Thursday, 19 January 2017

Burn Baby Burn: A tale straight from the book of the Clumsy Canadian

Warning some of the images may not be suitable for everyone… unless you like bacon… human bacon.

The first time I drove in a snowstorm I ended up in a snowbank. Luckily it was while entering my driveway, and even more fortunately no one was hurt and neither was the car. I got out of the vehicle, declared I would never drive again and that was that. Except it wasn’t. My mom forced me to drive again later that day, once the snow had been cleared. What does this little anecdote have to do with a blog post entitled Burn Baby Burn? Well… follow along.

The other day, only moments after posting a story in which I declared I’d survived 43°C temperatures without getting a sunburn, I found myself safe in my flat, working away, while boiling water to drink over the next few days. When the first pot had reached its perfectly boiled state, I began to remove it from the “stove” aka a propane tank with a burner placed on top*. However, somewhere between lift off and placing it on the floor, the pot’s contents leapt from within and made a b-line for my hand, which may have led to an excessive use of some choice four-letter words**.

Immediately I ran to the sink and began running cold water on it, but after several minutes and the burning sensation growing worse, I started to think maybe I needed to seek some advice. So, naturally I consulted Dr. Google, who consulted with NHS***, who informed me that I needed to keep my hand under running cool or lukewarm water for approximately 20 minutes. This, of course, left me in quite the predicament – do I forgo this suggestion in an effort to conserve water, or do I turn a blind eye and go for it? I opted for the latter...

But, as the 20-minute mark approached, and the pain not subsiding, I called in back up – a friend who either had first aid training himself, or was more than likely around someone who did. I was instructed to go to the clinic, since part of my hand was growing puffy and white…or whiter than usual. And this, it turns out, was some solid advice, because I sustained first degree burns to two of my fingers and part of the palm of my right hand. Not only was a lucky to have credible first aid advice at the other end of a phone call, but a boda driver who immediately came to take me to the clinic, helped me lock up my flat, and also waited with me in the clinic, and later called to make sure I was okay****.

Where I was not so fortunate was in the moments between making the phone call for Isma (the driver) to come grab me and when he arrived, because realised I needed to put on some semi-respectable clothes. And, I will confess, putting on jeans with only one hand, while the other feels like it’s melting off, is not the easiest task.

Meanwhile, as I’m waiting for Isma (pants now on), water running over my throbbing hand, my three-year-old neighbour came to visit. Completely oblivious to my condition, and me not wanting to frighten him, I tried to remain as calm as possible as he proceeded to inquire about any candy I might have for him*****.

Eventually, I was treated at the clinic, on my way home where I rested until it was time to eat dinner that evening. And, just like that time I hit the snowbank, I used the same pot to cook my dinner that night, all while still managing to get a good 2L of water out of that pot******!

My hand post-clinic. It’s shiny because of the burn cream I have smeared all over it!; My dinner

 Bacon fingers!!
My hand today... looking and feeling much better!
Now the waiting game is on for the healing/pealing process to begin. But until then, I’ll just enjoy the fact that my fingers currently look like bacon. Mmmm bacon…

-the Orange Clumsy Canadian

*It’s perfectly safe, I swear!
**Rhymes with firetruck…
***The UK’s National Health Services… or what’s left of it…
**** So, if ever any of you back home were ever worried that I didn’t have good people around me, here is your confirmation that you needn’t worry!
***** If he wasn’t so cute, I might have hurt him! Also, lesson learned, never give a stubborn three-year-old candy without having ample supplies on hand… Whoever came up with “it’s as easy as taking candy from a baby” clearly did not know just how determined this child is to get his hands on it!

****** But I should probably refrain from lighting the match with my burnt hand…

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