Wednesday, July 9, 2008

NoseBudd: the product I was born to test

Since I was was a kid, I've had frequent nosebleeds. A strong sneeze or even a powerful laugh could trigger a red river that made me look like I got hit by a shark or a shotgun. Once when I was feeding my baby brother, he stuck his pinky in my nostril, and in a few seconds he and his highchair were bright red.

When I was young I had lots of allergies and "sensitivities." Even bright sunlight made me sneeze and bleed. Tissues irritated my nose and made me sneeze and bleed, so I went through a huge number of handkerchiefs. Now, my wife throws out the worst ones rather than wash them.

As a dating teenager, I'd carry two handkerchiefs. As an adult, if I have to go to an important business meeting or fly on a plane, I take three handkerchiefs.

When I was in college, I had a summer job driving a delivery truck for a chain of clothing stores. The truck had a five-speed transmission, and second and third seldom worked -- necessitating some fancy shifting. One time while I was driving the truck and eating an ice cream cone, I sneezed and the red river started flowing.

I couldn't just stop the truck in the middle of the highway. My multitasking left hand, which had been used for steering and holding the ice cream, now had another duty, so I threw the ice cream out the window.

I squeezed my nose between thumb and index finger, and somehow managed to turn the steering wheel with my left elbow and used my right hand to shift the gears. I must have looked like a slightly bloody human pretzel, but I was able to get the truck onto the side of the road and stayed there until the bleeding stopped. I hereby offer this scene to any screenwriter who wants to use it, and I nominate myself for the Nosebleed Hall of Fame.

Nosebleeds were annoying, inconvenient and embarrassing; but they had a powerful benefit, too.

When I was in junior high and high school, if a teacher announced a pop quiz and I was unprepared, I'd quickly flick my beak, and have an instant hemorrhage. I'd get to spend the next half hour lying horizontal in the nurse's office with an ice bag on my face, and could take a make-up test at my convenience. I didn't pull the scam too often. and fortunately, the teachers never caught on. They're all dead now, so they won't read this confession.

Doctors could never find the source of the bleeding or turn off the flow, because every time they shoved a scope up my schnozz, I'd bleed on the lens.

As I've gotten older, I have fewer nosebleeds. Maybe I have less blood now.

And now, technology has provided a much better alternative to nose squeezes and ice bags.

The NoseBudd is a compact reusable freezable gel that's held against the nose during a nosebleed. It's normally stored in a freezer at home, but also makes sense for a nurse's office in schools, offices and factories. If someone with nosebleed problems needs to travel, it can be frozen, and then packed on ice in an insulated bag or food chest. Sports teams can pack some in the same cooler where they keep cold beverages or larger ice packs.

Unlike a bag of ice, or a bag of frozen peas or french fries that some people use in an emergency, NoseBudd applies cold in the specific areas of the nose where bleeding occurs and avoids chilling and numbing the whole face. NoseBudd works by combining the directed cold with a little bit of finger pressure, and it works quickly.

In my test -- and your mileage may vary -- bleeding stopped in less than ten seconds, and there was no discomfort. Unlike a rock-hard icecube, the gooey gel inside the NoseBudd chambers is designed to stay flexible when fully frozen. Actually, the chilling effect was kind of cool (sorry!) and my sinuses felt pleasantly clear. After I used the NoseBudd, I rinsed it off, and put it back in the freezer, so it was ready for my next hemorrhage. I keep one in my office and one at home.

NoseBudd was invented by Steve Riedle. Steve has a much worse bleeding problem than I do. He has hemophilia, a blood clotting disorder, and sadly three of his brothers died from it.

While shoveling snow, Steve developed a nosebleed. Not wanting to stop shoveling and go inside, he formed a snowball around his nose and noticed how quickly the bleeding stopped.

Steve began designing a reusable gel-filled device that hemophiliacs could take from their freezer and apply to their noses during nosebleeds, and started marketing the NoseBudd in 2005.

Price for one is $7.95 but there is a special deal for three at just $14.95, and other quantity discounts, too. CLICK for more info and ordering

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