Thank you all for your prayers, phone calls, emails etc. They have been truly helpful during this trying period. I apologize to any of you, whom I have not gotten to. This has been an extremely hectic time for all of us.
We have had mixed news since the original diagnosis on Friday. Johanna is only burnt on 5% of her body which is a very significant reduction in the amount of physical trauma she is suffering. The burns still range from 1st degree on her hands and wrists, to 3rd degree on her neck, shoulders and back. For some strange reason the inner side of her left thumb also has a third degree burn. Her back, stomach, the underside of her chin and the rest of her arms suffered 2nd degree burns. Her kidneys are doing great. Her blood pressure has been fantastic.
One good thing is she was wearing a bra when she was cooking. The bra protected the goodies while the rest of her chest was burned. The moral of this story.. Always wearing a bra when cooking!
We still don't know about surgery and skin grafts, but it looks like there are only two patches on her shoulders that need to be watched. Most of the boils, puss pockets, etc have either broken or been reabsorbed back into the body.
Early Sunday night Johanna was given the OK to leave the burn unit and walk the halls of the hospital and visit the outdoor garden. This really lifted her spirits. She was tired, so we planned a walk around the grounds for the next morning, but it was not to be. Later that night she was found to have a fever and an infection has set in. She's back to being confined to the burn unit.
According to her doctor she is now beginning to experience the emotional trauma of a burn. Her mind and body have gotten over the shock of the physical and now the brain begins the what if, why me stage. This phase will most likely be the phase that haunts her for a long time. My son on Sunday said that her burns on her neck looked cool - "like a flame tattoo." That cheered her some. We snuck my daughter in to see her too, but she was kicked out of the burn unit because sheÂs under 16.
She's going to be in the hospital for at least another week. If she needs the skin grafts, it will be another 10 days on top of that.
The burn center is a very hard place to be. Everyone here is damaged physically and emotionally. Most of the residents are little kids who are burned in accidents. There are a lot of orthodox Jewish children who are burned by the Sabbath candles.
Two rooms down from my wife is an 18 month old boy, Lester. His father put him in the kitchen sink and set him on fire. Somehow the mother was also involved. The bastard ÂfatherÂ is in jail and the ÂmotherÂ is wanted by the police. There are police guarding this poor kid to see if the mother tries to make contact. Only the grandmother has visited Lester and she can't be there all the time. Johanna and I spend time with him when we can. Lester is so badly burnt that you can't even enter his room without full mask, gowns, shoes and gloves routine. I can't imagine what is going through this poor kid's mind. He's constantly in pain and screams most of the day and night. I know that there's a special place in hell for his Âfather and mother.Â
The other group that comes and goes are the severe burns. They rarely last the night. The burn center has 10 beds, and we've seen 3 people die in the unit.
We are extremely grateful that my wifeÂs situation isn't worse. If her hair had caught fire or she had been home alone, she probably would have died. We've seen first hand what fire can do to human flesh and itÂs not pretty. God works in mysterious ways. While this has been a terrible experience for all of us, and the end isn't in sight yet, it is bringing my family closer together. My kids have risen to the challenge and are picking up some of the slack around the house. We will be a stronger family when this is done.