I am just now coming off of the Christmas vacation slash Christmas holiday slash back to school slash Monkey’s birthday slash everyone getting back into the swing of working LULL that I was so enjoying.
Well, I was enjoying parts of it. Namely, the part where I didn’t have to do very much work, because just about everything was either wrapped up before the holiday or on hold until the new year.
The part where I sat down with my bills and my checkbook and a noticeably absent stack of invoices to send out, that part wasn’t so great. Also the part where the children seemed to believe that every day should begin and end with cupcakes, presents, and my undivided attention… I’d pretty much had enough of that.
But now I’m back to business as usual. Yup.
Two of the things I love about working from home are that it doesn’t matter how I look, and I can often work when I feel like it. Trust me; for someone like myself, this is nirvana. If I get on a roll with something late at night? I just keep going, and after I get the kids off to school I come home and take a nap. If I’m moving slowly in the morning? I throw sweats on to get the kids going, then come home and work in my bathrobe.
Today, I had a business call scheduled, and–as is typical for me–I was puttering around in my sweats. I was boiling water for tea, tidying up, pulling up the relevant files on my computer. A few minutes before my call was scheduled to begin, I figured I’d better make a quick bathroom stop. (Once a mommy, always a mommy.)
Okay, so, I finished washing my hands, and the tea kettle was whistling. I walked out of the bathroom to the kitchen, grabbed the kettle, turned off the stove, poured the water into my mug, put the kettle down.
And then my nose started to run. So quickly, in fact, that I just put my hand up to my face to sort of catch it, because what else was I going to do? How was I supposed to know I was suddenly going to start leaking snot in the middle of the kitchen? But as my hand filled up with warm, sticky liquid as I ran back to the bathroom, I knew even before I saw in the mirror that my nose wasn’t running. It was BLEEDING.
The last time I had a nosebleed was… ummmmm… well, the car accident. I was a little bit BUSY that morning, though, so I can tell you that it happened but I paid it no attention whatsoever and I suppose the bleeding stopped on its own. The last time before THAT was, I think, when I attempted to dive into my sleeping bag at a Girl Scout campout so as to have a bit of privacy while getting dressed, and I managed to wiggle myself (in the bag) right off of my cot AND the platform of the big tent it was in, landing quite a few feet below in the weeds. I sat up, dazed, and bleeding all over my favorite yellow sweatshirt. I think I was 7.
My point is that it’s been a really long time since I had a nosebleed that I was actually concerned about. And believe it or not, neither of my kids have EVER had a nosebleed.
Hence, my reaction was cool, calm and collected. I ran into the bathroom and washed my hands again, because EWW, they were now covered with blood. While I did this, my nose continued to gush blood into the sink. And on my hands, which I was trying to wash. I did this for longer than I care to admit (must wash hands… blood dripping on hands… must wash hands…) before shutting the water off and standing there, panicked, while trying to center my face over the drain.
I reached into the dusty recesses of my brain. What was the proper treatment for nosebleeds? Pressure, right? Get some kleenex and hold it against my nose? I did that, and tried not to become alarmed when my wad of tissues was soaked through in very short order. I stayed over the sink, and tried to remember what else I was supposed to do. Tilt my head back? Forward? Pinch my nose? Cold compress on my neck? Where had I heard of all these things and which ones actually made sense? I had no idea. I replaced the first wad of kleenex with a second one, swallowing back a gag when a large clot *squished* out while I was swapping them. (You’re welcome for sharing. I know you’re enjoying every last detail.)
I held the tissues to my nose with one hand while inching to the trashcan at the end of the counter and disposing of the first batch with the other, then resumed standing over the sink like a moron. I was paralyzed. What if my nose never stopped bleeding? What if I had to go to the Emergency Room, unwashed and in my sweats, AGAIN? Those people will start thinking I own no clothes! And come to think of it, WHY is my nose bleeding? Do I have brain cancer? Leukemia? What the hell IS this? I have no time for this. I have work to do! I have important work to–
Oh, shit. Work. I checked my watch. My client was blessedly late in calling. But that meant she might call at any moment. And I probably shouldn’t take her call in the bathroom with my head in the sink and half a box of kleenex pressed to my nose.
I cautiously checked the flow and it seemed to be slowing down a bit. Somehow I managed to get another wad of tissues and wash my hands (again) and leave the bathroom… very… carefully.
The first thing I did was locate the headset for my phone, and get it ready by the computer. One problem solved.
The second thing I did was grab some more tissues and start rolling them up into a very crude tampon-looking thing. (Come to think of it, a tampon would’ve been handy. Damn hysterectomy.) I then took my impromptu plug and shoved it as far up the affected nostril as I could manage.
Oh, shut up. Like you had a better idea??
It took some tweaking to get it just right, but I managed to make it stay, and it staunched the flow. Finally.
And then the phone rang, and I was ready to have my business call all professional-like, as if I wasn’t sitting there in my sweats with my hair sticking straight up in the air and half a box of tissues jammed up my nose.
I could’ve pulled the whole thing off, too, if not for my lousy luck. (Lousier even than a gushing nosebleed just prior to a conference call!) I mean, I was going along, I was concentrating, I was focused. We were about halfway through the call and it was all going to be okay! I was also taking notes on the computer.
The client said something I wanted to remember, so I started to type it out, and it came out in all caps. Huh, I thought. That’s weird. I must’ve hit the caps lock. So I hit it again, and everything I typed continued to be in all caps. HUH, I thought. That seems… bad. And then everything I was typing ceased to bear any resemblance to the keys I was pressing.
And then I burst out laughing, and my client did the “Ha… ha…” laugh of “I’m trying to laugh with you but I don’t really understand what we’re laughing about.” I apologized, through giggles, as I asked her to hang on for just a second. I sprinted back to the kitchen for batteries while explaining to her that either my cordless keyboard had just been overtaken by evil spirits or the batteries were dying. Again I apologized for the interruption, but pointed out that I really didn’t want to be taking notes in Swahili. Thankfully, she was cool about it.
Little did she know that I was about two sentences away from telling her about the fifteen minutes BEFORE the phone call. I managed to restrain myself, though.
Yep. I’m so suave. A born businesswoman, I am.