I Was Ready For Something New In Life... This Isn't Exactly What I Had In Mind.

Hi all,

I've read some of these stories and I feel for you guys. I hope you're all getting along nicely, and aren't letting your scars get you down. I'm hoping to do the same, but my experience is so fresh, I don't really know what to think.
I'm 18 years old, an ambitious guitarist and drummer, and I was going to college and working part time before my incident. I haven't had a whole lot of direction in my life lately, and I've been drifting on the idea that right now I should be worrying about getting my prerequisites out of the way while I decide what I want to do. Unfortunately, I just can't decide on a major. Even as a young kid, when someone would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always said "I don't know," as I still do today. In all honesty all I want to do is play music, but I know that's not the most promising path to take. Anyway, onto my story.
I was with my friend and ex-band member Jesse, and we were planning on frying up some jalapeno poppers and fish sticks to get the night's munchies started. We noticed we didn't have too much oil, so we decided to use a smaller pot. Due to my lack of a deep fryer, I have fried food plenty of times using pots before, but never with such a small amount of oil and in such a small pot. A combination of these factors and the fact that my uncle had installed a new stove the day before resulted in a very quick acceleration in heat. We were distracted by my brother asking me to crack his back, so as we were talking about different ways to go about doing it (picking him up rather than walking on his back), we heard two loud pops. I turned around and saw a huge flame reaching from the pot to the ceiling. It took mere fractions of a second for the three of us (my friend Jesse, my brother Justin and I) to spring into action and look around for ways to put out the fire.
We were all perfectly aware of the fact that you can't use water on an electric fire, as it would just intensify the flame. The only problem with this was that the baking soda we knew to use was in the cupboard above the stove, which was engulfed in flames. I've never been in such a surreal and dangerous situation, so without really thinking about it, I grabbed a sleeping bag and attempted to smother the flame/get the pot off of the burner. Doing this caused a flash of fire to hit my face, which was so hot it forced me to drop the pot of oil about an inch above the stove. This drop was just enough to splash the flaming oil onto my left palm and forearms.
The pain was so indescribably horrible; I remember swiping my hands across my flaming arms and watching skin just disappear. I remember my worry quickly switching from "don't get burned" to "get to water now, before this gets any deeper." I stupidly continued to try and put the now weakened fire out, and managed to get rid of all of it except for one stubborn area. My friend Jesse grabbed me and told me to keep my arms under cold water as long as possible before the ride to the ER. I did what I was told and I knew I had really done myself in this time.
When I got to the hospital in my town, they knew immediately that they had to send me to the burn unit at Wishard Memorial Hospital in Indianapolis. They pumped me with some drugs that kicked my head around for a bit while I was rushed to an ambulance. Fortunately, the drugs lasted until I got to the burn unit, and as soon as I got there I was given an I.V., pumped with a bunch of morphine, and... cleaned up. It doesn't sound so harsh when you summarize it in two words, but having someone scrub a huge open wound on your body clean has got to be one of the most agonizing experiences one can have.
I spent the next couple of days in intense pain as they continuously stuck me with failed attempts at new I.V.'s and cleaned my still-open wounds. Finally, the time came for them to evaluate the full extent of my damage. I thought there would be more to the process, but about 8 doctors came into my room, unwrapped my bandages, took one look and said "Yep, he needs grafts." Of course, that was not what I wanted to hear. I'm terrified of surgery. Always have been, and I always will be. I'm amazed I didn't punch a doctor in the face and make a run for it while I was being hooked up for the surgery.
Everything went well, and I was sent home within a few days of my operation. I had just started to gain more movement in my hands and wrists when I noticed a gradual increase in pain in my right hand. Not wanting to take any chances with infections, I had my mom reschedule my appointment for the next day. When I went down there and had them look at my hand, they told me it definitely looked like the early stages of an infection, and I was re-admitted so they could give me antibiotics via an I.V. and watch the area for a few days. With a poorly placed I.V. (due to my horrible candidacy for needles-- my veins appear nonexistent) that was often infiltrated, they managed to get enough antibiotics into me to begin to show progress.
When they were confident my body would fight off the infection (a Staph infection), they sent me home with an oral prescription of Amoxicillin that managed to get rid of the remaining infected areas.
Being re-admitted to the hospital gave me the worst case of cabin fever I think I've ever had. I was so glad to finally go home for good. But here I am now, just waiting to heal and hoping for continuous improvement of the appearance of my very visible scars. I'm so thankful I managed to save my fingertips from the oil, as I can now play guitar just as well as I ever have. I've got a lot more drive to keep going with my guitar playing, but I also need to worry about moving on with my life financially. I'm currently on a medical release from work, and I start back up whenever I feel ready. I've decided to continue my schooling in the summer, and I'm ready to begin the process of assimilating into my new life but I need to wait for my body to heal up before I can do anything.

Waiting with no one to relate to has brought me here, with other people who have gone through pain this bad and have to live with scars as well. I hope to get at least some of the support I know I'll need here. Things don't tend to hit me with full force at first, so I'm hoping my decline in optimism isn't too severe, or maybe doesn't even come about in the first place. Only time will tell...
Coltron5000 Coltron5000
18-21, M
4 Responses Jan 20, 2013

Hello It's Senghenydd again Thanks for the information about Burn's World I had a brief look at it it looks ok I have two web site which should be of interest to you firstly there's the Katie Piper Web site, Katie was a young model who was going somewhere, however she got involved with the wrong guys and had acid thrown in her face it was very strong acid her face is badly disfigured and she lost an eye her teeth she has had more than two hundred operations anyway her web site is wwwkatiepiperfoundation.org.uk/support-links she runs workshops and raises funds for hospital treatment she was running a Burns Support Group in Nottingham only I suspect that went pear shape another group I would like to recommend to you is www.chelwest.nhs/services/surgery/burns-service/burns-support-groups try accessing those web sites I'm sure you'll find them interesting anyway it's 9.31 am in the old country time I went off and done some work Bye for now, Senghenydd

Hope your doing better. Add me so we can talk :)

no posts on your whiteboard and can't post there, can't add u, please ad me! have u looked into the new stem cell solution?

Your describe the experience incredibly well.... I can certainly relate to you... I did get an infection which has since healed... it was like going into the baker and them asking you if you'd like your arm sliced your sandwiches or toast!!!! YIKES