Category Archives: hand

update on the paw

Over the weekend, J and I finished the project we started on the day I burned my hand. I had been sterilizing jars so that we could make apple and pear cordials (liquour) when I poured a couple of cups of boiling water over my hand. Surprisingly, the next day, we proceeded with making the cordials while I was wearing the giant bandage I showed all of you. I even cut up apples and pears with my left hand, which was no small feat. This weekend, it was time to strain the fruit from the alcohol and filter the booze, so we finished that, and now we have a couple of gallons of cordials aging and ready to bottle up for the holidays.

I was surprised to find through this process how much of a fear I have developed of hot liquids. On Saturday, J was sterilizing some bottles for the cordials, and I had to leave the room. In fact, I found myself in tears for a moment when I realized how much this injury had impacted my psyche. I couldn’t take it. I was so angry with myself for letting that fear overtake me. Over the course of the weekend, though,  I forced myself to deal safely with not only boiling water, but also hot pans, and even super-hot sugar syrup! I’m doing significantly better, but I feel a little ridiculous for fearing such average, everyday tasks that I have performed thousands of times without injury. I have to remind myself, It’s just a teakettle, not a demon-possessed object waiting to assault you.

This weekend marked the first couple of days that I was without my bandage most of the time. Since I last posted a photo, I had downgraded quite a bit to a smaller, more manageable, functional bandage, but now I’m not wearing one at all. My skin is doing this reptillian thing, peeling and flaking, and generally being disgusting. I’ve got brand new baby skin exposed to the air too, and I’m very protective of it and mesmerized by it all at once.

I’m glad to be moving on from this injury. It is interesting to see people’s reactions, though. As soon as people saw my bandage (my students especially), they became gentler, almost protective with soft voices and concerned eyes to match. Now they’re all back to their old ways, and a big part of me is happy to no longer be the object of everyone’s sympathies. I’m ready to forget this ever happened. Now if only my hand would too.


Filed under burn, hand, Ramblings


First of all, if you haven’t already and you can, go do what you can to contribute to Calliope’s IVF fund. This woman deserves to have some good deeds coming her way.


In completely unrelated news, my hand is healing–enough for me to type with it! This is thanks, in no part, to the “doctor” I saw yesterday. As a person who has sporadic health insurance, I don’t have a regular general practitioner. I have a great OB/GYN, a decent ear/nose/throat guy, and even a physical therapist, but for the other stuff, I just press my luck and go to a local community clinic. This way, for the six months of the year when I don’t have insurance, I can visit the doctor for a sliding fee. Usually this works out. Well, I have insurance now, and I made the painful mistake of visiting this clinic yesterday and seeing a new doctor. He was dreadful!

I was told by the ER to have the my doc remove the bandages and cream and reapply them after examining the burns. This idiot doctor I saw yesterday decided it was better to just leave the half-inch thick cream caked on and said, “Well, I suppose it looks as good as can be expected.” Now, keep in mind that the cream was so thick, I couldn’t even determine where the burn was, but he must have x-ray vision or something because he downplayed the whole thing and instead talked to me about his fucking screenplay about competitive birdwatching. Holy fucking hell.

So then he proceeded to send this assistant in to dress my hand. Not only did she not remove the old cream, but she didn’t even cover it completely! The woman covered part of my fingers and palm with some crappy gauze, barely attached some tape and accused me of pouring boiling water on my hand on purpose. At this point, I was trying to control the tears streaming down my face and trying to decipher the ten different sets of directions they had given me for the care of my hand, when she asked me, “So how did you do it, anyway?” I told her I was sterilizing a gallon jar for me and J’s apple cordials (she gave me quite the pinched face when she realized this was alcohol) when the seal on the lid broke and poured boiling water all over my hand. Her response (after again asking, “Are you sure you didn’t do this intentionally?”) was, “Well, you should have put the jar in the oven. That’s what I do, and it’s a lot better than boiling water.” Oh. my. god. Even if that were a better solution and wouldn’t result in a giant jar the temperature of an OVEN, what business does a medical professional have basically saying, “I told you so!”?

At that point, I needed to leave. I couldn’t take it anymore. She sent me out some weird back door so I didn’t even get to pay my copay. Instead, I was suddenly on the sidewalk, cars whizzing by, crying, with this bandage that a two-year-old could have improved upon.

When J picked me up, she knew immediately that something was wrong, and she promptly took me home, cleaned off the goopy cream, and helped me look at my burn. We needed to know what was going on with it, and honestly, parts of it are much worse than I expected, and some of these bad parts, the medical assistant DIDN’T EVEN COVER WITH THE BANDAGE! In fact, they told me I should probably just use a band-aid. This burn is far bigger than any band-aid I’ve ever seen, but whatever. Maybe at their medical school, they place super-sticky latex on burns. Or maybe they just have their heads up their asses. Anyway, my sweet wife redressed my hand, made me a pretty little bandage, stopped my tears, and even bought me chocolate. I really am a lucky woman.


Filed under burn, hand, health care



 I had a stupid accident today and poured boiling water over my hand. We spent the afternoon in urgent care so that I could get bandages and cream and narcotics. Can you tell from the photo I’m not used to codeine? My blogging–and everything–else will be pretty limited for a week or so. I can’t even drive! J is taking good care of me, but damn this hurts!


Filed under burn, hand