Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Burns - Guy's Incident.

I came across this interesting post this morning on Facebook;

A young man sprinkling his lawn and bushes with pesticides wanted to check the contents of the barrel to see how much pesticide remained in it. He raised the cover and lit his lighter; the vapors ignited and engulfed him He jumped from his truck, screaming. His neighbor came out of her house with a dozen eggs and a bowl yelling: "bring me some more eggs!" She broke them, separating the whites from the yolks. The neighbor woman helped her to apply the whites onto the young man's face. When the ambulance arrived and the EMTs saw the young man, they asked who had done this. Everyone pointed to the lady in charge. They congratulated her and said: "You have saved his face." By the end of the summer, the young man brought the lady a bouquet of roses to thank her. His face was like a baby's skin. A Healing Miracle for Burns: Keep in mind this treatment of burns is being included in teaching beginner fireman. First Aid consists of first spraying cold water on the affected area until the heat is reduced which stops the continued burning of all layers of the skin. Then, spread the egg whites onto the affected area. One woman burned a large part of her hand with boiling water. In spite of the pain, she ran cold faucet water on her hand, separated 2 egg whites from the yolks, beat them slightly and dipped her hand in the solution. The whites then dried and formed a protective layer. She later learned that the egg white is a natural collagen and continued during at least one hour to apply layer upon layer of beaten egg white. By afternoon she no longer felt any pain and the next day there was hardly a trace of the burn. 10 days later, no trace was left at all and her skin had regained its normal color. The burned area was totally regenerated thanks to the collagen in the egg whites, a placenta full of vitamins.

This reminded me of a few incidents when my mother's home remedies were used to great effect and I thought that I might share one of these today.

When my brother Guy was a toddler we lived in a little coal mining town called Wankie in the north west of Southern Rhodesia, I think the name(s) have been changed to Hwange in Zimbabwe. My father was a Telegraphist working for Rhodesia Railways at the shunting yards on the west side of town. I was fascinated with my Dad's ability to communicate using Morse code and loved the almost musical tapping of the telegraph.

My mother was the home maker as was common in the 1950's with usually only one breadwinner in a family. Yes we had 'servants' as the black Africans were commonly referred to, but truth be told every person regardless of colour felt that it was incumbent upon them to alleviate poverty and unemployment and so would employ as many people as possible, of course the pay was pathetic and that was why these 'servants' would be supplied with life's necessities (accommodation, clothing, food, detergent's etc.) in addition to the meagre pay. For the most part those who could do more - did.

We had a housemaid and a gardener, not that they had much work to do since we didn't have a garden and my mother preferred to do her own housekeeping, but the housemaid could make tea and baby-sit from time to time and the gardener could water the fruit tree's twice a week, thereby assisting with feelings of self worth. (These people became family members over time.)

Early one morning the housemaid had made a huge pot of tea, placed it on top of the tea trolley and wheeled it through to the passage and left it outside my parents bedroom door. Guy and I shared a bedroom opposite and I was an early riser (this would prove to be problematic from time to time as I often woke my siblings) and woke my brother Guy. After helping Guy escape the confines of his cot, I left him to his own devices and went off to explore the yard (remember - no garden) and enact my favourite fantasy while playing the part of my favourite western hero 'Hopalong Cassidy'.

A short while later I heard a blood curdling scream from Guy and raced indoors to find out what had happened. I came upon the scene of my mother, handing my screaming brother to my father calmly as she instructed the almost hysterical housemaid, "Kajima - boysa lo baby powder and lo Vaseline" ("Quickly bring the baby powder and the Vaseline") as she stripped off Guy's clothing. The tea trolley was laying on it's side, the teapot had lost it's cosy and was laying in a mixture of tea, sugar and milk upon the linoleum. It was apparent that Guy who was just starting to learn to walk, had crawled over and tried to pull himself up by using the tea trolley. He had managed to pull the tea trolley over emptying it's contents onto himself, including a teapot full of boiling hot tea.

My mother righted the upturned tea trolley, and gave it a swipe over with her dressing gown just as the housemaid returned. Taking the canister of 'Johnsons Baby Powder' Mom removed the top and emptied the contents onto the tea trolley, then she took handfuls of Vaseline and started mixing it with the powder which she then applied as a paste to Guy's burns.  Guys screams abated to sobs as the soothing paste was applied to his entire body. Mom then grabbed a crepe bandage and bandaged Guy so that he looked like an Egyptian mummy. This whole incident had taken less than five minutes and although Guy was taken to the General Hospital as a precaution immediately after, it was my Mothers calm quick thinking and her home remedy that had saved Guy.  

Guy has absolutely no scaring as a result. The home remedy was continued for several weeks as it was a very soothing balm which I can personally attest to having used it on my own second and third degree burns after an afgas explosion - but that's another story for another day.

A Telegraph similar to the one my Dad used in the 1950's
Till next time - God Bless.