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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

"Baby*? Wake up."

"Mmm?...What?"

"I seem to be spitting up blood."

"What?"

"My mouth is full of blood. I don't know where it's coming from."

"...What?"

And that was 7 o'clock this morning in the Nest'O'Love.

Standing in the shower, I had felt that there was something in my mouth and so, being a lady, I spat it out. And there it was, a huge lump of disgusting blood. I spat out again, just to check. Yes, it was actually happening to me. I was actually spitting up blood.

I have never in my life felt so frightened. It was the kind of fear that really only comes over you in the course of a nightmare, when you've fallen over and the faceless man with the axe is looming down over you and you realise you've got absolutely nowhere to go and you think to yourself "This is how I die" and then you wake up screaming and sweating. Only I knew I was awake, and I was spitting up blood and I didn't know where it was coming from.

Thankfully, He Who Only... kept his head. He stared blearily at me and said, for the third time, "What?" I was at that point standing in front of the mirror checking my gums. It wasn't my teeth. I hadn't bitten my tongue. There was absolutely nothing wrong with my mouth, other than the fact that it was continually filling with blood.

I explained all of that to him, but with less words and with a mounting sense of utter horror.

"I don't know what to do," I said.

"It's probably just a nose bleed," He Who Only... reasoned.

"I never get nose bleeds," I said, panicking.

"Well this is probably your first," he said, with incredible calm.

Mind you, he wasn't the one spitting up blood.

For some reason I carried on getting dressed. I even blow dried my hair and put on moisturiser, all the time spitting blood into a growing collection of wadded up tissues.

I called my Mum, who was at that stage getting on a plane to Scotland. She fired a round of questions at me, the answer to all of which was "no". I wasn't feeling sick (except through the horror of it all), I didn't have any aches, I hadn't bitten my tongue, I didn't have heart burn, I didn't feel faint, I wasn't afraid of lights, I didn't have a rash, my throat wasn't sore, I didn't have a cough, there was no other discharge, I was still spitting up blood. My Mum said to call the doctors. It was 7.45am. The doctor didn't open until 9am.

He Who Only... very sensibly made us both a cup of tea. Thinking things through, he pointed out that we could call the NHS Direct Line, who would at least tell us if an ambulance was called for. While I was on hold with them, He Who Only... started talking about what he would say to people at my funeral. He was picturing the accusing stares he would get from my sisters at the inquest, and day dreaming about what he would say to the newspapers.

"I've probably got Russian spy poisoning," I said.

"Yes," he agreed. "Or it's probably consumption."

The NHS Direct doctor asked me exactly the same questions my mother had, only in a slightly different order, and in a less rapid fire manner. We eventually agreed that what I needed to do was see a doctor.

It was 8am. The doctor didn't open until 9am. However, the bleeding seemed to be slowing down.

"It's slowing down," I said to He Who Only...

"I thought it would," he said sagely. "It's probably just a nose bleed. I'm going back to bed."

I sat up for about 10 minutes on my own in the sitting room, fully dressed in my work clothes, complete with shoes. Then I came to my senses and went back to bed as well.

At 9am, I called the doctor. The receptionist seemed a little astonished at my "woke up with a mouthful of blood" story and I got my emergency appointment.

The GP said it was probably just a nose bleed. I'm going for blood tests on Tuesday. It's all go round here.


*We started calling each "Baby" after seeing Walk The Line. This started as an ironic nod to the film, but has now become habit. And I like it. Don't judge me.

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