Grace and the 2nd Degree Burns

I’ve never been very coordinated.  From childhood my family nickname was “Grace” said with a heavy dose of sarcasm.  My mother used to joke that I wouldn’t simply fall down the stairs, I would fall up them too.  I had two left feet and would trip over nothing.  If we went out to dinner, it wouldn’t be long before I tipped over my glass of milk.  Almost every photo of me from age 2 until about age 12 featured me with a skinned knee (sometimes two!)  I broke my arm 3 times, I broke my foot.  I had stitches in my hand, my finger, and my lip.  Trips to the emergency room were commonplace in my younger years.  Accident prone, clutzy- that was me.

Then I grew up.  Accidents got bigger (I totaled two cars before age 18 and a 3rd in my 30s) but I was less clutzy.  I was able to walk up and down stairs without bruising my shins. I was able to pour a glass of milk and eat out without embarrassment.  The only time I spilled things was when my mother was around, as if to prove to her that I was still “Grace”.

Until yesterday.  I decided I wanted to make my famous homemade lasagna.  As the sauce cooked, I boiled water for the noodles, but had to turn the oven off to take my daughter to a birthday party.  I left everything on the stove and hustled the kids out the door.  When I came back 30 minutes later, my younger daughter and her friend went down the street to see another friend, so I was alone in the house to finish making lasagna. Finally the noodles were done, so I put on oven mitts and carried the huge stockpot of boiling water to the sink, where it slipped from my hands, tipped toward me and poured it’s entire contents over my thighs and splashed onto the tops of my feet.  

I screamed as the pot fell.  I pulled the fabric of my pants away from the skin and made my way to the bathroom.  I carefully took off the pants (loose drawstring capri style knit pants that I wear to the gym) and grabbed a robe.  My legs were an angry shade of bright red and starting to blister. I went back to the kitchen for ice and the phone to call my husband, who was with my dad watching the Laker game.  As he raced home I tried to mop the water off the wood floor in the kitchen while holding rapidly melting ice cubes to my legs.

I found the one loose flowing skirt I own and put that on, called my neighbor to watch my daughter and her friend, and then we were off to the emergency room.  They gave me a Vicodin tablet almost as soon as I arrived.  An intern applied a cooling cream with a wooden spatula and wrapped it in wet gauze.  I literally wanted to jump out of my skin as he applied the cream.  He was careful and kind and very slow, but it was excruciating.  

3 hours later I was home armed with gel ice packs, an Rx for Vicodin and some antibiotic cream.  My little girl was my nurse and was so sweet with me, making sure I was comfortable.  My husband ran to the all night pharmacy for bandages and gauze and to fill the prescriptions.  I tried to sleep sitting up on the couch because lying down on my side wasn’t possible.  The pain was indescribable even with the Vicodin, but I did finally sleep, and this morning it’s a lot better.  Gross yellow blisters the size of golfballs have bubbled up on both legs.  My legs are all wrapped up now thanks to the expertise of my husband, who reminded me he is a former boy scout, and I’ll be lying down all day with the ice packs. Not exactly the fun Memorial Day I had planned, but on a positive note I will get some reading done!

Are you accident prone too?  Have you ever done anything this “graceful”?  If so, leave me a note and tell me about it.

29 Responses

  1. Ouchie!!

    When I was in 8th grade, I fainted in the shower (I’d just had the flu, and the no food plus hot water made me light headed). I got back up, washed the shampoo out of my hair and fainted again. Sliced open my chin on the shower door and had to get stiches.

    I’m very accident prone on vacation. I tripped at the Tower of London and fell on the cobblestones, but only bruised my knee. I fell down a flight of stairs in Italy and bruised my tailbone. Amazingly, I have never broken any bones. But my mom is convinced I’m a klutz, since like you, I seem to fall in front of her.

    However, my mom has done the same thing you did yesterday, complete with a trip to the hospital.

    Hope the burns heal fast! And at least you have a good supply of books.

  2. Never anything quite that bad. In 4th grade I ripped off my fingernail slamming my finger in the car door, 5th grade I ran under the garage door when it was closing and sliced my back VERY deep, but didn’t feel it for awhile because of the lack of nerve endings there. That was 2 rows of stitches.

    A year and 1/2 ago I got a nice burn on my hand when cooking on a camping stove because I accidently put my hand onto the hot pot, and 2 weeks ago I hit my foot against corner of some baseboard and didn’t just scratch it, but took out a huge chunk of the side of my foot, making walking painful for over a week.

    In other words, you’re in good company. At least you’ve got a good excuse to just lay around and read!

  3. Oh, Lisa, I am SO sorry! What a horrible accident. But it sounds like your quick thinking kept it from being even worse. I’ll pray that you will heal quickly and that the pain will quickly disappear.

    By the way, Vitamin E is excellent to promote healing and help prevent scarring.

  4. Dude, yes. Most recently, I guess, I got my hand caught in the Kitchen Aide mixer. I wanted to add a bit more flour, because my dough was too wet, but I didn’t want to take the 3 seconds to stop and lower the machine, and I didn’t want to use a measuring cup because if you don’t take 3 seconds to stop and lower the machine, you can’t fit the whole cup in the bowl and flour gets everywhere. So I stuck my hand right in there and got it crushed between the pastry hook and the side of the bowl. No breakage, but some heavy bruises and stiffness for quite a few days. My husband was a little pissed, because I’m always doing stupid things to endanger life and limb. Later that week we were having dinner with my parents, and he told my mum, all, Can you believe this? She laughs, and is like, Oh, she comes by that honestly. One time, her father…and then went on to tell how my dad tripped over a FLAT SURFACE and broke his ankle.

    We are everyone else’s hilarity.

  5. Oh my God. Oh my God. The whole time I was reading that I had my hand over my mouth. You poor thing! How awful! I hope you’re feeling better very soon and your legs recover 100%.

    I can’t even begin to list the stupid and klutzy things I manage to get myself into. It’s a lengthy list.

  6. I am adding my voice to the chorus of good wishes. I hope that you heal completly. I am INCREDIBLY clumsy and accident prone. When I lived in New Orleans, I TRIPPED over a SIDEWALK and broke my foot in two places. I had to have surgery to repair the damage.

  7. Oh my goodness! What happened to you is one of my worst fears except that I always worry about dropping the pot on one of my kids as they are always underfoot. I am so sorry that happened to you! You sure kept a level head about it though.

    I am also accident prone. One of the funniest, but not the most serious is when I was dragging all the soccer gear to a morning game (team mom that I was), and managed to fall into a gopher hole, break my foot and pass out all at the same time. When I came to, my son was still walking away from me. How embarrassing!

    Then a year later, I walked away from a funeral ceremony with my daughter who was still pretty young and beginning to act up. I was walking backward so I could still hear what was being said, and fell into a grave (with my daughter). I was freaked out for weeks!

    At least you had a nice nickname. Mine was not so nice.


  8. OMG Lisa!!! I am so sorry that that happened to you. You are in my thoughts as you heal.
    The stupidest, most unbelievable thing I eer did to myself was while I was in 9th grade. I was getting ready for school and curling my big 80’s bangs with my curling iron when all of a sudden my hand slipped and the iron made contact with my right eye. Yes, with my eyeball!! It felt like a billion needles were being jammed into my eye at once. My mom rushed me to the eye doctor (nope, not the emergency room, the eye doctor; and when I broke my ankle in 7th grade it was off to the bone doctor) where he checked out the damage. I had managed to burn 95% of the surface of my retina and he said it looked like the worst sunburn where the skin has just become like parchment paper. After dropping all kinds of medicine drops into my eye and patching it up it was back home and into bed for twety-four hours. We had to keep the room as dark as possible and since I wasn’t allowed to read, my mom went out and bought a tape for me. It was the best of the 60’s with “The Lion Sleep’s Tonight” on it. I listed to that tape and others like Madonna, Belinda Carlisle and Breathe over and over again that day.
    The next day we went back to the doctor and after removing my bandage, he was pleased to observe that my eye had completely healed 100%. I had some burn marks on my eyelid which I was actually happy about because no one would have believed me when I went back to school and said I had burned my eyeball with my curling iron.
    Take Care L!!!!

  9. Wow. Ouch. That sounds very, very painful. I do hope you heal well and are better soon! I am always running into doorways and bashing my extremeties. But the worst was once at work (in a warehouse) I was pulling a cart backwards (don’t ask why) into a space and smashed my head against a metal beam (the kind that hold up shelves at places like Home Depot). I got woozy and had to leave work in an ambulance for the ER. Minor concussion. So embarassing!

  10. After reading your story, I guess I’m not accident prone. Other than being able to find every single bump in the sidewalk and stumbling over them when I was 16 while walking home with a cute boy (over and over again…all the times we walked home together I stumbled over the bumps), I have no stories to report. Well, sorta, but nothing with any interesting tale.

    I hope you don’t scar too bad! If I was there, I’d bring you some ice cream. 😉

  11. Oh my goodness! What a terrible thing to happen. I am so sorry to read your post, and you must be in so much pain.

    I am also pretty uncoordinated and a big klutz. The main thing I do is not look where I’m going and run into doorways, doorknobs, ends of furniture. My hips are always bruised.

    I really hope things heal quickly and the pain improves. Take care.

  12. I am so sorry about this, Lisa! I hope you heal well. I was in tears reading your post.

  13. Oh my. I’ve done the same thing, only not as much boiling water was inolved so there was no need to visit the hospital. I’m a total klutz myself. I pulled a couple of muscles today when I slipped and fell while cleaning the bathroom (seriously).

    I hope you heal up quickly and feel better soon!

  14. Ouch, Ouch, Ouch. I’m so sorry. My stomach still hurts after reading your post. Glad you got some good drugs. I hear eating chocolate works wonders to kill the pain too 🙂 Let me know if there is anything I can do to help. And if it makes you feel better I have a long list of klutzy moves. In the third grade I had to have a stitch in my forearm after I fell into a girl who happened to be holding a pencil – no joke. I’ve fallen down the one step in front of my house on two different occasions. I am always walking into doors, tables, door handles and I almost lost the tip of my ring finger in a VW van sliding door. The list goes on and on….. Hope you feel better soon!

  15. Burns are soooo painful! I hope you’re feeling better soon.

  16. I cannot even imagine how that must hurt! I’m so sorry you hurt yourself! I’m pretty clutsy, but I’ve never burned myself with scorching hot water. I did however, walk into the corner of a wall a few months ago while trying to get to the phone! I broke 2 of my toes and to this day, they are not fully healed. AND to make matters worse, it was a telemarketer looking for my EX HUSBAND!!!!! If I wouldn’t have been in so much pain, I’d have given that woman a royal piece of my mind. I hope you have a speedy recovery! I’ll be thinking of you!

  17. Oh goodness Honey! ouch. ouch. ouch. I feel for you! Here’s me sending good thoughts to ease the pain and speed the healing.

  18. Hi guys- Wow, lots of clutzy people out there!! Thanks for all the sympathy and well wishes. Today is less painful but more ugly.. I’ll spare you the gory details.

  19. I hope that you are okay!!! I can easily see myself doing the same thing. I’m sending skin cooling thoughts and wishes your way!

  20. Oh My God! I’m so glad you were smart enough to take care of yourself after the accident or the injuries could have been so much worse! I’m so sorry, too ) :

    I totaled two cars by the age of twenty, not because I’m a klutz, but because I was drunk the first time and stoned the second time. I was a total loser back then. At least you weren’t like me!

  21. That sounds horribly painful, and I know from experience that it is. I was about 16 when a pressure cooker full of potatoes exploded on me. Boiling hot potatoes stuck all over my chest. At the time my mom didn’t have any medical insurance so she convinced me we didn’t need to go to the hospital. I lived with blistered br**sts for a week or so, then with scabs. Amazingly I have no scars. I am grateful the potatoes missed my face and that there was no permanant damage.

  22. Lisa OMG ! that sucks are you ok ? I can’t stand burns , I would have had to sleep in a tub of ice!

    Remember when we were younger and we burned our eyes shut with the sun lamp and had to wear patches ? But that wasn’t an accident we were just dumb.

    I hope that you are ok and feeling better.

    Love you little SIS

  23. Aunt Lisa you poor thing !!!! Next time you should buy frozen lasagna. Just kidding.

    Love Brodie

  24. Jen, thanks for the skin cooling thoughts.. ahhhhhh.

    Char.. how do you know I wasn’t like you?????????

    Petunia, OMG blistered boobies!! No way!

    Karen, oh I remember it well– that was so painful and yes we were so dumb.

    Brodie– your comment made me laugh so hard!! But my first thought was, I’d probably drop the frozen lasagna and break my toes!

  25. That hurt to read. I am a big klutz, as is my mother, and so unfortunately is my daughter.

    My worst is last year we were travelling with my parents who were visiting us. We stepped out of the hotel to go see the sights in town and I missed a step/tripped (still unsure) and managed to fall on the brick pavers and land on my face. I have no idea why my hands didn’t feel the need to step up and protect me! I broke my nose in 2 places and had horrible road rash all over the side of my face.

    We had to drive the 7 hours back home to go to the hospital (living in a developing country often has drawbacks).

    My daughter has fallen on her face numerous times since we arrived. She now sports scars on her chin and forehead, and has a permanently brown front tooth. And she got 3rd degree burns on her arm from an exposed lightbulb in a hotel (same town as my accident, different trip – we decided never to return!).

    I hope that you heal quickly!

  26. My hand is literally covering my mouth as I read your story and then read everybody else’s stories. I have chills running down my back. Ouch, ouch, ouch. No stories to report here. Hope you get feeling betters soon!

  27. […] has been my salvation this week, diverting my mind away from the pain caused by my graceful accident last Sunday.  I haven’t gotten that much done with regards to ARCs and books to review, but […]

  28. […] they were able to go on everything without waiting in line.  I’m still recovering from the lasagna incident, so I stayed in the shade, dry and covered up, reading my book, while the kids had a blast in the […]

  29. Oh my…I am also more than a little clumsy.

    But I have also done exactly what you did with the lasagna water. I was carrying the pot with all that boiling water over to the sink and caught the pot on the counter. My husband claims that it was because I wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing.

    This was many, many years ago (certainly well over 20).. I didn’t go to the emergency room, but called and talked to a nurse who told me to get a doctor to look at the burns. I do remember having to get a tetanus shot too and some treatment to the burns. I’ve forgotten all the details now.

    To this day, if I have a pot of boiling water and my husband is home I ask him to carry it to the sink. If I’m alone I am VERY, VERY cautious.

    I hope you heal quickly.

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