Tuesday, February 28, 2012
After Boywonder and Tomboy’s run-in with chilli, I discovered how much pain one tiny speck of chilli juice can cause. I lost a lot of chillies to some fiendish grub, so a friend, whose chilli bush thrived this summer, offered me quite a few of their chillies.
There were far too many chillies to use before they went off, so I decided to slice them up and freeze them ready for future cooking. I was halfway through the slicing when a tiny speck of chilli juice flicked straight into my eye.
My first reaction was to close my eyes and touch them with my hands. Luckily, I stopped myself before I thrust my chilli-covered hands onto my eyes. I could feel the burning sensation in my eye immediately. What was worse, that tiny speck of chilli juice was mixing with the fluid in my eyes – the heat was spreading across my eyeball like wildfire.
Helpless without the use of my chilli-covered hands, I called Mr T to help rinse my eyes. The more my eyes watered from the burning, the more the burning spread. Mr T grabbed a face washer from the drawer and wet it with water, but that did no good.
Then Mr T remembered milk and we splashed that onto the face washer. It was useless trying to get the milk into my eye as I couldn’t open it long enough due to the pain, and if I did get it open, I couldn't stop the reflex to close it when the milk got near it, so I held the milk-soaked face washer to my eye.
Each time I took the face washer away to see if the burning was gone, it returned even stronger and had continued to spread. My eye felt like it was on fire beneath my eyelid and on the skin all around my eye. It had even spread to my nose as it watered furiously.
Half and hour later I eased the face washer off my eye and was relieved to find the fire was out. I returned to slicing up the chillies, but decided to wear my glasses while I did it.
And just in case I hadn’t learnt my lesson, an hour after I’d finished cutting up the chillies, my hands started to feel like they were on fire. The more I tried to get rid of it, the worse they felt.
A quick Google search revealed salt, alcohol and mayonnaise as possible ways to relieve it. They all worked while I was doing it, but as soon as I washed my hands off, they felt even hotter.
In the end I took some painkillers and went to bed. The heat was gone by the morning, but two days later, as soon as I used my hands a lot, the burning sensation returned to my fingertips.
So now I wear glasses and gloves when cutting up chillies.