It started innocently enough. Space was available in the garden for a few more plants. Surely, pepper plants wouldn’t take up much room. I went a little nuts at the garden centre. Yup, I bought Orange Blaze, Cute Stuff Red, Sweet Banana, Hungarian Wax and Jalapeno peppers. It was fun watching them develop into tiny peppers, with brilliant shades of red, orange and yellow.
Early on, I had a little scare when one of our dogs was discovered with a pepper between her two front paws. She’d bit each end. It was quickly snatched from her and inspected. Oh my! She was eating a Hungarian Wax pepper, known to be hotter than cayenne. And, it didn’t seem to bother her at all!
And, then it happened…I just didn’t know what to do with my hot Hungarian and Jalapeno peppers. I decided to chop up them up and freeze them. To add to pasta and chili as needed.
I finished chopping the peppers. I noticed my hands were more tingly, the more peppers I chopped. I finished up in time to catch a quick nap before my midnight shift at the hospital.
Upon awakening, I reached for my contact lens. (I only wear one lens; blind in one eye/can’t see in the other!) I thoroughly cleansed it between my thumb and forefinger. Rinsed. Added wetting solution. Popped it into the right eye. Arghhhhhhhhh!!! Tears ran down my cheek. The white of my eye turned beet red instantly. I practically ripped the lens out of my eye and flushed my eye with water. And put my glasses back on. The glasses are suitable for vision around the house. But, not for driving or seeing well at work.
“Guy!! What am I gonna do?? I have to go to work in an hour!!”
Guy had been napping also. But, you see, my hubby is a calm man. Most days, anyways.
The voice of reason spoke from the bedroom,”Google how to neutralize cayenne pepper on skin.”
The first thing I read was: “Don’t rinse with water! Water only spreads the fire so don’t wash your hands until you neutralize the heat. The burning sensation after cutting chile peppers comes from oils that coat the skin and are very hard to wash off. Simple soap and water doesn’t always do the trick. Below are some solutions to neutralize the hot pepper oil.”
Well, I certainly had spread that wildfire, hadn’t I? Rinsing with all that water!
I read on: “Capsaicin is an active component of chile peppers. It is an irritant for mammals, including humans, and produces a sensation of burning in any tissue with which it comes into contact. Capsaicin and several related compounds are called capsaicinoids.
Capsaicinoid molecules bind to pain receptors, causing the sensation of pain. Capsaicin is an alkaline oil. Drinking water doesn’t help because oil-based capsaicin won’t dissolve in water.”
Well, that much I know is true!
I skimmed through the suggested solutions. I tried the solution using ingredients I had on hand. Rubbing alcohol and dish detergent! I doused my hands with rubbing alcohol and washed with dish soap. Repeated two times.
Then, I looked at my lens.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Dare I? Would I ever be able to rinse off sudsy soap? This wasn’t a disposable soft lens. It was an old-school porous gas permeable lens. Chili pepper permeable too?
I rinsed the lens with rubbing alcohol, followed by dish soap. Did not repeat a second time. Let’s not go crazy now…
I put my lens in after a half hour break for my right eye. And, in typical nurse rate-your –pain-on-a-scale of 1-10 fashion, I announced to Guy,” Okay, my eye feels like about a 3/10 now. It was at least 12/10 before.”
I had no problem with my eye for my midnight shift. To tell you the truth, my vision was clearer than ever before!