Thursday, June 2, 2011

A nose and a nurse

We had a busy day today, but I was looking forward to ending it by hanging out with friends at a pizza buffet and then at the park. I loaded up the kids at 6 to go to the restaurant.

When we were about five minutes away, Chickie started crying. "My nose is bleeding again!" she wailed.

I looked back, and sure enough, blood was running all the way down her chin, and she was getting more hysterical by the minute. She had her first nosebleed yesterday, and this is new territory for both of us--I didn't deal much with nosebleeds when I was a kid.

I grabbed the Kleenex and kept grabbing handfuls to hand to her, but it was so messy--blood on her face, in her mouth, on her hands, on the seat belt, on her dress. To make it worse, her screaming was completely freaking out Zoodle, and he joined in with his own panicked screams.

"Please, calm down!" I said. "Please!"

Completely distracted, I somehow made it to the restaurant. I did a little bit of hasty clean-up, but Chickie nose was still bleeding, and both kids were still emotional wrecks.

We got inside the restaurant, where I led them directly past the cash registers where I was supposed to pay for our buffets. No one attempted to stop me. I doubt anyone wanted to mess with two crying children, one of whom had blood all over her; plus a mom with that taking-care-of-business fire in her eyes.

We hurried to the bathroom. As I worked on getting Chickie cleaned up, both kids were still hysterical, and Zoodle kept choking out between sobs, "I want somebody to hold me! I want Daddy!" (Daddy was in a meeting.)

A woman came into the bathroom. "I'm sorry," I told her, knowing my kids' panic was taking over the small area.

"That's okay!" she assured me with a smile, and she headed into a stall. When she exited a couple of minutes later, she asked, "Is everything all right?"

"She just has a bloody nose," I explained.

And then things began to turn around.

"I'm a registered nurse," she said. "Do you know how to make a nose tampon?" (Yes, I just wrote "nose tampon." As if the description of blood everywhere wasn't enough gross-out for the night.)

I explained my inexperience with nosebleeds, and she began showing me how to tightly roll a tissue to put in the nostril and stanch the bleeding. We discovered that Chickie's nose was no longer bleeding, but the wonderful nurse not only continued to educate me (so I'd know what to do the next time,) but she also gave lots of direct attention to Chickie.

"It's okay!" she said in a high-pitched, syrupy-sweet voice that somehow broke through Chickie's cries and distracted her from her panic. "This is just a little fluffy pillow!" (She held out the "nose tampon.") "And I know that blood can be scary, but it's okay! Red is a pretty color!"

She continued to talk, and Chickie quickly calmed down. I was free to comfort Zoodle, who began to settle down too. Soon our angel...I mean nurse...left, and we pulled ourselves together so we could go pay and eat.

I'm so thankful that the nurse "just happened" to be there. She took control of the situation in such a gentle and respectful way, and she was exactly the person we needed.

But if Chickie can avoid further nosebleeds...or at least have them at home...on the tile...naked...I'll really appreciate that.


Tales of Cheerios and Sleepless Nights said...

I love it when strangers step in with kindness instead of judgement! So glad the evening turned around for you!

Tia said...

I had a bazillion nose bleeds growing up and Ellie gets them too. Scary stuff I know! Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers!

LEstes65 said...

Don't know why but this post just made me cry. Mostly your angel! I think I need sleep. Ha!

Mellodee said...

My daughter had a couple of nosebleeds when she was 10 to 13 or so. Don't know why they started and don't know why they stopped. Luckily she was old enough not to panic, which meant I didn't panic either, always a good thing! She generally leaned her head back against a chair or something, we put an ice compress on the bridge of her nose for about 15 minutes and it went away. It was my own theory that they came about because of her allergies (she had some fierce ones, had shots and everything).
That was never confirmed by anyone with any medical knowledge at all! :)

Calm, ice, head back, and packing the nose (that tampon kind of thing) if it was a bad one....worked for her.

Call Me Cate said...

Nurses truly are angels. The fact that this one was "off-duty" and took the time to help a mother in an obviously stressful situation is just lovely.

Chemotherapy said...

i get nose bleeds only in the summer months. They just seem to start for no reason.

Marissa said...

Oh how scary! Thank goodness for your angel.

Tiffany said...

Can't imagine how stressful that must have been. Glad someone was there to help!

Toni said...

My goodness! What an adventure! The Kiddo gets nosebleeds every now and then. I am blessed that he doesn't freak out. He responds well to calm logic. "It's OK, it's only a little blood and you're OK. Let's get a rag." I can't imagine two Kiddos freaking at the same time! So glad someone was there to help you. :)

Vixbil said...

What a lovely nurse and I love the idea of a nose tampon as William gets nose bleeds too

Unknown said...

It is amazing how those angels can (and usually do) pop up when we need them the most! Hopefully nose bleeds won't be a common thing for Chickie, but at least now you are both educated on what to do if it happens again. Knowledge defeats fear.

PS there are products on the market that help it clot faster, if it does become something that happens frequently. Chris had a nosebleed that wouldn't stop and the ER will put a "rhyno-rocket" (no I'm not even kidding about that name) up in the nose and inflate it to stop the bleeding. It is far worse than the bleed itself because you can't take it out for 2 days. We keep something on hand just in case Chris runs into that again to avoid the nose balloon (a better name for it if you ask me.)

Sandra said...

A great story. And how great that God brought that nurse into the bathroom at just the right time to help you out. God is good, even in situations that involve bathrooms, bloody noses and nose tampons! :)