Burn, baby, burn.
And burn I did.
Had quite the dramatic and traumatic experience this week.
One minute life is all good and dandy, the next minute you’re in the emergency room at the hospital.
Wednesday afternoon at about 5.05-5.10pm, I was at work and was just sitting down to a nice cup of tea,as you do, when all of a sudden before I knew it, I was wearing the tea.
I had 100 degree scalding boiling hot water on me. The initial shock made by jump up from my seat. My initial realization was that I was wet, and then it dawned on me that I was also burnt. The water temperature was literally and actually 100 degrees – no hyperbole. We have these electric pots at work which display the water temp. The temp is usually set to 100 degrees. (Although I’ve noticed in the last 2 days since the accident that the temp. has been set at 90 degrees). The water is so hot that you can’t hold the paper cup, and you have to use two paper cups. Also, the water should not be that hot, because as most tea connisseurs would know, you shouldn’t use boiling water for tea and I’ve noticed that the tea I have at work is less than perfect because it’s always too hot. Let me tell you, there is MASSIVE difference between 80 degree water and 100 degree water especially when it’s all over your body.
The hot water had poured onto my left arm and my lap (as I was sitting in a chair, and the cup of boiling water had been knocked into my lap and thighs).
My first thought was first aid and to get out of these pants which were saturated with boiling water and clinging to my legs.
I ran to the HR dept and said I need ice and pants. Get me a change of clothes. I was in dire need of stripping out of my clothes.
They took into my the rest bay/bed area (which I didn’t even know our office had one). I took off my pants, whimpered in pain until ice was brought to me. I was basically burning alive, with no relief whatsoever.
I needed a change of pants. They brought me change of pants – a pair of gym pants. I swear they were a kids size. It was goddamn ridiculous. I was never going to get into them.
I semi squeezed into them, but they were so frickin tight that it made my burnt legs worse to have such tight fabric clinging to my skin.
It was like a comedy of errors, except not so funny. It was a choice of wearing pants that were 5 times too small for me, or put back on my saturated boiling water pants. The wet boiling pants it was then.
Meanwhile, the skin on my arm was shredding off me.
This is how my arm looked immediately after the boiling water made contact with my skin:
This is what it looked like the next day:
I felt like I was dying. I had been scalded by boiling hot water to half my body. My left arm and both legs.
I needed a hospital.
One of the ladies at work got in a taxi with me and took me to the nearest hospital which thankfully is only five minutes away.
We got to emergency and basically waited for 2 hours to be attended to. Meanwhile, I am crying and slowing dying. I am sitting on a chair in the waiting room of the hospital, with skin peeling from my arm, still in my wet boiling pants.
Thankfully, I am given more ice. Yes, just ply with me ice. Bucket loads of ice. I need to numb the pain stat. The pain was so freaking excruciating.
Still no one attended to me. Was feeling mighty angry and neglected.
Waiting with bags of ice in my lap:
Finally after a 2 hour wait, I am taken to a little cubicle in the emergency room, where I can finally get out of my pants. They give me a nightgown robe. Give me more ice, more ice, more ice. Soo much pain. Get me morphine whilst you’re at it! Stat!
They took my temperature, blood pressure etc, and hooked me up one of those heart rate monitors thingies taped to my finger.
The hospital I was at, is actually a university hospital so it was full of med student interns. Seriously, I felt like I had walked onto the set of Scrubs.
I had an audience of 5 students observing me and then questioning me. Geez. Treatment now. Questions later. Get your priorities right. So basically had to answer a bunch of questions through tears and whimpering.
Basically, there wasn’t a lot they could do for me, as their priority is just primary care. Ice, ice and cooling down the burns. I basically just had to sit through the pain.
I was eventually kicked out of emergency into another room somewhere. They put some kind of cream on my burns which made me cry in pain. The application of the cream directly onto my burnt skin was worse than the burn itself. They then bandaged the burns and finally gave me some painkillers. Praise the lord. They could have given me the painkillers whilst I was in the waiting room for 2 hours. I was told to come back the next day to see the skin specialist so feel free to leave.
Here are my bandaged legs at the hospital:
I had no strength to walk, let alone leave the hospital. I basically just kept sitting in a room trying to muster enough strength to leave and get a taxi home. I was in a world of excruciating pain. I literally wanted to die. I would have given anything for the burning pain to subside.
I needed to get out of the hospital for my morale’s sake. My concern was that I would not make it through the night due to the pain if I went home.
Eventually mustered enough strength to walk out the hospital door and straight into a taxi for the 60dollar ride home! Mind you, I was still pantless, dressed in the hospital gown to cover myself somewhat, with bags of ice wedged between my thighs. Finally got home, just packed myself with ice, took painkillers and then passed out and had a surprisingly fitful night’s sleep. I was exhausted and fatigued from the shock.
Quite the traumatic experience.
I’ve been to the hospital every day since for check-ups and change of wound dressings and cream etc.
I have second-degree burns.
On Wednesday (day of the accident), my legs were red and the burning pain was off the charts:
It’s suprising that they went from this, initially (where the most pain was had):
to this: the next day (Thursday): this is how my legs looked.
Surprisingly not as bad as I thought. It’s interesting, that you can’t tell what the burn mark will look like until the next day.
I am pleased to report that I am totally ok. I have full mobility. And have been at work everyday since.
My arm burn is quite deep, and very sore and sensitive. Hurts to shower, and I whimper and curse every time the hospital staff have to clean it. It will take considerable time to heal.
My legs are totally fine apart from some superficial ugliness – mostly just burn marks….hopefully I will be able to reduce the scarring because it’s not particularly pretty to look at.
Moral of the story: Drink beer. Not hot tea. Tea is hazardous to your health. You can’t burn yourself with beer.
Seriously, though it’s quite shocking how this size cup of boiling water (probably same or less than a softdrink can – 375ml):
can do this much damage!
Skin is overrated, right? Man, if only I could “burn” fat just as easily. Seriously need to after looking at photos of my thighs! Just the motivation I need to whip my arse into shape.
Unfortunately, this means no swimming for a little while (I’m hoping only a week). But I am actually super genki and even going camping this weekend. (I think denial of pain is the best treatment.)
And needless to say, I haven’t had a hot beverage since the accident. But a craving for a cuppa tea is gonna kick in soon, I’m sure.