Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Poison Ivy -- jcarolek

In my more than 50 years on this planet, I have not, until a few weeks ago, had the opportunity to experience that simple pleasure of an allergic reaction to poison ivy.  I presume that is, indeed, what this was/is, though I could not bring myself to pay for a medical opinion.  What I do know is this.  It started as a little tiny spot on my leg that was pretty itchy... but I mean it was TINY, like no bigger than a pinhead.  I have already plucked off several ticks this season and presumed this was just another tick bite or spider bite or, well, you get it.

By the next morning, my little spot was much bigger and much itchier and I began to suspect this was something new and different.  There were blisters appearing in the brilliant red patches and what had been confined to one inner thigh (don't EVEN ask me how, since I was wearing double layers with overalls while working in the yard and woods) was now taking over both thighs... I had another spot on my forehead and one in my eyebrow and down to the edge of the eye... and several on my arms....  By this time, I was pretty certain I was suffering from the poison ivy rash and decided the typical over-the-counter remedies would be my best bet.

I cannot say the concoctions I purchased were particularly helpful.  The rash kept spreading was REALLY unsightly.... I'm not exactly a vain person, but even I was glad it wasn't shorts weather yet!  The one thing that seemed to really be effective for me in the ability to tolerate this new affliction was benedryl.  One tablet worked pretty well to control the itching and hence the scratching....

I was thrown back nearly twenty years to the time when my children were young and my daughter, then about eight years old, developed some little spot, which itched and spread and which, before long, covered a good portion of her body.  By the time we attended a 4th of July get together with family friends, Jenn was really quite a sight!  My friend, a nurse, told me it looked as if Jenn had started out with poison ivy, but had what looked to her like a case of impetigo... not having a clue, but heeding her advice, I took Jenn to the doctor the next day.  There, the condition was confirmed and medications prescribed.

For the next week or so, several times a day, the ointments had to be applied to the infected areas of Jenn's face, arms, legs and less convenient and embarrassing locations... her father and I took turns applying the ointment, as Jenn protested indignantly.  On one evening, as James was applying the ointment to her face, Jenn shared with him, "this hurts worse than childbirth..."  I wonder if she will hold to that when, in fact she does experience THAT!

At any rate, I am now, I believe, rid of the poison ivy.  The skin has a "new" look to it, but is surprisingly, still itchy.  Not nearly as bad as it was, but itchy, nonetheless.  I sincerely hope this is something that will, eventually ease up!  I guess life is always full of new experiences, and I should count my lucky stars I lived nearly 52 years before falling victim to the leaves of three, but, well....

Still, I won't let a little poison ivy deter me from enjoying the great outdoors, the goats and the TONS of work still ahead of me in taming the old farmhouse and ten acres upon which she sits!

No comments: