I really have to suck up my pride as I share this next post. But first of all, I must tell you how WONDERFUL my husband is as he did not tell a soul about what happened. What a sweet, wonderful man! Thank you, honey, for allowing me to learn to laugh at myself...after the paramedics left, of course.
Last Wednesday started pretty normal. We were planning on visiting our friends the Yohos but they got sick so we had to reschedule. Kate and I were sad but we made the most of our day. So around 4:00 I started to make dinner. Jon loves ethnic food--any kind except American :)--so I was excited because on the menu was one of his favorites--spicy peanut chicken. Well, Kate was playing around in the kitchen pretty well by herself, which is great because I had to chop some things up. I chopped up the veggies (including the pepper--thus the "spicy" in the dish), I lined up all my ingredients on the counter to use as needed, started the rice, and I decided to check on Kate. She was tooling around the living room, doing just fine. I ducked into the bathroom for a second, and on the way out I rubbed at some sleep in my eye. Immediately fire exploded out of my eyeball. I started jumping around saying "OW, OW, OW" and realized I had actually just rubbed my eye with the hand that had chopped the spicy pepper. (No, I didn't use gloves...yes, I realize now that would have been prudent. But after all, the sign describing the pepper at Wegmans said "mildly to moderately hot." It wasn't like it was a jalapeno or anything!) Anyway, I'm trying to rub my eye but not use my hands. By this time, curious Kate is starting to wonder why mommy is freaking out in the bathroom. I'm trying to keep calm so not to make her scared but my eye is spitting flames. I think, oh my gosh, my contacts. For some reason, I thought if I left my contacts in it might be worse for my eyes. So I plopped Kate in the pack and play, raced upstairs and tried to peel the contacts out of my eyes.
Yes, I know what you're thinking and it's right. I got my contacts out with my pinkies and thumbs and now BOTH of my eyes are screaming FIRE and I can't see a darn thing. Tears are streaming down my face, sparks are flying from my eyelashes and Kate is crying in the pack and play. I am throwing things around the bathroom going from towel to towel while trying to flush my poor eyes for some relief. Nothing helps. There's nothing for it--I call 911. "Fairfax County Operator" says the friendly voice. I explain how I have done the dumbest thing in the world and what on EARTH should I do now? She calmly asks me for my information, tells me to keep flushing my eyes, and says the fire deparment will be here shortly. Did I want her to stay on the line with me? "No, thank you," I sniff, through my tears and sobs.
About 20 min later, as I am constantly flushing my eyes at the kitchen sink and am getting a terrible backache from leaning over, I hear a siren. Oh thank you Lord!! I pray. I wait for them to knock on the door. Each time I stop to see if my eyes are better I feel a burning all over my face, like I have a terrible sunburn. The paramedics come in and considering I can't even open my eyes at this minute, the very nice man and woman get me set up at the kitchen sink and begin flushing my eyes with saline. She tells me to keep my eyes as open as possible and keep blinking as this will be a weird feeling. I can not explain how weird it is having saline pouring over my eyes as I blink furiously with my head hanging backwards in the sink. It makes me want to gasp for air because I feel like I'm underwater. She keeps pouring the entire IV bag over my eyes. It seemed like an eternity. Finally, the bag is empty. I sit up. AHHHHHHHHHHHH, finally, the flames eating up my eyeballs are quenched. Relief!!
I hear, "HELLO??" from the direction of the stairs. It's Jon, coming home from work. Certainly, this is not the scenario I pictured when I started making spicy peanut chicken earlier this evening. I call out, "Everything's ok, we're up here." He comes in and I have to fess up to what happened. Thankfully, he's just so relieved that we're all fine (Pipsqueak included) that he is gracious enough not to laugh. The extremely nice paramedics leave another IV bag of saline after I assure them I feel MUCH better and they head out the door. I can't tell you how much better my eyes feel at this moment, though my face still feels the burn. I go into the bathroom and see my entire face is blotchy and red--almost like I really did have a bad sunburn. Jon releases Kate from her pack and play prison and we sit down on the couch in the living room.
Long story long, my eyes are much better. I felt so bad (and stupid) for what happened that I did finish making the spicy peanut chicken and it was very tasty. Of course, there are no pictures to accompany this post (I couldn't bear the shame!) but I will tell you that the 16 week picture to the right was taken on the same night. (Several hours later.) The next morning, as I put a fresh pair of contacts in, my eyes felt the familair fierce burning, but for just a few seconds. And now that almost a week has passed, I feel I can share my hard-earned wisdom, my utter embarassment, and the moral of this story...don't believe the label at the grocery store. (Just kidding. )