Friday, May 20, 2011

This One Is A Hard One To Blog About

When Ian was 15 months old, he was burned pretty badly. It was one of the toughest times for me in my life. Granted, there have been even tougher times believe it or not, but this one was a heart breaker. For Ian, it was a nightmare that seemed to never end.

One Monday afternoon I was in the kitchen putting some food scraps down the garbage disposal. I was cooking spaghetti sauce on the stove. Ian grabbed a ladle and started banging on the pot on the stove. Before you knew it he had caught the ladle on the edge of the pot and tipped the sauce pot over on top of him.

The boiling spaghetti sauce spilled on him.
Boiling spaghetti sauce.

I rushed him to the sink and rinsed the sauce off his face as fast as I could. He was wearing a turtleneck and a sweater because it was October and it was cold. It was the week before Halloween I remember. I quickly pulled off his shirts because I could see that sauce had covered his left arm. I will never forget as long as I live how the skin from his left arm just fell onto the floor in a heap. It just melted off in one fell swoop.  Even worse than that was how I will never forget when the pain hit him. It took a few seconds and then he started to shake violently. His little left arm just shook and he screamed a scream that I can still hear. He kept on screaming and kept on screaming.

I put him in the tub right away and turned on the cold water to get cold water on his arm. There was much, much screaming from then on. I called Jim on the phone and told him we were headed to the ER. A neighbor quickly drove us to the children's hospital. The sauce lay on the kitchen floor in one place and Ian's skin in another.

Then began the hospital nightmare. A male nurse came in to the emergency room and started to peel off the remaining burned skin from Ian's face. He picked and peeled the skin off, one by one by one as Ian screamed. I looked at my baby's face being picked apart and couldn't believe what I was seeing. The children's hospital called the burn unit at the hospital right next door to the children's hospital. They had some sort of conference going on and it took them a long, long time to come get Ian, it seemed like 45 minutes to an hour I think. Meanwhile, the nurse just kept picking.

We all walked over to the other hospital via a tunnel with Ian crying and crying and crying and me relating to the doctor what had happened. It was a very long, very somber walk.

They admitted Ian to the burn unit of course and had to give him several shots of morphine on top of what he had already had to finally get his pain under control. That took almost a half an hour I think, maybe longer. Finally, he settled down and started to rest in the hospital crib. His little eyes were the eyes of a person very drugged out. He moved his head as if he was drunk, very slowly. I could see he had reached his limit of morphine. He finally succumbed to the effects of the morphine and fitfully fell asleep . That's when it hit me. I had done reasonably well until that time because of my nurse instincts but then I just sat there and wept and wept. This was my child. Dr. Morris came in to tell me it would be OK. He sat down by me and in the gentlest way possible looked me in the eyes said that Ian would be OK. The nurse in the ER told me "Ian would never remember, but I would never forget. "No truer words have ever been spoken.

That's all I can write today.
Too hard.
I'll try and finish tomorrow.


  1. What a touching story !
    And how brave you are to report it !
    It is extremely important that you do that in order to emphasize the necessity of protection gates (I´m German and hope this expression exist in English) on stoves /for cooking.
    I´m quite a fan of IKEA who has got a great consciousness for securit for children and offers protection devices at absolutely acceptable prices.

    Hope you´ll find the power to report the rest of the story.

    Dearest Greetings from Lehrte near Hannover in Germany


  2. Oh this breaks my heart to read. I don't even like suctioning out Nathan's nose because he doesn't like it. Bless you for caring for his wounds and helping him heal so well.

  3. Wow this story was very touching. I'm sure it was painful to share it, but thank you for your bravery. It really touched me as I have had some family health issues as of late.