Have you ever had a nosebleed that, no matter what arresting action you took, the darned thing just would not seem to stop bleeding?
Well, that was exactly the situation being faced by one Los Angeles woman called Janet Farmer this week after she 'sneezed' while out walking her dog, Taylor, who enjoys a scamper on the grass.
Initially, Janet thought it was just one of those 'regular little nosebleeds' that come along, and are easily stopped by that dirty, old piece of tissue that she, like everyone else, keeps in the pocket of her jacket, but, when that turned red, she tried using the back of her hand.
This was not a good plan, though, and soon her hand looked like it had been injured in it's own right, rather than her nose, and she looked around for something to wipe it with.
By this time, Taylor was starting to look tired, so she returned to her car, popped the doggy into the back seat, and got the cloth she sometimes cleaned her muddy boots with out of the trunk. Still the blood did not stop.
Janet drove home, nervous now, but not yet panicking. She knew she wasn't far from home, and, once there, could use cold running water to stem the flow - no longer a trickle - from her nose. In the meantime, she drove one-handed, pressing the muddy cloth to her face with the other hand.
Once in her kitchen, she applied cold water to her bleeding nose, but all that happened was that the blood now streaming from it into her plastic washing-up bowl gave her the appearance of someone who had endured a dangerous three minutes with Mike Tyson. Or Joe Louis. You get the picture.
She rang her best friend, Maddie, leaving a trail of blood on the kitchen floor and into the living room, ruining her new cream carpet. "Put your head back," said Maddie, so Janet did. Maddie went back to her yoga.
Janet was now in terror. She felt giddy as the blood which should have been coming out of her nose, now started to make its way into her oesophagus, and towards her brain. She decided to ring an ambulance.
The operator seemed amazed that Janet had been stupid enough to have bothered her with something so trivial, but, begrudgingly, she told her help would be along 'soon'. She hadn't liked the gurgling sound the caller had been making.
Forty minutes later, as Janet lay helpless on her cream and red carpet, with Taylor doing a frantic dance, the doorbell rang. Taylor went to answer it. Fortunately, in her mad rush to get to her sink, Janet had left the front door unlocked, and the ambulance crew were able to gain entry. One of them, Gus Hewitt, said:
"It looked like a crime scene. I thought she'd been shot. When we realised what was up, we put her in the meat truck and got her to ER as quick as we could. She'd lost a lot of blood."
Doctors managed to stop the bleeding, and later sent Janet home, saying she should either stop picking her nose on her dogwalks, or else cut her nails.