Don’t Put a Bean Up Your Nose

Mike is asleep on the couch. The poor guy got a nosebleed yesterday that wouldn’t stop and ended up with four inches of packing up his nose. Now, he’s sure he’s coming down with a cold or a sinus infection. I’m pretty sure that his sinuses are just rebelling, causing his nose to run and him to sneeze repeatedly, but who’s to say? He feels like shit, so I’m treating him like he’s got a cold or sinus infection.

He says that time is creeping so incredibly slowly. He says that Monday morning, the time he’s scheduled to get his packing removed, will never come. I know what he means. I had ten days in traction in a hospital once. I felt like that then, the logarithmic increments of time, each second seeming longer than the one before, time stretching out to an eternity of two days.

His ER doc equated the packing with a tampon. She might not have done that if I hadn’t been in the room. It looked thinner than a tampon and nearly the same length. It was unnatural to see that much volume jammed up into Mike’s nose. His reaction, clutching at my hand and groaning, though I know he tried not to, said the same thing, unnatural. The tampon also had a bladder in it that the doctor inflated after Mike’s eyes stopped watering. Great. At least the bleeding stopped.

I’m feeling very grateful for my clear breathing about now. I’ve never had a tampon shoved up my nose, though I put a bean in one nostril once.

I was a kid. You know how that is, don’t you? It never occurs to you to do something strange like that until someone, in all seriousness, tells you not to put a bean up your nose. So I did went into the kitchen, found a dried navy bean, and took it outside to the picnic table and put it into my nose. I panicked right away.

I couldn’t dig it out. I kept breathing hard and it got sucked higher and higher until I very nearly got up and ran, zigzagging, across the lawn and slamming my body into trees that grew there. That bean was stuck and digging with my finger and snorting only pushed it higher. Squeezing my nose from the outside didn’t work either. It was almost up to the cartilage. It hurt, but probably not as much as Mike’s tampon.

I heard a story of a man who went through sinus surgery because he had really bad breath and what his doctor told him was a deviated septum. It turned out that he had a crayon jammed into his sinuses. Easy peasy surgery. They pulled that sucker out and he never had sinus problems or halitosis again. He didn’t even remember putting it up there.

But I remember that bean. It felt as though I had a whole peach pit jammed up into my nose. It was awful. I couldn’t breathe right. I was going to die with that thing in my nose until I remembered the power of the snot rocket. I was just panicked enough that I almost took a deep breath with my mouth closed and nearly sucked the bean even further into my sinuses.

With the biggest breath I could hold, I pinched my other nostril, and shot that bean out of my nose at what seemed like the speed of a bullet. It stung my arm where it hit, bounced, and rolled through a crack in the picnic table and onto the dirt underneath. I leaned over and looked at that nasty bean. Then I pushed it into the dirt with my big toe until I couldn’t see it any more. Damned bean.

I can imagine how Mike feels about the inflatable tampon shoved up his nose. I really can.

I may not be able to make time speed up, but sleep does that. I just wish that Mike could sleep until Monday. Damned tampon.

Thank you for listening, jules


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