Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Close Call

So back in June (yes, two months ago - I'm behind), Paul had a close call.  A near disaster, actually.
We have been battling some huge weeds behind our shop.  They get up to 8 feet tall, and so instead of spraying them this year, Paul thought he'd hack them down and burn them so they didn't seed out.
He used a mixture of old motor oil and some gas he'd drained from our mower after it sat in the tank all winter.  He's used this mixture before, but the several things were different:  More gas than oil, he poured it on green weeds, rather than dry wood that soaks the liquid up, and it was a very humid day.
I was up on the deck sorting my garden seeds to put away, and I hear a loud, "WHOOMPH."  I looked over, and I see a fireball 50 feet in the air, and at least as wide (the brush pile was behind our dog shed and two trees).  I hollered out there, and didn't hear an answer, but didn't hear any screams, so I figured it must be okay.  But still I got up to head out there.
Long story short, Paul had been totally engulfed in the fireball.  All the exposed hair on his arms, face, and head had been singed.  Even his eyelashes were singed, and he had sunglasses on.
Initially his burn didn't look too bad.  Like a sunburn.
Singed goatee.  He immediately trimmed the curled ends off.  (Jafar, anyone?)

You can kind of see the outline of where his hat was, singed in his hair.

Doesn't look too bad.

When I was pregnant with Nathan, my grandpa was severely burned in a shop accident where gas fumes ignited.  In trying to get away, he then kicked the bucket holding the gas, which spilled on him.  He had third degree burns on both legs, and we were told he may die from the complications.  He spent two months in the hospital burn unit, and received multiple skin grafts, but did make a full recovery.
So my family is no stranger to burns.  And when I saw that Paul was not injured (at least not visibly at first), all I could do was laugh.  A bit manically, I'm sure.  But sometimes the line between hilarious and horrible is a fine one.
But over the next two days it got worse and worse.  His left cheek, the side of his nose and ear all bubbled up and started blistering.  We self-diagnosed it as second-degree burns.  He didn't go to the doctor - maybe he should have, but he probably would have been sent to a specialist (another co-pay) and sent home to treat it exactly the way we did.  The second day was the worst, as it was constantly oozing and blistering.
 Two days later.  Forgot to take a picture without the bandages, but you can get the idea from what his nose looks like.

But then it dried up and started to get better.  (Although not looking better at first.)  It peeled and he had bright pink baby smooth skin underneath.  Even his freckles were gone in that spot.
Four days after burn.  We kept ointment on it pretty much constantly.

But now two months later, you can't tell any difference.  Well, maybe he and I can, the slightest pink tint and texture difference.  But no scarring.  And his freckles have returned. :)
We're just very thankful to God, because it could have been much, much, MUCH worse.
And besides the injury to Paul, all three kids were nearby watching.  He had put them in the truck a ways away from the pile while he lighted it.  So they were kept safe from the flames, and also from seeing any injury to their Daddy.
We are so grateful to God for His protection that day.


Amy Jo said...

So glad he's okay!

The Other Rachel said...

Wow, scary. Glad he's OK!