In search of story

Connections: January 30.17



word so dressy

but it’s still nosebleed

obnoxious, messy.

I have this thing

called H.H.T.*

commonest symptom

nosebleeds, you see.

So people say

“What a big yawn —

I’ve had nosebleeds

they’ve come and they’ve gone.”

Not for me

with H.H.T.

Instead of blood vessels

with cute little capillaries

I have kinky pretzel-like

vascular vagaries.

Some are big

and some are small

but “older” and “weaker”

apply to them all.

From brain in the north

to legs in the south

the bleed that startles most

is the one in the mouth,

that look to which

I most aspire:

the dripping, sated

happy vampire.

I’m sick and tired

of all the red tissue

but I realize this

really isn’t the issue.

The headlines fill me

with fear and foreboding

the whole bloody mess

is too near exploding.

Epistaxis is just

that last mythic straw

which gets the angst

unstuck from my craw.

*Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasias, aka Osler-Weber-Rendu Syndrome,

a genetic bleeding disorder I tried to describe previously in In Our Blood.

It’s about a lot more than nosebleeds.


5 thoughts on “Connections: January 30.17

  1. This is nothing short of amazing! My degree is in hematology, but I’ve never read a poem about H.H.T. I get irritated with my occasional winter nosebleeds induced by low humidity, so I can only imagine the awfulness you deal with. I hope you and your doctors are managing the disease and your symptoms.

    • Wow. Many thanks, Bonny! You cannot know what it means to hear from someone who actually knows about this thing. I couldn’t help chuckling, though, at your comment that you’d never seen a poem about HHT. I don’t doubt that! It isn’t exactly a subject that lends itself to poetic expression! (Not that my rhymey rant qualifies as “poetic expression.”) My doctors do a lot of head-scratching about this; they haven’t encountered it much if at all. I only found out about it myself a few years ago, so I’ve really been scrambling to learn about it.

  2. My husband has nosebleeds sometimes, but my brother-in-law has been to the ER several times. Sorry to hear you have to deal with this.

    • To the ER with nosebleeds? Yikes. He is your husband’s brother and they both have nosebleeds? Of course, HHT might have nothing to do with it, but it’s a genetic thing so might be worth a glance. CureHHT.org is a good source of information. I’d have to think, though, that your brother-in-law’s doctors would already have considered it. Poor guy. That kind of bleeding is scary. Well, actually, almost any kind of bleeding is scary — I’m in favor of keeping blood where it can’t be seen.

    • After I responded to your comment, it occurred to me that my post was misleading, and I have amended it. HHT is about a lot more than nosebleeds; it’s just that the nosebleeds got to me recently. Thanks for that comment, which caused me to clarify.

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