A 'friend of a friend' - horror stories

felix's picture

Although the 'friend of a friend' is a notorious cliche for repressed self-expression, in this case I do have a true horror story that happened to a friend of a friend.

About two weeks ago this FOAF (Faffy I'll call her, although I think that has some negative UK slang meaning) awoke, thinking 'hmm, my leg feels a little weird.   Inspecting said leg closer revealed two lareg blisters, greater than 50 cent piece size in diameter.  This caxused her to recollect the previous evening when she had sat with her legs extended, but crossed at the ankles, about two or three inches above a radiant heater (not an oil-heater like a Dimplex, I am currently in the process of getting pictures and specific details).  

She had had a few drinks and obviously enough gear (h) to allow her body to dismiss pain feedback from that part of her body as the meat cooked over several hours. Perhaps a combination of nodding off and lack of circulation due to the leg crossing had adde to the diminished sense feedback from opiate use.

Anyway, Faffy spent a week watching the leg not heal and get infected before she went to her local public hospital for treatment. She was admitted, spent six days in a bed whilst skin was grafted from elsewhere on her leg, in order to cover a two centimetre deep hole. A silver mesh material was placed over the burn to either aid in healing or reduce infection.

Now this site is not an anti-drug site by any means. I want it to promote discussion and provide information to those denied adequate information to make proper decisions.  So I am putting thi s story up, not in gratuitous horror, but to advise that yes, bad things can happen if you don't take precautions. I remember reading that one of the biggest threats to those with leprosy occurred as they had no sense feedback from extensors (fingers etc) and so damage could occur without the usual 'whip back that hand that's getting scalded' - damage would occur, infection sets in and death often follows ina  pre-penicillin era.

In response to this issue, lepers 'in the know' develop a constant and conscious mantra of 'ears fingers toes' in which they do a physical periphery check to replace the subconscious feedback circuits that are ineffective.

A similar mantra would not go astray when one is so well toasted one has lost the ability to detect harm coming your way...although at a certain point of toastedness, you may also be unable to ermmember to check yo'self.

Anyway, just a though from one toastee, a FOAF....



sayarsan's picture

This is a phrase used repeatedly with varying degrees of emphasis depending on the nurse and patient, in orthapaedic wards the world over and for good reason. The same reason why people on long haul trips are encouraged to get up and walk when possible to prevent problems such as the one described becoming life threatening.


Blocking off circulation is the equivalent of strangulation. Also major blood vessels often run beside major nerves. The reference to lepers is quite apt. There are other conditions that lead to a loss of sensory feedback without the leprosy and they are also prone to complications arising when serious damage can occur through ignorance of a relatively minor injury and even severe ones.


Such considerations are important as winter approaches and junkies nod off huddled over a heat source.