There has been much written about the curse of the Mummy. I cannot comment on the historical ones, but can assure you that at least one was doing a fair bit of cursing Friday in a small Buckinghamshire village. After a lovely day with friends, the cafetière full of boiling coffee took it upon itself to explode. The curses followed the scream.
It was an hour and a half later that my younger son arrived, while I was still soaking what bits I could in cold water and wrapped in cold, wet towels, dripping all over and incoherent. Alex took charge and called the ambulance. I currently look like a mummy, bandaged at the burns unit in places I did not know could be bandaged. While hefty doses of morphine have left me feeling like a zombie with a hangover.
In this unaccustomed heat where I have to stay out of the sun now too, this heavily padded look is, I have to say, not ideal, particularly when it feels centrally heated from within.
However, I have been very lucky, so far, and the cold water did its job. The hospital is hopeful that I won’t need skin grafts and that even the third degree burns will heal well.
It has been an object lesson in consciousness and how we focus. For a couple of hours there was only a body in pain, or so it seemed. Rational thought went out the window… I know, from my own first -aid training, that any burn bigger than the palm of the hand needs to be at least looked at by a doctor. And the burns are pretty extensive. Yet all my all-too-present body could think of was cold water. The longer the pain went on, the worse it became, the more I observed, as if from a distance, as I fell into a kind of panicked endurance, getting colder and colder. Looking back I suppose I was in shock.
My emotional thoughts were all over the place. I felt ashamed of myself for not coping better and tried to muster more resistance. It is, after all, what we are ‘expected’ to do. I was afraid.. all the people I would let down, all the things that need to be done…if I were out of action for a while. Even vanity came into it… just how bad were the burns on my face and neck? All the rest could be covered…
I was very conscious that all my focus was on the physical body, yet real consciousness itself was not within it… it stood to one side and observed quite dispassionately. There was even an inner stream of words.. not a dialogue, but an awareness that kept up a running commentary, both encouragement and critique. It seemed quite pleased when I remembered my training enough to visualise the heat dissipating and try to reach a place of calm within, even though it did not show on the surface, I’m afraid. It laughed at my worries of scarring and reminded me I’ve dealt with worse scars in the past. They really don’t matter. It approved of my realisation that there were lessons to be learned here.
It took my son to bring an oasis of calm to the situation, as with no panic he did what he could while calling for help, packing my things for the hospital and organising care for a worried small dog as well as dealing with the other balls I had in the air at the time. I was so glad of his arrival and so very proud of him for the way he calmly stepped into an awful situation that must have been distressing for him to say the least.
Of course, it highlighted yet another of my failings. I had not asked for help for myself. Just with the stuff that needed doing. Alex would have been there sooner had he known how bad it was. I am still ashamed when I have to ask for help for myself, though I’ll bulldoze anything to get it for someone else.
It is not an easy lesson to learn, or to admit, that we are neither self-sufficient nor invulnerable. I learned, long ago, that anything that can happen, can happen to you. It doesn’t mean it will, but anything is possible. And we are, no matter what we may think, equipped to deal with it, one way or another. Life has a way of giving us the lessons in small increments if we take notice, and what we then learn is stored against future need.
It is impossible to know what every individual needs to learn for their soul’s growth into Light. All we can ever do, I feel, is to take notice of the opportunities we are given and try to find the essence of the experience and learn what it gives us. And if we don’t like what we see, then we can work towards changing it. Better that than to wander blindly through life simply reacting to events.
I have done a lot of thinking as I have drifted in and out of a morphine fuelled sleep the past 36 hours. I hope I have thought to some purpose and do not waste this opportunity for change.
Meanwhile, I want to thank all those who have known, thanks to Steve’s posting on the Silent Eye Facebook page, and who have sent such beautiful messages of love, support and healing. It means more than I could ever say.