Bloody hell, my nose won’t stop bleeding!

I grew up in many different kinds of climates. I’ve experienced Michigan winters, Nashville summers, California Julys and wet Hawaii Junes.

My nose never fails to gush full streams of blood during the most inconvenient times.

Nosebleeds were always a common occurrence for me. Even my siblings got frequent nosebleeds, so I never thought it was out of the ordinary to get that random drip of red on really hot afternoons as a kid.

Haley Alvarez-Lauto | Graphic Artist

Around 15% of the population experience regular nosebleeds that are not a health concern, according to the Columbia University Irving Medical Center. That includes me!

Even as a little child, I remember random moments during the day hovering over a sink with my fingers pinched around my nose, trying to stop a continuous flow of blood from staining my clothes.

One of my favorite memories includes a nosebleed that had an insane velocity, and I couldn’t quite squeeze my nostrils together in time. So, the blood cascaded downwards, into my mouth and created a gradient effect on my teeth and braces. It looked like a cool album concept, but it was not as pretty and infinitely more disgusting.

I was always a fragile little kid. I never overexerted myself in gym periods in elementary school, I never did varsity sports in high school, and I’ve never gone to the gym as an adult. Anything that has a higher than zero risk for injury is a no in my book. Even the prospect of a ball-related physical activity makes my nose tingle.

I don’t think I’m unhealthy, but the nosebleed thing inhibited me from doing what I want at times. For example, I cannot stay out in extreme weather for fear of this condition. It doesn’t matter if it’s hot or cold. Nine times out of ten, it’ll result in the same thing — blood.

Dry air in the wintertime can crack the skin in your nose, which makes people prone to more nosebleeds, according to the Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates in North Carolina.

In the summer, dry air combined with heat just worsens the possibility for me. The summer is just a bad omen of heat stroke, dehydration, sweating and the elusive nosebleeds.

I can be a workaholic, but I know the limits that my environment sets for me.

When I was a sophomore in high school, I was hired at my first miserable, minimum-wage fast food cashier job. I was on my feet for six to eight-hour shifts, barely taking breaks throughout the summer and not drinking enough water.

Before counting out my drawer at the end of my shift, I felt completely normal. Then, I went to the office to count out the money before I could leave. You can probably guess what happened.

My nose wasn’t getting enough attention from me. Like a grumpy toddler, it had a temper tantrum.

This temper tantrum consisted of blood and more blood.

I quickly rushed to the employee bathroom. I tried so many different methods to cease the bloodshed. I was tipping my head over, staring at the blood staining the sink. I was using paper towels to soak up the blood coming out from both nasal orifices, which doesn’t normally happen — I usually only bleed out of my right nostril.

But the worst situation manifested. The blood wouldn’t stop. The paper was eternally dark red, fully saturated. 

Time ticked by. 

Five minutes passed, then ten. Ten turned to 15. Finally — at 20 minutes — my nosebleed was just beginning to clot.

I even had to do the forbidden technique of tipping my head back. Even if there was a chance of suffocation, I just wanted the nosebleed to end. And if it had to take me as a sacrifice, so be it.

I was contemplating calling my mom or even 911. However, my nose took pity on me, and so the Bleed of 2019 came to end.

So far, I haven’t had these kinds of nosebleeds in college. 

Who knows though? Maybe the nosebleed demon will visit me again — terrorizing me once more.

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