Wednesday, April 25, 2007

What a trooper!

This entry is not for the squeamish. So if halfway through this you are wishing you weren't reading this... don't blame me for not warning you.
The past two weeks I have had a total of three nosebleeds. Since January I have had five.
Nosebleeds are not a new thing for me... bleeding in the middle of the post office, a dinner party and a birthday party on the other hand are.
I didn't think anything about the one two weeks ago... but when I got the 2nd and 3rd within 24 hours and then the third one lasted about fifteen minutes I was a little concerned. I am used to nosebleeds (hello, three older brothers!) But these were different.
The weather isn't dry or anything so I was a little concerned.
After #3 I was more than concerned. I was a little scared. #3 graced me with her presence at Mark Rood's birthday party. I felt it start and rushed to the bathroom, assuming that a couple minutes of good pressure would put a stop to the pesty thing.
I sat there... and sat there. The bleeding did not slow nor stop. At one time I had blood coming from both nostrils and couldn't quite get this stinkin' thing to stop. So after that (it finally slowed and stopped after an ice pack was administered (thank you Jin) and I put hard pressure on the top) I decided to go ahead and get it checked by the doctor, at the request of my brother and father (both who have worked in the medical field to some degree).
Anywho! It was quite an adventure and below is my journey. Enjoy! (Special thanks to Jin Rood for bringing me, translating for me, and taking a peek inside my left nostril so that you could accuratly describe what my condition was.)
Jin and Abbie took me to the ears, nose, and throat doctor where we waited to be seen. The first thing that surprised me upon entering my room, was that there are no doors on the rooms. Actually there are no walls or anything. There are three chairs set up like dentist type chairs and everyone just sits there and watches the doctor probe you with things. PLUS, his huge case of instruments, tools, and torture devices are just lying there. The girl next to me had an earache.
Ohhh and then it was my turn.
Oh glorious day. I couldn't understand A THING. Not a thing. Which was fine, Jin was with me and we had our electronic dictionary handy. He took a peak up my little nose and then he asked Jin to come look.
I am not sure what it is called but it is a deviated or curved shaped septum inside my nose. The septum is the middle part that separates the two nostrils. (correct me, if I'm wrong, this is just my understanding of what I could understand) Apparently it's fairly normal, in humans and horses... don't know why he threw that one in there, but that's what the doctor said. So he's peeking around and talking to Jin and draws a picture of my curved septum and think he sprays some stuff up my nose. At this point I'm thinking, "Uh, is he numbing my nose? Is he going to poke around?" And then before I know it he shoves (very doctorly kind of shove) this long pokey thing through my nose and down my throat. I almost threw up. And then he does the other side. And the whole time I am thinking, "Good thing Abbie is here or I'd cry like a baby." And then my doctor leaves.
He goes to the chair next to me to check out the ear infection girl. And I don't want to move or breathe or swallow because everytime I swallow I can feel the pokey things move in my nose. How unnatural and freaky is that?
If you can blow up the below picture. He went in around #39. I felt the pokey thing around #23.

Needless to say, he said there was nothing to worry about unless I had complications. That's when Jin brought up my nosebleeds and then he looked concerned. To make a long story short I have a curved septum with a bunch of scratches on it. I was a little nervous about this because I'm not sure how comfortable I am with a curved septum, I don't care how "normal" it is. It's kind of weird-oh. I basically have to take this Qtip with my medicine on it, shove it up my nose, and rub it around. It's an antibiotic.
Here's my medical form. I tried to make it look more fun than it really looks.

So I am tired, a little freaked out by having long poles shoved up my nose with no "understood" warning. crying because I just put in the medicine to stop me from having bloody noses but it made me have a bloody nose. So I am going to take a break from my life and find something that will make me laugh. Oh, my cute little medicine container
I am trying to make the most of this situation because I realize it is not really a big deal. I think I am mostly crying because I am just tired. No, I know I am tired.

But my beloved was horrible to me. It started linking my "septum" search to sleep apnea, lose of sense of smell and surgery and all these more scary things so I had to close it down. I love WebMD but perhaps it's time to say goodbye for a little while.
I wish I had the strength and courage of so many women who have gone overseas years and years before me. I need to research Amy Carmicheal, Ann Judson and other women like them to see what they did and how they responded in their lonely and scary moments. It's funny that I compare my scary nose probing to yellow fever and everything else these pioneer women battled. Oh, God give me your strength when I wish I could just return to a place where everything seems "easier". Oh, Lord I know that is a lie. Give me the eyes to see that.

(making the most of the situation)
Administering the meds...

Hmmm... this goes where?
So for now, I will stay in bed, read my Bible, read some books, and get rest. Kelli, thanks for the international cafe mix. It was such a treat and comfort to know I could drink it and "be connected" to you somehow.

*But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid."* Matthew 14:26-27


Rachel said...

Oh how I miss you and your deviated septum! It's probably from all those nights I used to beat you when we were roomies. HAHAHA, yeah right. Anyways, hopefully you start doing better and I'm pretty sure that a vast majority have a deviated septum, we just don't know it yet. I'll start checking the horses and get back to you with the results. later chica!

Kelli B said...

Oh sister, we are connected in more ways than...twelve! ha ha. seriously, our lives are knit together. Remember i shared how i was having nosebleeds? id' get them so frequently during my senior year of college that a simple laugh could shoot blood out of my nose and it'd start in again.

i went to an ENT as well (ear nose throat) and found out that I have a deviated septum as well!!! how ironic and fun is that??? we both have a crooked internal nasal passageway! wow. crazy.

so here's what i did. i started using this nasal gel (like vaseline, but not as thick and heavy if that makes sense) called Ayr (air) and you stick it in your nose and swab it around on a q-tip until you're satisfied. I do that in the morning when i wake up and at night before bed, and i carry it with me. for some reason - it has helped. seriously! i have only had one nosebleed bad, lasted 1/2 hour, since August of 2005. So yeah...maybe that's an option? let me know if you cant find that over there, and i'll start stocking up to send you with the next journal or something? or as an emergency - i'll send it when your new meds are gone? let me know i'd be glad to do that for you.

and dont get freaked by webMD - there are a LOT of people who live with a deviated septum. some people have worse symptoms than others. for example, my sister jess cannot breathe out of her nose at all - always stuffed. the only way to fix it is with experimental surgery (in Japan of all places!!!) and could cost her her sense of taste and smell. so she just lives with it. And Tom, a guy i worked with here, also has one and it causes sleep apnea. he now uses a breathing machine and sleep stuff. But me and you and my dad and others - just the common severe nosebleeders - just have to figure out how to survive and prevent! : )

we are seriously so alike.

awe, that's so cute you used the cappucino! i wish we could sip and stare and read and sit together at a coffee shop or in a house. soon friend - somehow, soon.

ps - did you get new glasses? they are super cute.. AND - that blonde wig? dude, you'd be SO CUTE as a blonde and would be TOTALLY funny! it reminds me of someone funny i've seen on tv or movies! you crack me up.

miss you and love you from rainy iowa.

Christy said...

Oh my gosh! Did you go to the same doctor I went to for my ears?! Did Mark tell you about that? If so, than I feel your pain! He kept doing stuff and poking stuff in my affected ears and asking if it hurt and all I could do was scream "It hurts!, ITAI! ITAI!" It did hurt so much! ah it was horrible! But I was cured fairly soon after! I hope you have a speedy recovery as well and that you enjoy resting now! Love you!

Joanna Kay said...

Rachel, you make me laugh, friend. Quite heartily indeed. I think I read your comment, pictured you punching me in my sleep (ohhh that's what that was), pictured you trying to look up a horse's nose, and then laughed... heartily. I miss you friend. Let's get together and talk and be friends when I return. I will probably need to heartily laugh when I get back as I will be in my "ahhh, i miss japan." stage. I nominate you and Holly for that job.
Kelli, NO WAY! I was so excited after I read your comment that you have a bent septum too. I was like, "I know I shouldn't be happy about poor Kelli's nose but I am!" It made me realize how thankful I am for you and how glad I am that we met (thank you again Hil Peps and Jesus, mostly Jesus but physically Hilary!) Anywho, I think we should sit our mother's down and ask them if something odd happened at our births. maybe we are soul twins and our souls were separated at birth? ha ha ha! I am kidding. But I love that I feel connected to you and I love that I have you in my life. No, those are not new glasses (from high school, i looove finding stuff like that).
Christy, possibly the same doctor. Did you go to Tama Cen? Was he REALLY quick about everything he did. He was like, look, swab, look, spray stuff, shove poles in my nose, remove poles, look, and diagnose. It was quick. It made me miss american doctors where I get to sit and have their full attention and cry with them and tell them how I am doing and why I think I am experiencing these problems and ask about them and ask if I am okay and wonder what my future holds. :) ha ha ha seriously, I love going to the doctor because he always makes me feel better. It was better that I couldn't speak to this man, he had a mission to see and move as many people through his office as possible. Isn't it funny and crazy that our names are somewhere in those HUGE files of Japanese names... I was like, "Whoa, I am "on record" here in Japan."
I am silly... and random. Love you!

Jamie said...

ps - really appreciated your thoughts on jonathon

mrs. o

Jamie said...

.. and i had another comment that totally was not posted, prior to the "post-script" for the comment.

basically, sorry about your deviated septum (only in a paragraph or two).

jamie o.

Joanna Kay said...

Jamie O. I'm so glad we are connecting through blogger. Aren't you excited to post about moments like this in Japan? ha ha ha

I wish I could have read your post in the 1-2 paragraphs you wrote. You have a gift.