Please tell me I’m not alone. I feel like I might be. Have you ever even heard of jalapeno hands? Yea, it’s a thing. Yes, I’m serious. No I’m not joking. No it won’t kill you (I don’t think), but you won’t forget your experience with jalapeno hands as long as you live. Trust me.
Eric and I were trying out a new recipe. Three jalapeno peppers were listed in the ingredients. That was a lot, I thought, but I wanted to follow the instructions exactly so I bought three peppers. The creator of said recipe had received 200+ five star ratings for this dish so I figured it must be good. Prepping the ingredients, I cut the peppers as directed and removed the seeds. As I began chopping them, I started to feel my skin burning. It was an odd feeling and I figured I must have irritated a cut on my hand. Then it spread. Then it got more intense. Holy spicy pain waves, batman! This was not normal. I’ve cut jalapeno peppers before. Never had this happen. Not ever. What was this madness?
I quickly washed my hands right after I finished chopping. Problem solved, right? Oh nay nay. I inadvertently touched my lip. Pain. Holy cow. This is absurd. More washing. More scrubbing. This happened several times that night. Rinse and repeat, you might say. I couldn’t have any more traces of jalapeno on me by now, I thought. I barely had skin left. But I was wrong. Sooooo wrong.
I was getting ready for bed when it happened. I’m not sure Eric understood the full scene playing out in our bathroom as he read in bed. I was screaming, crying, contemplating death as an alternative and begging for help. He was oblivious and he will pay for that. (Another story for another time.) You see, I had just taken one contact out. Let that sink in. ONE CONTACT. That meant my jalapeno hands had touched one eye which was now on fire like hell itself. That also meant I still needed to remove the other contact.
Yep, torture wasn’t over. I dumped water in my face repeatedly and slowly the pain started to diminish. Had one gruesome red eyeball and was nearly blind in that eye, but I was starting to breathe again. Stepped into the room to assure Eric I was ok due to the screaming. He was still reading on phone. No movement. Thought about choking him. Remembered I may need a ride to hospital. Returned to bathroom where I scrubbed my hands for a full ten minutes praying whatever demon residue was still on my fingers was gone. I took a deep breath and went for the other contact.
Demon residue alive and kicking.
More begging – “Take me now, Lord!”
Oh, and Eric didn’t move. Yes, he’s still alive though it was iffy for a few hours.
After holding my eyes under the water for what seemed like an eternity, I finally collapsed in bed proclaiming I would never chop a pepper of any sort without gloves again. I also issued Eric a citation for not aiding in my emergency situation to which he later replied that he didn’t know what was going on in there, but figured it best to stay clear. <Insert squinty red-eye snarl here>
Googling this phenomenon the following afternoon, I learned that jalapeno hands is in fact a thing. For some people washing their hands isn’t enough to remove the pepper’s capsaicin oil from the skin. There are several ways to remove it and of course if you wear gloves you never have to deal with it in the first place. Lesson learned – a very painful, demon-residue-filled lesson.
While this fiery incident surely surprised me, scripture warns us about trials on this side of heaven and to actually expect them. They may not all come with burning eyes and pain, but whatever they are we can count on God to see us through. Jesus assured us that His victory on the Cross is our victory too, but that victory doesn’t mean a trouble-free existence. That said, we are also promised that because we are in union with Him, His strength is perfected in us as we depend upon Him.
So in summary, expect trials, but take heart as you depend on Jesus…and wear gloves when cutting jalapenos.