Podcast postponed

How about tomorrow, at 6pm Central time?

This has been a nasty week for me — my ankle is a nest of flaming knives, which means I haven’t been getting a heck of a lot of sleep. Then on top of that, this morning my nose started bleeding — I’ll spare you the details, but I was browsing the web on my iPad this morning and marveling at this incredibly brilliant, detailed, glistening blood spatter effect appearing on a website before I realized it was me, drenching everything in my lap. Almost two years on blood thinners means that when the geyser blows, it’s a bad one. I’m afraid I’d be going on camera with yet another toilet paper plug in one nostril that would steadily turn crimson over the hour, and really, that’s not a good look for me.

(Yes, I did see a doctor about this a short while ago. It’s become a recurring phenomenon lately. I thought they were going to tell me to count my blessings, I was getting leechings every day for free.)

Now pardon me, I have to go stare at the ceilings some more and pack more wadding up my face while cussing as I hobble about the blood-flecked bathroom. It’s been one of those fun days.


  1. says

    When you cork up the nostril, the gusher has to go somewhere…I assure you, I’ve been getting more than enough blood in my diet lately.

  2. Gnumann+, Invoker of Mansplaining says

    I’m afraid I’d be going on camera with yet another toilet paper plug in one nostril that would steadily turn crimson over the hour, and really, that’s not a good look for me.

    I don’t know if it will work on a person on blood thinners – but for me when I get nosebleeds there is a remedy far superior to the old toilet-paper-plug routine. It’s worth a try if you haven’t…

    Apply a firm pressure to the sides of the nose for approximately 5 minutes (breathing through the mouth is highly recommended). Then release gently and don’t blow your nose for a while.

  3. says

    Now pardon me, I have to go stare at the ceilings some more and pack more wadding up my face while cussing as I hobble about the blood-flecked bathroom. It’s been one of those fun days.

    Oh, ick. I used to get chronic, severe nosebleeds when I was a kid. They seriously suck. I hope it stops soon.

  4. says

    Ice on your forehead and in the back of the neck, then 20 mins firm pressure to both nostrils. Cut out antiinflammatories you may be taking for the tendinitis, because they interfere with the blood thinners. If it bleeds from both nostrils, see an ENT. Also if it bleeds repeatedly from the same nostril, it might need cauterisation.
    Get better soon!

  5. says

    The splatter effect is only really good if you go outside in the snow…

    I got help with nosebleeds by killing a vein in my nose. Really high tech – the witch doctor comes at you with this punji stick/swab with a sharpened tip blackened with silver nitrate. He jabs it repeatably up your nostril into the vein and it necroses and falls out in a couple of days.

    I just had to share.

    It did help…

  6. chigau (違う) says

    Now I’m picturing the podcast as a slasher flick.
    Don’t they use cocaine as a topical anesthetic for nasal surgery?

  7. says

    Stop picking your nose…

    Also it may be helpful to humidify the air to stop your nose drying out and bleeding…

    ENT exams in 3 weeks so… nosebleeds are my forte.

  8. James says

    “Now pardon me, I have to go stare at the ceilings some more and pack more wadding up my face”

    Ughh, no. Lean forward with a nose bleed, firm pressure either side of the bridge, about where your glasses rest, for 20 minutes. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, seek help. And I’m afraid that wadding can act like a wick, drawing more blood out and stopping clotting from happening.

    Ah, those St John Ambulance lessons, they come in handy sometimes.

  9. didgen says

    Looking forward to the podcast even more now, but I’m weird that way. I love scary movies.

  10. kevinv says

    This happens to me a lot in the winter, dry air really contributes to it. Saline nasal spray occasionally through the day is a big help in reducing it. Humidifier in the house helped too.

  11. jaybee says

    Too bad you don’t know someone who knows the magic spell to turn blood into wine. Then you’d be set.

  12. Josh, Exasperated SpokesGay says

    PZ—While this won’t work with nosebleeds, an old-fashioned styptic pencil is great for small cuts, and not just on your face. I’m on aspirin and Plavix and I bleed ridonkulously from the most innocuous cuts. Styptic stings, but it works.

  13. Kevin Dugan says

    I second the humidifier preventative. Never get noesbleeds in the summer here, but often in the cold and dry January.

    If you pinch and are still swallowing lots of blood, it’s probably too far back in your sinuses to pinch.

    Had one a few years ago that went on for 6 hours. No amount of stuffing or pinching helped. Finally went to the emergency room and after filling 2/3 of an emmesis tray with blood they inserted a “Rhino-rocket” balloon into my sinuses and I had it there for two days with a little inflator tube taped to my cheek. What a fashion statement!

    Good luck PZ.

  14. stevenbrown says

    Try homoeopathic ipecac. Worked wonders for all the blood noses I had as a kid.


    *flees from imminent attack*

    On a serious note: I’ve had gushers for most of my life and I can sympathise deeply with the increase in blood in your diet. I remember waking up in the morning when I was little and feeling incredibly ill. Then I’d look at my pillow and wonder why it was a nice red colour instead of white…. Hope they figure out what’s causing it.

  15. budkuenzli says

    send an invite…it all depends on whether I’m back from a bike ride…but I expect to be available and would enjoy the chance to participate kuenzli at geemail dot com

  16. iskenderoglu says

    Scarred nare here, which I think came from exposure to pernambuco-wood dust in a previous century, resulting in nosebleeds about semi-weekly. Dipping a folded wad of tissue in olive oil, then packing it towards the offending spot with moderate pressure, promptly dries things up. Got the idea from an ear/nose/throat doc, and it seems effective and harmless. YMMV.

  17. Barklikeadog says

    punji stick/swab with a sharpened tip blackened with silver nitrate

    Good Lord that must of hurt. Had that done to my nether regions a long time ago. I nearly turned around and slapped that SOB that shoved that in my ass.

    I too used to get bad nose bleeds until my visit with an ENT. Turns out it was a bone spur cutting the flesh when ever I sneezed. Got the spur from a basball bat to the face. No it wasn’t a fight. I was a catcher and the guy we stuck out got pissed and swung the bat backwards just as I stood up and pulled off my face mask. Learned to hesitate I did.

  18. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dang PZ, most NSAIDs further inhibit coagulation. Have your doctor prescribe a painkiller that avoids inhibiting in vivo prostoglandin synthesis.

  19. Rob Grigjanis says

    I have no nosebleed wisdom, but some regarding joints. Feel free to tell me to fuck off if this is regurgitated nonsense for your situation.

    Painful sprains taught me the value of soaking my afflicted foot in ice water for periods of 10 minutes or more. The first couple of minutes are torturous, but the bliss following was worth it. And the effect lasts for a couple of hours afterwards. I don’t know if Received Wisdom recommends this, but it worked for me.

  20. Barklikeadog says

    I don’t think soaking your nose in ice water for ten minutes would be a good idea.

  21. Rob Grigjanis says

    I don’t think soaking your nose in ice water for ten minutes would be a good idea.

    If the problem was inflamed tendons in the nose, it might be. Nose ligaments are another matter.

  22. says

    So many stories here I can relate to. In 1966 my parents had us living in Dacca, East Pakistan and I was anemic and always having nose bleeds. Parents left us kids with friends for a weekend up country in the tea plantations. I got a huge nosebleed the first night, swallowed a pint of blood sniffing it away. Next morning they served us runny eggs for breakfast which I eventually barfed up along with all the blood and passed out. I woke up in a hospital with nuns praying at the foot of the bed. The poor friends of my parents had hauled me to the Catholic hospital fearing the worst and no real way to contact my parents. I don’t recall being anything other than confused and embarrassed and we’ve laughed about this for years.

  23. reynoldhall says

    I’d suggest following James at #14‘s advice. I’d also suggest maybe holding off on the podcast altogether and seeing a doctor instead. Or at least after a doctor.

  24. says

    Thirding (or fourthing?) the humidifier suggestion. Made a huge difference for me with nosebleeds during winter months.

    I also think your feminist street cred could only be greatly enhanced if you do the podcast with tampons sticking out of your nose. :D

  25. Artor says

    At the hardware store, you can get a spray rubber product. They demonstrate it by putting a screen in the bottom of a boat & coating it with rubber. It makes a watertight seal, strong enough to float the boat. If you snorted some like an inhaler, I guarantee you will not have problems with nosebleeds. At least until the doctors peel the layer of rubber out of your sinuses. Then it might bleed alot.

  26. ednaz says

    I am sorry you’re having so much trouble, P.Z. I hope the nosebleeds come to an end soon.

  27. catlover says

    Hope you get well and feel much better very soon!
    I second (or third) the suggestion that you postpone
    the podcast until after you get the nosebleed under control.

  28. says

    As a sufferer of constant nosebleeds I can honestly say that you should ask your doctor to cauterize the blood vessels in your nostrils. I had a bleed about 3 weeks ago that went on for about five hours that ended up at the ER. They used some silver nitride to seal up the burst vessels and since it healed I haven’t had a nosebleed in that nostril, now I am waiting to have one happen in the other nostril so I have reason for that one to get burnt up.


  29. badearl says

    PZ, get off the blood thinner as soon as your doctor allows. After I had a pulmonary embolism, I was on warfarin, and considered it to be my protector against another clot. The nosebleeds became more frequent and more severe, and after several trips to the ER, the doctor took me off. I now take one baby asprin a day, but back off even that when I start getting bloody mucus. As an emergency measure, I now keep a bottle of vitamin K tablets in the medicine cabinet, and have used them once to stop a nosebleed.

    Use the saline nasal spray several times daily, and invest in a good room humidifier. I take my humidifier with me when I travel out west, and use it in my motel room.

    Best wishes. I know this is very unpleasant for you and your family.

  30. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    careful with that warfarin there PZ

    I’m sure you’re aware of the increased potential for brain hemorrhaging. My maternal grandmother had a stroke and they had her on warfarin. Couple weeks later, massive brain hemorrhage. She was never the same and died shortly later.

  31. Tigger_the_Wing says

    I was on Warfarin for two and a half years after my AF diagnosis at the age of 49. Worse thing that could have been prescribed, as it happens, but it was best practice at the time. I had been suffering intermittent bouts of AF for 32 years, since catching glandular fever (infectious mononucleosis) when I was seventeen, without any treatment and without any clots (of course, that may have been pure good chance). However, the Warfarin increased the risk of bleeding with anti-inflammatories and, therefore, stopped me being able to treat the arthritis (ankylosing spondylitis). Before Warfarin, I had maintained good joint health by exercise and the occasional course of NSAIDs whenever I had a flare-up. On Warfarin, I wasn’t allowed to take any anti-inflammatories at all. The AS had free range to attack and destroy my joints for thirty months.

    About three years ago, my GP read newly published research that suggested that Warfarin should not be prescribed for the under seventy-fives, as the statistics showed the reduced risk of clot-related strokes was outweighed by the increased risk of hæmorrhagic stroke. I was changed over to 100mg aspirin (I take Cartia, because it is coated).

    I immediately went back on anti-inflammatories, but, according to my rheumatologist, the damage caused to my joints during the Warfarin years is permanent. Which is why I now have to use walking aids for short distances and a wheelchair for longer outings. Also, I can no longer control the pain and inflammation with intermittent NSAIDs but have to take them daily; along with long-acting painkillers and five-day courses of corticosteroids once a month.

    You are my age, PZ (55). If you are on anything stronger than aspirin, I respectfully suggest you ask your cardiologist for a review of your medication.

  32. zb24601 says

    I have had the same issue. I’m on blood thinners and I sometimes get nosebleeds. On a couple of occasions I could not get the bleeding stopped and had to go to the emergency department. I suggest using facial tissue instead of toilet paper. The latter is more likely to leave pieces in the nose. Roll the facial tissue in a tight roll about 5 cm long, insert it far enough to block the bleeding (not just to block it from coming out of the nose) and hold pressure against it for about 10 minutes, then leave it in another 10 minutes. When you take it out, do so slowly with a slight twisting action. Don’t blow your nose for several hours. That usually works for me.