Wow! Where do I begin? These past three days have been a bit of a whirl wind. There are so many thoughts running through my mind that I want to share with you I hope I can get them all out and make sense of them. All I can say is that Sunday was a life-changing day for me. It began as always, get up, get kids ready for church, hurry home to get dinner ready for our traditional family dinner around the table (we only do a nice place setting dinner on Sundays & Mondays–the rest of the time we all eat around our bar). It was a busy day for my husband at church meetings all day and I was so excited to surprise him with some marinated pork chops, mashed potatoes, rolls and other deliciousness for dinner. Well…that’s where things went wrong. You see, I have this MAJOR character flaw of always being in a hurry. I am always rushing from one thing to another hoping that somehow I will magically squeeze in the 200 things I think I need to get done in a day. In fact, in my morning prayers that morning I prayed that I could be a more focused mom and spend some good-quality time with my children instead of rush around all crazy-mom-like, like I normally do. Ha! Was I in for a slap in my face.
You see, in my hurried state I grabbed my largest pan so I could boil 10 lbs. of potatoes for our mashed potatoes for dinner. Why a big pot, why 10 lbs. for 7 people? I don’t know! That’s just how silly I am. Looking back, I wish I had grabbed the smaller pot, which would fit less water and less potatoes 😉 Lesson #1…Less is more. So, I threw the pot of potatoes on the stove with WAY too much water, started them to boil and grabbed the first lid I found in my cabinet. I knew it wasn’t the right lid and that it was a little too big, but I was too ‘busy’ to find the right one (Lesson #2…SLOW down!). I threw the lid on and went on preparing the rest of our dinner. I heard the rolling boil of the potatoes for about 30 minutes and realized the potatoes were probably done. I went to remove the lid to see if the potatoes were soft and to my surprise the lid was suctioned on tight to the pan. It was just barely larger than the rim of the pot and it had created a seal around the pot–like a pressure cooker. That lid was not going anywhere. First prompting came….Don’t remove the lid. What?! That can’t be a prompting for me. I was in a hurry…my potatoes needed to be done right that minute (oh brother!). I pulled, tugged and did everything I could to remove the lid from my boiling pot of potatoes. I then grabbed a knife to try and pry the lid off the pot. …loud and clear…Don’t do it! But I am in a hurry I thought. I will just leverage the lid off and be on my way with my mashed potatoes. I put down the knife, grabbed two hot pads (blessing #1–my hands weren’t burned) and began prying the lid off the pot with all of my might (while the stove is still on high mind you and the potatoes are still boiling). Prompting number 2 came..put the pot to the side and let it cool down first. I still didn’t listen. Prompting #3 came…I finally listened! In what seemed like a flash of light, I had a thought come to my mind…Turn your head to the left. I did. (it was a miracle, I listened finally!). I turned my head and that is when a gallon of boiling water (that is 212 degrees mind you) and potatoes came shooting out at my arms, face, neck and chest. I stood there in shock. What had just happened? I could see out of the corner of my eye something dripping from my face. My children began to all cry trying to figure out what just happened. I realized, my face and skin was melting off my body, or so I thought. I grabbed what part of my face was not scalded and ran into my room to see how bad the damage was and hide from my children in case it was gruesome. I looked in the mirror and realized I still had a face! It was a miracle. What I thought was melting skin was really potatoes.
Lesson #3 Even in the worse moments we can find humor. I actually chuckled out loud that I thought potato was my face. I grabbed a cold towel and placed it on my face. It was then that I realized I wasn’t too far off. My entire right side of my face, neck and chest was completely burned. And yes, pieces of skin was indeed falling off my face. The pain started to kick in. It was a pain I have never experienced before. Not during child birth, not when I had my leg ripped open by a chain link fence, not when I had a concussion after a four wheeling accident. This was a new, excruciating pain I had never experienced. My face and neck was on fire, not literally, but you know. I tried calling my husband who was in the middle of church meetings, not able to answer his phone. I then called my Mom & Dad.
Blessing #2..parents and family who live less than a mile away. They were to our house in 2 minutes and had me swimming in tupperware and bowls of cold water. I was quite a site! I had burns on both of my arms and my face/neck. Every part of my upper body was in a different container of water when my husband finally came through the door. It was quite a site I’m sure! He said a prayer with me and then we were off to the ER.
Blessing #3…Modern Medicine! All I kept thinking was…just wait, the hospital will have morphine or something to stop this pain. I was right! They had burn cream (a heaven sent medicine!) and loritab. They said I needed an IV but I was trying to be tough (dumb idea!). Either way, after many hours I was finally sitting without teeth clenched and stomach in knots. My pain was under control and I was finally feeling some reprieve.
Blessing #4…Health care. No matter how much debate and issues are out there in the media about our country’s health care problems I can’t tell you what a blessing it was to get to a hospital in less than 10 minutes and be rushed into an ER room with help with in 15 minutes of my home. Doctors, nurses (they were adorable!), a clean hospital, and help when we need it. Granted we will pay out our nose for our visit, but it was worth every penny 🙂
Blessing #5…Prayer works! I know it is because of the prayers of so many that I am doing as well as I am today. My pain is so minimal considering what it was 3 days ago. I only had to take one loritab and the pain has nearly disappeared (the doctors are in complete shock!). The burns on my arms are literally non-existant (after three days…that can only be explained as a miracle). I know we have a loving Heavenly Father who answers our prayers and helps comfort and sustain us through hard times. That is the best blessing we can be given!
So, here I am, three days later and have learned a lot of lessons. Life is too short, slow down and ‘smell the roses’. If I had just taken that extra minute to find the right lid I wouldn’t be in this mess. Secondly, listen to the promptings that come to us from a loving Heavenly Father. If we aren’t listening, or are too busy to listen, He won’t be able to keep us from harm and heartache. Thirdly, there is always a silver lining in every situation. Is my face scary and gross, yes. Do I still have a face, yes. Do I still have eyes that work, yes (the burns came within a centimeter of my eye). Can I walk, talk and eat still, yes. I have so many reasons to be grateful. One other bonus..my teenage daughter isn’t mad at me anymore. She was having a major ‘teenage moment’ just before this happened. It’s interesting how she has been super sweet ever since 😉 Hey, if I get my sweet teenage daughter back, I’ll take the pain 🙂 j/k
I want to tell everyone THANK YOU for all of your support, prayers, kind emails, sweet texts, phone calls, cards, beautiful flowers (I feel like I live in a flower garden) and delicious food! I have a feeling I won’t be blogging about new recipes for awhile (I get a little anxiety near my stove) but I have already taken pictures of some of the fantastic food people have brought me and I’ll blog about those. I seriously think I live in the best neighborhood in the entire world. I have so many friends and people who are always watching out for my family I can’t express how thankful I am for everyone’s love and kindness. I don’t know if I have cried more tears of pain from the burns or from gratitude for each of you. Each of you are so special to me, so hugs, kisses and BIG thank you’s from my family to yours 😉
I wanted to share something really sweet that a friend of mine did for our family. I feel like when people go through hard times we always wonder what we can do to help. She had the cutest idea that I want to document so I will remember it always. At 6:50 this morning they dropped off on our doorstep this box of heavenly, warm bagels. They had different flavors of cream cheese, fresh fruit and orange juice along with it. It was such a welcomed break for me to have the kids fed before school with something other than Cheerios. I am slow to get out of my bed these days, so their breakfasts have been less than sub-par. They loved this treat and it was such a relief for me not to worry about them going to school hungry. Such a sweet gesture! Thank you Stephanie 🙂