Watching Big Guy vomit blood had to be one of the scariest things I’ve seen in a long time. I knew the blood came from the many nosebleeds he had suffered that day, but seeing blood pour from his nose and his gurgle out of his mouth and then seeing him vomit more blood up looked like something out of a horror movie. All I had to do to trigger the bloodshed was put saline drops in his nose–the very thing I do every night to prevent nosebleeds.
Unfortunately, this horrific event took place during our bedtime ritual, and Squeaker would not leave the room when the nosebleed started. We tried to get him out of there. We knew something would happen and that he wouldn’t be able to handle it. As soon as Big Guy started to gag and the blood started to come out of his mouth, all Hell broke loose in our house. Squeaker was terrified. He immediately went into full-on meltdown mode, wailing and biting himself. Big Guy continued to cry and gag and bleed.
Meanwhile, I’m trying to stop a bloody nose, clean up bloody vomit, and catch more bloody vomit with a towel while reassuring Squeaker that his brother is fine. The Manager ran to get new sheets for the bed, bleach, a new diaper, and other things to get the vomit and blood cleaned up. The rest, I confess, is a blur to me. I know that we got it cleaned up. Eventually Squeaker calmed down. The blood stopped coming, and so did the vomit. I remember The Manager giving Big Guy a bath and that soothing him. I called the on-call doctor and made sure death wasn’t imminent and got told what I already knew: bloody noses = swallowed blood = bloody vomit. No one (vampires aside) likes the taste of blood, so of course he would throw up after ingesting all of that blood.
The next night, since Big Guy had had nosebleeds all day again, we made sure Squeaker stayed out of the room during the saline drop portion of the bedtime routine. We allowed him to come in only once we knew the odds of bloody vomit were quite low. He has to give his brother a hug and a kiss goodnight before bed, and we won’t deny him that, but the poor kid did nothing but talk about his brother throwing up blood the next day. He cries when his brother is sick. He needs constant reassurance that everything will be okay. So, while I’m snuggling Big Guy and trying to make him feel better while he’s sick, I also have to make sure Squeaker feels safe and secure. I guess it’s a good thing that I have two arms, so I can hold them both close.