I saw my back yesterday, totally by accident when I tried to take off my bathrobe and inadvertently ripped the dressing off. I had to put it back together myself, with the wooden handle of a massage thingie my Favorite Younger Sister once gave me as a present (tools are what separate us from the animals!), and got a good look in the process.

Not being the extremely morbid type, I have not really seen my injuries in over a week, so this has been an education. I am happy to report it looks far far better than I imagined it would look, though still not pleasant. I will break this entry here so the squeamish will not be subject to my graphic descriptions.


While the Favorite Husband reports there is still an open sore somewhere on my back the wounds I saw were all happy pink closed fellows. There is a lot of shedding done and still to do, so everything looks a little raggedy, but not horrifyingly so, just flaky. The "worst" part, if you can call it that, is all this healthy pink stuff is encircled by a circle of black that shows what I guess is the extent of the original wound. If I didn't know any better I would say the skin looks charred, but that is nonsense for I was scalded with hot water and not charred with an open flame. Rather it is just dried blood scabbiness from the hurt skin cutting things off. And there is more dead stuff surrounding the black, which I assume will all come off in time.

The effect is sort of like a really really bad case of ringworm, leaving behind these nasty scabby flaky-looking wounds the size of softballs. Mutant giant space ringworm. Or let's say leprosy. I'm plumping now for leprosy, for even though *I* know ringworm is a fungus and not really a worm I just don't care for the name. Ringworm to me sort of implies paddling around in disgusting substances, while leprosy is something I could conceivably catch doing Helpful Things For Others. Anyway, leprosy aside (see how cunningly I do that), I was a little dismayed at the extent of my injuries, since they actually go a good ways below my shoulder blade. I can see from my side this one track going down almost to my waist. It's one of those "I knew it was bad, but I didn't know it was THIS bad" sort of moments.

I keep waiting for it to hit me, but it hasn't and I'm starting to suspect it never will. It's one thing to look down at a familiar part of your body and see a horrible gaping wound where it used to be skin. It is far more removed to see it in a mirror, which is the only way I have been able to see most of this. I can see a very slight bit in sillhouette on my upper arm, but the majority of even THAT wound--which is the worst one--is on my arm directly opposite where I can see it. This has afforded me a certain objectivity that might not otherwise be there. I can only see these things in a mirror, and doing so makes them sort of look unreal, like they are Hollywood makeup doodads instead of real injuries.

That coupled with (Thank heavens!) the fact that it really doesn't hurt as much as I imagined it was going to. Obviously it's been unpleasant, and it DOES hurt, but not as bad as I initially feared. It's bearable. The dressings hurt the most, of course. I try to time my painkillers for a half hour or so before, to take the edge off.

Cosmetically I have no idea how things will turn out. It looks like my back will be okay in a year or two. Maybe some slight scarring. I don't really care so much about the cosmetic part so long as I am still reasonably functional. (Of course that sounds a bit cavalier--truth is, I am rather glad for several reasons I didn't catch this full in the face, which would have happened had the pump exploded five seconds earlier.) My arm, I have no idea. I haven't even seen it yet. It's still weepy and hurt. My Favorite Husband says it probably will scar there, but I won't know for certain for a while yet....

But, like I sez, It Could Be Worse.