Wednesday, April 9, 2014

'Cause I'm bleeding out...

Happy Hump Day, strangers!

I must confess, I failed the WEGO Health Blog Month Challenge. But, since I haven't written since last Friday, you already knew that. These last few days have been crazy. CrAzY.

Last Thursday I had my infusion and appointment with McDicky. Due to his douchebaggy type A control freak personality, there is a Quest lab right in his office. This way, he knows all the tests are ran exactly how he wants them done. Different labs don't always run tests the same, which can sometimes lead to skewed results. This works out for me since the nurse can draw blood directly from the line when she accesses my port. Happy veins, happy Marla!

I curled up in the heated-massage chair with a blanket, while poison dripped into my superior vena cava. Any infusion patient seeing the doctor or NP that day is allowed to wait in the infusion room, even if the infusion is complete. So even though I had to wait over an hour, my feet were up, my buns toasty, and my back massaged. Not too bad of a gig.

McDicky lowered my steroid!!! I'm on a maintenance dose of 6 mg of methylprednisolone (equal to 7.5mg of prednisone), and this is the first time in over 2 years I've been on a dose this small!

Happy happy joy joy, indeed!

On the drive home, my nose started bleeding (luckily I had napkins in the car), eventually it stopped and I forgot about it.

Early Friday morning I received a call from one of the nurses in McDicky's office; my white blood cell count was 2.6 and my absolute neutrophil count was 270. That's pretty freaking low. Like, I want to be the Boy in the Bubble so as not to catch all the nasty germs, low.  I was advised to stop taking my methotrexate and imuran immediately, and repeat my blood work in another 3 weeks.

I spent pretty much all of the weekend in bed or on the couch, had a few bloody noses, but again, didn't think much of it.

Monday I went to kiss Steve goodbye when he left for work, and he had this face headed straight for his lips...

He was like, "Mar, your face!" Certainly not what you want to hear from your husband first thing in the morning. Blood all over my face.

Blood all over the sheets, comforter and pillowcase...

Cleaned up and went back to sleep for an hour or two, a call from Brie woke me up. Her husband Pete is an ER nurse, and even though I wasn't bleeding in that moment, suggested I go to an ER.

Yeah sure, just what I want to do on a Monday.

Brie was on her way down to pick something up from my house, so I grabbed a quick shower. I was sitting on my bed, when I sneezed and felt a giant clot come shooting out my nose. Within seconds, blood was pouring out my nose. I'm a little crazy (I won't post them, it looked like a scene from CSI), started snapping pictures and sent them to Pete (with a wad of tissues clamping my nose shut). I managed to get dressed and not get a drop of blood on the carpet! BOOM!

Brie came in and off to the ER we went. It slowed down on the way there, and by the time we got there, the bleeding was minimal. 

I got registered, and we were taken back to the fast track area. While waiting for someone to see me, an elderly woman next to us kept everyone amused. She reminded us of Mom-Mom, well-dressed, full makeup, and sharp tongued. She had the entire room cracking up. We were sad to see her go home.

The nurse came in, placed an IV and drew some labs, then a Physician's Assistant (PA) student came in to assess me and get my health history. Brie and I, always the mature ones, could not stop laughing. Everything she asked made Brie giggle, and the poor girl used about 10 pages in her notebook to get down my entire history. She was pretty excited to hear my heart murmur, and I still wasn't bleeding at the time, so she went off to talk to the PA.

Then the flood gates opened, and blood started pouring out of my nose again. The PA came in, looked in my ears and throat, and determined the bleed was high up in my nasal passage.

For all you Sex & The City fans, remember when Steve walked in on Miranda and Robert the doctor getting it on, he smacked his face on the wall, and Robert shoved a tampon up his nose? 

Yep, turns out that's basically what they do in the ER. I just didn't have the luxury of a hot, practically naked doctor doing the honors. And, while the Rhino Rocket resembled a tampon, it has plastic tubing attached to inject air into it once it's inserted. The pressure of the air against the nasal cavity walls stop the bleed.

I am happy to report that after years of being relentlessly teased for my big nose, the PA couldn't get the 2 larger sized rockets in far enough, and she had to go with the smallest size. I was thrilled! Then, I sneezed and blood managed to splatter all over the curtain 3 feet away. Everyone was impressed.

I can't begin to describe how uncomfortable this felt. So. Much. Pressure. 

And when the right nostril began to drip blood, the PA decided to remove the left one, and insert packing in both bloody nostrils. That shit hurt. My eyes teared up and my head instantly began to pound. 

The results of the blood tests came back, my PT/PTT were normal, my hemoglobin and hematocrit were normal (not sure how, it looked like a lost a ton of blood), and though my platelets were low, they weren't low enough to cause spontaneous bleeding. I was told to see an ear/nose/throat specialist on Wednesday to remove the packing and follow up with my hematologist to look further into the neutropenia.

Finally home.

I'm a walking ad for Tampax.

There are no words to describe how miserable I've been, literally counting the minutes til the ENT appointment on Wednesday. Just like regular tampons can cause toxic shock syndrome, Rhino Rockets can, too, and now I'm on antibiotics for a week. I learned how much I've taken eating and drinking for granted, as it is damn near impossible when there are two giant tampons shoved up your nasal cavity tickling your frontal lobe.

Last night I was sitting on the couch, watching TV, minding my own business, when I sneezed. Don't you know those damn Rhino Rockets came shooting out my nose. Holy fuck, it hurt. Cue the tears and the panic. And with tampons dangling from my cheeks, instead of asking Steve if I was bleeding, the first thing out of my mouth was "did my nose go back to normal?!?!?!?"

It did. Phew!

Miraculously, there was no blood, but I've been so nervous making any sudden movements or doing vigorous activity will dislodge the clots, and I'll start bleeding heavily again.

I went from having no doctor's appointments this week to having 3. And that, my friends, is why I failed the WEGO Health blog challenge.

Linking up with Kathy and Shanna


  1. Oh no! I hope you're feeling better! Good luck with the nose stuff. If you have to have surgery, let me know and I'll give you my tips on getting through surgery... It involves lots of water, Vicodin and TV marathons

  2. Oh, love! I can't even believe you've been dealing with all of this. I still maintain that you are the most positive person even in the midst of chaos and panic. I'm also really glad that Brie could be there for you. The fact that you tell it like it is AND still maintain an air of humor always amazes me. I hope everything with the doctors go well this week!! <3

  3. okay so I totally feel terrible for you but I have to admit, when you asked if your nose went back to normal, i just laughed my ass off. sorry you went through all this, you know you can always email me if you need to!

  4. and yet through the clots and blood and tampons up your nose, you manage to laugh through it and push forward. you are the epitome of strength and inspiration, missy. i love you for it. i wish i could be there to help you shove more tampons up your nose!! then we can make tampon and vagina jokes all the live long day.

    Vodka and Soda

  5. A walking ad for tampons, bahahahaha.

    Aren't sisters great!?! Mine always makes me laugh at in appropriate times too! :)

    Feel better and I hope today's appointment goes well.

  6. Man you don't catch a break do you? Forget that silly challenge get that ish under control.. At least your steroids are at a lower dosage. =\ If you need anything at all love hit me up! :) Hope you're doing better today love and keep your head up! Here, dance:

    lots of love and good vibes sweetie, -Iva

  7. You are totally allowed to miss the challenge! Hopefully all goes well today and you don't have wear tampons in your nose anymore!!

  8. Oh Marla, this is just painful reading about. I'm sorry that happened, hope you get some answers today. LOLOL @ the questions of the nose appearance rather than the blood.

    But yay for a decreased dose of steroids!

  9. You definitely deserved that award, how did a story so inherently crappy have me cracking up the whole time? And even with pictures. Girl, you're a rock star.

  10. Oh hon!! I was worried about you when you didnt post this early in the challenge. Yay for lower steroid dosage but BOO for tampons in both nostrils. I'm so so sorry you're going through a rough week. Thank goodness for Brie to be there with you and take you to hospital. I'm sure there has to be a hospital record some where on how far you can blow bloody chunks and mess up curtains. Great attitude as always but dang it i pray for a break for you. xoxoxoxoxoxo

  11. Oh no! I can't even imaging having packing shoved up my nose, ouch!!! I hope they are able to figure it out today! I wonder what's causing the bleeding. But I love that the first thing you asked Steve was "did my nose go back to normal??" I'm hoping for some good news after your appt today!!

  12. I know the real reason your nose was bleeding... ;)
    In all seriousness, I'm so sorry you had to go through this! It sounds so uncomfortable!!!!! :( Good news about the steroids though!!!! :D

  13. I was going to congratulate you on House lowering your dose but HOLY MOTHER OF PEARL.
    When it rains it pours, so to speak. I hope you get answers and this ends SOON.

  14. I love how you put such a funny spin on your obviously horrifying story. The pics just put it over the top. I hope they can figure out what's going on - that's crazy. I wouldn't want to have to worry about spraying blood graffiti if I have to sneeze. Good luck!!

  15. Oh, no!! I can't even imagine how uncomfortable that must be. I hope the appointment today is helpful and they can do something to put an end to all of the bleeding!!!

  16. OMFG. I can't even imagine the projectile blood sneezing! I hope you are feeling better today and get some answers this week.

    Also, before you mentioned it, I totally thought of the tampon in the nose scene from SATC. I would let a half-naked Blair Underwood put tampons in my nose any time.

  17. Wow sweety! Thats a lot to deal with, who cares about the blog at that point. I do hope everything is okay and your noes goes back to normal :)

  18. Oh no!! I hope everything went well with the specialist and your nose is tampon free ;)
    Great news about the steroid dosage!

  19. well damn! glad your nose went back to normal :( what a crappy crappy start to the week!

  20. Geez Marla, can you CATCH A DARN BREAK already!? You are such a fighter (and a funny one at that) I have to give you so much credit how much humor you can inject into the situations you find yourself in. Stay strong lady and I hope you have a great (read: dry & bloodless) weekend xo

  21. You could easily be a cast member of Walking Dead and yet here you are with your never ending positive spirit blogging away , you are seriously nothing short of amazing!!!!! xoxo

  22. aww man...sorry about your nose! I would've been frantic with all the blood! How are you doing this week?!


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