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So here's my story - read it and weep (you have been warned)

(204 Posts)
BulletProofMum Thu 10-Nov-11 11:15:51

I am married with three lovely children (6, 4, 20m). On the first day of the summer holidays I was preparing a barbecue on one side of the house whilst my husband was trying to light a bonfire on the other. He was looking after the baby or was toddling around the courtyard with her dolls pushchair. The older children wer inside watching t.v.

I heard shouting and then my eldest calling on me. I went round to find the bonfire out of control and my daughter's pushchair at the base of it. I went inside to find my husband sobbing and the skin hanging off his hands and arms. My daughter was in the bath screaming. What I thought were her clothes hanging off her was her skin. The ambulance took forever. My daughter was taken first to a hospital 25 min away and my husband to another. She was intially asessed as having 70 % burns. They battled to stabilise her, no one would answer my question ' will she be alright'? She was stablised, ventilated and transferred to a specialist burnes unit in Essex. She spent 32 days in intensive care, underwent 7 operations, survived 2 bouts of pneumonia, partial lung collapse, GI failure, metabolic instability. It was a roller coaster. The first two weeks were critical and she was extremely poorly. Numerous heart breaking conversations were had - I can't descibe the pain of those weeks. My husband was at the same hospital wit 15 % burns.

Once she turned the corner her progress has been fantastic. She has grafts to her face, hands, tummy, legs and large scars all over. Three times a day I have to cream and masage her, apply silicon gels and dressings, and then put on pressure garments (tight mask, gloves, leggings and body suit) that make her look like a super hero). She is extremely itchy and takes 5 drugs for this but still doesn't sleep well and scratches constantly. It wakes about 3/4 hr to do it properly. She develped blood clots so needs twice daily injections of a type of warfarin that I administer. My husband can't help and his hands are slow to heal (he had grafts up to hs elbows) and he has limited movement and pain in his hands.

So - my life is crap! My beautiful bay girls is scarred and uncomfortable (although copes remarkably well). I constantyl have to go through her massaing routine which she is becoming more tolerant of but is staill ahrd. The worst bi is puting on the gloves. She runs to my husband after I have doen the crap bit. We are back and forward to hospital (2 hr each way) once or twice a week. My poor boys have to play second fiddle all the time and I barely saw them throughout the summer. They are wonderfult o ehr though and super protective. Everywhere we go we are stared out and nudged (she wears a pink balaclava, the opressure garment).

However all this will improve as her scars mature (moths/years rather than weeks).

But here's the crux of it. Will I lose my marriage as well? My husband left a bottle of petrol, in a vegtable oil container, about 10 ft away from the bonfire, whilst in charge of a toddler. I don't know whether she picked it up but it was this that exploded. I have berated him 101 times about using petrol on bonfires, also on putting petrol (or any chemical) in stupid containers. He would give his life to turn the clock back and it was an accident. However it was a completely avoidable accident that I hold him 100% responsible for. He is a broken man but as time goes on I am finidng it harder to forgive rather than easier. What are my other options? A single mum working full time with three small children, one of whom needs an awful lot of care? I just don't know.

Hullygully Thu 10-Nov-11 11:17:32

I don't either. But i offer you much sympathy and a hug.

cumbria81 Thu 10-Nov-11 11:19:43

Oh my God

How awful sad

I don't think anyone can answer your question except you. Only you know how you feel and whether you can forgive him. For what it's worth, I would stick with him. This will take a long time to come to terms with, it's a huge event. You're bound to feel a whole spectrum of emotions, anger - hate - blame etc and you won't know until some time has passed what your real response is.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 10-Nov-11 11:21:38

Oh, darling.

You don't need to make any decisions yet. It's alright to be angry and grieving and sad and it's alright to take your time, or to keep your distance for now.

If you haven't yet, I really, really suggest you seek counselling. Personal counselling, I mean - what you've been through has left its own scars, it can't not. And if you and your husband talk to someone together as well, it can't hurt.

BulletProofMum Thu 10-Nov-11 11:22:05

I have decided to give it at least a year until my daughter dosen't need qute so much care and hopefully things are returning to normal. I agree now is not the time for big decisions. Our happy household is now a dark place. Ther is no out and out hostility and we try to be normal. but it is hard

BecauseImWorthIt Thu 10-Nov-11 11:22:13

I am so sorry. I can't offer you any words of wisdom, but I can absolutely understand that you would feel that way.

Acanthus Thu 10-Nov-11 11:22:49

You poor poor thing. You need to talk this through with a counsellor. Just you, at first, maybe your husband as well later.

BulletProofMum Thu 10-Nov-11 11:23:14

The hospital provide psychotherapy support - and they are very proactive in talkign to us (separately). However they rarely say more than: 'you're bound to feel like that'

MoaningMinnieWhingesAgain Thu 10-Nov-11 11:23:45

I really feel for you. A terrible accident, huge strain for you all.

I would find it very hard to forgive too. I would like to think I could - would like to think that if I had made a terrible mistake then I would be forgiven, but I don't know if I could do it.

Do you feel a bit like you are grieving? For how life was 'before'?

Doha Thu 10-Nov-11 11:23:58

It was an accident and your DH will live with this guilt and constant reminder forever.
Yes he was stupid but the past cannot be undone and you can only go forward with this.
I think you are being very cruel continually berating him .
This is a time for the whole family to pull together instead blame seems to be pulling you apart.
I think you need some counselling to help you through this both for yourself and as a couple.

LizzieBusy Thu 10-Nov-11 11:24:23

I'm so sorry, what an awful situation and from your post you are coping incredinly well. I cant imagine how i would feel but like you I imagine I would struggle to forgive immediatly but maybe in time, accidents sadly happen.

Its early days so I would let some time pass - maybe until next Summer. Then maybe you can make a more 'removed' decision.

LizzieBusy Thu 10-Nov-11 11:24:48

Excuse my dreadful spelling !

LizzieBusy Thu 10-Nov-11 11:26:24

Doha Are you being serious - she is being cruel???? She is watching her baby in agony and is upset at the events that led to this. Give the woman a break

levantine Thu 10-Nov-11 11:29:22

Oh I am so so sorry, what a heartbreaking story. I think you must all still be in shock, it is really very recent. I agree with the others, I think do nothing for a while, quite a long while probably. I am sorry to hear the counselling isn't really helping at the moment, but if I were you I would keep going just so that you can be angry/upset without worrying about anyone else in your family. Big hugs, my heart really goes out to you xx

BulletProofMum Thu 10-Nov-11 11:30:05

I never berate him - nothing is ever said. He accepts full responsibility, end of. He will never forgive himself. I desperately want to forgive him, just don't know if I can. Remember I have been the one to deal with this, he was out of it throughout much of here critical phase, he didn't sit and watch the alarms constantly going off. He never understood what was going on. I have a medical background and understood everything. Now I have to do ALL of her 'looking after', I also have to look after my two other children and him.

Doha - Please don't call me cruel.

ExitPursuedByaBear Thu 10-Nov-11 11:31:05

How truly dreadful. I hope your daughter makes a fabulous recovery.

Your DH is a stupid, stupid bastard but I am sure that he knows that. Personally I don't think I could ever forgive him and it would drive a wedge between us. But only you know how you will react over the coming months/years. Maybe you need each other for support.

Fwiw, I know of a family where the father was running a bath for his daughter, left the hot tap running and left the room, and she climbed in. She was badly burnt. The parents did eventually separate. He always made out his wife was a bit unhinged, but maybe it was the 'accident' that made her that way. He went on to remarry and have more children. Sorry, that probably isn't helpful.

Are there any support groups for people in your situation?

I am so so sorry that your DD has suffered in this way.

levantine Thu 10-Nov-11 11:31:50

Bulletproofmum, please don't think people think you are cruel. I totally understand where you are coming from, I am sure I would feel the same

ExitPursuedByaBear Thu 10-Nov-11 11:32:32


kasbah72 Thu 10-Nov-11 11:32:47

I don't think anyone can imagine a fraction of the horror your family has faced this year and far less stressful situations have broken up a very many relationships.

If you can get some good counselling support I would use that as a way of working through all of your feellings, however extreme. I imagine the shock will be with you for many years to come and you are now in a grieving cycle - grieving for the childhood, the family life, the skin, the relationship etc etc that has changed forever. That is going to take a long time to deal with and a decent counsellor will be able to guide you through that journey.

Whatever you say to your husband, however you berate him, however many times you punch/scream/dig at him you will never change what happened and I doubt you will be able to make him feel any worse than he does already.

Whether you stay or leave, he can never make it better and that is what is going to end up driving you insane, drive you apart or making you decide to move forward together.

Shelve those thoughts, deal with the here and now, get whatever support you can possibly get for yourself and for your family.

I hope the recovery continues well.
Take care

Doha Thu 10-Nov-11 11:32:47

Lizzy totally or real
Her DH made a horrendous mistake and he lived with the scars and reminder looking at his DD every day for now and ever more.
For the OP to constantly berate him 101 times as she has herself admited, in my opinion, very cruel and unnecessary

LesserOfTwoWeevils Thu 10-Nov-11 11:34:33

Your poor DD. I completely understand how you feel. What a fool. And you told him repeatedly.
A bottle of petrol
In a container for something else
Near a bonfire
With a toddler around

I couldn't forgive that.

Haagendazs Thu 10-Nov-11 11:36:25

OMG! I have no advice but want to give you a very unmumsnetty hug.
So sad for all of you

MarinaAzul Thu 10-Nov-11 11:36:37

No, no, not at all cruel. Strong and brave and coping (yes coping well with a hideous situation. Yes, do nothing about your marriage yet. Just take each day (hour, even ) as it comes.

BulletProofMum Thu 10-Nov-11 11:37:03

Where diod I admit to berated him 101 times?
Reread - I said I berated him 101 times before the accident (an exaggeration but often enough) about these things. I have not needed to say anything since. He knows

winnybella Thu 10-Nov-11 11:37:45

Doha- I understood it as OP was berating her DH before the accident.

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