I am about ready for Genny to turn fourteen. Let’s face it, her 13th year of life has not been the luckiest. I feel so bad for her too because her thirteenth birthday was full of bad luck and we joked about it- (and how it’s “just a number”) but as the months have gone on and on, we have started to wonder.
Lately though, we just go with it. Like on Christmas eve when she is opening gifts and starts throwing up all over the place around barely decipherable sobs saying “This is the worst year ever, I hate 13!” Or, in case you missed it, there was the horrifying experience during the family vacation of her thirteenth year of life.
Now, whenever something goes drastically wrong, she just sighs- so young and already so jaded by life (LOL, she thinks) and says “Don’t worry, I’ll be fourteen soon.” Except for the time when she thought she was going to die and not make it to fourteen at all. That time was last Friday.
It was a normal morning. She’d been sick (routine, yucky, winter virus) and was working at making the most of her first semi-recovered day. She decided she’d do something super crazy, like get dressed in non-pajamas, and that’s when the bloody nose started. She calls out to tell me, as she’s rushing to the bathroom.
Ironically, in the fall (when she was 13) she got her first bloody nose and it was followed by one a day for several weeks. Her doctor assured her that no, it’s not a brain tumor- it’s just dry weather. She believed her. At least until Friday anyway. The bleeding wouldn’t stop, and it was far heavier than anything we’d seen before.
Five minutes passed. Ten minutes. Twenty… She started to panic. We tried plugging it but it would run down her throat and she would cough up tons of blood. Tissues would be soaked in seconds and her bathroom sink was full of blood. Her pajamas were covered. Truthfully, her hands look like she slaughtered someone, while her face looked like she ate their fresh bloody flesh.
She started to feel faint. Whether it was from the site of the 8″ long hemorrhages stringing from her nose, or the twelve constant minutes of her screaming “I am dying, I am going to die. i have a brain tumor, help me. Don’t let me die!” I am not sure. Either way, when we hit the twenty minute mark and things were progressively worse- i decided it was time for yet another trip to urgent care. She had a washcloth and I had the sense to grab a towel and call my husband- as we rushed to the car.
He left work, risking a point (like a demerit of sorts- whole other sordid story) and possible termination all in the hopes of making it in time to say goodbye to his beautiful thirteen year old daughter before her head exploded or the zombie virus set in… (both were what she was sure were going to happen, though how they both could, I am not positive.)
Much to Genny’s disappointment, the receptionist at urgent care did not take sympathy on her as she bled to death. I still had to fill out a million forms, even though they confirmed that she was still on record and absolutely NOTHING had changed. Chw made it as we were still in the waiting room. In fact, he was fortunate enough to have quality time with Genny in the waiting for a really long time. Apparently people had appointments ahead of us, which seems odd. Why would you schedule an appointment for URGENT care. Are we scheduling urgent circumstances now? Weird.
Anyway- the good news is, Genny lived. Zombie crisis averted another day. Turns out she has a cracked vein, super thin skin and a huge crush on the surprisingly charming PA who taught her how to shove tampons up her nose. Quite an adventure. So much so that there have been 7 bloody noses since then (though none to that degree) which we’ve barely thought twice about.
In fact, this morning as we were in the car, she piped up from the backseat “My nose is bleeding again.”
Chw- “watch the seat please.”
Me- “And your pea coat. Please try not to get blood on your pea coat.”
G- “oh, way to worry about your daughter.”
Chw- “we know you are fine- it’s the stuff the blood doesn’t wash off of that we’re worried about.”
Like the memories of the horror movie that played out in our second bathroom, and the intestine looking hemorrhages, and the screaming.