Friday, February 19, 2016

The Nosebleed That Wouldn't Stop

My mother has leukemia. With that, she has a low red blood count and low clotting factor. She has gotten red blood about 2 units every 2-4 weeks. She has had a few issues with getting huge bruises when she bumps something. This past week, she got a bloody nose and it wouldn't stop.
She already had an appointment with the Ear, Nose, Throat specialist from her hearing issues and her ear infection that she had when she arrived. It was great that we already had the appointment but we were sad that her nose bleed wouldn't stop. 

It wasn't really heavy but was quite constant for about 32 hours on and off depending if she would blow her nose. 

I called her cancer specialist and we checked her blood counts again just to make sure she was doing ok. With that, we were able to find out that her white count has gone down which is great and her other counts we both OK as well. It was great.

We went to the Dr. and he was really good with her. He shared some tips with me that were very helpful and I thought I would share them on here in case anyone has an issue with nose bleeds.  

He said that if you get a small cotton ball and drench it in "Afrin" and put it in the area that is bleeding, it will cause the vessels to constrict and that can stop the bleed.

He shares that pinching the nose for ten minutes after putting the "Afrin" in it can help stop the bleeding. He also said the purple boxed "Afrin" has some moisturizing ingredients in it.

He commented that sometimes bleeds can be caused by dry air. He thought maybe her oxygen could cause drying but it is humidified so I don't think it was that.  

He prescribed an antibiotic nose ointment to keep it moist as well. He gave her a prescription for a cream but it wasn't covered by her insurance so the pharmacist said as long as you used a non-cream triple antibiotic ointment, it is VERY similar to the prescription one but cheaper.    

Her bleed had stopped when we went to the Dr. but he checked and saw the spot that had been bleeding and cauterized it anyway just to be safe. 

We see her cancer Dr. next week and hope that her numbers continue to get better and we will go from there. 
On a good note, her memory is the best it has been in years and the pressure behind her ears isn't showing up on the instruments he used to check it but her hearing is stuffy again after getting better for a few days last week. I think she may have had some type of bleed in her sinus which clogged her ears and then it drained but then filled again with the blood from the most current bleed. 

It is so difficult for her struggling for air, being tired all the time and not having her independence. I am not sure what we are going to do with her now that she is getting somewhat better. Taking care of a parent isn't quite the same as a child but it has given me opportunity to really help her let go of many things she hasn't before been able to let go of as she is facing death and knows that her time to forgive and ask forgiveness and speak final words is coming to close. 
As I have dealt with my mother, the same stories of regrets or people who have hurt her or things she wished she had cleared up have come up often. I thought to myself, "What would be the things I would regret and constantly bring up if I were getting close to death?" 

Those are the things we should take care of now because truly, we don't know when our time is going to end on the earth and I for one would like to face God with a clear conscience and no regrets. 

Speaking with my mother the past week or so, she has been able to forgive someone who traumatized her as a child. Perhaps God gave her this time of clearness of mind to be able to deal with these things that have haunted her and to ask forgiveness for the things which she wished she had done but didn't etc. She has seemed more at peace and happier the past few days and I am VERY proud of how she has chosen to spend the past week working on healing herself not only of the physical things going on but the emotional things as well. 
I am grateful for the time I have had to spend with her and pray that I can deal with all those things which would haunt me in the future now so my children may have less to deal with when I am older. 

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