7 February 2009 1 Comment

Day 141

Continued from a previous post. Day 141
It’s been over five months since Max was severely burned over his face and upper body – it continues to amaze me to see him heal so quickly. Granted, the advent of youth, proper medical attention, application of skin care products, and continued support by family, friends, and the community, has accelerated the healing process. Max is enjoying school (as much as a 10 year old boy can), his weekly stint on the snowboard, playing video games, and is progressing nicely on the piano. Leading life as though nothing had happened seems to be going rather well.

There are however occasions when we are reminded of the incident – obviously we think of what happened almost everyday as the scaring is a constant reminder – but on occasions when we run into friends, some of whom who are more like acquaintances, we find ourselves retelling the story, which brings back memories, glimpses of that day as it happened. The most disconcerting is running into mutual friends of Eric and having to retell the story as it truly happened (Eric was my friend who caused the explosion – an adult in his 40s – I mention this because people have asked, and in my prior posts there is little description of him).

The incident was by all means avoidable and not entirely accidental. The explosion was caused by him squirting high octane fuel used for model airplanes onto previously lit charcoal briquettes. He had kept this fuel in a clear plastic squirt bottle (similar to one you’d find on a picnic table – you know the ones filled with ketchup or mustard). I recall seeing that bottle earlier that evening (it was about one third of the way full) and asking him what it was for – he mentioned he was going to use it to light the BBQ fire. I immediately offered to run out and buy lighter fluid, for the thought of lighting a BBQ with that pink fuel in a plastic bottle seemed, well, idiotic – maybe something you would do as a teenager, but not at a BBQ, not as an adult, and especially not with kids running around.

He assured me, he had done this before and it was no big deal – I think of that moment in time, constantly.

It’s apparent that when we retell our story to those friends, they are under the impression it was an accident that could not have been avoided, not so. He was squirting high octane fuel, not lighter fluid, directly over briquettes which he attempted to light previously with no success. Model plane fuel is designed to burn fast and hot in a closed cell, not to light outdoor fires. Unfortunately Max was standing by, under adult supervision. Boom.

Max’s scars look really good for what happened. I realize it’s been a while since posting about this incident, but taking some time off from dwelling on what happened has really helped us all. We’ve talked with a counselor, and Max is doing good. The interesting thing is how it’s affected his sister – she saw it all happen, and now seems to dislike any sort of fire, specifically candles at dinner time. During this whole incident, she’s the one factor we’ve overlooked.

12 December 2008 1 Comment

Day 71

Continued from a previous post.
Holy smokes – it’s been a while since my last post on Max! Max is doing good!

This past Monday we made a quick trip to Portland to see his doctor who was pleased with his progress. We actually spent way more time on the road than in Portland, but managed to squeeze in a couple of Pizza Shmitza slices.

Max’s arm is by far the worst of all his burns – it itches him and looks kinda gnarly, but that’s what the doctor had predicted. We’re going to wait and see how that progresses to heal and revisit the chance of surgery in another 3 months or so. Max’s chest and most of his face seem to be healing rather well too, although the doctor did mention there were several spots that would most likely scar – leaving permanent marks.

Overall Max is feeling OK with what has happened, but I think he’s getting tired of us reminding him – on a daily basis – to keep on applying lotion, spf, and lip balm. He is now wearing a couple of silicone scar patches on the most severe areas to prevent them from ‘puffing’. They seem to be working well at reducing the scars thickness and keeping that area kinda stinky – since Max likes to keep them on until they start losing their stick.

Continued here.

8 November 2008 1 Comment

Day 46

Continued from a previous post.

It’s been fifty days since Max was in the accident and he continues to improve for sure. As our doctor had predicted, the open wound has closed and scar tissue has formed as his second skin. In about a week or so the scar will no longer need to be bandaged and in its place will go a self-adherent silicone bandage – this will help diminish the scars appearance.
His new skin (which was previously 2nd degree burns) is evident – whiter than his other skin, and more susceptible to sun damage, great care is being taken everyday to make sure he has SPF on his face and body.

Continued here.

30 October 2008 1 Comment

Day 37

Continued from a previous post.
Day 37It’s been a little over 37 days now and Max’s improvements are significantly visible. The burn on his upper left arm, which was visibly open not long ago, has almost entirely closed up. That spot will for sure leave a scar but were hoping with proper care and time it will fade away. His spirits are up and he’s been spending more time with friends.

This whole experience has drawn our family together in such a good way. As much as we all wish this had never happened, there is a big part of me that acknowledges good has come from it.

Continued here.