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David Story Ms. Gardner Honors English 0 15 January 2014 One Bloody Mess Blood is the life bringing substance that is essential to human survival. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to all the major parts of the body. Without blood the body would cease to function and thus its parent body would die. These were the thoughts running through my head as what felt like a gallon of blood per minute was rushing out my nose. Bent over the sink in my Aunts home, stricken in pain and fear, in the beautiful tropics of Colombia; the warm sticky essence of life escaped its home as I tried in vain to suppress the stream of life sustaining cells. Get the clotter! I yelled to my dad who just stood dumbfounded in the doorway of the bathroom. He quickly got to his sense and passed me a thin sterilized brush along with a package of a rich brown powder. As quickly as I could with one hand I dabbed the brush in the powder and jammed it into my nostril. I was quickly overwhelmed by the intense pain, nearly losing my own senses. Abruptly the bleeding stopped and I stopped to gaze at what appeared to be the scene of a homicide. About a year ago at age fourteen I was diagnosed with with Von Willebrand disease, which is considered by most doctors the most common inherited bleeding disorder, It really hasnt affected me as much since, only the slight surprised gaze of a classmate every now and then when the river of life pours from my nasal cavities, or the spontaneous bleed in a crowded area where tissues tend to be unaccessible. The only

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issue was that the bleeding started to become more frequent: Every week, every day, and alarmingly every hour, blood that gushed for many long minutes on end, the light headedness as you watch your supply of oxygen rich blood crawling away from your body which calls out to the blood, begging for it return. From a scientific standpoint I was experiencing my bloods inability to clot, but to me it was my inability to control my lifestyle and way of life, not being able to normally function without the risk of bleeding to death. It got to a point where I was sent in for testing, being prodded with needles, having doctors gaze over me with thick spectacles and sharp hawk like eyes, the smell of medical supplies and sterile white-washed walls constantly snapping my attention back to the doctors who yet again would be dabbing my arm with rubbing alcohol before tying a rubber tourniquet around my arm. Theyd tell me to look away, and Id stubborning look on to watch the silver needle slip into my skin and rob me of my life. For several weeks my appearance changed to that of a drug addict, pale and thin, my arms full of lesions and holes from syringes that drew precious blood for countless samples. The doctors that seemed to care stopped caring, only taking and charging high fees for their services. The answers only led to more questions of why this was happening to me, yet to this day never completely answered. The only thing I knew was that the blood kept seeping and never failed to dwindle. That is when I realized the importance of blood, how much is required to keep you alive, and how little is needed to keep you from living. The bleeding continued on, and it showed no mercy, ravaging me in my sleep as I furiously attempted to avoid spilling my blood over my white sheets. I spent many nights laying in bed contemplating the various biological factors going on inside me. I

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visualized blood vessels deep inside bursting like broken pipes in an subterranean sewage system, as weak clotting proteins much like unqualified, incompetent workers try vainly to seal the leak. My body became a time bomb, ready to explode at anytime, but no one there to disarm the bomb. I lay in bed amusing myself with thoughts of how European Royal families such as Queen Elizabeth and her children were also affected by blood conditions, and I snickered at the thought of being one big bloody time bomb. The unexpected happened a month after my doctor visits, there was a break in the bleeding; a full day without an incident. I couldnt have felt more confused yet excited, partially because of the abruptness of the situation. Gradually the blood ceased leaving my nose daily and any cuts would heal over much faster, leaving many but mainly myself quite relieved. I think when you suffer from any disease or disorder it brings you closer to understanding how fragile the human body is and how such little things could cause disastrous consequences. I felt as if I had lost an old part of myself, cast off an old skin, and maybe a few red blood cells or two. I now find myself surrounded by blood in a world filled with death and hate where blood shed is imminent, filled with irony where even artists such as U2 with their song Sunday, Bloody Sunday reference the carnage and the spilling of blood in more relevant, modern scenarios. Blood is what makes one human, what makes one alive; blood is an underlooked factor of life, more than necessary; blood is crucial to life. In my time of crisis I have learned one thing that will stick with me to the end of days: never downplay the importance of your health or any part of you, else youll find yourself in a bloody mess.

Works Cited:

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"History of Bleeding Disorders." History of Bleeding Disorders. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2014. Jostins, Luke. "Inbreeding, Genetic Disease and the Royal Wedding." Genomes Unzipped. N.p., 29 Apr. 2011. Web. 23 Jan. 2014. "What Is Von Willebrand Disease?" - NHLBI, NIH. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Jan. 2014. <https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/vwd/>.