an entertaining and very well organized lecture on one of her specialties, the gastro-intestinal tract. She gave a really fun tour of the adventure your food has from your mouth to your anus.
At 5pm was our monthly sixth-floor meeting, which among other things included three new “campers”, former denizens of the fourth floor being displaced by the renovation process. Just a year ago I was a “camper” on the 4th floor, next door to Florrie, and now I think Florrie is going to be camping next door to me.
After that I realized it had been 24+ hours since the Urgent Care doctor had put in a referral for me to see an ENT, and I hadn’t had a call from the appointment clerk. “Urgent”. Riiiiiggghhht. Sutter Health sends a “how did we do” survey email after every visit (that, they can do quickly) and I filled it out with some choice comments.
Watched Dancing with the Stars and went to bed early to read.