A few days ago, while cutting my hair, on a sudden whim I shaved my beard. I do that sometimes. Of course it meant that I had to start shaving regularly so I fished out my razor and some new blades. Having been unshaven for so long, my skin was susceptible to the blade and each day I managed to nick myself and bleed. It was always easy enough to staunch the wound with a tissue and pressure. No problem.
Today however, after work I showered and shaved ready to go out for dinner. I nicked my face again. This time the bleeding would not stop. The blood really flowed, and no pressure, no dressing, would stop it. I soaked two face cloths, a towel and two shirts and bled constantly for an hour before realising I had better visit the hospital. There I bled for another hour while the nurses tried pressure and ice before conceding that the bleeding was not going to stop without some further help.
Of course my daily dose of aspirin was first thought to be the cause of the flow but considering I have been taking aspirin for nigh on 28 years now, and have cut myself much more severely many times before, even recently, that does not really explain it.
When I first went in to emergency, they took my BP. It was 149/87.
Less than an hour later it was back down to a normal 125/75. I was still bleeding however and after the second ice pack had melted without stopping the blood something had to be done.
They had no means to cauterise the wound and no dry ice, so they got out the silver nitrate. That worked. I now have a silver tattoo where the scratch was. I am told it will fade in time. The incredible part is that it really was a minor graze, yet we estimated I lost 300ml of blood or more. Interestingly, the nurse said that only three days before someone had come in with exactly the same problem and bled for 6 hours before they stopped it. She thought there must be something in Halls Creek water, but I don’t drink the water here. It is safe, but hard and tastes awful.
So now I have to go back on Thursday for blood tests.