Bloody Nose

My daughter’s nose has been bleeding for days — a trickle, a stream, and suddenly she bleeds steadily from both nostrils.

7:30 on an utterly dark evening just after Christmas: we’re at a gas station at the edge of town on what feels like the coldest evening of the year. Save for a teenage boy in the convenience store, playing on his phone, no one’s around.

While my older daughter hands paper towels to her sister in the car, I stand under the florescent lights and call the ER. What’s the threshold for a bloody nose? I ask. I get fever, but when I should I worry about a bloody nose?  Utterly unconcerned, the nurse tells me I’ll know.

On a post beside me, I read a dirty sign — Fresh Sandwiches To Go — and wonder how many years ago that sign was someone’s bright idea.

I’ll know?

Through the car window, I see my daughter’s eyes, frightened.

Over the holidays, my brother told her all minerals were formed in supernovas and made their far way to earth through meteorites. How cool is that? he said. Our bodies are created from ancient stars.

A single pickup truck passes along the two-lane highway.

The night is utterly still, the darkness beating around us — alive — the pulse of the universe, miraculous with ancient remnants of stars, my open eyes at the edge of the infinite unknown.

Then we head home, where the cats sprawl, sleeping.



3 thoughts on “Bloody Nose

  1. Sometimes vitamin C deficiency can be a root cause of bloody noses. This weather and cold season doesn’t help either. My husband just had a terribly frightening nose bleed similar to you description. I’ve been dosing him with 3000 mg vitamin C three times a day and it seems to be working. Clearly your daughter wouldn’t need that mega dose but maybe some C could help. I hope she feels better soon.

  2. If there is a clinic or urgent care near you I would go; there are many minor reasons that might be happening and a few major ones. My biggest concern is the possibility of infection. But I am a certified weather chicken when it comes to my kids so consider the source.

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