My Eyes Are Just a Little Sweaty Today

I haven’t posted anything in a while, but I promise I have a good reason: my face keeps exploding with blood.

For a while now, I’ve had uncontrollable, 20 minute-long nosebleeds. Not the cute, action movie kind of nosebleeds, either. It’s like the scene with the river of blood coming out of the elevator in The Shining, but, you know, on my face.

Normally, this would be very upsetting. There’s a certain expression people get when you’re talking to them and your nose suddenly starts gushing blood. It’s a mixture of horror, worry, and disgust that assures you you will have no friends by the time you’ve stopped. It keeps happening at work, which is incredibly inconvenient, and no one could be blamed for assuming I’ve begun a horrible crime spree after seeing me walk across campus covered in bloodstains. This should be a seriously awkward issue for me. Lately, however, it’s awesome.

Possible Explanations for the Fountain of Blood that Used to Be My Face

1) Maybe I keep running into things with so much force that I immediately forget it happened.

2) Perhaps I have a superpower of which I was not previously aware. I have no idea how to control it. I guess if an evil-doer held still long enough, I could stand over them and drown them. At the very least, I could gross them out.

3) I live in a desert. I guess they’re really dry?

4) It keeps happening when I’m upset. There’s a distinct possibility that I’m so bad at expressing emotions, they cause me to start spurting blood all over my friends and colleagues. (IN A FUN WAY.)

See, I’ve had what some people would call a “rough week.” The only way I can describe it is by saying it feels like life has punched me in the face. Actually…

Possible Explanations for the Fountain of Blood that Used to Be My Face (Continued)

5) Life has literally punched me in the face.

It’s weird that I happened to have a picture of me getting punched.


Evidence I’ve Personally Wronged Karma in Some Way

1) I stopped seeing this guy because he started “seeing” someone else. At the same time.

2) I accidentally got lost in the desert for four hours with no water and, more importantly, no melanin.

3) There was an absurdly large fire burning through my hometown, uncomfortably close to my house.

4) WebMD told me I’m either reacting badly to some medication I’m taking, or I’m schizophrenic. I’m not taking any medication. (This one is my own fault. Surely there are better hobbies than using WebMD’s Symptom Checker for fun.)

5) I’ve had a Christmas carol stuck in my head all week, no matter what I do.

6) I received a bill from my school for $700,324,653. How does one accrue a debt of over seven hundred million dollars? I would have had to take every class my university offers, like, thirty times. I’m accumulating a 1% interest every month, but the letter says I can pay it in manageable 10% chunks. Paying $70 million a month sounds more reasonable. They’d better let me keep every building on campus when I graduate.

7) The whole “uncontrollable bleeding from the face” thing.

If there was ever a week that called for distress, it’s this one, but I have a serious problem with crying.

Several years ago, I tried to “find myself”. (I hate that phrase. It makes me imagine a scenario in which I leave my clone at a gas station, then have to drive 200 miles back to pick her up, only to find her crouching behind a trashcan, nervously eating licorice until she pukes. “Oh! THERE you are! Please… please stop throwing up.”)

Being of a pseudoscientific bent, I decided the best way to find myself was to take a series of personality tests. Some of the tests were incredibly enlightening. Many more of them were incredibly stupid. The thing is, almost every test, from “Which Movie Villain Are You?” (Hannibal Lecter. TIP: If this applies to you, too, don’t bring it up at fancy dinner parties.) to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (INTJ. Basically I’m a socially awkward robot.), revealed the same information: I’m not great at “feelings” or whatever.

“Why is your face doing that? Do you need a hug?”

For some reason, displays of emotion always leave me either laughing inappropriately or staring haplessly at whoever is making a scene. I approach tears the way TSA approaches suspicious packages at the airport. It’s not that I think it’s a sign of weakness or anything; I don’t like to cry because I’m very shallow and it does unpleasant things to my face. Therefore, I maintain that these nosebleeds have been the best thing ever.

Nothing shuts down a sobfest quite like blood spurting from an orifice. Any time I start to feel sorry for myself, I get distracted by more immediate issues like finding a sink I can occupy for the next 30 minutes, and not bleeding on anyone I love. Sometimes I get out a few tears, but they stop as soon as I realize I have less than a second to find a tissue or risk staining my favorite T-shirt. There’s really no way to keep feeling sad when you’re standing in a public restroom with tissue up your nose. You have to laugh at yourself and your situation. (Carefully. Because there’s nothing more painful than accidentally snorting Kleenex.) Plus, nosebleeds give you some time to reflect. I’m going to get over all of these things.

All My Problems, Solved

1) The wildfire near my house is 90% contained. Woo!

2) My sunburn will peel any day now. Could this be the year I finally get a base tan? (No.)

3) Shockingly, the $700 million dollar bill turned out to be a typo. The actual amount I owe is more like $0.00. It’s also given me some really good excuses. “Man, I really wish I could go to that shady bar with you tonight, but I gotta save up to pay my $700 million bill. You know how it is.”

4) I’m probably only a hypochondriac, not schizophrenic.

5) There’s an awful Ke$ha song out there waiting to shove the Christmas carol out of my head.

6) Who has time for a relationship when there are so many homeless cats?

“Who’s the most handsome man in my life? You are! Yes, you are!”

7) I don’t want the nosebleeds to stop. They’ve given me some much-needed meditation time. Maybe they’re the best thing that’s happened to me this week.

(Just kidding. Please stop, nose. I’m not sure what I did to you to deserve this, but I promise it won’t happen again.)


  1. Idigina

    Rivers of blood coming from your nose seems a valid reason to see a real doctor (instead of webMD) and not so much a symptom of hypochondria. Visiting webMD is, of course, a symptom of hypochondria but even those people actually get sick. Sometimes

    • Stephanie

      Good news! It was just the dry climate combined with blood rushing to my head when I got upset. I think they’ve finally stopped, with no cauterization needed. This is a good thing, because I have nightmares about nose cauterization.

  2. gabrielgarbowota

    Your predicament sounds distressing. Hang in there. Meanwhile, you have a great community of folks out here rooting for you. …and I still need to see “The Shining” – my life is not complete without it.

    • Stephanie

      This post made me feel infinitely better because so many people were so sweet about the whole facial bleeding/bad week thing. Thanks for being there in a cyber kind of way. You do need to see “The Shining”, if only to recognize all its pop culture references in the future!

  3. gojulesgo

    Despite your week from hell and blood loss that would leave anyone less than chipper, you’re still cracking us up! AND looking out for the homeless cats of the world! Bravo!

    • Stephanie

      I just want to prevent homeless cats from having a week like that one. It’s my new purpose in life. Have I told you I love your slap bracelet idea? The color is HAWE-SOME, which is awesome, but with an H sound.

      • gojulesgo

        Stephanie, given that you’re the blogger that inspired me to start a blog, I would be HONORED to adorn you in HAWE-SOME (loooove it) slap bracelets! And if you email me your address, I promise to only sell it to half the telemarketers I usually do. ;)

  4. Lorna's Voice

    I’m glad you managed to stop the bleeding (or control it) long enough to produce this great post. Your nose may be bleeding you dry, but your wit is as juicy as ever!

  5. Random

    Is there anything worse than an ill-behaved nose?

    But if you could find a way to direct the bloodflow, like a jet of blood, to wherever you wanted it to go… That could be kinda cool. I’m just spitballin’ here.

    Seriously, I hope you get that pesky nose-bleed thing taken care of. Though I’ve never met you, I care about you. (I’ve tested as both an INTP and and INFP, so I appear to have an unhealthy susceptibility to emotions.)

    And try to steer clear of scumbag guys, challenging though that might be.

    • Stephanie

      A jet of blood is a really excellent idea, and I want you to know that this comment made my nose bleed… in a good way. I read it and thought, “Awww” then immediately started gushing blood. Nicest nosebleed ever! Thank you.

      Incidentally, that is indeed a rhinestone-encrusted zipper pull on my necklace. I call it my bling zipper. No one else thinks that’s funny.

  6. Fork in My Eye

    My youngest son has such regular nosebleeds our bathrooms often look like a crime scenes, we have boxes of tissues placed strategically about the house and cars, and he always carries clean shirts to school in his backkpack. A little advice: 1) run a humidifier in your bedroom at night 2) use saline spray to moisturize your traumatized membranes 3) don’t take antihistamines right now unless you really have to 4) super-hydrate 5) any time our son has a horrific bleed, it takes a couple of days to heal really well. In the meantime, it can recur easily. So anything (like a $700 million dollar bill) that raises your blood pressure will make you bleed again. 6) Smoke is bad. Glad the wildfires are contained.
    I’m also a robot and it’s not easy to make me laugh, but you do every time. Thanks.

    • Stephanie

      1) I’ve never received a list full of advice in a comment before.
      2) It’s so helpful! I should make listed comments a requirement.
      3) Seriously, I think this went a long way towards stopping the bleeding.
      4) Thank you!

  7. Anna banana (@annaban)

    The nosebleed could be from stress. Whatever it is, it’s not hindering your ability to be funny! :D I really enjoyed this post. And including a scene from “The Shining” at the start of your post… yay! And then the cat at the end of the post… Gotcha! *runs to get yet another cat*

    • Stephanie

      Ha. I’m glad you liked the “Shining”/Cat combo. Sometimes I worry that the things I talk about will only make sense to me. I think stress was definitely a factor, though. I need to take up meditation or something.

  8. Frances antoinette

    You are so optimistic and funny that you can write this post about your recurrent nosebleeds, haha. And wow…that was some typo they made with your school finances…I heard that American university education is getting expensive, but that millions of dollars??! Wow!

    • Stephanie

      Ha. College degrees really are pricier and pricier. I don’t know how you can miss a typo like that. If it was one decimal off, or even two, I could probably excuse it. A nine digit figure seems a little excessive to me, though.

      • Dave

        Karma is not spiteful … It just balances out the whole. I’ll take a guess that you worrying about it means karma is cool with you …

  9. marcsart

    true story: one time when i was in high school i was in class and the teacher started conducting a test that i had totally forgotten about and was not ready for. so i said to myself, if i could only get a nose bleed right at this moment i could leave, go to the nurse and avoid this test that i will most surely fail. then, miraculously my nose started bleeding. i got the teacher’s attention and got the hell out of there. it was amazing.

    anyway, great post and hope your nose stops bleeding at some point

    • Stephanie

      That… is… SO. COOL. You literally willed your nose into bleeding. That would be the handiest talent ever. It’s even better than being able to use the Force grab stuff without getting out of bed, which was previously my ideal superpower.

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  11. hollybernabe

    My sister used to get nosebleeds all the time when she was in her teens. She finally had to have the doctor cauterize the inside of her nose.

    Hopefully the blood vessels in your nose heal up soon so you don’t have to burn them with a cautering iron.The smell of burnt flesh is bad enough–but when it is coming from inside the body part used to detect odors, well…I imagine that falls outside the realm of fun.

    • Stephanie

      Aaaa, nose cauterization sounds like the worst, worst, worst thing. I have recurring nightmares about that. So far, the bleeding seems to have stopped. Let’s hope it doesn’t get to that point.

  12. Chelsea Brown19

    That sucks about yr nosebleeds I can relate I get them periodically during the summer months because of my allergies.

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  16. hollybernabe

    Glad to hear your nose isn’t like the fountain of blood in The Shining anymore!

    My friend Franklin Veaux wrote his own version of what the Myers-Briggs Personality types mean. It’s frickin’ hilarious.

    Last I did the test, I was an ENTJ. Here’s what he says about them:
    “ENTJ: The Evil Overlord

    The ENTJ is best characterized by his charisma, his ability to grasp complex situations and to think flexibly and creatively, his keen and active intelligence, and his overwhelming desire to crush the world beneath his boot. ENTJs are naturally outgoing and love the company of other people, particulalry minions, henchmen, slaves, and the others they rule with ruthless efficiency.

    ENTJs usually die at the hand of secret government agents in a fiery cataclysm that destroys their entire underground fortress. Often, Evil Overlords will have a secret clone whose implanted memories contain all the knowledge and ambition of the original, stored in cryonic suspension in a safe location. The clone will appear in a sequel….”

    And so on. There’s more, and I laughed so hard reading it! He’s right on the nose for so many of them, lol.

    I’ve changed a lot in the last few years, though, so I imagine I might fall under a different category now. I used to be an INTJ–I may be one of those again. I seem to prefer my solitude a lot more than I used to. I wonder if I ought to try and hunt down a copy of the test again….

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