**Warning: A few more graphic photos. But they are getting better!
I cannot believe that it has only been two weeks. It feels like I have been in my apartment for a whole month. There are two main take-aways I have learned from this experienced: the human body is an amazing thing and the mental pain is just as difficult as the physical.
The Human Body:
It is amazing how fast the human body heals itself. Although modern medicine has aided tremendously in all of this, the body itself does incredible things to rejuvenate. I am continuously amazed by how quickly new skin has grown over the past week. Before, the pain, the sight of myself all seemed so hopeless. This week, as the patches decreased little-by-little, I am truly able to see how incredibly fast we heal.
Take my right inner thigh. By the first week, the picture was one of the most grotesque. Now, it’s barely noticeable from afar. Granted, this burn was the most superficial because it was the farthest from the thermos when it toppled over. Nevertheless, I am amazed by how quickly it has healed over.
The treatment for this one has been: patches for one week. Then strictly cream and a gauze bandage for another week and now just cream. I have been trying several different brands of cream on different patches to see which is the best at healing and preventing scaring. The first is a special cream given to me by my dear friend and co-worker from South Africa. It is called Resque by Annique.
I really love this cream because not only does it rub on smoothly, but it also smells really good. Unfortunately, you can only get this in South Africa so I only have the one bottle. But I will use this to the last drop because it has done wonders in a short amount of time. This cream is the only one that I have been using on my right inner thigh for the past four days.
My inner left thigh is still healing so the patches are still there, but the upper part of the thigh is now getting air, as is my left calf.
Even though I am still wearing the patches, you can see how much the skin has changed in a short amount of time. Starting week two, the doctor put a cream called Lubremol on the burn before patching it. The main component is Vitamin A. I have been placing the this cream on the upper part of my left leg and calf area three times a day for the past three days. Here is the difference:
Once again, the difference is pretty remarkable. With this cream I have noticed that the skin is healing quickly but the discoloration is a bit more prominent than the area where I am using the Resque. However, this burn site was much more serious and will take a bit longer to fully heal. The Lubremol cream must be used generously until there is a white film over the burn.
As of now, my foot and ankle are the only area that is still pretty grotesque. As my friend said, this is the perfect time for me to make a zombie movie. This is also the area where there is still pain. Nevertheless, it is slowly healing and my doctor is optimistic that I will be out of patches within the next week or so. The doctor put some Lubremol on this burn site before patches and the gauze wrapping.
I am also using a bit of Bacitraycin with Aloe on the heal of my foot to keep the wound clean and start the healing process. This was brought to me from the states by my beautiful friend’s parents, along with Vitamin E pills. My burns on my left leg and foot are starting to itch fairly consistently. Trying not to scratch is the hardest part right now. The Vitamin E is helping a bit with that. I take a pill orally everyday and then break open the capsules and place it anywhere the skin is starting to become scaly.
Overall, I am pleased with the healing process. The bandage changes are not as painful anymore, partly because there are so few places with actual patches that need to be pulled up and changed. Physically I am getting better and better every day.
The Human Brain
I have always been a borderline introvert/extrovert on the Myer’s Briggs scale. Although there are times when I enjoy my quite, alone moments, I am more inclined to the social. FOMO is real. So missing out on events, car pool conversations, and school nuances has been pure torture. I am a strong and independent woman, but sitting alone with my thoughts for two weeks has been tougher than any physical pain. I have amazing friends who visit with wine and games and gossip. They have kept me sane. But the endless hours when all of my friends are working mean I have to get creative. There are only so many books, TV shows, and movies one can watch. During my time of “house a-rest” I have completed puzzles, math problems, Spanish flashcards, nine books, three TV shows, and every Oscar-nominated film.
I have been looking forward to a music festival. It was the carrot being dangled to keep me in my house with my leg elevated for two weeks. When I found out it was cancelled, I lost it. I have not cried that hard in a long time. My reaction made me realize how much I have been psychologically effected by this process. Thankfully, a friend of mine found a beer festival to substitute.
My first outing was a trip to a bar for a friend’s gift reveal. I stuffed my foot into some boots and was determined to make it through the pain. We ended up having a fabulous night. So I want out again the next night. Then I went with my friend and her parents to a bodega. I can’t walk around for very long yet, but I can at least get out and about now. It’s amazing how much happier I feel just getting out the door and into fresh air.
Oh, and my appetite has returned. I stopped taking the pain pills, which means that I am able to actually enjoy food again! It’s a huge win for me.