The weather here in Middle Tennessee has been suffocating, to say the least. Imagine my delight when I walked outside last week and realized that the temperature was a chilly 88 degrees. I almost had to run back inside to grab a sweater.
I decided to celebrate the delightful chill in the air by doing one of my favorite activities... yard work. I can't believe I am going to admit this, but I actually enjoyed the six hours I spent trimming, hacking and weeding. I even burned the mountain of yard waste in my fire pit.
Against my better judgment, I decided not to wear my lime green, full length gardening gloves (a gift from my mother) as I went about my work. The end result was a couple scratches, a few dozen splinters from the barberry bushes and what I assumed were three mosquito bites on my left arm. I considered this a victory as I am usually devoured by the flying pests every time I step outside.
I'm just that tasty.
Five hours later, a small line of three bumps had formed next to the bite on my inner arm. I immediately thought that it must have been a spider bite and that I was having a mild reaction. I rubbed a little cortisone cream on the affected area and went about my day.
Let me tell you, it was a big mistake.
Within twenty-four hours, those "bites" had transformed into three weeping and blistered sores. I knew immediately that I had rubbed up against a patch of poison ivy. And the itch... THE ITCH... I have never experienced anything like it. The kidney stone I passed days before the birth of my son pales in comparison to the intense and unrelenting itch of poison ivy.
As a result, I have developed a serious Benadryl habit. I'm not sure if the medication is helping, but my attention span now seems to equal that of a two-year-old. I am also having extremely vivid and bizarre dreams.
In an effort to soothe the rash, I have tried oatmeal baths, baking soda pastes, various blends of essential oils and several different over-the-counter medications that my Pharmacist recommended. To date, none of them seem to be working.
The only thing that brings relief is to soak the affected areas in scalding hot water. I then slather the rash with cortisone cream and wrap my arm with saran wrap. After an hour under wrap, I vigorously spray the rash with Ivy-Dry. By some miracle this process seems to keep the itch at bay for a few hours.
What can I say? Desperate times call for desperate measures.
When I have to leave my house, I loosely wrap my arm with gauze to hide the oozing and festering mess. I am quite certain that no one wants to see the disaster that is now my arm. I would prefer to use Band-aids, but the allergic reaction I have to the adhesives would be far worse than the poison ivy itself.
With my brother-in-law's wedding is just a few weeks away, I desperately hope that my arm begins to show some signs of improvement. I know what you're thinking... Nothing says classy quite like a white gauze arm band dotted with puss. While I have to agree, I was really hoping to accessorize my dress with a cute handbag or bracelet instead.
I am convinced that hell is filled with poison ivy. The devil's evil minions will ignore all pleas for antihistamines and soothing salves. Instead, they will let out a maniacal laugh as they tickle the itchy rash with feathers for all eternity.