So a few weeks ago, I was home alone and decided to do some work on my laptop in the living room.
It was a hot summer night and I didn’t feel like sitting in my office. I almost always work in my office, at my desk, sitting in my chair. I envy people who actually use their laptop for what it is intended to do: Work on your lap from anywhere. Occasionally, I will remove my laptop from my office and take it “out” and sit on my bed to do some work. But it’s rare. I think it is generational. I was raised to type at a desk. First on actual typewriters and then later on a desktop computer. I only switched to a laptop a few years ago, so I still have trouble “remembering" that it is portable.
Anyway, it was really warm in my house that night, so I was wearing shorts and I forgot to put something on my lap between my legs and my computer. I felt like such a millennial. Sitting in my flannel pajama shorts, a tee-shirt, working on my laptop and actually having the television on too. I must have been working quite intensely because an hour or so went by and I felt my legs get warm and a little sweaty. I lifted my laptop up and placed it back on a pillow. About an hour later, I noticed my entire left leg was quite red and splotchy. I figured I must have gotten a heat rash from the warmth of the computer, but I didn’t think too much about it.
Until the next day.
While most of the redness was gone in the morning, there was one large red splotch remaining. It was really red and bumpy. It was kind of itchy, but I knew not to scratch it. I figured I must have gotten a rash from perspiring and the metal of the computer touching my skin. So I put some anti-fungal cream on it. Yes, somehow I thought the cream that works for athlete’s foot was a good idea for my leg. It’s not as crazy as it sounds. I did that for about two days, but nothing changed. I then asked my dermatologist about it. She thought it might be an allergic reaction and suggested cortisone cream for a week.
But nothing changed.
I then realized it might have been a burn. I used various menthol-salves recommended for burns. No change. I started using Vitamin E oil. No change. Then I tried Coconut Oil. Supposedly it cures everything and is delicious for cooking. No change. I used Aloe Vera gel. That’s what you should use on a sunburn. A week later… no change. Then I bought some expensive aloe-based hydrating cream that was supposed to repair any skin damage. They have to say that because it is expensive. Slight change. Probably had more to do with the passage of time than the actual lotion. The bumpy redness started to disappear, but it just turned to a dark brown splotch. It began to look like a birth mark. It was (in)conveniently right below my shorts and tennis skirts, so I was constantly reminded of my latest blemish. And by blemish, this thing is the circumference of a small apricot.
People kept asking what happened to my leg. I thought about just telling them it was a birthmark, so that I wouldn’t have to admit that I was using my laptop on my bare legs and burned it. Somehow I turned this unfortunate situation into a shame-fest that it was MY fault and I should have been more careful.
Then last week, I randomly get an email for an immediate recall notice from Apple my particular laptop (MacBook Pro). The notification said to check the serial numbers immediately. My serial number was a match. It turns out there is a faulty battery in this model and it can overheat. In other words, it is a FIRE HAZARD!.
Well that explains the burn on my leg. No my computer didn’t catch fire, but my leg almost did. They instructed me to contact an authorized Apple dealer near me. Guess how many authorized Apple service dealer there are on my island? ONE. Not good. I called them and they said it might take a week to be able to get to the repair, but I needed to drop it off right away.
My first thought was not about the potential fire hazard nor the possibility of a permanent scar on my leg from the burn, but the fact that I need to write my blog post and I cannot do it without my computer. Yes, clearly I have my priorities straight.
I brought my computer into the Apple repair store and begged them to let me keep my computer until the new parts arrive. They said they are technically supposed to confiscate the computer as soon as they learn about the problem, but they agreed to let me hold onto it long enough to write this blog post.
Thankfully, Apple will be paying for the cost of the repairs. But here’s a question, do you think they will be interested in reimbursing me for the dozen different tubes of anti-fungal, anti-itch, hydrating, skin repair balms, creams, and gels that I bought? I think it might be cheaper if they just send me a new computer.