Not for the squeamish

Thursday, June 7, 2012

I work for one of the largest healthcare systems in Northeast Ohio but, unfortunately, we don't have a burn center. Luckily, Cleveland is also home to a Comprehensive Burn Care Center and that's where I headed today.

I've been changing the gauze and dressing on my leg daily. I have to remove it, apply an antibiotic ointment and redress. I keep thinking that I've taped it well until I start walking and the dressing falls to the ground like an oversized granny panty.

Hospitals that specialize in trauma or burns are disgusted by the level of care that you receive at a suburban hospital like the one I was treated at the other night. She was appalled that they didn't tell me to immediately follow up with a burn center but merely "suggested" it.

Luckily, I had no signs of infection so she popped all the blisters and peeled the skin off. After she removed all the skin, she washed the area. And yes, it hurt like a mother! We talked about a few different options for treatment and I opted for wearing an antibiotic pad that covers my whole thigh. The only downside to this is that I can't get it wet so I am actively seeking volunteers for sponge bath duty.

When I got home, my neighbor came and knocked on the door. "Did you see your bedroom screen?"

Um...no....

Apparently, Dino broke through the screen and was halfway out when a neighbor saw him. They pushed him back in and shut the window. This is what I need to do to my windows.





I was avoiding putting Dino back on meds but it might be time. I don't need anymore stress right now. Oh, and did I mention, it's one of my NEW windows? Mmmm hmmm.

To add more injury to injury, I just woke up at 8:30PM from my drug induced bliss and was shuffling into the kitchen to get the dogs leashes to take them out. You know that metal strip that they put at the edge of rooms to hold down the flooring? Well, my metal strip had a nice big nail sticking out of it that sliced the bottom of my foot open. I'm sure my neighbors all heard me yell, "Are you freakin' kidding me???"

Ah...when it rains, it pours.

Don't try this at home

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

For some reason, I've had this corn on the cob kick lately. Every night, I boil one ear of corn with dinner. Last night, I got home pretty late and decided that I would treat myself to two ears of corn. So, of course, I had to use my ginormous pot instead of the small pot I usually use.


I got distracted by something and when I came into the kitchen, my yummy corn was in full boil, steam rising up to the ceiling. I don't have any pot holders, so I used two kitchen towels to pick up the pot and take it over to the sink to drain the water out. As I'm sure you know, kitchen towels aren't that thick and I could feel some of the heat coming through from one handle. I placed the pot on the edge of the sink to readjust my grip and the pot slipped.

Boiling water gushed all over the front of my legs. I was so shocked that I stood there for a second before I backed up and dropped the pot. My pants were sticking to me so I pulled them off and rushed to the freezer for some frozen veggies to put against my thighs. I looked down and my skin was peeling but I still foolishly thought it wasn't that bad. The pain wasn't really registering yet but I couldn't feel the cold against my leg so I knew that was a bad sign.

Still...I have a high tolerance for pain so I thought I could work through it.

Then the the pain started. And it was bad.

I called my sister who lives 5 minutes away and told her to come over and look at it. Miss Medical Assistant that she is, you know. Well, it was taking her far too long to get here and by now, I was starting to blister so I dialed 911.

I looked down and realized that I didn't have any pants on which is not a good look for me. I grabbed a pair of bike shorts and ripped the hem open to stretch them before I put them on. The minute they got there, they told me we had to go in to the hospital. By now, I'm crying and shaking. I did get some relief to see that none of the guys from the rescue squad went to high school with me because half of the squad who works there did. And yes, this is the kind of stuff that goes through my head even in the throes of pain.

The ER doc was pretty handsome with his salt and pepper hair and he looked straight into my eyes when he talked. If you're familiar with docs, you know this is pretty rare. The burns are second degree on my left thigh and first degree on my right. He kept asking me so many times if I was sure that I hadn't gotten any water on my genitals that I was tempted to say, "Look, if you want to see my genitals, just ask."

I was going to post a picture of the burns but they are so disgusting, I couldn't subject any of you to that. If you're curious, you can Google second degree burns but not after you've eaten.

All they basically did was apply cold compresses. They gave me some Vicodin which didn't relieve the pain so before I left they gave me a shot of Dilaudid, which is like Morphine. WOW. No wonder people become drug addicts. When we got home, I went over to my car to lock it. I realized when I went out this morning, that I hadn't even shut the window! This is some good shit.

I came home and put this on the stereo.




I saw one of my neighbors today and he yelled across the street, "what are you going to do for an encore?" I shouted back, "I think I'll shoot myself in the foot!" I love my neighbors. Really, they're the best.

I have to follow up with the burn unit tomorrow so I'll give you an update. It looks like there will be scarring, so they're going to need to find someone else for Miss July of the Cougar Calendar.

Monday Morning Vinny

Monday, June 4, 2012

Vinny was an outdoor cat when I got him. He had belonged to the couple next door to my parents and they decided that he needed a new home. Well, I had never been a "cat person" but I think Vinny and I were destined to be together.

When Dad was sick, I would come to the house every day and Vinny would saunter over from the neighbor's and flop over for a belly rub. After a while, he started leaving me dead mice and I knew it was love.

I had to transition him to an indoor cat, which was no easy feat. When we moved back to his old stompin' ground here at my parents house, I was worried that he would want to go out again so I carried him around outside to calm his wandering ways. He seemed content to sit on my lap without trying to jump down so I let him loose one day and he just hovered around the front yard.

We did that a little bit each day and then I let him out in the backyard last Saturday.


I watched him walk away and went inside to try not to worry about him. I felt like I was sending my child off to kindergarten.



Will he get into a fight?

Will he get hit by a car crossing the street?

I didn't expect the reaction that Dino had. He cried and barked and ran from window to window trying to find Vinny.

I went outside a little while later and heard someone a few doors down shout out, "Vinny! Hey, buddy, where have you been?" Everyone knows him from before so everyone keeps an eye on him. I only let him out when I come home from work because I'm not comfortable with leaving him out all day yet.

He's showing his appreciation by leaving me little gifts every day; a mole today, a bird tomorrow. He's quite a good little hunter. They never look hurt at all. They just look like they're sleeping.


"That's it. Go to sleep, my li'l frien...."

He seems more content and since he doesn't wander very far, I think I've done the right thing for him.

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