It has been almost a month since I wrote, as I had to take a break. After the midterm school-break, we had to plan for our shortest vacation to India, in the past thirteen years from June end to July end. It surprises me, how our vacations are getting shorter as per our kids’ school schedule.

Both girls were excited as their friends were also going to holidays, but in Italy, Spain, France, Germany etc. I had a difficult time convincing her that we are going to India as their grandparents are there and we want to be with them, especially mommy as I am their daughter.

June 16th was my elder girl’s 7th birthday and, as a mum who hates attending and organising parties of any kind, I told her –  in fact, sought her permission very early itself, for a private function in our house. That included a themeless cake, daddy, mummy, sister as attendees and their three-year-old playmate and her parents who are our next-door neighbour.

She was ok with the idea of a private party, asked me only one thing as a gift –  a miraculous ladybug Marinette doll, which was her current favourite  superheroine, but which also cost me 35 euro!

Everything was ok – and then the inevitable accident happened – to me.

As it was Saturday, I woke up late and was doing multitasking to keep up with the time to cut the birthday cake by three pm. At that moment my right-hand accidentally brushed the fully steamed pressure cooker, which was diagonally sitting on the burner in which I was making a curry.

By the time I realised I burned myself and walked to my husband, who was in the living room in a mere five seconds, an almost 13 cm blister had formed on my inner right arm.

Here in Ireland, GPs and doctors also take leave on weekends, and even the pharmacies will be open only for half a day. We both fell into a shock and forgot to do even the basic thing of cooling it in running water or rubbing ice cubes.

The pharmacist just gave an antiseptic cream, and we had to see GP, first thing in the morning. Here medicines like ‘burnol’ are not available over-the-counter(OTC). Everything needs a prescription.

Maybe it could be due to the shock, or it could be because the burn was only on top of my skin, I didn’t feel any pain at all. After bandaging it, I made sure that my kid’s 7th birthday won’t be associated with a painfully burned mom.

All went well and good, and my husband dressed the still blistered wound in the evening. In the morning what I saw was horrible. I have never seen any of my body parts, in such a terrible condition. One of the blisters had broken in my sleep, and pink raw flesh was clearly visible with the blistered skin, shrinking into a corner. Still …. I didn’t feel any pain.

Though I was not in pain, whoever who happened to see my burn screamed at the gory sight of it. I was not sure if I should bandage it as the raw flesh needed air to heal. But people seeing me might think either I did it myself or somebody harmed me.

Kids were not allowed to see it when even the grown-ups couldn’t stand the sight. So, my husband bandaged it again.

Monday after sending the kids to school I went to GP and found that I had a second-degree burn – but only on the skin and no flesh was hurt in the process. He dressed my 13cm burn in iodine mesh (anaidaine), covering then it with silver cream. Then using a wide cotton pad and wrapping it with cotton mesh. I was asked to dress every day. I also had to take medicines too.

In the next two weeks, the wound healed, the dead skin scraping away on its own, but only after leaving a very scary scar on my inner arm, inviting questions of all kind from almost everyone.

I tried full sleeve tops, but in that 26-degree Irish summer, it was impossible. I got tired of telling my burn-story to everyone who seemed interested in my thirteen cm scar.

Even now, after the new skin has come and covered it, but of course, with my previous experience, I know that the ugly black scar will be there for my lifetime, reminding me about my elder girl’s seventh birthday and her miraculous ladybug Marinette doll.

-Swathi Sasidharan


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