COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS

As a Physician Assistant, I did a rotation in the Burn Unit, which was akin to a Torture Chamber, as far as I was concerned! I worked at a major New York City hospital, for many years.
They were well known for the care and treatment they provided, for patients with severe and extensive burns. It was not uncommon to hear patients crying out in agony, as you passed thru the double doors leading to the patient treatment area of the Burn Unit. Family members were noted grieving at a patient’s bedside or sitting quietly, crying in the waiting room. It wasn’t fun!

One afternoon, a mom pushing her infant in a carriage, along with her seven-year-old boy and his grandmother, were walking on the sidewalk in Manhattan. Without warning, a manhole cover blew up onto the sidewalk. It was the result of a gas line explosion.
The boy’s mom and his infant sister were killed instantly. The grandmother sustained minor injuries, The seven-year-old boy was severly burned but, still alive.
He almost died. Maybe, he should have. I admit that I asked God to take him. It was too much to bear!
The extreme pain and agony the little boy endured, not just from the initial injuries but from the treatment required for the 3rd-degree burns he sustained, were beyond words!
It was horrible!!!!! By far, the worst encounter of my life!

The treatment for massive burns is horrific, unimaginably painful! The goal is to stabilize the patient’s airway, get IV lines in place to hydrate the patient and infuse medications. The next step involves treating the burns with topical medications, followed by debridement and grafting if needed. Debridement involves the process of removing the affected dead skin, that’s caused by the burns.
Burns can be caused by fire, heat, extreme cold, electrocution and chemicals. Treating burns as soon as possible is paramount. The burnt skin is often black or white in color. It’s called “Eschar”. Patients in need of debridement, are placed into a large stainless steel full body bathtub. It’s called a debridement tank.
The sight of patients recovering from severe burns would bring tears to your eyes. It’s not for the faint of heart. It’s the stuff nightmares are made of. I have great admiration and respect for the medical staff that work in burn units, across the country, and throughout the world. It’s a tough job!

Patients with severe, large percentage body burns, are taken to the Operating Room. In the OR, dead tissue is excised. Healthy skin from any viable area of the patient’s body, or cadaver skin if needed, is excised. The damaged skin has to be replaced. This is all dependent on the extent and degree of the burns. A healthy piece of skin once harvested, is put thru a small device (called a MESHER). The Mesher stretches the skin and puts holes in it. It transforms a small piece of skin into a larger piece, for covering more surface area. The mesh is then attached to viable tissue. This is called skin grafting.
Your skin is an organ. Its purpose is to protect the body. Without it, you would be susceptible to various bacteria resulting in fatal infections. The causes of death following a severe burn result from a sequence of events: airway damage, internal organ damage, dehydration, infection, sepsis.

I often sat with the boy at his bedside. I would try and talk to him. He was medicated due to the extent of his burns. Every attempt was made to offer him pain relief. It was difficult to think of what to say. He was a brave little boy. He was into action figures: HE-MAN and SKELETOR. That’s what his grandmother told me. I bought him a few figures. He was able to hold one, which made me happy. But, it wasn’t about me! It was about a little boy fighting for his life.

After close to a year, he was discharged. He had survived the accident but was terribly scared. Further treatment would be required with a plastic surgeon. He would still need to endure multiple surgical procedures and psychological intervention would be needed, as well.
He had not only been severely burned but had lost his mother and baby sister.
Bottom line…. Life is short!
Count your blessings!

_____________________

Image from Google Images: pinterest.com

PLEASE BE THERE FOR ME

When I was just a little girl
You held me in your arms
You said you would always be there for me
To keep me safe, to keep me warm.

But time and distance between us
Has often kept us apart
And I fear I must tell you now
What I know, may break your heart.

I’ve tried so hard to please you
To place your dreams above my own
But the time has finally come for me
To face my fear and stand alone.

My dreams are not the same as yours
My path so different than your own
I’ve made mistakes along the way
Learned a lot and I have grown.

Hopefully into the kind of woman
That you have taught me to be
To cast aside prejudice and blame
To be fair to myself and those around me.

It hasn’t been very easy
Facing what I’ve feared for so long to be true
Knowing it would hurt you most
Ever fearful of losing you.

I know I’ve disappointed you
I’ve fallen short of your hopes and dreams
But I have to be true to myself
As I have to have faith and believe….

That although I’m no longer your little girl
When I need to be held in your arms
To know that you will always be there for me
To keep me safe, to keep me warm.

____________________

Photography by Brittany Kinlaw

WILLINGLY

via Daily Prompt: Inscrutable

Inscrutable

Your words… so inscrutable
Leave me hopeless and forlorn
So blatantly unbelievable
Can’t say I wasn’t warned.

So many came before me
They tried to tell me so
The stories of your cheating
Can’t say I didn’t know.

I fell for all your sweet talk
Your smile and winsome charm
I wish I had known better
They did sound the alarm.

But I just wouldn’t listen
Had to give you one more chance
Thought that I could change you
Was lured by sweet romance.

All the lies and stories
The trap you set for me
I was like the others
Giving in so willingly.

I still here you laughing
Cannot forget that day
With tears streaming down my face
You turned and walked away.

___________________________

Image from Google Images: conservativereview.com

IN THE MOONLIGHT

In the moonlight, near the window
I lie awake and watch you sleep.
I long to tell you I’m afraid.
I close my eyes and softly weep.

I feel alone, yet you’re beside me.
Why am I feeling so withdrawn?
Why can’t I love you, as you love me?
Without such guile, without such scorn?

I’m afraid to start over.
To share my life with someone new.
I’ve been alone so long, it’s familiar.
It feels safe. What can I do?

I long to hold you, feel you beside me,
But I am plagued with doubt and fear.
I feel so separate, so distant.
Yet, I long to have you near.

I gaze upon you, in the darkness.
Your sweet face is all I see.
I feel your hair beneath my fingers.
I kiss your cheek so tenderly.

In the moonlight, near the window.
I feel a soft yet gentle breeze.
I whisper softly, I do love you.
You really are the one I need.

_____________________________

Image by Angela Galardi
Space Coast Sunrise

OPPORTUNITY

Penciled in last minute
Not a moment left to spare
Running for the subway
No time to brush your hair.

Clamoring for a signal
Checking figures, checking facts
Running for the next train
Hoping you can stay on track.

Opportunity is knocking
As you walk inside the door
Anxiety is building
Are you what, they’re looking for?

Years spent with a life coach
Always trying to fit in
Practicing your diction
As you try to impress them.

Money’s on the table
Champagne and caviar
You’re playing with the big boys
Show them who the hell you are.

BREATHLESS

Breathless, lustful memories
Hearts you said were one
How many have you said that to?
While out there having fun?

Shattered into pieces
Left behind with no regard
Crimes of passion committed
Leaving deep and nasty scars.

Time won’t take the pain away
My feelings cut too deep
You carved my fate the day we met
All I can do is weep.

You told me that you loved me
Said we’d always be together
You told me I was your soul mate
That this would last forever.

All I have now are memories
Photographs of you
From a time when we were happy
Before you said, we’re thru.

_________________________

Image from Google Images: moziru.com

BROKEN

via Daily Prompt: Silhouette

Silhouette

Standing in silhouette
Your memory lives on
I’ll never know
What I did, that was wrong.

You said it was over
Crushed, I fell apart
The day you walked out
The day you broke my heart.

The image so clear
Of you standing there
Saying good bye
You just didn’t care.

Rejection, cuts deep
Obsession, and pain
The longing, the heartache
Is all that remains.

Broken and shattered
No chances, just blame
Once it was over
It was never the same.

________________________

Image from Google Images: freepik.com