This week we were given a large bounty of homegrown vegetables from Garrett’s parents, which I immediately planned to use to make Ratatouille.
They gave us eggplants, green peppers, onions and tomatoes. On a visit to our own garden I spotted those little green hot peppers on the bottom of the picture. After taking a little bite of one, I decided they weren’t much hotter than a jalapeño, so I decided to chop some up to toss into the vegetable stew.
Within minutes of finishing chopping up the 5 peppers my skin started to burn. Similar to when you get salt or lemon juice in wound. I tried to wash off the oil from the pepper (which is what makes the heat) with some grease cutting dish soap, but soon the burning started to get worse.
The burning sensation started feeling like when you accidentally touch a hot pan, but instead of stopping, it kept getting hotter and hotter.
Now that I knew what I was dealing with, I searched up plenty of home remedies.
I tried soaking my hands in thick cream and then milk too, but as soon as the liquid started to get to room temperature the burn sensation returned with a vengeance.
I found this photo on my camera this morning, which Garrett must have taken around midnight when I finally got a 30 minute nap before the burning sensation came back and woke me up.
By 4:30am we were back home with a pharmacy bag full of Tylenol 3’s, anti-inflammatory pills, steroid cream and an antibiotic cream to prevent infection. And a fast food burger because it had been 9 hours since we had the Ratatouille. Nothing like a burger in the middle of the night.
The pills thankfully gave me some much needed sleep, but I still had to keep my hands in an ice water bath even while I slept. As soon as the water got warm again, I’d wake up in pain.
After 24 hours of this cocktail of pills and creams, I finally started to feel normal in the early hours this morning. I still can’t drive because of the pills, so even though I can use my hands again, I’m staying home from work today. Not exactly how I wanted to spend the last days of summer, but it could have been much worse.
I can still expect to feel sensitivity on my skin and nerve endings in the hands, but other than that, I should expect a full recovery.
So what did I learn from this?
Even if you think you know how hot a pepper is, you can never be sure, until it is too late. I’ve already got “disposable gloves” on the shopping list this week.