…the blasted thing EXPLODED! (My sister-in-law, who had been standing behind me, said it looked like a mushroom cloud of oil came UP and OUT OF the pot.)
I heard a loud noise, saw the oil sink down around the donut, closed my eyes, shrieked and jumped back. I felt something slime my hand, sensed it was oil, and thought, Wow! This actually doesn’t really hurt! Maybe it won’t be so bad!
Here is what ensued:
I sprinted to the backyard pila (water retention sink) with my left eye squeezed shut where I could scoop water into a big bowl and submerge my (now burning) hand. I shouted for someone to GET ME BUTTER! My husband’s Aunt shouted for someone to GET HER TOMATOES! I shouted NO! GET ME BUTTER!! She shouted GET HER TOMATOES!
My five year old saw the derelict donut and groaned. “Great! Now we can’t EAT that one! It’s on the FLOOR!”
I began rapid breathing. Gasping breathing. Now it hurt like H.E.double-sticks. Someone got me margarine. Surely that would cool the burn. I had learned that somewhere in my past and slathered it like diaper rash cream on a baby’s bottom.
SH$%!!!! That was WORSE!!!!!!!! I would have been better off letting my hand sizzle on a hot griddle.
In my mind: GET THE BUTTER OFF! GET THE BUTTER OFF! (rapid breathing) He eh hoo uh, he eh hoo uh, he eh hoo uh, he eh hoo uh.
Out loud: GET ME TOMATOES!!! (What for? I have no idea. But Aunt Carmen seemed to think it would do something.)
My brother-in-law ran in with a baggie full of tomatoes. The whole flotilla of the Aparicio family was in action. Carmen sliced them, squished up the insides and slopped them onto my hand while I (still standing over the sink and beginning to reminisce that this was exactly like the unescapable pain of childbirth) moaned to her to put them on my face. My sister-in-law and mother-in-law helped with whatever they could. Pain was leaping out in scattered spots on my face, neck and arm. Semi-tolerable. The hand, I would have preferred to cut off.
The tomatoes turned out to be the ONLY thing that soothed the pain. Nothing like an epidural, but they cooled the burn. The thing was, after about two or three minutes of me rubbing them on my hand and her rubbing them on my face, the soothing goodness would wear out. Someone would slice more, squish them up and slap them on.
I continued moaning, standing, bouncing, tensing, thinking to myself that I should pretend I’m in yoga and slow down my breathing. I sat down. Crouched over, tight, folded, surely cutting off blood flow to my brain, attempting la maz, pressing tomatoes to my hand, seething in pain. She suggested I lie down. Maybe that would help me relax, for, Relaxed I was Not.
Ahhh. I uncurled onto a pillow on the caned couch. At least my organs were not compromised of circulation any more. My other sister-in-law, a nurse, had been called at her job a couple towns away. At her request, some special cream arrived from her house down the street that Aunt Carmen began slathering on in frosting-like layers. Someone brought a fan at which I directly aimed my hand.
Within about 30 minutes or 7 hours, life began to come back into control, although very slowly. And, our niece’s fifteenth birthday party (similar in style to a wedding, but she wore a purple dress and married no one) was in about an hour.
And, I still looked like that. (see tomato picture above) But needed to look like that. (see right hand hiding behind birthday girl below).
That was the beginning of me learning to do things one handed…left handed…and I’m right handed. I showered left handed with my right hand held high in the air. I washed my long hair left handed…that would have been a nice time to have short hair. I put on makeup left handed. Have you ever put on mascara with the wrong hand? (Men, that is not something you should try. Ever. Women, good luck, and try not to poke out an eye.)
And, that was also the beginning of wondering why there was almost no outward sign I had been burned! Save for a little redness here and there, I had nothing to show for it! Seriously??? I have gone through pain second only to going through labor and there’s nothing to see???
Ahhh…I judged to soon. You’ll see in Part 3. And I’ll finally tell you all of the lessons I learned.
– The Goat Cheese Lady