Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Going to the Hospital

I'm sorry for not posting a new blog article, yesterday, but I went to the hospital. I was laying in my bed, in the early hours of Tuesday morning, when I suddenly snapped awake. I felt this trickle of liquid in my right nostril. Touching my finger to my nose, I pulled it back and saw the end dark, with blood. My nose was bleeding. What a pain in the ass! Okay, so not so much in the ass, as in the nose. And it wasn't exactly a pain, more of an inconvenience. Alright, what an inconvenience in the nose!
I got a roll of toilet paper and stood in front of the sink. I tried to put pressure on the point of bleeding, to stop it, but that didn't work. The blood just backed up in the nostril until it came running out the other nostril, as well as into my mouth. I'm not sure what time it was, because I didn't look at my clock when I first got out of bed. It was before my alarm went off, which was set for 6:30AM. I would estimate that it was around 5:30. I needed to be at work by 7:30. Valiantly, I worked to staunch the blood flow, but to no avail. The warm, red liquid continued to pulse out of my rather cute nose. The deep red droplets spattering the white sink. For a time, it seemed to slow to almost a stop. I went back in my room and lay back down, on the bed. After a few minutes, the blood flow would pick up again. Back to the sink I went.
Soon, it was getting late...late enough that I was definitely going to be late for work. Still, I tried. Once it reached 7:20, I needed to call my boss, to let him know about the situation. I hesitated. What would I tell him? Would I just be late, or would I not make it in at all? Apprehension at facing that decision stalled me a couple of minutes. Finally, at 7:25, I held some toilet paper to my right nostril and walked to the phone. When the Restaurant Manager answered, I informed him of the situation. I so wanted him to tell me not to come in at all, but instead he told me he was short-handed, which means he wanted me to come in. At that moment, I wouldn't be of much use to him. I couldn't even drive in the condition I was in. How do you predict how soon your nose would stop bleeding? It had been a couple of hours already. Not knowing what else to say, I suggested I would try to be in by 8:30. That gave me an hour. Less, really, because I needed time to travel to work. The bleeding slowed again and I hoped for the best.
Unfortunately, it started flowing profusely, again. Twenty-five minuets after I called my boss, he called back to ask how I was getting on. I told him it was still bleeding and cautioned him that if it didn't stop, I would need to go to the hospital. He told me to keep in touch. 8:30 came and went, but still the bleeding continued. I began to worry about the amount of blood I was losing. At some point, I could pass out, if I lost enough blood. I had a growing apprehension that I would have to give in and go to the hospital. How would I get there? It was Nando's day off and I hated to wake him. For new readers, Nando's my racist, Italian housemate. I contemplated calling an ambulance, but why tie up an ambulance, when Nando could drive me? At this point, I was still naked. I would need to put some clothes on before executing either option. I kept hoping Nando would wake up on his own, so I could ask him for help. At about 8:48, I decided. I was going to the hospital. I called work and let the Manager know. Then, holding paper to my nose, I managed to pull on some clothes. I slipped my feet into flip-flops, because I didn't think I could manage putting on shoes. Hesitating a few minutes more, I finally knocked on Nando's door. No answer. I knocked again. Still, no answer. I tired yet again. This time, a groggy Italian voice made some noise.
When Nando opened his bedroom door, I quickly appraised him of the situation and asked him to drive me to the hospital, in the nearby town of Reading. He immediately agreed. Nando may be a racist, but he's a nice guy. However, Nando is not the quickest guy to get going in the morning. He went and sat on the toilet for a while. Then he went downstairs for something. Then he came back upstairs and spoke to me at the bathroom sink. By that time, he was still only dressed in shorts and a t-shirt. "Come on Nando!" I thought. I started worrying that I was feeling light-headed from blood loss, although I couldn't be sure if it was that, or my anxiety. Eventually, Nando managed to get himself together and we were on our way. Nando drives slower than I do and I felt impatient with every traffic light he caught. After what seemed like ages, we arrived and I walked into Accident and Emergency (A & E), the equivalent of an American Emergency Room (ER). Impatiently, I waited to speak to one of the women milling around behind the reception glass barrier. Some twat in front of me was taking ages. "Hey! I'm a bleeder. Move your ass," I thought to myself. I am often very impatient in my thoughts. One of the hospital staff told us to move to another window. Arrrrgh! Once they got twatface on his way, it was my turn. In no apparent rush, the receptionist asked me a lot of mundane questions. Name? I felt like saying, "the man who's bleeding all over your waiting area, that's my name." Have I visited that hospital before? Address. Postcode. The name of my doctor. What was worse is that she ended up asking me all of these questions a second time. It's good I wasn't in a hurry...bleeding, or something. Oh yeah, I was! Then I was directed to sit and wait. After all, there were a number of non-bleeding people who had been there, waiting, ahead of me. I sat as far away from the others as I could. Not long after I sat down, a woman brought in a girl of about ten. I overheard the woman say her daughter had a nosebleed. What was this, an epidemic? I didn't see any evidence of any bleeding, on the child. Her mother told the receptionist that her daughter had bled for half an hour and it had stopped. Now, she wanted the girl checked. Half an hour? I had been bleeding over four hours and was still going. After they went through the questions, her mother pulled her over and they sat one seat away from me. I guess I didn't look scary enough. I overheard the mother tell her daughter, "that man has the same as you," referring to me. Would this torture never end?
To be continued...

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