For the last six weeks, I have had a scab in my left nostril. I don't know how it got there, but it is like a bald eagle's talon let loose. As you can imagine, recovery has not been easy.
I thought it would just go away, but day after day has turned into week after week. I feel this obstruction within my nostril basically at any moment; it's like a booger, except if I smile too wide, I feel it stretching, and I wake up afraid my nostril has crusted over and I am going to suffocate. All this has led to some interesting interactions.
Firstly, as a fidgeter, I am constantly picking at my nostril. Personally, I believe everyone picks their nose; we just do it in private. Well, some of us. But when your nostril constantly threatens to close up and/or you feel the congealed mass within your nose every time you move your face, you can't always wait for privacy. So I hereby declare I have been picking this scab in public. And no one wants to be mistaken for a public booger excavator, so as of late I have taken to divulging, "I'm not picking my nose; I just have this scab I'm trying to get out." After all, there is nothing like the victory of removing a shard from your nose.
Of course, the problem is, you can't pick a scab and not expect blood. Like a hydra, this scab regenerates, each generation more ghastly. I will pull my finger away only to find it shiny with blood. Ugh, I know.
One time I was in the backseat of my friend's car. I casually asked if anyone had a tissue for me to blow my nose, but no one did, and I wasn't about to say, "I am hemorrhaging back here," and I definitely wasn't going to wipe my hemoglobin on her seat. Thankfully, I had a receipt in my wallet, which is not the softest tissue, but it did the job. I was especially grateful that it was an itemized receipt; more surface area for cleaning up.
Other times I think I've cleaned up the mess, but someone will remark, "I think your nose is bleeding." In class, I constantly dab/pick/poke at my nose with a tissue. My professor one day asked, "Are you okay?" In both cases, I explained I've had this scab in my nose for almost two months. In hindsight, was that too much information?
Another time I had to message my boss that I had a nosebleed. I work remotely, and I was supposed to be revising a document when I vanished for two hours - first, my nostril got the best of me, and then I had class. So when I returned to my desk and my boss's waiting message, I was upfront. She responded, "You should get that checked out. It could be leukemia."
Recently, I got my hair cut. When the hairdresser had me recline at the sink so she could wash my hair, I wondered the entire time if she could see up my nose. Was she wondering what was this massacre? I would.
The worst story happened this past Saturday. I went to yoga, and while meditating, I could not ignore the claustrophobic sensation of this clot resting in my nostril. So I swiped at it. A few moments later, we're in downward dog, and I realize this really should be called waterfall pose because I am gushing. I hate disturbing the serenity of a yoga class, so I wasn't about to march out of there with my cracking ankle; I would just wipe my nose with my hand. I emerged from class looking like a Comanche warrior after a day of scalping. My hands and wrists were smeared with dried blood. Talk about embarrassing.