It’s the Little Things

Rich aroma scents the air.  Tomato sauce, enhanced by fresh herbs, has everyone’s mouth watering in anticipation.  Eager to eat, my kids volunteer to set the table.  Fresh-baked French bread is served on a wooden cutting board, along with a large container of garlic butter.  Everything is ready except for the spaghetti noodles, and they’re almost done.

I carefully lift the lid from the pasta pot, but my shoulder catches, my arm jerks ever so slightly, and the steam takes the wrong path in its escape from the pot.

Ouch!  A 2″x3″ steam burn is truly a curse-worthy event!  A little cold water (indirect) helped briefly.  My first thought was, “Oh good, it hurts.  Really bad burns don’t hurt.”  (It turns out that this is a myth.)  My next thought was, “Didn’t one of those meds I take include burns in the list of reason to phone the doctor?” 

Every pill bottle came out of the cupboard and I scanned all the little info sheets.  Nope.  I must be thinking of something else.  Good.  I’ll just treat it with tlc.

Aloe is great for burns.  Fortunately, I have some.  I sliced open a couple leaves, placed them carefully so that the burn was covered, and bound them on with vet-wrap. 

Before going to bed, I changed to fresh leaves.  The next morning in the shower I decided that the pain of hot water on my arm was much worse than the stigma of being unwashed.

I bound more aloe onto the burn and left it alone until bedtime.  A few days of morning and evening dressing changes helped.  After a while I skipped the new aloe at bedtime, and in the morning decided to give the burn some air (since it no longer hurt).  The tlc worked.  I was shocked that the burn never blistered.

Aloe is good, but I still expected blisters.  Instead, the skin looks… well…  Have you ever gotten glue on your skin and let it dry instead of washing it off promptly (not that adults would do this, but perhaps you remember when you were a kid)?  After a while it looks tough and wrinkly, sort of like an old farmer’s hands appear after years of working in the weather.  You can scratch the glue and start peeling it off.

Well, that’s what my burn looks like now.  Tough and wrinkly, except where it’s starting to peel away. I’m keeping a pretty close eye on it, since from my recent reading about burns, perhaps I should have checked in with my doctor.  I just don’t see why it’s necessary to run to the doctor about every little thing that happens.


5 thoughts on “It’s the Little Things

  1. Ouch is right! I’ve burned myself too. Fingers just gave in and pot splashed into the sink and scalding water went on me. Aloe is fabulous. That is so wonderful that you have a great healthy supply of it. I used to and really should again. I drink a few ounces in the morning. Great for the stomach and there are even clinical studies that say it supports the immune system and joints. I’ve actually come to like the taste. At first, I had to overcome the thought of drinking the thick, gooey juice of a plant. But I’ve found a brand I like and now, it’s quite delicious. : ) Hope you had a wonderful mother’s day!

    • Drink it? Not sure I can overcome that idea! Aloe is a great plant. Hens-&-chicks is supposed to be good for burns, too, but since my aloe is doing well, I don’t have to go out to the garden.

  2. Ouch! That doesn’t look good.

    I burned my arm a few years ago and never went to the doctor. My good friend got mad at me though because she said if it is something I would take one of my kids to the doctor for I should take myself there too. I still didn’t go and everything turned out fine except for a tiny scar there. Hope yours heals quickly!

    • I think your friend has a good theory. The thing is, I tend to not go to the doctor – for me OR for my kids. Most things heal on their own. A couple years ago it took a week for us to decide to take my son to the doctor when he got kicked – turned out his hand was broken.

      It’s weird that as the top layer started peeling away, the newer skin beneath looked really smooth, but now the underneath skin is all leathery, too. I still haven’t adjusted to having to pull out all my medication warnings and comb through them asking, “does this require a call to the doctor?” I don’t think I’ll ever get accustomed to the medicated life!

  3. sorry you got hurt, WS! I think you’re treating the burn just fine, though I’d add an antibacterial salve to it, to guard against infection. These meds DO make us infect more easily.

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