Just over a week ago, on a Saturday evening I had a severe nosebleed. My neighbour came over, saw the state I was in and called an ambulance. Paramedics arrived and they couldn't stop it, so took me to A&E.
When I saw a doctor there he asked how long it had been bleeding at that rate, "Two hours", I replied. His response was, "Well you've probably lost at least half a litre of blood already". He couldn't stop it, even with cauterisation and I sat there spitting blood into kidney dishes, once one started to fill I was handed another. It's a strange experience looking at a dish of your own blood! He said it's going to take you a while to get over this and I asked if he meant days, but the answer was weeks to a month. I started feeling dizzy and was put on a saline drip, but before then I had what's called a balloon dressing inserted. This was literally shoved right to the back of my nose and then inflated (my goodness did it hurt and yes, I made a fuss) . The ends were taped to the side of my face. It appeared to halt the bleeding and I was admitted to an emergency ward. Later I was transferred to an ENT ward. By this time my nose had swollen to about twice it's size and one eye was almost closed from facial swelling, everything ached including my teeth. I can tell you I sat and cried and couldn't stop, tears just poured down my face. When my daughter came to bring me some items from home, she cried too when she saw me. Never, ever have I cried in public, don't think I've cried for umpteen years.
I spent two nights in hospital (stopped taking my Warfarin while there) and then the dressing was removed, it was a relief to find that it didn't bleed again and after a few hours I was told I could go home. No explanation was given as to why it occurred and when I said what if it happens again, I was told it rarely does.
I was told to restart my Warfarin the next day, Tuesday, but it didn't feel safe to do, so I rang my GP's surgery. A really lovely male Advanced Nurse Practitioner rang me back, he listened to what I said and sympathised, even managed to make me laugh. I spoke of my fear of the nosebleed starting again and he agreed for me not to restart my Warfarin, but to talk to him again on Friday. "Are you there all day Friday", I asked. He answered, "yes", paused and then said, "Of course if I win the lottery I may not be". It made me laugh again and I needed that.
The upshot is I started the Warfarin again yesterday (Monday). As I self test at home I've been told I can check my INR as much as I want, if it makes me feel safe. I just know that's what I'll be doing.
What started the nosebleed? Just bending down to pick my reading glasses up off of a coffee table. I must just say it had bled slightly earlier that afternoon too, but I'd managed to get it to stop. My fear of having such a heavy nosebleed made my BP go sky high and I guess that started a vicious circle.
Someone has asked on this forum today about the risk of a bleed through taking anticoagulants and that has prompted me to tell my story. I could not go through that again, would honestly rather shoot myself. Should it happen again I can tell you I would never take anticoagulants again. The experience I have had has made me rethink how I feel about them.
Tomorrow I go for a full blood test to see how I'm recovering, have felt tired and sleepy, but feeling stronger each day.