There I Was Minding My Own Business…
….when I called hubby from the Big Box Home Improvement store to ask him a few questions about the list of nail-thingys and other fixy-thingys he asked me to pick up.
Do you realize there’s like a hundred gozillion different sizes of nails?
And the types? Fuhgeddaboudit!
He wasn’t answering the phone. That was odd.
Odd and irritating.
I was, after all, doing him a favor by getting those nail-thingys so the least he could do was answer his phone when I tried calling.
I had questions. Lots of questions.
Finally, I found what I thought were the right thingys and went home.
I walked in the front door, ready to yell at him for not answering the phone when I saw that he was standing at the kitchen sink, muttering under his breath and furiously scrubbing his hands.
“I can’t get this stuff off me!”
“What ‘stuff’ are you talking about?”
“The de-greaser,” he said and nodded in the direction of the garage where he’d been cleaning the floor with some type of solvent.
I went out there and picked up the jug of cleaner and began reading the label.
By the time I got back in the house my hands were shaking and I was sweating.
“Did you even read the label?!”
“No, but I’ve used it before.”
‘This?” I said holding the jug up in front of him as he continued to wash his hands.
“Well, no, not that, but something like that.”
I rubbed my brow.
“Honey, it says if you get this on your skin you should SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION!”
“Now you’re just trying to scare me.”
I shoved the jug in his face, “Here, YOU read it.”
He kept scrubbing his hands.
“Were you wearing gloves?”
“Did you splash it on you or…..”
“No, I used a brush to clean the floor with it and then I was sopping up the excess with a sponge and wringing the sponge out in the bucket.”
“WITH YOUR BARE HANDS???”
Hubby stopped scrubbing and dried his hands.
“They’re sticky feeling…before, they were slimy.”
They were also shiny, red, and the tips of the fingers on his right hand were blistering and peeling.
I grabbed the phone and dialed Poison Control. The helpful “Medical Professional” on the other end strongly urged us to go to the ER…like five minutes ago.
I dragged hubby to the ER, the whole way there he’s marveling at his now stinging/burning/hurting red hands and muttering, “..they should put better warnings on the label….done this before….if I’d of just used gasoline, like when I was a kid….”
Me, I’m breaking every speed limit on the way – and where is a cop when you need one?? – and telling him that he’s just acid-washed his hands and we’ve got to neutralize the acid to stop the burning process.
The ER was another voyage to the strange and weird.
He saw three nurses before the doctor.
You know what EVERY ONE of them asked?
Two things – What did poison control tell you to do? Uh..come here, dumbass. Okay, I didn’t actually call him a “dumbass” but I wanted to.
…and…the other thing they asked?
What do you expect us to do?
I swear, visions of tackling and pummeling the entire ER staff did dance in my head for a few seconds before I managed to gain my composure and…
….stare, blankly, at the idiot nurse who had asked the question.
Maybe my “blank” stare translates to “murderous-daggers-and-flame-from-eyeballs” stare on the receiving end, because she turned pale and retreated backwards out the door and said the doctor would be right in.
The doctor knew what to do. Thank God. He has no idea how close he came.
Oddly enough, the solution is to neutralize the acid with a base (this I knew) but the coolest/strangest part is the base they use is something called “GoLightly”.
If you’ve ever had a colonoscopy, and who doesn’t love a good colonoscopy, right? Anyway, if you’ve ever had one you will recognize the name. It’s the stuff you drink to clear the plumbing prior to the big day.
Hubby had to soak his hands in this solution for twenty minutes. Then they slathered this silver-based cream on his hands and wrapped them in gauze.
He looked like he was wearing mittens.
The next day we had to soak his hands again and since they felt so much better there was no need to slather on the cream (which, we were told, would turn his hands a lovely and permanent tan color – it didn’t though) or re-apply the mittens.
His hands are still shiny – a result of stripping the epidermis and leaving the dermis exposed, much like the chemical peels women pay a fortune for at high-end salons – and the tips are kinda raw and sore. They are also swollen, but all in all he’s much better.
It coulda been a LOT worse.
So, after the ordeal I asked my husband one question.
“So, what did we learn from this?”
To which he replied,
“Next time, use gasoline.”