Wednesday, August 25, 2010
The Dreaded Poison Ivy
There I was minding my own business–- wait, it is my own business if I’m yanking out weeds in my garden, isn’t it? Sometimes I’m not very certain. You see, the birds in the nearby nest often squawk at me when I’m out there. It’s as if I’m cramping their style just by being so close. But that’s a tale for another time. I was mindlessly pulling out weeds out from under the Mugo pine, when all of a sudden I see it. Yikes! Leaves of three on a long vine and that undeniable reddish tinted foliage. I had touched Poison ivy!
I froze for a few seconds, recalling quite vividly my last bout with the rash to end all rashes. I was covered from head to toe within a week of touching the evil weed. The doctor said he had never seen anything so bad. He gave me a steroid shot, but still it took quite a while for it to subside and the itching! It was horrible, like my skin was on fire
Tommy forbade me from going anywhere near it and from ever touching it again. He said, “Call me when you see it. I don’t care what I’m doing. Don’t touch it and come get me!” I was more than willing to obey unquestioningly.
Well, that was all fine and good, but that was when the Poison ivy obligingly stayed far away from me. It had been growing exclusively in a shady spot under the now dying birch trees, far removed from the house and gardens. I have no formal gardens there, unless you count a patch of daylilies and a few Forsythia bushes, so my exposure to it was nil........until now.
It was just there, innocently enough, but I had already touched it, albeit with gloves on. I should have just dropped it as soon as I recognized it and called Tommy, but he wasn’t home. But I did have gloves on. Still, it could get on my skin. But I had learned that lesson too. I now always garden with as much skin covered as possible, long sleeves, long pants, hat and gloves. Surely, I would be okay.
How naive I can be! Well, it did somehow get on me and it spread, not much, but enough to keep me out of the garden for two weeks. Yes, I was scared of this rash getting worse and it took me that long to finally get rid of it. No, I wasn’t going out into the garden until it was completely under control and what if I found more of the vile stuff growing around my favorite plants? I didn’t want to think of it!
Many home remedies later, including vinegar, bleach, calamine lotion, hydrocortizone and other sundry lotions and ointments, I’m okay and back out into the garden. ~sigh~ It’s good to be out here again and not itchy!