The Day Of The Burn Unit – Part 2
As I said, the clock was ticking. It was down to about 4 seconds and the penalty for
a delay of game would be severe. I focused on the hot water knob on the wall. With only a few seconds left, it was now or never. I closed my eyes in an extended blink as I arched my upper body forward and grasped the knob.
As expected, my right foot went directly under the faucet two seconds before the water flow stopped.
I think I began talking in tongues. I opened my eyes and surveyed the damage. It wasn’t a pretty sight. I knew that burns keep burning under the skin even after the heat sources removed, so I had to get moving.
At least I had traction now that the water had drained out of the tub. That combined with my upper body strength might get me out of the tub without too much effort.
The pain was intense, but I had to focus. The best way I knew to do that was to turn on the hypnosis. I blinked as I propped my left foot against the side wall of the tub, put my hands atop the tub wall behind me, and slowly lifted myself up to a sitting position.
I blinked again and managed to rotate my body by using my right arm to lift my legs over the tub wall. It wasn’t too easy to walk when both legs were functioning, but now I was down to one functioning leg and an inability to hop.
My cordless firm was sitting on the counter next to the sink. I needed to call 911, but they would have a problem getting into the building unless I buzzed the front door gate that opened into a central patio.
I grabbed the crutch that I had left leaning against the bathroom wall. With the crutch on my left hand, I slowly moved into the dressing area.
I used the toilet and the wall as my other crutch until I reached the sink counter. I was trying to keep my right foot from touching the floor.
I picked up the phone with my right hand and used my forearm to move down the counter to the stairs just outside the dressing room area.
I couldn’t call until I was able to sit down and I couldn’t sit down until I made it to the bottom of the stairs. I also had to unlock my apartment door which was right next to the bottom step. I blinked one more time.
When I got to the stairs, I tossed the phone down. I aimed for the bottom stair and hoped the carpeting would keep it from bouncing out of my reach.
The railing was on my left. In order to walk down the stairs, I had to transfer the crutch to my right hand. I leaned against the railing as I tried to keep my balance without putting any weight on my right foot.
A good sense of balance had come to my aid many times over the years. I worked my way down to the bottom step and slowly lowered myself down.
I didn’t want to put my foot directly on the linoleum floor because I didn’t know how much damage had occurred to the sole of my foot. I was afraid that my foot might stick to the floor and leave some skin when it was removed.
I had always wished the apartments had come with washers and dryers, but in this particular instance, I was glad my wish hadn’t come true.
I had planned to do my laundry after taking a shower. I even had a laundry basket on wheels for the occasional outing to the laundry room. I had left it by the stairs which made it easy to pull out some of the laundry and spread it on the floor as a cushion for my foot.
Now that I was stabilized, I called the paramedics. I calmly explained what had happened and was told they would be there immediately.
After ending the call, I said about ensuring that they would be able to get to me. First off, I reached up and unlocked my apartment door. Then I called my next door neighbor.
Jimmy was a part-time actor and full-time playboy. I knew he didn’t have an acting gig scheduled and it was a little too early in the day for playboying. I figured he was still sleeping.
I doubt his number and after three or four rings, her receiver got picked up off the phone. I didn’t hear whether he had it to his ear when I told Jimmy that he needed to come over right away.
A half-a-wake voice at the other end asked me why. I told him I had badly burned my foot. Since I was pretty calm, it probably took a few seconds for his outwake half to register what I had just said.
The next sound I heard was that of his front door opening. He opened my door and immediately looked down at my foot. I have to admit that up until that moment, I had never realized the range of Jimmy’s acting ability.
He did an incredible impression of McCalley-Calkin in the movie “Home Alone.” It took a few seconds to snap Jimmy out of the “Calkin” impression.
I could tell that he hadn’t come across this type of situation too often. I told him that I had already doubted my moment but I needed him to hit the Indra-Comb button that opened the front gate in order to let the paramedics in.
He started a frantic walk up and down the hallway. What was proplexing was that his apartment was an exact duplicate of my apartment in reverse. He knew where the Indra-Comb was but he just didn’t see it. With a little coaching, he hit the button.
Now, the only thing left to do was wait. While we did, Jimmy ran back to his apartment and grabbed his Polaroid camera. He took a photo of my foot and gave it to me. I had a better understanding of why he was shocked.
To put it mildly, my foot looked like a small chicken that had just been removed from a pot of boiling water.
Right before the paramedics arrived, the owner of the building showed up in my door. He was an established TV actor who I liked as an actor and as a person. The concern on his face was definitely not an act.
People who didn’t know him might say that that was because he was afraid of legal action as a result of my accident.
I never thought that. The pain that I saw in his eyes told me that he was personally hurting over what had happened to me. He’s passed on now. But I never forgot that look.
Most people only see actors playing a part. During the Los Angeles portion of my career, I interacted with many actors just being people.
I was fortunate to get to know some of the good ones.
I’ve lost touch with several of them, others have passed on, and one I loved at the wrong point in my life.
If you’d like to learn more about her, listen to the day I met the Family Show About Family episode in this podcast series.
Upon arrival, the paramedics immediately began pouring a saloon solution on my foot.
They never stopped until the hospital staff took over. They were trying to stop the burning below the blistering wound that was now my foot.