The author wound up in the emergency room with a nose bleed and got a rather startling – but effective – suggestion for her followup care: KY jelly.

The other night, I ended up in an emergency room with a nose bleed from hell. I attempted to stop the bloodbath myself, but nothing worked, so I finally called my son and his wife who graciously took me to the hospital.

The doctor on call gave me some alternatives: insert what looked like a tampon up my nose, which he would then inflate to create pressure so that the bleeding would stop, or I could choose not to and take my chances, because he couldn’t force me to take his suggestion.

He was a lovely young man with a great bedside manner and I decided to take his advice. I had tried my nursing skills at home, and I had obviously failed. He also advised me to see an ear, nose and throat specialist to have the thing up my nose removed in the next couple of days. I did as I was told, and sequestered myself in my home, since the addition to my face was not one I was interested in showcasing and my breathing was akin to having a bad cold.

I went to see the otolaryngologist and he removed the object that had helped me survive what felt like an attack by a vampire on a binge. He cauterized my nose and I then asked what I might do to keep it from getting dry. I fly a lot and that dries you up, as do air conditioned rooms and lack of estrogen.

I’m continually learning that when estrogen levels are lowered, your body starts to embark on a journey that can soon resemble the bottom of a dry creek bed. Moisture becomes a thing of the past in many areas of the body, but I never thought my nose was going to be part of the problem.

I had thought that Vaseline might help, but here’s the “aha” moment. The doctor recommended KY jelly. But that was just the beginning. I went to the drug store and found the aisle that is delicately called “feminine products.” Well, lots of luck. There was KY jelly for high and low arousal, for massages, short and long lasting and his and hers, which came in a combined package.

I don’t need my nose aroused, nor do I need it massaged. Long lasting would be good, but since I don’t have a significant other, one tube will do.

I attempted to find just the ordinary kind but finally had to ask the clerk who just looked at me with arched brows as I explained why I needed it. I’m into full disclosure. I think you know where this could go. It has a lot of possibilities, but I’m going to let you use your imagination while I replenish the moisture in my nose.

Author, humorist, PBS star and Fortune 500 trainer Loretta LaRoche lives in Plymouth, Mass. To share your pet peeves, questions or comments, write to The Humor Potential, 50 Court St., Plymouth 02360, send e-mail to getalife@lorettalaroche.com, visit the Web site at www.stressed.com, or call toll-free 800-99-TADAH (82324).