It was a dark and stormy night.
The ER was packed with the usual assortment of back pains, headaches, and cramps. Then he arrived. The "he" was an elderly gentleman being whisked in by wheelchair, head back holding his nose, as drops of blood speckled the floor behind him.
Once he was propped up on the stretcher, a cursory examination revealed an arterial pumper emanating from Kiesselbach's plexus of his right nares. After the prying away of the blood-soaked handkerchief, the suctioning, the instillation of vasoconstrictors and topical anesthetics, I began the tortuous insertion of six feet of Bacitracin-impregnated nasal packing. The procedure was ultimately successful, and the patient was relatively comfortable until…
"I'm afraid I'm going to sneeze."
"No, you're not."
"Oh, I think so."
"Don't think about it."
"Can't help it."
The sneeze propelled the nasal packing faster than a beggar spying ten dollars on the street. It zoomed past the nurse's ear, grazed the monitor and affixed itself onto the opposite wall. It slowly slid downward, all goopy, bloody, snotty, and yucky, leaving a trail of erythrocytes and green, biohazardous material in its wake.
After re-applying another nasal pack, I felt the compulsion to comment.
"You know…your sneeze sounded exactly like the name of that President from Iran."
"No, it didn't."
"Yes, it did."
"I'm sure of it. It did."
Then the patient quietly gazed upon the hideous, repulsive, red-green slimy remnants of Pollack-packing that decorated the wall, thinking. Then he responded.
"Maybe you're right."