Poison Ivy Woes

IMG_3889WARNING!  This post is NOT for the squeamish.  There will be pictures following that are not pretty.  In fact, they are downright yucky.  So I thought I’d start us off with a little prettiness even though the dastardly poison ivy is lurking amidst the blooms.  It’s kind of like life, isn’t it?  You go to smell the rose and you come away with a bee sting in the schnoz.  Here in our area of Pennsylvania, it’s translated into the many sweet and sour culinary delights that the Pennsylvania Dutch have brought to the region.  But I digress.

The first thing that came to my mind yesterday was “Houston, we have a problem” when I went to put on my watch and found that it was too snug to be comfortable.  Seems my arm was swollen up…the arm that had the brunt of the poison ivy.    I’ve been faithfully dousing the areas affected with vinegar which has been somewhat successful in dampening the itching and extremely successful in keeping the rest of the household away from me, including the dog.  Heck, I’d even stay away from me if I could.

Poison Ivy ForearmI initially tried hydrocortison cream (didn’t work) and then calamine lotion (didn’t work).  We got some special spray from the drugstore for poison ivy rashes which I was trying.  My first attempt was almost a disaster, though.  I was aiming for my underarm and armpit and was holding my arm up in front of my face, forgetting that 1.  Hey, it’s spray and 2.  My face is right behind the arm.  I almost got a mouthful of the anti-itch spray.  Thank goodness for my glasses or I would have gotten an eyeful, too.  I decided to quit with the spray when the blisters started popping up since the instructions on the bottle said “Not to be used on areas of blistered or broken skin.”  I decided to switch to the Fels Naptha soap.

Poison Ivy Back of armFolk remedy lore says that Fels Naptha will help dry up the blisters and oozing.  Hey, I actually had a bar down in the laundry room.  It is one of the best things I know to take out stains in clothes.  So Sunday morning, I showered with that bar of old-fashioned goodness and gingerly dryed off and then patted on some vinegar for good measure.   I had breakfast and waited for things to start drying up.  Nope!  I was still oozing from a myriad of little blisters.  In fact, I hadn’t seeped that much since I was nursing my last child over 25 years ago and then I had a cute baby to look at.  This ain’t cute.

A friend had suggested soaking in a bath of tea.  I’m just desperate enough that I might actually try this.  I did drink some tea yesterday while I considered whether or not I’d be able to get out of the tub once I got into it.  The last time I used a tub I was a lot younger and definitely more limber.  I’m not really a tub person anyway.  A shower just seems so much more efficient to me.

Poison Ivy ElbowThe creeping redness and the swollen arm were definite red flags to me, though so yesterday I decided to bite the bullet and call my doctor’s answering service.  They got my doctor right on the line and she didn’t waste any time calling in a prescription for a strong antibiotic that will knock out any bacterial infection that might be lurking in the bloodstream.   So I’m on the first 24 hours of antibiotic, still patting vinegar on the areas, and trying not to think murderous thoughts towards my flower beds.   I think I finally understand now why I came home one year and found that my mom had replaced all the plants in her flower beds with bunches of plastic flowers.  It’s tempting!


2 Responses

  1. I’m itchy just looking at the photos. I think you’ve tried everything–but my used to use rubbing alcohol and cold washcloths on the sores.

    Feel better!

  2. Poison Ivy rash is not good, Most of the time the itch is too much that i am scratching heavily and thus scarring my skin in the process. ‘*:.:

    Stop by our personal blog too

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