I’ve been dragging my feet about writing this, because I am still deeply aggrieved by the experience, but the show, as they say, must go on:

This will not be about the nosebleed itself as much as the decision making process, and the administration of health care these days.

Our story resumes as I stand outside of the closest urgent care office. The doors have been locked (early) and there are people visible through the windows, all studiously avoiding looking out the window,  where I am pointing to my nose, which is by now the size of a small potato, and covered in gore. I return to the passenger side of my car in defeat. As The Kid and I discuss our next move, a man exits the office, walking right past us. I ask him whether there is any other open facility nearby. “Sorry,” he says, just the emergency room. He appears to be completely unfazed by my face.

In my thinking, emergency rooms are for, I don’t know, emergencies. Like if you are maybe on the verge of death. As uncomfortable as I was, I was pretty sure I wasn’t anywhere near Death’s door- just Grossed Out’s driveway. I directed The Kid to take me home. She had the presence of mind to stop at a drugstore for some surgical gauze on the way. My plan was to get through the night and present myself at the urgent care office again in the morning if necessary. I positioned myself on the family room couch, tissues and gauze at hand.

It was a long night. I am sure that my nosebleed was made infinitely worse by the raging head cold. I did not sleep. It was not pretty. I ambushed my husband at 6:30 the next morning. “The urgent care office opens at 7:00,” I said, thrusting a cup of coffee in his general direction. Though by no means “a morning guy” he was ready to roll. Back to the urgent care we went. They took me second.

The nurse who took my vitals did not register any alarm at my face, but the first doctor who saw me did. “Let me get someone else,” she said, wide-eyed. She returned with a second doc. I repeated my story for the third time. “That’s not what I am seeing here,” Doctor #2 said when I was finished. I briefly wondered what he was suggesting. “That (gesturing at my nose) could be tissue. I don’t know how much blood is in there. I’m not comfortable treating you here; you should go to an E.R. or see an ENT specialist.” Okay, now I was alarmed. In retrospect, I realized that he should have been reassured by the fact that I was ambulatory and oriented, but I’d been up for about 48 hours, and seeping blood for about 14 of them, so off to the emergency room we went.

The personnel at the hospital were kind and comforting, but they did nothing that couldn’t have been done in a doctor’s office. In fact, they did next to nothing that I could not have done at home, had I known what to do.

The 500$ comes in because we had not met our annual deductible; we are still waiting for the 20% of the total bill from the visit. I am left wondering how I seemed to make the wrong decision at every turn in the event. But now, I am confident of my ability to deal with any nosebleed I meet, any time, anywhere, and really ready to write about something, anything, else.

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