There are numerous times a day that you could stop and ask what if. It makes you wonder how we survive anything, but yesterday, we truly had a wow, we-are-so-lucky-because-what-if moment.
The Hubs went outside to turn the grill on to cook our dinner and my chicken for the week. I eat chicken for lunch everyday and oftentimes eat it for dinner as well, and it just makes it easier and tastes better if it’s cooked on the grill. So the chicken is prepped on plates in the kitchen and the grill is warming up. He goes back outside to check the grill to make sure it is hot enough, but hears a noise, so he reaches down to check the propane tank when whoosh….fireball. It hits his arm, and he remembers the saying, “stop, drop and roll.”
I’m inside with the boys playing, and I only hear a scream. Then by the time I get up from the floor after untangling the mess of arms and legs from on top of me, I make it to the back door to see fire shooting out the side of the propane tank under the grill. There is knocking on the front door, and since I think the hubs is saying he needs the fire extinguisher, I open the garage (where one of the fire extinguishers is kept). He comes busting in talking about he’s burning, and there is skin falling off his forearm. So I instinctively tell him to stick it under cold water. Then I chase the dog back inside the house.
He’s telling me to call 911 because the grill is on fire, but I go look out the back door again and the fire is gone. I guess the tank wasn’t full and burned itself out. Next question…go to the hospital or not. We pack the boys up, the Hubs goes to make sure the grill is actually really off, and head out to the emergency room.
Our hospital isn’t far, but just a couple minutes into the ride I can tell the pain has hit the Hubs. He’s switching between shaking and clenching his fists and pushing against the front dash. Luckily, when we arrive they get him back rather quickly and check him out. Once they put the wet gauze on him, he feels a little comfort but he’s still in a lot of pain. Then the good drugs got brought in. That definitely took the edge off.
The what if moment came later. The ER doctor diagnosed severe second degree burns, and we go to see another doctor today for follow-up. It really could have been so much worse. His clothes did not catch on fire, his hair on his head just singed, and he was wearing his glasses which I believe protected his eyes. He also did not inhale the fire or heat so his throat didn’t get burned, but he did say his lips felt like they were severely sunburned. That all will heal. The blisters will go away, and his skin will recover.
It’s in those moments once you stop and think about it, that the tears come. Once you get over the shock of it, and there is time to actually think about what just happened. The fear creeps in because it really could have been so much worse. Neither of the boys nor the dog were outside, and the fire shot away from the house instead of towards it. Yes, the Hubs is in pain, but he’ll recover. He won’t be grilling anytime soon, though.
I do have a picture of his arm, but when I took it while we were in the emergency room, he said, “You better not post that and share it with everyone.” So I will respect his wishes, and it’s pretty gross.