My boys returned from the Galapagos not just with wonderful memories of a relatively unspoiled corner of earth where sea lions and birds have no fear of humans, not just with cool souvenirs like stuffed blue footed boobies, but also with wretched colds. This is what happens when you’re stuck in close proximity to other germy, nose-picking children on a ship for seven days. No amount of antibacterial gel or housecleaning can ameliorate that situation. C’est la vie. (By the way, this is why I will never take a Disney Cruise. How is it vacation when there are at least a thousand sniffling children belonging to other people there? No. Thank. You.)
In addition to his sore throat, raspy voice, and stuffy nose, today Luke made some new discoveries about what can happen when you’re sick. He got his second nose bleed in two days.
“Mom…my nose is bleeding again,” he called down.
“Okay, Luke. I’ll be up in a second.”
“It’s not stopping,” he whined.
Too much information for me, but I headed upstairs anyway. There he was in their bathroom, blood smeared along his cheek where he had first wiped his nose with the back of his hand before discovering it was blood and not snot. There was blood actively dripping out of his nose and a clot hung there like a dangling, goopy stalactite. He had managed to use several tissues to sop up the dripping blood. Those, of course, were resting on the counter. I’m not great about blood or most other bodily excretions. There’s a reason I didn’t go into nursing. When one of our kids has the stomach flu, I abstain from clean up duty…unless hubby wants to be cleaning up two messes. So, I checked on Luke briefly and then quickly headed back downstairs once I was satisfied that he was not going to bleed to death…at least not at that exact moment. A few minutes later he called down to me again.
“My nose is STILL bleeding,” he informed me.
“It will stop, honey. Just hang in there,” came my from-a-safe-distance reply.
“I learned something about bloody noses too,” he said.
“Yeah, sweetie? What’s that?” I stupidly inquired.
“It’s not a good idea to sneeze when you have one. The blood goes EVERYWHERE!”
Oh holy hell. For a split second it occurred to me that I should head back upstairs for damage control. Then I returned to my senses. I sent Joe in my stead and coached him from my downstairs perch about how best to mitigate the bloody mess in their bathroom. It was kind of like being the 911 operator who guides a soon-to-be-father as to how to deliver his own child in the backseat of the family sedan. Every once in a while, Luke would interject comments such as “This is very unpleasant” and “Our white sink looks pink now.” And, that was how I knew I had made the right decision in staying downstairs. After all, if I had gone up there I might have passed out. You know…the strong know how to handle a tough situation. The smart, however, know to avoid one in the first place.