Manos: The Hand of Fate (or, View at Your Own Risk)

I had an unfortunate accident back at the end of September, and it involved nothing more than hot, steamy air. While preparing dinner for my family one Wednesday night, I opened the oven (like I had done so many Wednesday nights before) to check on that oh-so-healthy frozen food menu plan, and had another baking sheet full of food ready to add to it. Somehow, as I opened the door with my left hand, and had the baking sheet in my right, the heat and steam rushed out of the oven and instantly burned my hand. I immediately dropped the full, cold baking sheet on top of the stove and recoiled in pain. I did NOT touch anything hot–it was just the hot air and steam that got me! My ring started feeling like it was searing my skin, so without thinking, I ripped it off my finger. It would later become apparent (as my hand began to swell) that my instinct of removing it would prove helpful.

At first, I tried to run cold water over my hurting hand, but it was too harsh. By this time I was shaking and almost crying. It hurt so badly, and I didn’t know what to do. Next I tried my trusty bag of frozen peas, which worked like a charm after my surgeries. Nope. Too cold and no relief. Only more pain from the weight of the peas. My hands shaking, I googled ‘burn first aid’ and found that submerging my hand might be best. I was hollering at this point out of sheer exasperation and pain, but managed to find a pitcher and filled it with cool water. Finally, some relief. A tiny bit of relief.

It was around this time that Hannah responded to my cries of pain, and came in and took over dinner. I texted a picture of Todd, who I’m sure received it and thought, “WHAT NOW!?!” (If he did, he never said so.) He offered to stop at the pharmacy on the way home and find out the best treatment to help.

For the next four or five hours, I had to keep my hand in the water, and Todd kept adding ice cubes to cool it down. The instant I pulled it out from the water, it was a searing pain like I have never felt before. My friend’s daughters brought me some aloe from her plant, for which I was thankful, and another friend suggested soaking it in egg whites. I saved the aloe for bedtime, but tried the egg white wash for a few minutes at a time, until it got unbearable. While sitting there, I couldn’t help but think of the what agony those victims who burn large portions of their bodies in much worse situations than mine could possibly experience. It was too much even to imagine.

Todd took the kids to church and picked the kids up from church, all while I sat soaking my hand. When it was bedtime, I was thankful for a leftover pain pill, which I took hoping to find additional relief. We wrapped it with the frozen peas and I kept those close until they started to melt, and then tried to sleep.

The next day, I was amazed that it no longer hurt. That alone was a huge miracle. Its appearance, however, was remarkably different. Blisters had grown overnight. Even so, since it didn’t hurt, I was thankful.

The following pictures chronicle the first two weeks of healing, with the very last picture from tonight. I ended up seeing my doctor just to make sure I did not have an infection or larger problems than we saw. Between Silvadine, aloe, Neosporin, and Lavender oil, I began my road to recovery. It was incredibly inconvenient since it was my right hand, but it seems to have healed just fine. (The afternoon after I went to the doctor and had it completely wrapped, I had to visit the bank, but the teller had to fill out my deposit slip since I couldn’t write at all! Now she remembers me as the ‘burn victim’ and asks to see my hand every time I go in…) I will have some scarring, but in the grand scheme of things, I have nothing but gratefulness when I think of how much worse it could have turned out.

View at your own risk. I started out snapping these pictures for my own comparison, but when taking part in writing a blog entry every day, sometimes you have to dig deep for material. Just remember, it doesn’t look that bad anymore!

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