Severe Burn Testimony
My name is Barbara K. I am a major burn injury survivor. In May of 1993, 22 years ago in a fluke of a motorcycle accident I was doused with gasoline when I tipped over and the gas cap fell off. The cap was not locked down tight from being fueled the night before. Pinned under the motorcycle and knocked unconscious while the engine was still running, the full tank of gas spilled on my legs then ignited. The burns to my lower extremities equaled 35% of my skin’s surface area or as the Burn Unit calls it TBSA (Total Body Surface Area) and all were 3rd degree burns with 4th degree injuries to the bone sheath and bone, tibia/shin of both legs at an average of 3 inches above each ankle joint, 3/4’s of an inch wide, extending up the tibia a total of 4 more inches. Skin function is completely destroyed with 3rd degree burns, no pores, no sweat or oil glands and all my subcutaneous tissue(the insulating layer much like the dead air space in between two panes of glass in a double paned window) that helps with retaining or dissipating body heat was lost with the injury.
Skin grafts are merely a wrapper than keeps a 3rd degree burn injury survivor from losing body fluids, but it does not do it’s job any longer.
Crash Course; Skin 101: that being three very important and equally vital functions our skin performs: 1. The skin is the body’s first line of defense against injury, parasites, weather, micro-organisms and infection. 2. The skin in conjunction with the Hypothalamus gland, which is seated deep within the brain, regulates body temperature by dilation or constriction of blood vessels at the surface of the skin and with evaporative cooling via sweat glands. Dense scar tissue such as mine in my skin graphed areas can no longer allow capillaries to dilate or constrict. 3. The skin in it’s entirety is also a very important excretory organ. Respiratory, digestive and urinary tracts do not do all of the work of cleaning our bodies. Sweating releases excess water, salts, contaminates and toxins we take in through our food, water and air as well as cell by–products and free radicals from converting simple sugars into energy at the cellular level. The areas used to harvest skin to do the skin grafts (these areas are called “donor sites” and are harvested using a tool called a dermatome, essentially an electric cheese slicer/shaver with a depth gauge) are equal to another 40% of my TBSA, i.e. due to complications with rejection while trying to cover the 4th degree burns on my Tibias. It took four separate surgeries to accomplish full coverage here. The donor site areas are scarred to an equivalent of a full thickness 2nd degree burn. These donor site areas are functionally damaged. Simple math: 35% + 40% = 75% of my skin’s Total Body Surface Area is now incapable of doing its job regulating body temperature, sweating out preservatives, food fillers, toxins and cell by-products. The remaining 25% of my TBSA (which is my chest, face, scalp, both arms below the shoulder joint and bottoms of both feet) CAN NOT DO 100% of the skins job, it is just mathematically and scientifically impossible. With a large burn comes with serious consequences to skin function as a whole body system and excrement organ. I have, in essence, lived with near organ failure all this time. As real as any kidney or liver failure or congestive heart failure. For the last 22 years I had been plagued with a incredibly painful rash usually starting on my right leg that was wet, feverous, rock hard, weepy, and intolerably itchy. It would often cover such a large area that I couldn’t put a dressing on it nor could I afford to do so living on only $720.00 per month Social Security, not being eligible for food stamps because of the $187.00 S.S.I., despite the fact that I spend roughly $450.00-$550.00 per month buying organic whole food choices, other food items, toiletries and cleaning products without these specific ingredients, wound care products and nutritional supplements recommended by my new doctor to give my body the exact ingredients it needs to repair tissues and grow new skin on my injured graphs. I knew propylene glycol and sodium benzoate have caused this skin breakdown but there were other causes as well that I have yet to identify. Enduring sleep deprivation during a breakdown cycle which can last months, from being bolted awake, feeling as if I’d just been on fire again, and again, because it is not really an itching sensation but nerve pain, then follows nausea once my internal body clock was out of sync which has caused malnutrition for years. My quality of life was non–existent. I often felt suicidal. I had come to believe that my life was a waste of oxygen and wasted space. The cause of this rash remained unknown while at the same time I have been chastised by the medical profession because of the “so-called” cellulitis/contact dermatitis, been accused of not taking care of myself, all the while not knowing the root cause and origin of this chronic problem. The ONLY REASON I still have both my legs is because of the impeccable care I have given them. It’s been a crap shoot for sure.
A TedTalk by Dr. Peter Attia titled—Is the obesity crisis in America hiding a bigger problem? 2013 stopped me dead in my tracks. That talk was a game changer for me. Armed with a new found determination, a new perspective, and seeing things with the mind of a researcher, I hunted for the cause of my rash that had kept me hostage, unemployable, depressed, sometimes suicidal, and confined to my home, unable to participate in my own life for a grand total of 19 out of the past 22 years. Remember Skin 101? Here’s why I would become, in a very literal sense of the word, CHEMICALLY TOXIC through out my entire body, through every body system, respiratory, digestive, nervous system, endocrine system, urinary as a direct result of my skin’s inability to sweat out IT’S SHARE of all the nasties out of my body. That poison kept being recycled. For decades I’ve felt lousy, had no energy or zeal and zest for life. The Standard American Diet (SAD, now that’s funny!) was killing me slowly. So, here is this problem, my skin is broken and can not be fixed EVER… What can I do? I got a new Doctor. He has had me steer clear of this list of ingredients that a swiftly growing population has developed hyper–sensitivities to: corn, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils of any kind, cottonseed oil, mono and diglycerides (a lovely chemical component that keeps liquids and oils blended, prevents them from separating), MSG, GMO’s, nitrates and aspartame in any of it’s 15 different designer names. He prescribed one gram of activated charcoal orally to boost the efficiency of waste removal from my gut by binding the toxins via activated charcoal so that all this junk is not reabsorbed and taken up in the bowel, large intestine, back into the bloodstream and continuously recycled. I take 2 grams as maintenance per day. Charcoal House’s 260 mg soft tabs were my answer. It has given me that seemly slight edge in my digestive track that has stopped the skin breakdown cycles. The last full–on breakdown cycle completely healed February 4th, 2015. I’ve had only minor patches from occasionally eating out or treating myself to an apple fritter. This product is directly responsible for giving me my life back, that and a lot of research and experimentation to find the common denominators. I’ve not been able to get my hypothesis validated in my medical records as yet. Most in the medical profession can not see past the weepy rash to view my body from the big picture. Herein is where the medical incompetence begins. If you don’t know about burn injuries and have not trained specifically in this area then one CANNOT call themselves COMPETENT, correct??? I’ve only come across two doctors in all these years that were humble enough to say—I DON’T KNOW HOW TO HELP YOU BARBARA, your case is beyond the depth of my medical knowledge and experience. And one is my doctor presently…
Burns are a specialty and category all their own, even 22 years later.
Charcoal House has given me a life worth living once again! Thanks a million 🙂
One last note; 3 1/2 months commuting 200 miles once a week the be seen in Reno, Nv at Renown Advanced Wound Care for a non-healing open wound on my old skin graphs, because the dressing change supplies are not available and readily accessible did not heal my leg. In just 4 days using the charcoal poultice I learned how to make from the website video, that is only 2 dressing changes, my leg healed measurably more, dramatically more than the 3 1/2 months of miserable traveling to be seen in Reno prior!!! I’m sold on charcoal, it’s benefits and have found more uses for it by necessity for my own health. Watch for BlackWater BathSoak and my AfterBath BodyOil. Both are in the development and test market stages at present. Once I’ve gotten feedback from my test sample subjects I’ll be getting ready to launch.
You are going to love them…
Yah baby! I did that!!!