Last Tuesday morning I awoke to the sensation of slightly itchy legs, itching in an almost tingling and non-stop fashion. I kicked my hot water bottle from between my legs and tried to get a few minutes of extra sleep before getting up and facing the cold air that awaited me on the other side of my duvet. This was the second night I had used a hot water bottle this year, the previous night I had filled it from the hot tap and it had still been warm in the morning, on this occasion I had part-filled it from the kettle and it had retained a good amount of warmth in the four hours I had been asleep. My attempt to fall asleep again was being hindered by the tingling in my legs and so I decided to get up, I kicked the duvet in much the same direction as I had kicked the blue hot water bottle a few moments earlier and threw my tingling legs over the edge of the bed. My legs in full view, I could now see the cause of the tingling, a large area of each leg had been scalded by the hot water bottle. I would have been shocked that I had failed to wake up as my legs cooked but for the fact that this had happened to me once before. On the previous occasion I had awoken in my flat in Harrow with my pyjama top stuck to my chest, when the scalding calmed down I was left with a small heart shaped scar on my chest for about a year, a fact that I found amusingly appropriate because I had recently had some very severe chest pains which had been diagnosed as pericarditis, which is a scarring of the lining of the heart.
On this occasion the burning wasn’t quite so severe, I had nothing stuck to my skin, just three large areas of redness and blisters, I poured cold water over them for a while, but nowhere near as long as I should have done (which I wasn’t aware is about 15 minutes), partly because the cold water was freezing my feet. On advise of the Boots family health guide I then applied some large Melonin dressings, with bandages, to each leg to help keep the wounds covered and clean. I have been most impressed with how, just keeping the burns covered over, they healed without itching very much. There are still a couple of irritating marks and blisters left but for the most part the legs are looking normal again. I have Ladan to thank for the health guide and first aid kit that got me on the right path so quickly.
I haven’t used the hot water bottle again since then yet, but with the cold weather we’ve been having up in Newcastle over night, I will have to place my trust in it again soon… without, I am sure, any assistance from the kettle.