Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Electricity; Itchy; Busy

The night before last Torsten and I were about to go to sleep and I went to plug in my phone as usual. My phone charger is plugged into a power strip that was sitting on my nightstand, into which were also plugged my clock, bedside lamp, and Kindle charger. The phone charger cord was tangled, so I reached over and touched the power strip as I tried to untangle it. I pulled gently on the cord, which in turn pulled slightly on the power strip--and suddenly there was a huge POP!, a giant flash of light, and then the whole room went dark.

Turns out--as we figured out once we got the lights back on--that the power strip had some sort of, I don't know what to call it, surge? Blowout? Explosion? Whatever it was, it happened in connection with my bedside lamp, and it knocked out the breaker for both outlets on our bedroom wall, which was why the lights went out. Also, after it happened, we smelled burning, which was quickly explained when we noticed this:

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Yep. That's my power strip. And the cord to my lamp. And also my nightstand itself, CHARRED, where the power strip had been sitting. COOL.

I didn't get shocked, luckily. I felt nothing even though I had my hand right on it when it happened. Which is good because I did some Googling about electric shocks in pregnancy after it happened and it seems like they are not so good. I mean, a minor shock is fine. But if you get a major high-voltage shock and the current runs through your uterus... well. The literature appears to indicate that fetal outcomes in such a case are not so good. I mean, I have no idea if this would have qualified. It was still just regular wall voltage, not like a subway rail or an electric fence. But it was quite the fiery end to the power strip. So, I'm glad to remain ignorant on whether it would have been a strong enough shock to harm Penguin, is what I'm saying. And also, we will be replacing all the power strips in our house with the grounded, protected kind--which I hadn't even realized we didn't already have.

* * *

I went to the dermatologist yesterday for a standard mole check (all fine) and to point out all my itchy spots and ask if there was anything he could do about them. Because I itch. A lot. Everywhere, but primarily my arms and legs. I have random rough red scaly patches and rashes scattered across my arms, legs, and belly. It's pretty much as pleasant and attractive as you might imagine. Some of it pre-dates the pregnancy, but most of it appeared afterward, and even the ones that were already there have gotten worse since I got pregnant. The dermatologist basically said that pregnancy triggers eczema and general angry skin in some women. This did not happen to me with Callum, but apparently each pregnancy is different? Or some such nonsense? Anyway, he sent me home with two prescriptions, for category B and C creams, to apply in different scenarios. At least it's not PUPPP. And also, this pregnancy has been remarkably easy in every other respect, so in the grand scheme of things this is a pretty minor issue. Just... yuck. And also, itchy.

* * *

I'm in my last graduate class. I'll be done with school in less than a month. The class is biology and it is turning out to be remarkably interesting so far. I'm pleased. I'm also pleased that in just a few weeks I'll have my life back. I'm imagining what I'll do with all that glorious free time. Then I remember that I'll have free time for about two months, until this baby shows up. So. That may put a damper on my plans to lie around and do nothing forever and ever, amen. However, at least it allows enough time to get ready. Callum is fully in his new bedroom, and during my last school break my mom and I started cleaning out the nursery closet and getting it organized for Penguin, but we didn't finish before class started again so now the nursery is a giant mess and I have to just keep the door closed so I don't have heart palpitations every time I see it. But in a few weeks! I can go through all the stuff! And toss things out and put things away and wash baby gear and move Callum's piglet print and C is for Car print to his new room and replace them with the Penguin print and an alphabet print for the new baby's name. And also maybe get Callum's new room done. Right now it's just a mattress and a dresser. I need to get bookshelves, which may involve a DIY painting project, and then I can pull it all together. But right now I'm ignoring all of that in favor of plowing through the next 3.5 weeks of school. And then never going back to school again, ever in my life, please and thank you. Someone smack me if I ever so much as mention the words "MPH" in the future, OK?


  1. Oh yikes! I have never seen a power cord do that!

    Yay for almost being done with school! How very very exciting!


  2. That happened a few months ago with me, a Target triple plug thingy and a night light. We then realized it was a triple plug without a ground and I called my mom to throw away the one I had brought to her house. Scary!

    Glad to hear an update from you! Congrats on finishing grad school and the new baby!! :-)

  3. Longterm eczema sufferer, here's my 2 cents. My fabulous crunchy granola Boulder dermatologist whom I would drive across the country to see gave me a ridiculously safe (she was like, put it on Nell if you need to. Put it anywhere you want, this stuff is great but harmless) prescription for my eczema and I'm obsessed. I'll find the name and send it to you. Also, the thick Vanicream (the walgreens by you stocks it) - cream not the lotion - is a godsend for dry, itchy skin.

    Glad you're okay!

  4. " And then never going back to school again, ever in my life, please and thank you. "

    Yes. This is how I felt by the end. Only self directed learning from here on out. You are almost there!!

    Sorry to hear about your eczema, I know that can be so painful. Mine eventually resolved around 18 weeks, and I know you're way past that but here's hoping you find some relief.