August 10, 2015

My Burn Story in Italy...

Don't read this post if your squeamish ( pictures below of Burns )
May 28th changed my life......... it was a beautiful day in Tuscany  Italy , It was in my first week back for our second year working at the La Dolce Vita Retreat , Carolyn Peeler and I host together , this year ( 2015 ) I was going to be there 3 1/2 weeks.... I had a week break in the middle , and I was going to fly to Paris and meet my daughter for a week ! We had been planning all year for this big adventure , mother and Daughter ... sadly all that changed in an instant ...
  There was an accident in the kitchen and a pot of scalding hot water was dropped and it spilled directly onto my feet... one blessing that eve was I had leather sandals on,  if not they would have had to cut the shoes off my feet ! doesn't that make you think twice on wearing rubber or plastic shoes, I now see everyone in  flip flops and I really do cringe!!.... who would think if scalding water hit my feet would my shoes melt  ? 
Now I'm going to show pictures and some are real graphic so if your squeamish run now ! ...  The accident happened Thur evening May 28th,  and on May 30th I was suppose to fly to Paris to meet my daughter and be back in a week for week 2 of the retreat... 

I won't lie when the water hit my feet I have never in my entire life felt anything so painful that I could feel run thru my entire body !! I danced and screamed  like I have never before ! all the sudden I realized I was screaming, and for a flash second I thought I was ok  and no pain! !  well it stopped for me to say Im ok, then it started burning  like my feet were lite on FIRE!!..luckily I was the only one that got burned feet that day  , if anyone was standing by me they would have also been burned! The room was full of 20 women sitting down for dinner ..
Carolyn took me to a hose in the courtyard to get my feet immediately in water, which water didn't make a difference in the pain, nothing helped , it was hard to walk as I could feel the skin on my feet move ! .......... From there it really was a blur.....  next I knew my feet were in a wash tub of cold water,with lavender oil , blisters were forming, my feet felt like they were on fire still , not long after I went into shock, shaking uncontrollably,  everyone was rushing around, and next thing I knew I  was in Siena Italy Hospital... The pain was horrific ! I was never worried  about my medical care, I was worried about the Medical Bills I would incur while in a Foreign Country... funny the things you worry about while in shock and so much pain.. All I could think of was  when a friends son was hurt in Mexico and they had to pay all the medical bills before he was released , and that was sure fresh in my mind..... 
The Emergency room  was busy  but I was taken right back Immediately with amazing care.  ... After treatment, I was wrapped up and sent home several hours later .. I remember after several hours there I finally got something for Pain,, it felt like a lifetime waiting for some pain relief, and the translation was hard with no one speaking English, I kept trying to tell them how bad it burned....
My Doctor  was a Dermatologist , he told Paola ( she owned the Estate we were at ) that I had 2nd and 3rd degree Burns, as we checked out ... but really thats all I  knew, not how long this would burn, how long of care I would need ....... hmmmm.....
When I woke the next morning and tried to walk I could feel the skin slipping and moving on my feet, one big blister on my left foot popped immediately when I stepped down out of bed, This was Friday morning and   I had to go  back to the Hospital, This time on another wing where the Dr Office was ,I had to see the Dr again, it wasn't fun, ok it wasn't fun one bit!!!!... no wheel chairs, no help, we were lost just trying to find out where to go in the right door and find parking, Heck we were lost just pulling up to this giant Hospital, we sat at a entrance gate with no way in! we had to wait for a car to follow in when they swiped their  entry card ! . Tiffany  was my driver and had to park miles away !... it felt like such a nightmare while my feet were  still on FIRE!..... I hadn't cried yet, or broke down but I felt it coming !......... After walking  for what felt like miles, and Miles to get there, wrong elvevators, long hall ways, closing doors no one speaking english to help us ! people laying everywhere for care,it was something like I had never seen here in the USA, I felt like I could fall to the floor and collapse, I was ready to give up walking ,But Tiffany and The other lady that was burned on her arm  as the kettle fell from her arms, was pushing me along.. ...  FINALLY  we found the right floor and doors to get thru to get in line for Dr care.. Its Socialized Medicine, people wait in halls , floors and really anywhere to wait to see a Dr... I saw my Dr walk by so I grabbed his arm and pointed to my feet that I was in pain, he realize I needed to get in right away, PROBABLY BY THE GRIP I HAD ON HIS ARM ! , I felt like I could pass out I was hurting so badly... my feet were just wrapped in gauze and hospital paper booties were my shoes.... 

Now, Im in the office, Tiffany was with me translating as much as she could, and by the way this women is AMAZING! , I was still  over whelmed with how hard it was to get  to where we needed to be, and very worried how to get out and back to the car !... The Nurse took the bandages off my feet which hurt like HELL, and my feet had blisters on both feet, but they were not  red at all, Tiffany and I both thought oh my gosh  they sure look good ! but I knew in my mind something wasn't right for the pain I had, they still felt like there were in a boiling pot of hot oil..
Again no english  was spoken, so we didn't know what was being said or done, my Dr spoke very few words of English, but he sure tried ! ... The nurse popped the blisters on my feet and I thought I was going to JUMP off the table, kicking and pulling my feet away.... oh my goodness it burned like they light my feet back  on fire , she didn't seem to care much it hurt, she just kept on cutting open the blisters!.. ( she's probably lucky I didnt kick her teeth out, ! LOL I kept pulling my feet away.....

The Dr asked how long I was going to be in Italy, I said 2 1/2 more weeks and that I was  suppose to be going to Paris tomorrow, he said I needed to come back every day for about 10 days for care and bandage changes... ok this is when I KNEW I had to get home, there was NO WAY I could walk to that office for days and days on end, lots of things just felt wrong, office not  clean, no pain pills, no antibiotics, Tiffany asked him if he was going to give me pain pills and antibiotics, and he made a funny face and said no !.
I told TIffany  I was going home, He asked where Home was?  (Huh now he speaks English ? ) I said  Seattle is Home, and I think I better go Home, he said that I could Not Fly to Paris and that I defiantly cant fly home to Seattle .The problem was I had no way to see the Dr again, as everyone was leaving that next day for a week, and things were not adding up in my mind, the pain was so bad and he wasn't doing nothing about it?? how was I going to walk that walk to his office over and over again, heck how was I going to walk to my bedroom in the basement of the Estate ! my mind was spinning  wondering why I hurt so badly and no one was doing anything to make it better !  you would have thought I was there for a hangnail ..... I learned that day to Speak for your self, and do what your body tells you... I knew I needed to get home before I was stuck there in the Hospital ..... The Dr told Tiffany I would  probably be able to wear  shoes in about 5 days, but  not able to walk around Paris, I again said IM GOING HOME to Tiffany again  , and he said to me your really better off at home if thats how you feel..... 
When I walked out of the office I  broke down and completely fell apart, Tiffany stayed in the office with the other lady that dropped the kettle, as she had burned her wrist as well !.. 
I was leaned against a wall in the hall way sobbing, a sweet  elderly lady walked over and handed me a tissue and patted my shoulder as she felt so sorry for me, next thing I knew she brought me a chair, and I just  collapsed into it and sobbed, the sweet little thing stood there rubbing my should not speaking one bit of English! one thing we all have in common is tears !
 I realized I wasn't going to Paris to meet my daughter, I realized I was going to miss the second retreat, and I realized something was VERY WRONG., and to follow your instinct !!...... 

Next thing I knew Saturday Morning I was on a flight home, a long flight home.... from Florence Italy to Paris, then Paris to Seattle......  I sobbed all the way home, the poor people that sat by me, I was one hot mESS ! .. My daughter didn't know I was hurt badly,I didn't want to worry her and ruin her trip, she was flying in and  meeting Tiffany in Paris.. What she didn't know was I was also in Paris airport and flying home at the same time she landed .. 
The flights were a blurr  the pain was more then I could handle but I didn't care, I had no pain pills no  antibiotics, No nothing to help take away the fire I felt on my feet, both feet had been burned by the water one much worse then the other... at the time I didn't know One was a lot worse as the pain felt the same on both feet, just like Fire is my only way to explain it !. I was in a wheel chair in the airports , THANK GOSH, walking down the airplane aisles felt like 100 miles, my second flight I was row 42 the very last seat on the plane ! I was just very thankful I got on a flight that soon and was going home . while on the Airplane I kept my feet moving like I was riding a bicycle , something told me to keep my feet circulation moving, and I laugh now saying I rode a bike home from Italy! 

My Husband was at work in Prudhoe Bay Alaska when he got the call I was badly  burned, he was on the next flight home, and  was able to pick me up at the airport !.. what a BLESSING that was!... I still had no clue what was ahead of me, ( thank gosh)  I knew in my mind something wasn't right , as the pain was more and more intense, but in my mind all I wanted to do was get home,  knowing I probably wouldn't walk in shoes for a couple weeks while my blisters healed... boy was I wrong!!.... 

When I got home I went to the Hospital, they were SHOCKED that I just flew from Italy with such badly burned feet, Open Blisters, feet barely wrapped up , open wounds, they said I had three strikes against me already. Dirty hose water, Dirty airports and Airplanes and No Antibiotics !,when they un wrapped my feet I about fell OVER !!! they were bright  RED and badly Blistered again, but  still felt like they were on FIRE !..., The Drs were shocked The Italian Dr  let me fly and shocked I had nothing for pain since Thur eve, and worried I could have gotten blood clots  from flying !  ( now Sun Morn) and that I  also had no antibiotics in my system yet!...... I was given antibiotics, pain pills and a tetanus shot IMMEDIATLY .... 
The next day I was off to my Dr... this is where he began the Skin Debriedement  ok WHOLY SHIT, I thought my feet hurt before, well now Im at a whole new level of BURN  and pain .....again I won't get into all the details other then I have NEVER felt anything so horrible EVER ! (and I didn't think it could hurt worse.)..  The first three weeks it continued to get worse before it even started to look better, it still burned like fire for the entire three weeks after. Finally week four I started to feel some relief barely but relief.. 
So now we will begin the Pictures... This first picture is my foot the next day in Italy... ( after they popped most the blisters) notice its not red ! but felt like fire..

This second Picture is when I arrived  Home , Pic in the Hospital ( 2 days later )  the white is where my sandals were ... the right foot I didn't get in many pictures, it had blisters on one side but nothing like this left foot .. My foot was burning from the inside out ! and it felt like it... all I can think to say to compare the pain was FIRE ... 

Below Picture is 1 week after burn 
Below picture is 10 days after the burn 

picture below is 3 weeks after Burn 
Picture below is 4 weeks later

Picture below is 5 weeks later 
Picture below is 7 weeks later 
10 weeks later 

Now 10 weeks later my foot still  has lots of nerve pain, its  very very sensitive, I have 1 pair of shoes I can wear on and off thru out the day, I haven been able to be outside when the sun is up at all , it feels like a million bees are stinging me if the sun hits it even  thru a window ! .
I had no clue what I was in for when this happened, and thats probably a good thing , its been mentally , physically  and emotinaly such a challenge, I am not one to just sit still, and for those 5 weeks I could not walk at all it was a challenge for me to say the least ..!
 How do people do this that get burned all over their bodies ? .... It was  4 weeks until I could shower and still now 10 weeks later, water is still  a very scary thing  for me, especially Boiling water!!... I have fears I never had,  I have a lot of anxiety, I still panic when people walk near my foot, being in a crowd, or sometimes just being out of the house ...... My first thought when this happened was what if a child was standing by me, what if this was a child feeling this pain I'm in ! ugh that still haunts me.... I have never had anxiety or  fears,  I know one day it will all go away and be part of the past .....
 I felt right when it happened I was glad it was me, and I still am, I wouldn't wish this upon anyone else!.
There are days when I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and days where it seems so far away.. In the end I know this will all fade away, and life  will get back to what my new normal is... Im blessed for so many friends in my life , some that I have never met, its amazing the warmth and love that comes from near and far........ everyone has a story ..........  Im blessed for such a wonderful husband who  was home 5  weeks  to take care of me... Im blessed for my sweet little dog whom never left my side, the love and support from my children,and all the people that brought us meals, cleaned my house and took care of everything while I was down not able to walk ..I was also VERY Blessed Rochelle could fly out on a minutes notice and come take my spot working the Retreat , teaching my class !
I was also VERY blessed to Leave Italy with No medical Bills, their Countries socialized Medicine includes Foreigners ! At the end of this story I  feel so blessed on so many levels, I know it will make me a stronger person, and I know people have way worse problems, in the grand scheme of things ... I know some people don't have a light at the end of the tunnel.................... Terri

February 13, 2015

Crowned Jewels Online Class OPENS today !

Buy this Crowned Jewels Class !! com join the FUN! ..

This is a fun NEW Online Collaborative  class thats all crown themed  , some fun exciting stuff from 7 different designers ! .. Terri Brush, Carolyn Peeler, Heather Ales, Lonnie Jencek, Cat Kerr, Jen Crossly, and Pamela Huntington  have all designed a project just for you to learn from your own home ! This online class Opens Feb 14th for registration, within 24 hrs you will be invited into the classroom to view the class projects and supply lists !!

March 13th the classes start with one project a day for  7 days !.. and the BEST part is the classroom stays open for you to view as much as you like for 6 months, so no need to feel rushed with a time limit !..
you can follow this Link to register , or go directly to the Academy where the class is held where you can also sign up !.. Each artists lists also has it on their blogs if thats even easier for you to find out more information.. Please know that you only need to sign up 1 time to enjoy this full online course ! is where you  will want to go to Register for this course, its FREE to register and enjoy some amazing online workshops..

January 2, 2015

SALE SALE SALE !! All ONLINE classes Onsale for only $ 39.99 ! act fast

HURRY ! SALE SALE SALE !!  all my online classes only $39.99 ! Ends Jan 4th pacific time zone !!..

 go to my Esty store to purchase !  click HERE !! 

October 14, 2014

Join us In Magic of Christmas online.. NOW !

Its time to sign up, get your supplies ordered and get ready for class ! 

 8 Teachers 
Terri Brush , Ilona Steelhammer, Ruth Rae, Kristen Robinson, Joanna Pierotti,Pamela Huntington, Kecia Deveney 
and Julie Haymaker!

16 projects, and our favorite recipes!! 
How can you not join right!! 
Get in the Holiday spirit! 
Sign up now, click on the BUY NOW button below!

PLEASE NOTE: you will need to also join the Terri Brush Academy to view participate in this event, and it's free to join. 
Follow the academy link below, and register so that you get invited into the classroom!