Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Skull and Crossbones




DO NOT PLAY WITH POISON! And I'm not kidding. After exactly 5 weeks ago today, I am FINALLY over a severe allergic reaction to poison ivy. No clue where I got it. If not from our own yard (the first time in 8 years?), maybe from the dogs at Donica's mom's house. Doesn't matter.

Here's what I learned: if ever I even THINK I have it again, I will go immediately, if not sooner, to the doctor's to get a steroid injection. I waited 2 weeks this time, thinking with every day that surely it would go away, kinda like a cold. No way. So next time, I will get the injection and the prescription steroid pills ASAP.

Interestingly, I have since read that because of global warming, these poison plants are growing bigger and more virulent. It's also possible to become more allergic over time. Donica's mom told me the other day she initially thought I might have to be hospitalized, it seemed that bad to her. Thank God I didn't.

Another thing is that the body remembers! I'm still itching and still scratching, in the same spots, even though I'm not having to use any of the above remedies. I learned in massage school years ago that the body does remember its traumas, however big or small.

So, I've learned my lesson and am definitely smarter than a month ago. I tell you, these poisons are nothing to play around with! Trust me.

19 comments:

  1. So sorry you had to go through all this. Poison Ivy is one plant I wish we could rid the earth of. It all too oftens prevents me from hiking where I wish as well.

    But don't scratch too much; that's not good either.

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  2. Gee, so finally staying indoors and avoiding nature might be paying off for me :)

    Glad you are doing better!

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  3. Tim: UGH! Sorry to hear it for you. I can't remember when I had it last, so this one was a doozie. I'll pay more attention going forward!

    Mr. Fab: No No No--we need nature in spite of the poisons! Gotta go out and get your nature!

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  4. I am glad you are finally over that. It sounds awful! It definitely pays to get these things treated ASAP.

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  5. I hope I never get a case like that, so awful. We have enough of it here, lord knows. Don gets his occasional bout here and there after mowing usually. Yes, I wish it would go away.

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  6. 5 weeks to get rid of it? Yikes! Although I'm not allergic to poison ivy, I will stay away from it. Glad to hear that you're over the worst, though.

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  7. I'm so glad you're finally recovered from this!

    We had a weed/plant growing in our fig bush for awhile that Garland is alergic to. Everytime he would cut the grass and weed-eat, he would remove this plant from the fig, not realizing he was reacting to it. We thought it was something else in our yard and he would get horrible blisters.

    I don't remember how he figured it out, but I'm glad he did! Remembering his reaction, I have great sympathy for all you've been dealing with...

    Glad it's over!

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  8. DW: Thanks. Yes, yes indeed!

    Ruth: UGH. What will be interesting to see is if Don's reactions get worse over time--not that I'd like him to find out!

    CS: I didn't know I was allergic to it either since I can't even remember when I had it last, if ever. Thanks for sharing the gladness!

    Mrs. M/Shari: So, so glad you figured out Garland's source of misery. BTW, how does it benefit the plants to be posionous? To keep people and animals away from them??

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  9. Ginnie, So very happy that this episode is a part of your past!!! And thanks for sharing...I have the same tendency towards "waiting to see" if things like this get better, but I will definitely heed your warning if I ever come across my own poison ivy/oak experience.

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  10. Found a lovely website that answers your question: http://www.wonderquest.com/ivy-octopus.htm Here's a sample: "Deer, goats, horses, cattle, and many birds eat the foliage and fruits of the poison ivy plant. Flea beetles and armyworms chew their leaves, unaffected, says John Meyers of North Carolina State University. These parts are loaded with sap. Humans, though, are a different story. Eighty to 90 % of adults will get an allergic rash. All it takes is 50 micrograms (less than a grain of salt) of urushiol and at least a two-time exposure."

    I am profoundly allergic to the stuff. Pretty much any time I go into a wooded area I get it. But I did have a year where I experienced just what you are talking about! I wrapped myself in saran wrap at night to prevent the further spread- like it could have gotten any worse! It was awful, and took forever to go away. Once, when I worked in a chemistry lab, I tried burning it off with hydrochloric acid- it stopped itching, but now I have a scar. Talk about desparate!

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  11. Dennis: Ahh, yes. Heed the warning, indeed!

    Rachel: Wow! Thanks for the speedy answer to my question. Very interesting!

    And I thought MY case was bad! Bless your heart. I hope to God you never get it again!!

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  12. Our woods is blanketed with a carpet of the wonderful plant. It is nearly impossible to eradicate! I have two inch thick vines growing up some of the trees!

    Glad you have recovered.

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  13. Oh my, Don! It's a good thing I already had my bout while I was on your farm because I'm afraid I would have caught it just by looking!

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  14. I'm pretty sure that's how I get it, just by looking at it! I got it while I was in Michigan this summer, but just a little spot:)

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  15. Thank God, Rachel, it wasn't worse than a spot!

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  16. Yikes, something I hope I never have to deal with, it sounds horrible! And I totally would have gone the same route as you...clearly it should go away, right? Well, at least now I know if I happen to get it to not wait and see if it goes away on its own.

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  17. Mad: You've got that right! Don't wait. But hopefully you'll never get it!

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  18. Argh is right, MP. This week one of the spots has reared its ugly head again. I'm hoping I don't need a new prescription of steroid pills. I think it really got deep into my system and is dying hard!

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