In the midst of a painful incident involving a boiling water burn, I found solace in the power of breathwork and meditation.
Despite the overwhelming pain and stress, I knew I had to rely on my own inner resources to prevent spiralling into further distress.
It was April 2021 and the sun was shining. Hubster had the BBQ on the go. My role was simple; boil the new potatoes. So boil them I did. Then I took them to the sink to drain them…….my wrist gave way. Suddenly without warning.
The pan of boiling water went down my right thigh and hit my right foot. At this point my memory does not entirely serve me but my next recall is being upstairs whipping off my trousers and showering my legs in cold water. I do remember thinking I was wasting water?!
This meant I did not submerge anywhere near as long as you should for a scalding.
I then went downstairs for dinner! Apparently no boiled potatoes were harmed in this incident and I had still drained them and left them on the side.
However the pain was pretty bad. My own first aid training did not really come to mind. In the end (after dinner) I rang 111 for them to ask the key question; is the burn bigger than your hand?……Er yes it was; the area burnt was a few hands worth. Cue wrapping my leg in clingfilm and getting to hospital.
To the hospital
Hubster had been enjoying a glass of wine and we have a policy of not driving, even if we think we are under the limit. So he stayed back with one of the kids and he threw my daughter in a taxi with me. Something else I would go on to regret.
The pain is pretty horrendous throughout all of this.
After the taxi initially taking me to a medical centre rather than Accident & Emergency!!! We rock up at the hospital. £50 lighter (hence my aforementioned regret).
I hobbled into the hospital, aided by my then 15 year daughter, only to be told she was not allowed in the hospital with me due to the post Covid restrictions. This had a serious impact on my stress levels – my daughter having to stand alone outside.
I am put in a wheelchair and parked where I can see my daughter through the glass. I get triaged about 7pm and get paracetamol, then parked back in the waiting room. The waiting room is not that busy but it would appear even with burns in a monumental amount of pain there is no queue jumping.
In the meantime Hubster drinks plenty of coffee and water and comes to collect my daughter. The relief was huge as it was getting dark. Love her. Remember this is a kid that has barely been out of the house for a while due to the covid restrictions.
So I sit in my wheelchair, in pain, waiting……..I kid you not, I used every tool at my disposal that I have. I honestly wanted to scream and cry rather dramatically inside. However I knew I would exacerbate the pain and spiral into my own drama. I HAD to self-resource on this to prevent making myself feel any worse.
So I focus on my breath like there is nothing else in the world. Breathing in and breathing out. Inhaling and exhaling, I allowed the breath to anchor me in the present moment, providing a sense of stability amidst the chaos.
I use my EFT and I tap, allowing every emotion to move up and out of my body as I sit there, relieving some of the inner turmoil.
I actually consider calling Hubster to pick me up and take me home a number of times thinking I’m fine, I can cope. The waiting room is not even busy, so I convince myself the injury is minor otherwise surely they would have seen me already.
At Last I’m Seen
It is at least 2am when I am finally taken through for treatment. I am immediately offered gas and air, however I would rather be in pain than risk being physically sick so I decline it (doh).
Then I get loads of attention from lots of different medical experts. Many photos of my leg are taken and calls are made to the Burns Unit at Chelmsford. A decision has to be made if I am sent there or not and it is decided they keep me but they constantly liaise with the burns unit.
The first part of treatment is de-roofing. This is the removal of all the dead tissue and includes the blisters. So some poor guy gets the task armed with tweezers and scissors to cut it all away where the boiling water has hit.
It takes a painstakingly long time! He constantly offers me breaks and asks me if I am OK but I get in the zone – breathwork and meditation are my tools of choice.
Despite the discomfort, I observed and accepted the pain and breathed with it and through it.
Showered With Compliments!
I am finally allowed home around 4am.
Throughout this I was showered with compliments as to how I coped. From the taxi driver who took me to the hospital (the flippin’ scenic route), to the nurses and the doctors.
The nurse that deroofed my leg said he has seen rugby players with lesser injuries not cope so well.
And I tell you this not to impress you but to impress upon you the value of meditation.
The Power of Meditation
Meditation cannot take the pain away but observing and accepting discomfort increases your tolerance for pain.
This experience reaffirmed the immense value of meditation in my life.
While meditation couldn’t take away the physical pain, it provided me with the strength and presence of mind to navigate this distressing situation. By cultivating a deep connection to my breath and practicing acceptance, I was able to endure.
Subsequent to Potato-Gate, joint weakness became more constant and a year later I transition through the Menopause. So in retrospect, I attribute the event to Perimenopause.
And, I attribute my ability to face these challenges with resilience and inner strength to the transformative practice of meditation.
It remains an essential part of my life, allowing me to manage stress, take charge of pain, and cultivate a sense of trust in my own ability to navigate life, no matter what’s thrown my way.