*Warning: Graphic photos included.
I had set the bowl on the counter in front of her, just like I had done a hundred times before. But this time, for whatever reason, she decided to get down from her stool at the counter before she had even started to eat.
I saw it all happening in slow motion. As she grabbed the counter to let her little feet reach the floor, her fingertips tipped the edge of the bowl.
Since she was below the bowl, already off the stool and on the floor, the entire contents poured onto her shoulder.
And since Ramen noodles are so sticky, they draped over her back and chest. And clung there in a steaming mass.
She shrieked a tormented scream.
And just like when a little child is standing in an ant bed with ants stinging them, but they don't know, or maybe they are too frightened, to brush them off and move away from the bed, she didn't try to brush them off.
My son got to her first and brushed them all away. I got there a half second later and hurriedly snatched her shirt off.
Her skin was fiery red and she was trembling.
I grabbed her up and ran for the shower. As soon as I turned on the cool water, her skin rose up in one massive bubble on her back and peeled away. I was horrified, but before I could turn the water off the same thing happened on her shoulder and chest.
I could hardly think straight, but I wrapped her as gingerly as I could in a towel, and ran to the van. We live about 6 miles from the hospital, and I don't remember anything about the drive there or parking the van.
I ran inside the ER with her. She was whimpering loudly, "I don't want to die. I don't want to die." The nurse at the desk stood straight up out of her chair and motioned for me to take her back. No paper work. No signing in. No showing an insurance card.
Thank you, Lord!
There were people waiting their turns, but no one objected to us going ahead of them.
The 2 hours she was being treated were a blur. There was lots of crying. She told me to blow on her burns and "never stop blowing, Mommy." There was codeine. There were bandages and antibiotic ointment. There were kind nurses and doctors. They said they see lots of Ramen burns and they are always bad. They said I did everything right and that it could have happened to anyone.
This was the only picture I could bear to take of her that first day. The ER doctor told me not to take the bandages off and to follow up with my pediatrician in 48 hours.
I made an appointment with my pediatrician and showed up 2 days later. When she started to take the bandages off and stopped in her tracks. She paged her nurse and asked her to get Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth on the line.
(48 hours after the Ramen burns)
Since it had been covered, I had mostly blocked how bad it was from my mind, and I guess I hoped it had miraculously healed under those bandages.
The doctor prescribed some Silvadene cream to put on the parts I could reach without removing bandages, but warned me that it would be toxic if she got it in her mouth. That concerned me and I asked her timidly what she thought of applying lavender essential oil on the burns. (I remembered what a relief it had been when I burned my thumb on the oven heating element.) She said she had heard a lot of great testimonies about essential oils, but she had not done any research herself on the subject. She assured me that she trusted my judgment and knew that I would do diligent research before applying them.
Truly, I was sort of hoping she would have told me "Absolutely not!" because now I knew the ball was in my court and I had a lot of research to do. (WHY hadn't I taken the time to research it before, when all my friends had raved about these oils?!)
We went straight to Children's Hospital, and on the way I called my friend, Stacey, who is into essential oils. I also texted her a picture. She was horrified at the burns, and thankfully she didn't block me for sending her such graphic images. I frantically told her that I was desperate to get ahold of some lavender and AN Y and ALL research about applying lavender to support healthy skin.
Stacey was so dear that she said she would meet me with a bottle of lavender and some cooling spray. She also went to work sending me link after link about how lavender is great for skin health.
Once we got to that hospital, they removed as much dead skin as could be endured, which was excruciating to watch, and I can only imagine what it felt like! They assured me again that Ramen burns are the most common and the worst burns they see in children because the noodles are so sticky that they cling to the clothes and stick to the skin.
The doctors there were so kind and patient. They told us we needed to come back twice a week to get more dead skin removed, and they showed me how to gently change the bandages.
(4 days after the incident)
This was our second trip to Children's. The burns were very slowly starting to look better. I mentioned to the doctor that I wondered what she thought about me applying lavender essential oil to the burns. She said she had not done research on it, but had heard good things. She said she could only personally recommend antibacterial ointment and/or Silvadeen cream, but she would leave it up to me.
In the meantime, Stacey sent me a TON of information and testimonies on using essential oils. She sent me lots of reference materials, an empty roller bottle, and more cooling spray. (And she did all this without charging me anything at all! What a wonderful friend!)
I looked at every bit of information I could get my hands on concerning 2nd degree burns and naturally aiding the healing. (I was still reluctant to use the Silvadeen since it was toxic if ingested!) I didn't want to put anything on my baby's tender skin that could hurt her.
I mixed up a little concoction of vitamin E, castor oil, and 100% pure lavender essential oil since I had read that each of those is excellent in supporting healthy skin. I put the concoction in the roller bottle Stacey gave me, and very gently applied it to the burns.
(7 days after being burned)
I did this every 2-3 hours throughout the days in between hospital visits. Finally, on our last visit the doctor said, "I don't know what you are putting on this, but KEEP IT UP!"
I was so thrilled that the essential oil blend I made had worked! Best of all, it was non-toxic! I didn't have to worry about her accidentally ingesting any of it.
Now that we are on the tail end of this horrifying experience I can say a few things with certainty.
- We are never having Ramen in our house ever again.
- Good friends who care and pray are wonderful!
- Essential oils WORK! (I mean, LOOK at the photos!)
Honestly, I have been a little skeptical as all my friends have been raving on and on about essential oils, but during this desperate time when Stacey reached out to me and gave me what I needed to help her skin, out of her own pocket, not asking anything in return, it has proved to me that there must be something to them!