Zombie Cliche Lookout: The Little Things
There’s no question that surviving the zombie apocalypse is going to be tough. I mean, you’ll have to fight and/or avoid all those zombies, deal with a complete shutdown of government and emergency services, cope with a lack of medical support, find ways of procuring food and water, deal with hostile survivors… I could go on and on. We tend to focus on the big, immediate needs here because they’re the most dramatic. What we often forget is how the little things will slowly erode a person’s will to survive.
In this case, I mention coffee because that’s something I would miss a lot. I love my morning coffee, and really struggle when I can’t get it. And I’m not talking about fancy stuff here; just regular old Folgers with a bit of creamer. I’m not saying a lack of coffee would make me despondent, but in a survival situation where your willpower is already taxed, every little thing makes a difference.
About this Episode:
In the third panel, I wanted to have Sam folding up his blanket, and then dropping it in the forth as an exaggerated reaction to Tara. I thought it looked pretty good when I shot and edited it, but now I’m not so sure. I guess I’ll just have Sam cram the thing back in his backpack unfolded later on.
So, yeah, I’ve been gone for a month now. Let’s talk about that.
Buckle up, it’s going to be a bit of a long read.
As most of you know, my daughter recently pulled down a bowl of almost-boiling chicken broth onto herself. She was splashed across her hands and arms. Thankfully, my wife was nearby and reacted quickly enough to pull her out of the way before she was burned anywhere else. She immediately took my daughter to the tub and ran cold water over her.
I came in from outside – I was working in the garage – to pure chaos. I found my wife and daughter crying in the bathtub, and was horrified by the injuries. I took over watching my daughter, while my wife ran next door to get help from our neighbor, who is a nurse. Our neighbor cleaned things as best she could, and wrapped my daughter’s right arm, which was far worse, with gauze. We quickly changed her clothes, and rushed to the hospital. Luckily, my son was at my in-laws house for a couple of days.
At the hospital, my wife and daughter were admitted while I parked the car. I met them inside after a brief altercation with the asshole security guards outside the ER. We were seen by a number of doctors and nurses, before they finally started an IV for fluids and gave her some much needed pain medicine. She was seen by the burn team, and we were told that we would need to taker to a bigger burn unit at a larger hospital.
My wife and daughter went by ambulance to the University of Michigan; my daughter loved the ambulance and talked the whole way. I imagine the drugs were a factor there. I ran home and grabbed enough clothes for a couple of days, and quickly followed.
At the U of M hospital, we were seen by another group of doctors and nurses. Eventually, the lead burn doctor gave us a treatment plan. My daughter was sedated, and the burn team debrided (removed all the necrotic tissue from) her arms.
It was awful. The whole thing lasted almost an hour. I only lasted about twenty minutes before I had to leave the room because I was starting to black out.
My daughter came to a couple of hours later, was wrapped up like a mummy, and we were released. We went home, where we were met by my parents who came down to help out. I spent most of the morning (we had been up all night) running around buying medicine, filling prescriptions, and picking up all the other stuff she would need.
The next couple of weeks had us returning to the University of Michigan every couple of days to have her dressings changed. She started off with her arms wrapped from above the elbow all the way to the tips of her fingers. These were reduced after each dressing change, giving her more range of movement and, eventually, allowing her to actually use her fingers (individually wrapped) again.
We watched Frozen a lot.
All told, she made a tremendous and quick recovery. She’s back at preschool now with full use of her hands and no scarring. The area where she was burned is very sensitive, however. We have to keep it moisturized constantly, and be extremely careful about sun exposure (she will burn very easily). Other than a change in skin color between her upper arms and the burn area, which will go away in time, it’s hard to tell anything happened at all.
It’s been a really, really hard month. We didn’t get a hell of a lot of sleep for most of it, and were just constantly feeling awful for what my daughter was going through. Thankfully, she’s an incredibly tough little girl, and we’re now able to start putting all this behind us and getting things back to normal.
You know, once we manage to get all the medical bills paid.
Editing to add: my daughter suffered from second degree burns on her hands, forearms, and elbows, with surrounding areas of first degree burns. There should be no scarring, and there was no nerve damage.
I’m not really going to do a discussion question today. If you guys have any questions about my daughter and my unscheduled leave, ask away.
Some how ‘I hope she gets better soon’ just doesnt seem like quite enough for one to say. I’ve heard that simple comments can go a long way though, even if from strangers XD
So I guess I will start with, ‘I am really glad to hear that your daughter is going to be ok. That’s a horrible thing to go through as a parrent because your kid is hurt and there is not much you can actually do. It sounds like a simple (I use the term loosly) accident from what you said so don’t go beating yourself up either. Because your a parrent. It’s what parrents do when an accident happens to their children.
So I think I speak for everyone when i say that i am really glad to hear she is getting better and wish her a speedy recovery, and at least one day of good nights sleep to her awesome parrents for reacting quickly to the problem 🙂
Thanks you, SPS. Indeed, we beat ourselves up quite a bit in the days after the accident. Happily, she’s made a full recovery and is doing great now. It was a very, very hard month, but we’re getting back to normal now.
Good to hear.
Well there was only one typo, which I am going to write off as whatever Dave wants to do about it and this is the sentence with the corrected word highlighted in bold: “you know, once we get all the medical bills paid” – take all the time you want to fix it! 😉
I do have a question about your daughter’s burns, did the hospital categorize them as second-degree or higher? It sounds like she had significant damage to the living layer of skin under the dead skin cells, and maybe nerve damage as well, judging from all the painkillers she received. 😀
Fixed the typo.
Also, excellent question, and one that I should have addressed in the write up. Her burns were second degree, with a surrounding area of first degree. There were two areas that the doctors called “advanced second degree”, which were more severe, but there was no nerve damage whatsoever.
Well, it’s always possible to edit the write up. 😀 I think you should, anyway, so future visitors to the site can read about the severity of the burns directly! 😉
Right you are; I’ll make an edit today.
I’m glad she seems well on the road to recovery (and so are you).
Hah, yeah. We were more than a bit shook up by the whole thing, that’s for sure. Now that she’s okay, we’re also doing a hell of a lot better.
I’m just a lurker/reader from England. I know what your daughter went through because I used to be a medic back in the day and I dealt with more similar cases than anyone should have to. As a parent, I can only imagine your suffering. Just realise that it was a straight forward accident. Your wife is bound to feel that she could have done things differently and prevented it. The answer to that is accidents happen, we can not go back in time and fix things. Children the world over get badly scalded by kitchen accidents all the time. If your daughter was less curious about the world around her, she would never have over reached and hurt herself. But she is not a dull, mindless little girl, she is a bright young girl who has learned a very painful lesson that she will in her turn pass on to others.
If there was no gravity it would never have happened. If we had constant AI oversight of kitchens and other potential dangerous places this would never of happened. Those stupidly exaggerated examples are just as likely as your wife being an omnipotent, omnipresent perfect being, who could have foreseen every possible danger. One does not tend to blame oneself if a child running around trips and scrapes their knee. Don’t blame yourselves any more for this accident.
Do please set up a micro-payments site and put a link to it on here. I, and I am sure other fans, will help out what we can, even if it is small donations. They mount up.
Thanks for your comment, Len.
As far as I’m concerned, my wife is the hero here. Had she not been there and reacted so quickly, this accident could have been far, far worse. I’m so thankful for that.
In regards to donations, that’s a really nice thought, but not something I’m comfortable with. Thankfully, we have insurance, that helped to cut the costs, and we’re lucky enough to be able to afford the bills. I know a lot of other families aren’t, and really struggle with that. I’d hate to ask for help when other people who need it more aren’t getting it.
Glad she is going to be Okay and glad to have Bricks back. Now take a nap.
Hah! I wish I could; I’m at work.
I am happy to hear your daughter has made an excellent recovery!
I’ve been reading this comic for the last few months but only very recently discovered the blog. I was selfishly wondering when the main strip was going to return and then I saw the reason for your absence. It really put me in my place.
Hey, no worries Deryck. In most cases when you weren’t seeing updates, it would have been because either 1. I was too busy 2. I was being lazy, or 3. Some combination of 1 and 2.
Thanks for the update on your daughter! Might sound odd but I kinda hoped you’d do something like that on your return episode. Great to see she is fine now, and it’s a wonderful news that it won’t leave any mark in a near future.
As I often say when things like that happen, “We’ll be laughing about it 5 years from now!”
And I also feel like today’s episode is an amazing match with what happened to your family… From all the pain and hurry and crying and no sleep of the last month, you brought a “we watch Frozen a lot” that little things that may helped your daughter going through this.
Man, if I had a dollar for every time I’d seen Frozen lately… well, I’d have a lot of dollars. Of course, it made her happy and forget about the pain and the bandages and the yucky medicine for a while, so it was all worth it.
Kids are tougher than our medication society lets on and scars are stories our bodies tell to let us know we lived a life.
Your wife was involved in the burns too, I didn’t see much of how she handled in your statements or how bad she got burned, don’t let her blame herself or you, kids must be kids and some have to learn a hard lesson the hard way. You are lucky to have a great next door neighbor. Boo and hisses to the docs for not treating obvious burns and trying to see if it was a case of domestic stuff.
Forgive me if I sound too harsh, sailors like me grew up knowing we’d take a few licks and need to keep ticking. Still I am glad that everyone is turning out alright, your friends and family supported you and life is going back to normalcy.
My wife wasn’t hurt at all. I honestly don’t know how. I’ve reconstructed what happened in my head dozens of times, and I just can’t understand how both of them did get it worse than they did.
I hope I didn’t suggest that the doctors didn’t treat her, or thought this was an abuse case. That didn’t happen at all. The doctors and nurses we dealt with were amazing, especially the burn team at the University of Michigan. Just incredible, incredible people all around. My issue was with the security guards at my local hospital, who were hostile, impatient, and just all around pricks.
My way of reading and thinking lead me down that road, I apologize.
Security details, an ounce of power and they think they are Rick grimes.
Okay, cool. I should have been more clear. And you’re completely right about some of the people who work security. I did security for a couple years in college, and there were always a few people there that were just way too into the tiny little bit of power they thought they had. It was always interesting to watch them.
On a totally unrelated note, I noticed you called yourself a sailor. Where were you stationed? My sister was in the Navy for a few years. She went to boot in Chicago and was stationed in Newport News.
Glad to hear that they are both OK. Also very glad to hear that she wont have any scarring. Had a very similar situation with my son back when he was a toddler. Fortunately, I don’t like my coffee particularly hot so he only got mild, first degree burns.
Scares the shit out of you, doesn’t it? Glad to hear your son was okay as well.
It’s funny, since this happened, we’ve heard from so many people telling us about how it happened to them them, or their kids, or their grand kids, etc.