Monday, February 18, 2013

Forgetting The Details

It's seems like such a little thing, doesn't it? You forget one little detail, and life blows up in your face.

Okay, not all the time, but you get the idea. Sometimes it's figurative, sometimes it's literal.

For instance, I never did share the details about my husband's accident. That's figurative. The world won't end, and our lives will go on as usual. But how the accident happened- well, that was literal. And it took me this long to realize I never shared this trial and the blessings that followed with you.

Oddly enough this happened on 9/11 last year. My husband, during weeks of working long hours at work, home, and church, went to work that morning tired but purposeful. While mixing the chemicals, he was distracted by a co-worker asking a question, and he forgot one little detail.

He didn't look down.

All he had to do was look down to see the steam rising from the bucket of hot water. The bucket he wasn't supposed to pour in the caustic soda. The cold water bucket was sitting a few feet away. But his brain didn't register that, and he dumped the chemicals into the wrong bucket.

A simple forgotten detail. but one that would change his life and those around him.

Caustic soda, when hitting cold water, raises the temperature to the boiling point instantly. But pour it into a bucket of hot water, and it vulcanizes- in other words, it explodes like a volcano, up and out.

All over my husband. Almost.

We know God was there that day because the bucket my husband was holding diverted the chemicals from spattering over his face and chest. Instead most of it hit the bucket, then his belly, thighs and forearms. The rest hit the twelve-foot ceiling and sprayed onto his head.

If it had hit his throat or his face, he would have died within seconds. His glasses helped to protect his eyes for the most part, but he couldn't keep it from dripping from his forehead into his eyes.

A few months before this, they tested a batch of this mixture in a glass jar and dipped in a raw chicken leg. The meat was gone within a minute. My husband knew exactly what to do.

Within the first few seconds, he was ripping off his clothing as his co-workers got the hose to soak him down. Water effectively neutralizes it, but you need a lot of it in this case, because the clothing, if not remove quickly, would melt onto him. 

The only thing he kept on were his tidy whities- and that second layer of clothing was the only thing that protected him from being in a worse situation. Who knew our moms were right all these years?

He was taken to a unit of a hospital known for it's burn treatments. The diagnosis? Third degree chemical burns on thirty-five percent of his body.

Eighteen days in the hospital. Two sets of seven skin grafts. Staples, bandages, therapy and burn creams. All because he was too mentally exhausted to think of looking down. One forgotten detail, and two years estimated recovery.

What blessings that came out of this? The love people gave us in our time of trial. The fact we were still able to buy our first home, because the company worked with us so the mortgage would go through. The unexpected healing of one of his eyes, which now has almost normal vision. And now when he's too tired, him and his co-workers notice the signs and he sits down to rest. 

Now I have a request, my dear readers. I would ask you to do the same. Don't exhaust yourself- it isn't worth the consequences. Yes, most times the little forgotten details are minor. But you never know when that one little thing can become a life-changing event. It just not worth the risk!

As for my husband? He's recovering nicely, and remains his same cheerful self. His connection to God is much stronger than it was, and his face lights up when he shares his story with others. God has truly blessed us!


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