29 April 2013
Woke up to a text from my mum stressing out and telling me to get strong men to carry me into the boat and go to Thailand, and do I think she should get the next flight over? I reassured her my swelling has gone down a bit and is less hot and red. I have been unable to get hold of Leila to come and have a look at it, but for now that seems OK because it’s feeling alright. She mentioned a week or so back she was going to Bangkok so maybe she’s there.
I am lying on the sofa with my burned leg up on my pillow. Today I am feeling really good about everything because I’ve made some major progress. For the past 2 hours, I have been trying to stand up. A simple task, under normal circumstances.
First I sat in a chair with my knee bent and my foot pointing downwards and resting on a stool. I looked around the room for things I could use to help me in my mission to walk today, and saw that we had quite a few books laying around. Perfect! I made a pile of books almost as high as the stool and rested my foot on the top book. Over the course of the next half hour I removed books from the pile, so that my foot gradually got closer to the floor and eventually was resting on the floor. The pain from the blood flowing down into my burns was so intense that I left my leg and foot in that position for another half hour or so to get used to the blood being there and for the pain to lessen.
The next step was to raise my body to get even more blood flowing down into the burns. Because this is such an incredibly intense feeling it had to be really gradual as well. I sat on the arm of the armchair, and used all of my mental powers to cope with the pain.
I had to stay like this for a while – it took a long time for my leg to feel OK being down on the ground and my body above it and I spent that time thinking about beautiful scenes I’ve seen and the amazing people that I have around me and all the good things that I have. It sounds ridiculous, and if anyone was telling me this story I would think they must have a very low pain tolerance and not be very strong. Having experienced it though, I know that burns are not fun and a lot more painful than they look.
Eventually I decided it was time to take the plunge… and used my right leg to stand up. It was excruciating and again I thought of nice things, visualising being so fit and healthy and running through some beautiful mountains. After almost 2 minutes my leg was screaming at me and throbbing so much and I was so close to fainting I called it a day and lay down on the sofa, where I am now.
It seems so ridiculous for something that looks relatively small compared to the size of my body to create so much intense pain.
It was a really good start and I hope to have another go later this afternoon or tomorrow depending on how things go. The swelling in my ankle seems about the same as yesterday now and despite having a very limited range of movement in my foot it’s feeling pretty good.
Today I read on the internet that second degree burns can be more painful than third degree – I don’t know if this is true or not but apparently it’s because third degree burns the nerve endings off but second degree you can still feel everything. In any case, I have no idea how someone could mentally survive burns over a lot of their body.
Dre’s foot is really swollen today though. It is finally making him rest it a bit. His burn also doesn’t seem to be healing as nicely as mine, probably because he keeps walking around on it.
Evening: I think that my leg is sorer now after putting it down and standing up earlier today. I have very little movement in my foot and the bottom burn is a bit sore. I need to try and move my foot to stop the skin healing really tight, but it’s impossible. The movement isn’t stopped by pain, in fact it doesn’t hurt at all when I move my foot but it simply won’t move very far. I am sure that this will improve in time.