Charlie, Evie and Ford

Charlie, Evie and Ford

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Charlie Burns His Hands

I had my worst experience as a mother thus far last week.  On Sunday morning, Charlie convinced me to cook pancakes and scampered up on the counter to help me mix them up (I had gotten way too lax about letting him up on the counter, but the boy is too persistent for me!).  After cooking a few batches, I turned around to put the bowl in the sink and heard terrible screaming behind me.  In the seconds I had my back turned, Charlie had moved over to the stove and put both hands flat down on the hot griddle.  I was completely panicked, but tried to stay calm (this was SO hard for me).  I got his hands under cold water and then immediately called Sam, who recently spent two months working in the Parkland burn unit.  Amazingly, he was about to get off work and headed straight over to our house.  He helped me get Charlie calmed down (this was not easy--it literally took 2-3 hours to get him to stop crying) and we gave him some meds for the pain.  Even little Evie started to get distressed about all the crying, and after watching us for a while, it was so cute to see her go find an ice pack for Charlie and take it over to him in an attempt to get him to feel better.

When Charlie woke up the next morning, his hands were covered in huge blisters--one covered half of his palm and was really swollen.  He looked at them in amazement and told me that "my blisters have huge tummies!"  So I called Sam again and the sweet guy got us an appointment at the burn unit that morning.  Charlie and I headed over and had a fairly harrowing appointment.  More physically painful for Charlie than me, obviously, but I was a mess.  I felt much better after we left, because they gave me all the information and tools to treat the burns and help them heal properly.  And they treated Charlie's hands and wrapped them up in bandages, which I think made them feel much better.  The doctors warned me that the dressing changes (we do this every night) would be painful, but nothing could have prepared me for the first few nights.  It was just awful seeing Charlie in so much pain, and know that we were inflicting it on him.  Even when I know it's for his own good, it just makes me sick.  Charlie and I both started getting a little nervous at the end of each day, knowing what we had coming, and it just broke my heart to see him shaking and crying on the way up the stairs each evening (especially since I feel like the whole episode was completely my fault).  But luckily, it didn't last too long.  We are a little more than a week out at this point, and his hands look SO much better.  I think we only have another day or two left with the bandages (if Charlie will let me get rid of them), and then his hands are expected to heal nicely.  The doctors don't think there will be any scarring or ill effects, so that is wonderful.  

I know that people deal with much, much worse than this, but this experience has made me even more sympathetic for parents who have sick kids.  This very small scare has been so harrowing for me; I can only imagine what it must be like to deal with something really serious.  
This has been a painful, scary experience for Charlie, but he has been so brave.  There has been a fair amount of crying, but he rebounds so quickly and is so sweet and understanding that it makes everything so much easier.  He is very matter-of-fact about the whole thing, and wants to tell everyone that "I burned my hands."  Every night when Clint asks how he's doing, Charlie happily responds that "my hands aren't feeling better yet."  Charlie didn't miss the opportunity to take advantage of his situation.  I have heard several dubious excuses for not doing things, including "I can't walk because I burned my hands" and "I can't clean up because I burned my hands."  Unfortunately for Charlie, I am catching on to his tricks. :)

Here is the sweet, brave boy waiting for the doctor.  
The little patient ended up with new stickers, a new football, sweet hand bandages, and a purple popsicle.  Not a bad haul for a morning!
Watching the ambulances was the highlight of the hospital visit.
I feel so blessed that Charlie is healing so well and that we learned our lesson about burns in a way that won't do any permanent damage.  I am grateful to our guardian angel, who must be working overtime watching over this wild little boy!

Update: We are almost two weeks out now, and Charlie's hands are looking much, much better.  They are not healed completely yet, but the bandages are finally off and he is using them (almost) normally.  I had to laugh the other day when I came home after leaving the kids with a babysitter for the morning.  The sweet sitter nervously asked me, "what does your husband do?"  I told her that he was a doctor, and she nervously responded, "because Charlie told me that he works at a hospital where they cut people's skin off with scissors."  (Charlie, as this was told, was watching us with wide eyes and a very knowing expression.)  Our sweet sitter looked very relieved when I explained Charlie's experience at the hospital to her. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment