I spent most of last week in Hartford Hospital—ordered there by my doctor for weakness and suspected internal bleeding. On the third and fourth day there, I had a chance to use the shave kit they provided. What follows is a review of the shave kit, and more importantly, something I learned that I’d like to pass on to readers.
The hospital’s shave kit included a Bic disposable single-blade razor and a .125 oz. packet of Dawn Mist shave cream, a brushless and non-lathering product of Malaysia. Although I had brought my R41 along, the danger of additional uncontrolled blood loss warranted against its use.
The shave cream seemed very close in texture and scent to the liquid hand soap in my bathroom at home. The fragrance was a mild combination of cocoanut and menthol. I applied it to my still-wet beard after washing my face. It was non-greasy and the 1/8 oz. pack was just enough to cover completely.
I have not used a disposable razor in many years, and found I had to re-learn to use one. Zero pressure did not work, especially given the initial three-day growth. I actually had to apply enough pressure to bend the plastic handle at times. But the light razor and light soap worked well together, and after a two-pass effort, I managed an SAS condition without blood loss. I have used the combination a total of three times so far with similar results. All-in-all, the kit was adequate for the circumstances and my risk of blood loss was minimal.
My four days in the hospital followed a two-week vacation in Maine, which was a wonderful experience except for the sinus headache I developed shortly after getting there. Being several hours from home, I managed my symptoms with Claritin-D and Aleve. When the sinus condition showed signs of infection, I drew from a relative’s prescription of Amoxicillin, which I had always tolerated well in the past.
What I did not know, and what a doctor would have advised, was that the self-administered meds would not be compatible with a blood thinner I had been prescribed, and that the combination would quickly lead to ulcers and blood so thin I would spontaneously “bleed out” internally.
I was released yesterday after receiving transfusions of eight units of blood and plasma, antidotes and treatments to stop the damage that had been done. I will need a series of follow-up visits to assess my progress and to determine if surgical intervention is also needed.
I learned that no matter how inconvenient, the warning to “check with your doctor” has real meaning.