When I was 20 months old I managed to scald myself with hot water. I don’t remember it at all. My memories are all created by listening to my mom tell the story of how it happened a million times while I was growing up.
Here’s what happened.
I was a toddler. I didn’t walk very well. I had a tendency of walking backwards and then plopping down on the ground. I did this a lot according to my mom. It seems that our hot water heater had broken. It was a couple of weeks before Christmas and my mom was cleaning and cooking and getting ready for the holiday. Because she needed hot water she had heated a pot of water in a canning pot. It’s the big metal pot that holds the glass jars, that you boil to seal when you are canning. It was full to the rim and boiling. She took it off the stove, sat it on the floor beside the stove and turned around to get another pot of water to put on the stove. In the 15 seconds she was turned, I managed to wander into the kitchen, walk backwards and sit down in the boiling water.
I screamed. My mom screamed. My Uncle Jimmy who was sitting in the living room came running and picked me up out of the water. Once again, according to my mom, the first layer of my skin came off when he picked me up. It was not pretty.
They rushed me to the hospital and i was admitted with second and third degree burns over my back and legs. I was in critical condition for a day or two. And then I was in the hospital for another couple of weeks while I started to heal.
The doctor told my mother that she was lucky that she was not a more “modern” mother. My mother still used cloth diapers. If she’d switched to the more modern disposable diapers the plastic would have melted to my skin. The cloth actually protected all the important parts if you know what I mean.
To this day I still have scars on my back and thighs. When I was a kid they were VERY bad. For the longest time I was embarrassed to take off my shirt. The scars were darker than my skin and deep and ugly. As I grew up the scar tissue stretched and became less obvious. I’m not sure most people would even notice them now.
The only real side effect that I still suffer is that about once every year the scars that are on the thighs between my legs which are still pretty significant will start to chafe. Sometimes it’s so bad they bleed. I end up using lotion and powder to try and stop it. It takes a couple of weeks and then it goes away and I don’t notice it again for a year or so.
This is happening now. Thus the story.
It could have been awful. I really am VERY lucky. I know this!