Most mornings, we get up early, go to the gym, work all morning, and then I go for a walk mid-day. Once it gets and stays hot, I’ll probably switch the order so I can walk when it’s comparatively cooler and hit the air-conditioned gym in the mid-day heat, but for the last couple of months, this schedule has been working.
Today should have been no different, but my nose had other thoughts. I wasn’t moving all that quickly, and John was planning to stop working early to fly, so he headed off to the gym without me. I figured I’d catch up and meet him there, but then I blew my nose and now I have to clean up a crime scene. Okay, fine, that’s not true. No crime scene. But plenty of bloody kleenex. And it took FOREVER to stop. Like, more than half an hour. I had to google what to do because I couldn’t remember if I should tilt my head back or forward. I eventually just sat in front of my laptop, doing work with one hand (I figured I’d start early so I can take off late morning to make up the missed workout) with my head tilted forward (thank you, Google) while using the other hand to pinch my nose shut, periodically switching out kleenex. Uncomfortable, annoying, and kind of gross.
I don’t think I was ever prone to nosebleeds. I can only remember two. The more recent was on my first deployment, sometime in the second half of 2002. Not exactly recent. We were in the Persian Gulf, so I assume it was the inevitable result of months of hot, dry air. The issue wasn’t that it happened, but that it happened right as the general quarters alarm sounded, and I was trying to figure out how to stop the bleeding and still get to my post quickly (in aft steering, which is the very very very back of the ship, several decks down and right at or maybe below the waterline). (It was a drill, not the real thing, but still.)
The other one I can remember was in Louisville, maybe around age 10? 11? Before we moved off the base, for sure. I was out with Mrs. Campbell – no idea what our plans were or why it was just the two of us – and my nose started bleeding in the car. My shirt got destroyed, so we went to the mall and she bought me a new one. Maybe we were going to the mall anyway, but why would Mrs. Campbell have been taking me shopping? Whatever. I had to walk through the mall in a blood-soaked t-shirt, so there’s no chance I would forget that incident.