Tuesday, July 04, 2006

My 4th of July Life Lesson

Sparklers...harmless fun...right? That's also what I thought up until last night. As a child of the 80's I grew up on sparklers - they were staples at every 4th of July family celebration I can remember. Never once in all my preceding 29 years have I had any mishaps with sparklers. In fact I love the things! I'm nothing if not a big kid at heart so when I found out my 13-year-old nephew, Nick would be at our 4th of July party down in Monroe last night I couldn't resist the urge to stop on the way down and pick up some sparklers for us to play with.

It was a good 4th of July celebration, we had a great dinner of shesh kabobs on the grill, walked down to the park to see some pretty good fireworks and then headed back to my sister's house to chat and light up our sparklers. We were having fun, everyone was laughing and talking and then out of nowhere (I don't even really remember it now to tell you the truth) a searing pain shot through my foot. I screamed a vulgar word at the top of my lungs and violently kicked my foot so that my flip-flop flew across the patio. Slightly shocked at my choice of language, my nephew said, "what did you say Melba" and...finally realizing what had happened I said, "I burned my toe." No one, including myself, quite realized how bad it was. I was shaking a little but didn't think much of it.

Ever the cautious one, my husband, Michael had come to the patio prepared with a large jug of cold water "just in case." I used the jug to pour water on my toe and for a fraction of a second I thought it had helped. The searing pain quickly came back though so I poured more water over my foot but by this time it was really hurting. Michael and Nick were still playing and having fun but by this point I couldn't really concentrate and my fun was over. Almost in tears I went in to run my foot under cold water in the tub. Once in the light I could see what had happened and, though fairly small, the burn between my third and forth toe did look pretty nasty. Upon hearing the shakiness in my voice Michael came in after me to have a look. I definitely felt a little lurch in my stomach when he said, "sweetie I think you've given yourself a pretty nasty burn here." He explained that he thought my toe actually looked charred and he thought it was pretty bad. By now everyone else had come in too and we all had a look at my toe. Deciding that there wasn't much we could do for it except keep it cold I got some ice out and held it there for the next hour-and-a-half while we chatted the rest of the night away. It was definitely hurting a lot, throbbing actually, but I didn't mind since the pain at least meant I still had feeling in my foot.

At around 1:00 a.m. we decided to call it a night and head home. I put some burn relief gel on my toe before leaving and then held ice on it all the way back home. Once there I put ointment on my toe, put some thick socks on to shield my feet from the dogs claws and went to bed. At exactly 3:33 a.m. the painful throbbing in my toe woke me up so I decided to take some tylenol for the pain. The medicine seemed to help and morning came peacefully. Once up and about my toe was hurting a bit but it seemed better than last night. Not until I took a shower did I realize I had actually burned both of my toes pretty badly. Though I can't remember what happened my best guess is that a small spark from my sparkler escaped and just happened to land right between my toes. Yikes!! So anyway...it's been about 24 hours now since the incident and though my toes do still hurt a great deal I think they are healing fairly well. I'm keeping ointment on them and letting them get air as much as possible. Beyond that I'll just have to keep an eye on them and hope that my body's healing process works the way it's supposed to. The moral of this story:





Remember...this incident - my 4th of July life lesson - was MINOR. If I can get a second-degree burn on my toes in less than 1.4 seconds from a sparkler just think how bad it could have been with more time or if the circumstances had been different. As always...I hate having to learn lessons the hard way but this is one I won't soon forget! Maybe you can learn vicariously through me and save yourself the trouble! :)


1 comment:

Duck Hunter said...

Sounds like a lot of pain. You seemed to handle it well.