Wednesday, 2 July 2014

A Mess

I had a nose bleed last night. It was not a big one; it was so small that it might have been an infected hair follicle that broke. Nonetheless, there was blood seeping backwards into my sinuses during the night. I found this out when I awoke and felt the stiff, scratchy feeling inside my left nostril. It was confirmed when I cleaned my nose and found a large lump of congealed blood in my nostril.

There was more blood further back, eventually leaking into my throat. I could taste it in the morning. It's an awful taste, knowing that it is my own blood making its way back into my stomach and ultimately becoming a part of my own food system. The chunks of semi-dry and dried blood clogged the tissue in my hand, getting onto my fingers in the process. It wasn't much but it was messy.

This is the second time in a week that I've had a nosebleed like this. I had one on my first night home. They are a result of moving from the moist air of Italy and Greece to the dry air of Calgary. For most people, these kinds of things are a simple inconvenience. For me, thanks to Warfarin, they can be a real mess. The one on Friday morning was a mess, leading to stains on my sheets on my first night home.

This time I was more careful, ensuring that any mess was contained to a tissue. I was careful with my hands, lest any mess make its way from hand to sheet, as it did on Friday. Mess like this, stains on sheets and blood on tissues and fingers, is now a common part of my life. It's just another day with ALS.

The lack of clotting is not a direct result of ALS. It is a side benefit from being in a wheelchair all the time, thanks to the loss of my legs to this disease. Life in a wheelchair brought on a Deep Vein Thrombosis. In order to combat the DVT, I have been put on Warfarin to reduce the clotting capabilities of my blood. The smallest of cuts or pinpricks produces bleeding for an extended period. That means a mess.

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