Left-handers aren’t always in their right mind:
Hey life, you were good for quite a number of days. Sun shining, work going good, happy friends, joyous times.
So there I was all cheerful and feeling happy enough to plan our future and think about going out for some nights on the toon, enjoying work and ultra pleased my back doesn’t feel broken in half any longer after recovering from my endometriosis surgery (6 weeks ago now), the best my stomach has ever felt.
And all it takes is a bowl of hot soup, a wet oven glove and the ol’ human reaction to catch what is falling. So my lovely boiling hot soup ends up all over my left hand. I know straightaway it’s bad, real bad but I’m in the dept office in front of lots of people and don’t want to cry. I stick my hand straight under the kitchen tap, already being run. What I don’t realise for a few seconds (because my hand is on fire and I can’t feel anything) is that it’s the hot water spewing its scorching filth onto my hand and I can barely breathe (which is nobody’s fault, just one of those things). Imagine having the worst possible sunburn, the burning and pain of that. Now imagine someone scraping barbed wire over it. That.
Luckily we have our school nurse who tells me, after 20 mins under the cold tap, to go to A&E all wrapped in gel packs bandaged on. I’m still in denial about it at this point and pretending it’s ok. When I go down to the medical room I feel almost mad with the pain, an untreated burn is a horrific thing, and as soon as I phone Phil that’s when I cry. It feels real telling someone out there in that there outside world. Work couldn’t have been kinder and I had so many offers of lifts I was a bit overwhelmed.
A&E. No ice packs. An hour of waiting agony. J from work creating a conveyor belt of cold tissue compress thingies as being without cold just makes it unbearable. I see the triage nurse who checks the blisters rising from the furnace that is/was my hand and gives me oramorph (should have clocked then there was more pain to come). These days you see they burst the blisters. This is every bit as horrific as it sounds.
Then I wait another hour, pleasantly morphine-fuzzy yet still with a hand full of knives and lava. Phil arrives and he comes in with me to witness the blister bursting. They don’t send me to the specialist burns unit, oh no, they pop the blisters by applying pressure, scrape my skin off, put the wrong burns dressings on (for superficial burns – when I later find out these burns are, like, well deep) and tell me to see my GP nurse on Friday. This was on Monday.
Weds night I have no sleep due to the crazy itching and pain. Ah, itching is good you say, shows it’s healing. Only the itching is due to mammoth blisters I can’t yet see; so huge in part because I haven’t been told to elevate my hand. So off I go to see the nurse and her face when she takes off el bandagero pretty much says it all. Refers me straight to the burns unit at Broomfield, so I toddle off thinking oh crap, I don’t have a car, I couldn’t drive with that monster bandage on anyhoo and everyone I know is at work. I’m warned to take painkillers an hour before I go (I get the message this time, it’s gonna hurt) and get the train and a taxi. I feel really alone at this point and, yes, a little teary.
The burns unit can’t believe A&E didn’t send me there on Monday and I spend 3 hours being treated. They don’t want to give me morphine as I don’t have anyone with me but they realise I can’t be treated without it and I convince them I’ll be fiiiine (just give me it goddangit) and off they go. I’m also given gas & air, for which I feel very grateful, but ultimately it doesn’t touch the pain one teenytiny bit. As the nurse cuts through the dressing she cuts through the blisters. Pleasant. But I can’t feel it anyway. Pretty quickly we realise it be bad. Real bad.
Wanna see a pic? I’ll put one on the bottom of this post, don’t scroll down if you’re eating (and it looked more horrific after the blisters were removed, won’t subject you to that). The blisters are burst, then the skin is peeled off. I don’t watch any of this, I’m not normally squeamish but this is next level shiz. The superficial burns around the edge of my hand hurt most because they still have nerve endings. The deeper burns have less pain because the nerve endings are no longer there, ie all over the back of my hand and bottom of my fingers. The medical photographer comes in to take photos, the consultant and then the registrar then assess my poorly hand and tell me it’s not good.
I ask if I’ll get any more blisters and then the words ‘skin graft’ are shot out at me. Say WHAAAAAAAAT?! Eff a duck. I want them all to leave so I can hit the gas & air and cry. I joke and tell them I have plenty of spare skin on my thighs but the thought of bloodyruddy surgery makes me feel sick. No more. Please. They’ll assess it on Monday, apparently healing is fairly genetic so all I can do is rest it, wiggle my cremated fingers here and there and elevate it. And wish to my chromosomes for good genes.
It’s utter crap. I am unable to write (bye bye yr 11 GCSE marking), make any meals, shower alone, grip anything (especially the hoover 😉 ), find many clothes to fit over my paw, do up buttons, bra etc (TMI?) and have to switch to being a right-hander for everything. Bless you right handers. Steph T has been a diamond, Holly has been great, Emily, Karolina, Jan, Ron and Lauren too. Grateful in a lot of ways.
I do think to myself, why has this happened? Like there’s some reason, especially when I’ve worked my arse off to recover from a car accident in January and major endometriosis surgery in August. Please, whatever you do, don’t mention the term ‘bad luck’ within a 50,000 mile perimeter of me. It doesn’t help and makes me feel like some kind of bad omen witch. It is no one’s fault, these things just happen (though I am genuinely hoping if someone has a voodoo doll of me they can place me somewhere happy and now leave me be). If anything, something is telling me to rest. So tell me it’s unfair, sh!t and must be painful. But please don’t insinuate there’s some higher being bestowing all this upon me. It’s just life. And soup. Ruddy ruddy soup.
Here comes the hand…