The lower part of my left leg is still covered with a bandage. It has been almost two weeks. The burn hurts on a daily basis. What’s the story behind this? Listen if this bothers you.
One evening, I was ironing my clothes while being distracted due to irrational thoughts that were pulled and maneuvered by my heavy heart gasping for air. When I pulled my clothes that was under the iron which had just been placed on its ironing board, the firing hot iron fell onto the inner part of my left leg as I was sitting cross-legged.
I didn’t do what people normally will do in this dangerous situation. And I left the burning iron on my skin for quite a few seconds. After I was done pulling the clothes then only I bothered to lift the iron. Frankly, I was in a bad mood while ironing. To be exact, I was just half-functioning. Worse still, despite being aware of the first aid knowledge that the first, best thing to do is to run it through cold water, yet I did just nothing and continued to iron the other clothes.
With some recovering self-harm wounds, I didn’t have any intention to apply any cream to soothe the burn which was almost the size of a small rat. A small rat has started to appear in my house recently after days without floor mopping but just sweeping due to challenges in terms of my mobility. Moreover, I need to keep the bandage dry all the time. Bathing has been a challenge. There were times when I went to the saloon to get my hair washed. Recently, I resort to using biodegradable plastic bags to cover my bandage before bathing.
On the next day after this accident, a giant water blister was formed. I used a sharp object to burst it out without even any care to sanitize the tool. After exposing the burn to the open air and friction with my clothing, the burn became more and more painful. It started to get swollen.
Though I secretly “celebrated” the pain after this accident as it distracts me from my mental pain as well as “satisfies” my urge to self-harm, I was worried that the burn might transform into a fatal kind of infection or inflammation. So there I went to the clinic.
One clinic visit turned out to be a back-to-back daily kind of clinic visits. One attending doctor performed a minor surgery to have the second layer of skin on my burn removed. He identified that as dead skin. Rounds and rounds of prickling, sanitizing and wiping have been done. I confidently turned down a few offers to get painkiller but was just taking antibiotic and others. At times, I was shivering in pain once I got myself into a standing posture from a lying down position. The first few steps are always more painful. As I force myself to walk more steps, the pain becomes bearable and less obvious. For some nights, I had difficulty falling asleep due to the disturbing pain.
In these few days, my burn is getting better and the swelling has reduced greatly. I finally have my peace of mind instead of feeling worried that it might aggravate. During this period, I have wasted so many centimeters of bandage, swabs of cottons, ounces of medicinal products…I am just a bad person. Many other patients need these more than me. The cost of healthcare is not cheap and many can’t afford it. Also, I have been keeping the attending doctor busy treating my burn.
Maybe the physical pain is still felt from time to time and that’s why I have better mental health condition with a sound mind. I keep reminding myself of my life purpose and meaning. As I am drying the clothes, instead of examining and making sure that all clothes hangers face the same direction and are placed on the right poles, I focus on my purpose of drying clothes by seeing the meaning behind this action. My purpose is to have clean, comfortable clothes to continue my daily life of meaning making to ensure a better world for me and others. The manner I leave the clothes hangers on the poles doesn’t amount to anything. All the time wasted on arranging them meticulously never brings back a worthwhile outcome for my life purpose and meaning. This only stresses me out and tires my soul while I continue to punish myself secretly for any misplaced clothes hanger.
Nowadays, I am kind of fragile especially when opening up about my unstable mental health. A doctor who managed to dig out my self-harming secret by the appearance of scars on my inner arms sent my tears rolling down non-stop. Nevertheless, I go about my days normally without people noticing the dark secrets. I say “normally” in the sense that I still can manage my work albeit progressing rather slowly in my PhD study sometimes. And I do spend some good time with my close friends. Only in front of my mother that I show my irritable, helpless mood.
I am writing this post after spending hours over the weekend to prepare the course content needed for English Immersion Programme specially designed for Engineering and Science students from Japan. This is my first time experiencing an ESP-cum-EFL kind of course preparation. Feeling stressed, I try to write here as a form of respite.
Thank you for listening! Do show me some love ❤