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I burned myself two days ago by crawling under a tv tray to pick something up, bumping the tv tray, and knocking over the cup of just boiled coffee that was on it onto my neck and back. I don’t know if I’m “severe” enough to justify coming on this site, but my history of severe trauma and anorexia in combination with the current state of the world, and now this burn on top of it… I need some support coping.
The burn covers about 3/4 of my neck and back. It’s mostly second degree with bits that are deeper than that. I had it debrided for the first time today at the local burn unit, and now it’s covered in silver nitrate sponges until my next appointment in five days.
Apparently nutrition is a huge thing in burn recovery? I’ve been in an anorexia relapse for about 7 months now and am struggling just to eat enough to not lose more weight while it’s healing, let alone get in the recommended amount of protein that they told me my body would need to heal from this.
I’m finding it challenging to let myself take the painkillers I was given. I’m not entirely sure why, but I’m sure it has something to do with my PTSD and that my mom is addicted to opioids. I got some codeine down AFTER they debrided it because I was shaking and needed to be able to drive myself home (leaning at least a bit back onto the seat…).
I’m so nauseous from the pain, which of course makes eating even harder, and I’m exhausted but SO restless. How do you breathe through the pain to sleep? I can’t imagine having this kind of burn covering the majority of my body.. if that’s you, I wish I could hug you very gently and take some of the pain away.
Anyways.. just thought I’d reach out.
I am sorry to hear that you have been burned on your neck and back but am pleased to hear that it is mostly second degree burns which hopefully should heal on their own. You are right, nutrition is a factor in healing and when I was in hospital I had to drink a lot of protein shakes on top of eating meals to help my burns heal. I was 43% burns though so quite extensive. If you can face it the protein shakes might be a good solution for you as your skin requires lots of protein to help mend itself…. if you’d like to e-meet some other burn survivors you are welcome to join the weekly on line chat which takes place on wed 7.30-9pm uk time where all size burns new and old meet to help each other through what is a traumatic and difficult experience. Most burns units have specilalised burns counsellors and it might be worth you speaking to your burn service whereever you are based..
Please don’t hesitate to ask questions as happy to help,
Thank you for your response, Polski.
I am going to pick up some high protein shakes tomorrow and see if I can get them down. I’ve also reached out to my eating disorder dietitian for a bit of extra support.
I don’t remember them telling me what % my burns are, but looking at a photo they took and the charts online I’d say it’s right about 10% – mostly second degree, a bit of third.
I will definitely be at the live chat on Wednesday. Thank you for the information and support!
Just thought I’d write a little post to see how you are doing? Hope things are improving for you? As polski has said, it is very important to get the right nutrition to help you heal but understand the difficulties that you are facing. How are you getting on with the protein shakes? I was 50% burned when I was 13 in a gas explosion in Spain, whilst on my first holiday abroad. You can read about my story under: “Burn Survivors”. I hope that the weekly chat is helping. I find I gain something from it every time I am on. I just wished there was something like this when I was first burned. There was no psychological help at all, even when I was in the Burns Unit. Things have dramatically improved and this is great. Please know that you are not alone and we are all here for each other. Take care for now. Shell
Thanks so much for checking in <3 I’m doing alright. I’ve missed the past few group chats because I’ve had appointments every Wednesday (and the chat is in the middle of the work day where I am). My back has healed quite well. I had a consult with the plastic surgeon and I shouldn’t need to have anything done. It’s all closed up now, just still stings, which I expect it will for a while still? It’s still quite painful just on my neck, but nothing like it was lol. I’m finding it interesting how many times it peels though – definitely not a one-peel sunburn like I’m used to!
I am still in contact with the burn doctors because even though it’s only 10% BSA I’ve had some significant metabolic effects because of the other health issues I struggle with. I just had a big panel of bloodwork done with some not great results, but the burn specialist and my GP can hopefully help me manage it until my body heals a bit more.
I’m hoping to make it to the chat this Wednesday! You take care too <3
So I had an unexpected and interesting experience tonight.
The day after my burn, and maybe the day after that, when I went to have my cup of coffee I’ll admit my heart rate went up a bit. However, I have a history of pretty severe trauma and PTSD, and the way my particular burn happened was NOT traumatic (by that night my friends and I were laughing about how it was such a ME clutzy moment…). So I was able to breathe, slow my heart down, drink my coffee, and that was that.
Tonight, though, I went out to my garden to collect a piece of mint for a cup of tea. I put it in the mug and poured the boiling water on it and starting having an anxiety attack because I was HURTING THE MINT.
Now, I’m a strict vegetarian, mostly vegan, can’t-even-slap-a-mosquito, super empathetic kind of person… but, like, I want to be able to drink my homegrown tea!!! I MADE myself drink it and then I went to bed.
Then I went back to the kitchen and retrieved the mint leaves from my mug and carefully arranged all the leaves and put them in a book to be pressed. My thought was that once it’s dry it would be a reminder of how things can still be beautiful after they’re burned, but honestly.. now I’m freaking out because I’m crushing and suffocating them on top of pouring boiling water on them.
This is insane, and I totally understand that. I’m going to have to get over this in the next day or two if I ever want to eat or cook anything ever again. Obviously this is coming from my burn getting mixed up in my mind with other trauma and with major grief/death issues, but knowing that is not helping in this particular moment.
Thanks for reading – and I’ll take any feedback you may have!
Hi Lissar, I would say you are definitely suffering from PTSD of some type which occurs often after a burn. Please don’t beat yourself up and be kind to yourself. You may want to find someone locally to talk through your fears to help you learn to deal with them but hopefully in time they will fade – for many years I had an irrational fear when driving the car on the M25 that I would have a major crash – basically I was scared to go through another major pain incident and would have to keep my breathing under control and fight the fear. Talking about it is a good thing too as its better to get it out there than keep it bottled up, so keep sharing and talking x