BacktrailWe live in semi-wild country and a few years ago in the spring there was a mother fox and three kits prowling around the house.  I was concerned that our cat might be breakfast for them.  I found their den only fifty yards from the house and there were bones and feathers everywhere…poultry, not grouse.

I did not want to hurt them but I did want them to leave.  The old trappers that I know would would have just smoked them out of the den.  I got some gas and old oily rages, probed the den to be sure they were not home and started to smoke it out.  As I was doing this, a thought crossed my tiny mind that perhaps I should use diesel, not gasoline. Naah, I’m a pretty careful guy…what could go wrong?

To make a long story even longer…EVERYTHING WENT WRONG…I was on fire.  No panic, I rolled once and expected the flames would be out. WRONG! I rolled a second time, letting gravity take me down hill and now my hair was on fire.
As an ex-paramedic, I knew better than to run.  In confusion I stood up with a burning ring of fire all around me. I admit that at this point, I was screaming in panic.

Then I grabbed at my jacket, which was zippered tightly and just flung this huge fireball of a jacket into the bush…it had burned through.
I ROLLED  AGAIN…no more flame.  I lay on my chest smelling like spring branding.  Now the bush was ablaze! Mother fox and her pups were just coming home and stopped a few yards away from me, wondering what the heck is going on!

To make a long story even longer…My wife grabbed the garden hose to fight fire while I staggered to a phone to call 911.

In E.R. THE MORPHINE DID NOT TOUCH THE PAIN!!! I was totally expecting the morphine to lessen the pain. Nada. At that moment, I recalled a burn surgeon in my clinical hypnosis class many years ago that used hypnosis in E.R. on burn victims. I was so amazed at this that I learned his technique. I had no idea if it would work and never expected to be using it on myself.

Within 5 minutes I was totally out of pain. A month later, in physio, the nurses would not believe that I was not suffering,,,they wanted me to take Demerol, which I refused because it was unnecessary.  I used hypnosis on the recovery and the skin grafts they were considering for my right hand and wrist… were not needed!!!

My right hand and wrist took some time to return to normal function, but I can still paint! This spring, she is back, but this time I grabbed my paints and brush, not a gasoline can.  I decided to put her in a winter setting for obvious reasons.



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