[Tripping On…] Scar On Arm

The burn on my arm has formed enough of a scar to where it will probably stay for a while. I don’t know how many months or years, but I figure, if it remains for another year, I’ll turn it into a tattoo by having “Zombie Bite” and “March 12th 2020” tattooed on either side of it in small lettering, indicating when I was burned, which was also the day I last had a mindbender headache.

Even if I still get another mindbender headache, it’s still an achievement.

As of this writing, it’s been one day shy of one month without those terrible headaches. I still get some fatigue-related pangs that resemble the flirtations of a mindbender headache, but nothing to that magnitude or frequency. I am approaching the end of this series of essays. I’ve run out of material to write about frequently and have returned to writing more general stuff. My plans were to conclude this series with three essays. One of the three was in regards to ergonomics, and, I’ll be getting the ergonomics at my work desk fixed here in a few hours. Another will be the bills, which just will require a few hours of time to sift through the paperwork, shred the nonessential paperwork, make sure I have digital copies of everything, then archive what’s valuable for future reference and shred the rest.

This is one of the last three essays…

I haven’t yet compiled all of these essays into a PDF like I had intended to, but that’s almost outside of the scope of these essays. That might be more of a better set of essays to write about for my new digital publishing house business, Betterslog, which has been on the backburner through all these health issues, waiting to reappear. That might be a good real-world, applicable example showing what I did to turn these essays into a sellable product, so that others may take their essays or projects and turn them into sellable products as well. Maybe I’ll even want to buy something like that, sometime. If not, then at least I’ll be done writing the Tripping On The American Healthcare System essay series, so I can move onto other things in life.

This scar represents my overcoming that health issue.

As I look down on it now, the skin is flaking a little bit, so it looks almost like white teeth against the dark pink scar tissue. I drew two dots on it since it looks like a smiley face. Depending on how it heals, as well, I thought of getting those dots tattooed in, too, along with maybe dots on the other side to represent how easy it is to look at a situation positively or negatively. These are all tattoo ideas that will need to percolate in my brain as the scar tissue heals up, or doesn’t, and what remains in that timeframe will be what it becomes longer-term than that.

Let’s say it all heals up.

Let’s say that within that year, there’s nothing remaining of it but just a slight skin discoloration. Then there would be no point in getting that tattoo, especially if in a few years more, there’s no evidence it was even there. If the only evidence that any of that even happened were the photos I took along the way, and people’s observations of it throughout the healing process, then did it actually happen? Does it even matter?

What matters more is how I recovered from it.

I never whined about it, and in fact, it was a fun thing to show off to people. One person reassured me of my burn by telling me about his worse burns. Another, my editor JD, gave advice on burn treatment so it would heal faster. I joked with people that they had to buy their tattoos, whereas I got mine for free. It was a good time, and in a sense, it helped ease the transition from my sickened state of being debilitated with headaches to… strangely… feeling fine.

I don’t feel bad about how it happened.

I made a dumb mistake by going to fast at something. I should have known to wear oven mitts, or to let the boiling water cool off, but I didn’t, so now I have a reminder of that. I don’t hold it against myself. I don’t think that I’m dumb for having gotten myself into that situation. The only thing I might feel bad about is worrying others, but it’s fine now. The skin doesn’t hurt when I rub it with my hand or water. It blistered, pussed, peeled, and then healed.

Nothing more to it than that.

The scar turned out as well as it could have, all factors considered. Between its current subtlety and shape, it blends in well enough during casual conversation. The red dots might call more attention to it than it currently should have, but I figure after about a year of drawing dots or not, I’ll have decided what to do for a tattoo, and if it heals up without any scar tissue after a few years, then, maybe, I’ll tattoo it back in? Depending on how it all looks, I’m not too concerned.

For now, it represents my freedom from mindbender headaches.

That near-daily, three-month trip from one healthcare provider to the next, seeking answers, getting nothing, then finally… everything… got sorted out, it almost is like a trophy, except I acquired it through idiocracy rather than any real achievement – and I wasn’t even dumb enough to make something spectacular out of it. It’s just a curved line that looks like a smile, a mountain, or a right angle bracket, depending on how you look at it. It’s flexible and innocuous enough that I enjoy that sort of scar I received on my body. It could have been much worse. I could have been not wearing pants when the water dumped all over me.

“I’m really glad I was wearing pants.[1]”

Quotes: [1] This was my joke as I told people what happened as it healed.
Sources: My personal experiences.
Inspirations: I have a scar on my arm.
Related: Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.
Photo: A photo of the scar on my arm on March 20. For photos of the burn as it healed, well, the only one I’m posting online so far is hidden here.
Written On: 2020 March 11 [From 3:31am to “I don’t think” at 3:45am. From 3:56am to “Nothing more to it than that” at 3:57am. From 4:16am to “or a right angle bracket” at 4:19am. From 4:33am to 4:34am. Gdocs.]
Last Edited: 2020 March 20 [Adapted from Gdoc, so, second draft; final draft for the Internet.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.