Tuesday, November 1, 2011


This past weekend I was working with Boo on a timeline of her life for a school project. Seven years. Lots of little milestones, but not too many groundbreaking events were marked and labeled across the pink tag board that represented her life. Little did I know the very next night our family would experience yet another AWFUL medical milestone for our family timeline this year.
It would read, "October 30, 2011 - Diddles got burned."

In the files of memories I have as a mother, to-date this one has been put on top as the most horrific and heart-stopping.

We had made it through another Sunday of 1-4 church meetings. It's always an accomplishment for us and the young kids! It was chilly and rainy outside, so Josh suggested we turn on the gas stove. It's one of my favorite details of our house. It's so warm and cozy, and the flames are so cheery during the gloomy winters. We had had a delicious dinner of home made spaghetti, salad and breadsticks. We had cleaned up the kitchen, and I was putting away a few things, when I heard Boo gasp and say, "Oh no!" Diddles came tearing around the kitchen island to me, shaking her hands in the air, her cry caught in her throat. Boo said, "She touched the fireplace!"

The burns were so new, it was hard to tell at first with her flailing arms where exactly the burns were. Immediately I rememberd, "Cool the burn. Cool the burn," and scooped her up and ran her hands under the cold water in the sink. The next 20 minutes were pandemonium. Boo frantically asking if Diddles was going to die. Josh shouting questions and all of us trying to assess what happened. Diddles SCREAMING in pain.

We gathered that Diddles, although aware that the fireplace flame inside meant "HOT", didn't realize that the glass also was hot, and had climbed up on the fireplace ledge to turn off the movie the kids were watching. A little trick of hers. She placed both hands on the glass to reach up to the TV, and so it went. No one saw it happen, but I assume her little 2-yr-old reflexes didn't register the pain immediately and when they did, she wasn't able to physically pull off right away. Second-degree burns on her fingertips, and the tops of her palms.

Her little handprints were still visible on the glass the next day.

In a chaotic situation like that, although I knew we needed Heavenly help, the last thing possible was to gather the family together and have a prayer for Diddles. We were all frantic. The best I could do was just beg over and over, a prayer in my head, "Please help her."

Cool cloth after cool cloth were simply revealing bright red burns all over her hands. We both knew these burns were beyond our ability to treat with our first aid kit. Josh made a quick call to our home teachers, dropped off Yaks and Boo, and off we went to the hospital. The ER was the only place open on a Sunday night, so there we were again. We were ushered into an ER room (incidentally, the VERY same ER room that I was rushed into during my own health scare. Here I was, healthy and well, staring down instead of up, being the well one instead of the sick one). The nurses came with basins of cold water and towels. They brought in a rocking chair for me to sit in while holding her and Josh plunging her hands into the water. She's a strong little girl. Thirty-five pounds of solid muscle, that one. Trying to distract her from the pain, I started to sing her one of her favorite songs:

"The wheels on the bus go round and round..."
"The wipers on the bus go swish-swish-swish..."

"The driver on the bus says move on back..."
"The horn on the bus goes beep-beep-beep..."

"The babies on the bus go..."

And then I started sobbing. It all came crashing down on me, the reality of what was happening to my baby girl. Remembering the feeling of a little singe on the side of a cupcake pan last week, and how painful that felt. My little baby had just been burned all over her HANDS. I had never experienced that kind of pain before.

"Wah-wah-wah..." My little girl was the one going WAH-WAH-WAH. This song was horrible! Whose idea was it to sing this thing? I felt like I had to keep singing through my sobs. It was heartbreaking to hear me, I'm sure. I think Josh started crying too.

So often during the day Diddles gets frustrated (as two-year-olds do), and with her limited language, she can't express what she needs. Dozens of times during the day, I will say to her, "Can I help you?" This time I wanted SO badly to press her little hands in mine and somehow transfer her hurts onto my own hands. "Can I help you? Can I take that from you?"

"The mommies on the bus go Shh-shh-shh..." My choking sobs continued as I sang that song like her life depended on it. As I rocked her and sang, I realized that as much as I wanted to, I couldn't make that hurt go away. I couldn't take that pain away from her.

With all the chaos going on, I was again taught a beautiful lesson in a hospital room. I thought that of all Christ suffered for in Gethsemane and on the cross. It would have been sufficient for him to suffer through the pain we would experience as a result of our sins and mistakes. That would have been more than a sufficient sacrifice to experience that for each of us, which allows us to repent and be forgiven, wouldn't it? That's still a lot for me to even comprehend. But, the fact that Christ IN ADDITION suffered also for our PAINS adds another level to the Atonement, doesn't it? I had never thought about that before!

Like it says in Alma 7:12 "And he will take upon him death that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities."

And so, because our Heavenly Father and Christ love us, Christ experienced every pain we will experience here on the earth. Yes, the spiritual pain - amazing, and humbling, and miraculous. But, He also felt the tightness in my lungs as I was literally DYING for breath in March. He felt that sinking, crushing, closing-in feeling I felt when I was being brought out of Atrial Fibrillation. He felt the searing pain of 2nd degree burns on tender baby skin. He felt the physical ache in my heart and stomach as I watched my baby shake and scream in pain. He felt those so He would know PERFECTLY how we felt, and therefore be able to SUCCOR (assist, help, aid, relief, support) us when we would indeed experience it.

And I was so grateful, as horrible as that whole experience was, and still is, to know that Someone loves us, feels for us, and can "wipe away all tears from (our) eyes..." (Revelation 21:4) because He's already done it - perfectly and completely.

Diddles is going to be okay. Her hands were dressed and bandaged, and she slept really well the first night. A good friend and nurse in our ward came over yesterday with burn cream and bandages and a stuffed animal. She gave me great instructions on how to treat her wounds, as well as comforting words that the worst is over. Thanks, Deborah! Diddles is on 4-6 hour doses of pain killers with codeine. We have gone through two boxes of band-aids and almost a bottle of burn cream. Josh lanced her "water balloon" blisters last night. She keeps biting off the loose skin and then cries in pain at the new tender exposed skin. Diddles little word for ouch is "OUSH". It was uttered about 100 times yesterday. Let's hope today it's only 50, and tomorrow 25.

I'll post about Halloween tomorrow. Needless to say it was more of an afterthought after what happened! But, answering the door last night was a great distraction for her. Sweet little girl.

The little bubs loved putting candy in people's basket and waving goodbye. One little girl looked at her bandaged hands and asked honestly,

"Is she dressed as a mummy?"


Doré said...

Such a horrific experience written about so beautifully. Many, many, many prayers heal little hands quickly.

Mary Jane said...

Amy, you're such an inspiration to me. I can't imagine the pain of having my baby sobbing in my arms. I can't imagine not being able to help him. How amazing that you and Diddles both know who can help. Thanks for making me take a moment to be grateful. Thanks for making me grab Charlie as he ran around the house and give him an extra big squeeze. We love you guys. You'll be in our prayers.

Sarah said...

I'm guessing that as you sent Jane off to school with her seven years chart, you were a more grateful that her events could be labeled as little and "boring."

Hope today was only a few "oush"es.

Dianna said...

Oh, wow! The atonement is overwhelming when we think of it this way. Thank you for reminding me of this great miracle this morning. We will continue to pray for Diddles and her sweet hands. We love you guys.

Sally said...

oh Amy!!! Oh Diddles! get well soon.

Liz said...

This made me teary-eyed. I'm glad she's on the mend. Does this mean she doesn't have fingerprints anymore?

steph said...

Oh Amy, I'm so sorry. I'm so grateful that she's okay. What a terrifying experience... you expressed it beautifully, and handled it beautifully. Love to you and your little family.