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  • Writer's pictureMicah M Rodrigues

The Nosebleed.

Last night Sam had a nosebleed at 3 am. It is not the first time he has had a nosebleed in the middle of the night, but it is the first time he has had a nosebleed in the middle of the night, in a place that is completely unfamiliar to me.

I know a nosebleed is not an issue (especially in a child who 'may' indulge in a little nose picking now and then), but I don't think I will ever be completely okay with watching my child bleed out of an orifice. Especially with nosebleeds which (like forehead injuries) seem to bleed a lot.

So at 3 am, I was sleeping - not comfortably - on the couch (husband snores, and it's a double bed) and Sam came out, blood everywhere.

He bled on the sheets, pillow, and duvet and was holding a hand towel to his face, which quickly became bovine-themed rather than white. So we did the usual; flipped the sheets and pillow, grabbed a roll of paper towels, and put him back to bed once it was over.

But at 4 am I was still not asleep. Not only was I not asleep, but I was riddled with anxiety.

At first, it was about whether or not he would have another one. At home, we have extra sheets, extra towels, and access to a washing machine. Another bout, not uncommon, would be no big deal.

But at this rental, we have exactly 4 sheets and 4 towels and no access to a washing machine. If he had another nosebleed we would be down a bed, which in a rental with 1 double bed and 2 singles, is a slight problem. Especially in the middle of the night.

From there, it was thoughts of my poor back as I would inevitably be bent over a low bathtub for a considerable amount of time attempting to clean said sheets and towels at some point.

Then, like the night surrounding me, the thoughts became darker. What if he has another one and it doesn't stop? What if something is wrong?

At home, I know exactly where the nearest emergency room is. I know should I need to call 911 they will understand me when I tell them where we are. Further to the point, I don't actually know where we are. I don't know where the car is parked in relation to this tree-filled, but suburban-sprawled resort. And if something is wrong, I am not confident that I could confidently jump to action as my motherly instincts demand.

And so I listened to every breath, every shuffle of sheets. I checked on him every few minutes and turned him over if he was on his back (this felt helpful to me) and the clock ticked along.

I knew he was fine. I knew that he was fast asleep. That we would manage if he had another one. And that we would not need emergency assistance. But, that's anxiety folks.

Lying there, I was reminded of a time when Sam was younger and went through a very anxious period. He had to know where I was in relation to him at all times. At home, this meant a quick Mama? increasing in anxiety until I responded. We have a small house, so my answer was usually immediate. And once I responded, usually with a "Yes, Sam?" his famous response was (and still is - as he continues to do this regularly both at home and at friend's houses.) "Nevermind!"

For school, he required a small printed map with a hand-drawn line between our house and the school with the (much broken) promise that I would not leave the house while he was there. His teachers would report that every once and a while he would pull it out and trace the line. This was also required for outings with grandparents or friends.

I always understood his need but lying there as the clock read 5, then 6, then 6:30, I would have given anything for a printed map with a line to the nearest emergency room. Because like Sam's map, it would have provided some security when everything around me seemed uncomfortable and unfamiliar.

These feelings were/are amplified by our upcoming move and the great unknowns involved in that. Another set of worries and considerations to be added to the already long list. The parts of all this that can't be checked off on a spreadsheet or packed in a box. Especially as we are planning to live in the country. Not in a suburban type resort a stone's throw from restaurants, mini grocery stores, and it turns out, an emergency room.

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