I noticed a scratch on my finger Monday morning. I’m not sure how it got there, though I’m guessing the treble hook of my walleye lure may have had something to do with it.
Anyway, by the end of the day, it seemed I was bumping my index finger against something every few minutes and then wincing a bit in pain.
It was time to get out the bottle of hydrogen peroxide.
Oh, I’m sure there are other, more modern treatments for cuts and scrapes – and I probably even have a couple of them in my medicine cabinet – but the first thing I thought of was the liquid in the little brown bottle.
I had a bit of a dilemma, however. It’s been a really long time since I’ve had to use hydrogen peroxide on a cut, and I couldn’t remember if it hurt or not. (A person must brace herself for the pain, you know!)
My only memory of hydrogen peroxide as a kid was the way it sizzled on a cut.
Well, after first wetting a cotton ball, applying it to my owie and seeing absolutely no sizzle, I decided to pour some of the clear liquid directly onto the wound.
And there it was – the sizzle – along with an intense throbbing of my finger. Hmm, so I had forgotten about the pain that comes with hydrogen peroxide.
As I watched the sizzle, I was reminded of one of those “growing up” moments with my three brothers on the family farm. We had all gotten into the medicine chest a time or two in our younger years. In other words, we were old enough to know you put hydrogen peroxide instead of rubbing alcohol on a cut, and nothing was ever bad enough for Mom to get out the bottle of mercurochrome – that stuff not only stung, it painted our skin a hideous orange-red color.
Any way, as familiar as I was with treating wounds, I was less than familiar with certain cleaning supplies.
One day my brothers (I think the older one and the younger one plotted this coup) had discovered a bottle of ammonia in the house. They were going on and on about how great it smelled, and said I needed to take a really big whiff of it to get the full effect. (They may have said it smelled like roses or lilacs – I really can’t recall.)
As we stood just inside the back door of the garage, I should have realized something bad was going to happen. After all, we were in the one spot hidden from the view of Mom’s kitchen window – that alone should have put me on red alert.
But no, I was my typical gullible self!
My recollection of the event is rather fuzzy because, well, I think that big whiff I took from the bottle instantly killed a bunch of my brain cells. I have never felt that much of a burn in my forehead since that horrible day. I thought I was going to die.
It ranked right up there with the time one of my brothers maneuvered the three wheeler in such a way that when the innertube and I hit a snowbank, the tube went flying and I did a belly-flop on the driveway. Again, I thought I was going to die.
Isn’t it strange that both of those incidents involved my brothers? Yeah, not strange at all!
Sometimes I think it’s a wonder I ever made it to adulthood having grown up with the three of them.