(Warning: graphic photos below)
Tapas, ahh small plates of food that do not disappoint. I first fell in love with tapas when I studied in Madrid, Spain back in 2003.
In Madrid, you’d take a seat at your neighborhood Taperia (tapas bar) and with each drink order (vino, sangria or cerveza) the waiter would bring out a small tapas dish.
A slice of creamy tortilla, a plate of perfectly crisp fried calamari, or maybe my personal favorite, a few translucent slices of Iberian ham. It’s up to the restaurant owner or bartender to decide which tapas will accompany your drink. It’s considered rude to ask for a particular tapa but really, there is no need to get picky when someone is giving me free plates of delicious food. Bring. It. On. All of it, please
Last Sunday Mr. WAMC and I were getting ready to host our own tapas party. I created a new client menu for my personal chef business that I was really proud of and I wanted our friends to be the first to sample my new tapas. Also, I wanted to try out my new, sophisticated camera (yay! no more blurry iPhone photos!)
Sadly, the camera was never used and the party was cancelled.
By 4pm, I had finished cooking and displaying the tapas dishes for the party. I had 1.5 hours left to make dessert, clean the kitchen, and make myself look presentable. So, it was time to lower my music and get started on my favorite tapas dessert, churros. Fried dough sticks rolled in sugar, how could you not like them? Anyway, I filled a pot with about 1 1/2 cups of frying oil and waited a few minutes for it to heat up. I hate frying-it’s messy, unhealthy and makes a mess but I thought churros were worth the trouble.
I wanted to check the temperature of the oil so I placed a thermometer into the pot but it slipped out of my hands and fell inside. At the time, the oil wasn’t very hot so I quickly pulled the thermometer out by hand and set it aside.
I continued to fry a few churros when BOOM! Explosion. I didn’t know what happened. I just remember hearing a loud burst and screaming for Mr. WAMC. The rest of that evening was a nightmare. I was brought to Massachusetts General Hospital by ambulance and stayed there until I was discharged yesterday at 7:30pm.
I was treated in the hospital for 1st degree burns to my face, 2nd degree burns to my right arm, upper left arm, and stomach and a 3rd degree burn to my left hand. Everything happened so quickly
It wasn’t until hours later when Mr. WAMC went back to his house that he figured out what caused the explosion. He found a small lithium battery that had fallen out of the thermometer I was using and into the pot.
Surgery (warning: graphic photos below)
I had a third degree burn on my left hand so I needed a skin graft if I wanted to keep my left hand. To prepare for surgery, the doctors removed the dead, burned skin on both my hands, revealing a ghostly white and rose pink flesh. Had I not been heavily medicated, I would have screamed and escaped the hospital. Was that really my hand?
The next day, I woke up in a daze and was wheeled down to the operating room. The doctor’s cut a large portion of skin from my right thigh and transferred it to my left hand and the top of my forearm. As if I didn’t have enough wounds on my body! The 2nd degree burns on my right hand received a xenotransplantation…which means my burns were covered (transplanted) with pig skin. What the h*** is going on? Is this real life?
It’s going to take at least 4-6 weeks for my burns to heal. I’ll have to see an Occupational Therapist weekly, and follow-up with my doctors at Mass. General regularly.
Tomorrow, August 6th, I’m heading back to Mass. General Hospital at 7am for a myomectomy. Last year, my OBGYN found 4 grapefruit-size benign, tumors in my uterus. These tumors have made my life pretty miserable causing bloating, weight-gain, horrible cramps, and excruciating back pain. The thing with fibroids is that no one really knows what causes them so my only options were to deal with the pain a little longer or have them removed.
(update: pictured above are the 5 uterine fibroid’s that my doctor removed)
So, needless to say, the next 2 months are going to be tough but I know I’ll be fine. The love my family and friends have shown me this past week has been incredible- with you guys by my side, I can get through anything.