6.10.2011

Poison Ivy, Take Two

I'm going to cut to the chase.  I have poison ivy AGAIN. 

My outbreak started on Wednesday with one tiny bump on my right arm.  Just like the last time, I assumed that a pesky mosquito had taken a tiny nibble. About an hour later, the bump started to itch that unmistakable itch that only comes from poison ivy.  Those of you who have experienced this phenomenon first hand will know what I'm talking about.

I immediately scrubbed both my arms and hands with my medicated scrub to remove any lingering oil and sprayed Ivy-Dry on the blistered area.  The rash was contained to an area about the size of a quarter and I felt confident that my quick thinking would prevent a major reaction.  

Had the solution been that simple, my tale would end here.  A glance down at the following paragraphs will tell you that my saga was far from over.

Over the course of the next two days, more than a dozen other blisters appeared in random spots on my body.  Most of them were in various places on my right arm and hand, but some of the other bumps were in areas that I knew had never come in contact with the plant.  I decided to give my entire body a good scrubbing with the oil removing cleanser.  

As I was getting ready this morning, I noticed that I had a bump on one of my eyelids and a few spots near my mouth.  Not wanting to be alarmed, I ignored the bumps and continued to get ready for the day.  An hour later, the bumps were not only incredibly itchy, but the rash seemed to have spread inside the corner of my mouth.

Now, I may not be smart enough to know where the vile weed is lurking in my yard, but I was one hundred percent certain that I had never put the stuff in my mouth. Visions of my blistered, oozing and deformed face filled my head.  I decided to head to the doctor to see if there was anything else that could be done.

I learned something interesting at the doctors office...  Most of the time, contact with poison ivy will result in a rash located in the precise location(s) that were touched by the plant.  That's what happened to me last time.  Occasionally, the body's immune system can become overwhelmed and the reaction will become systematic.  In those cases, the body will actually spread the rash to other locations on the skin, frequently places that had never been exposed to the plant's oils.  That's exactly what was happening in my case.  

After I stopped freaking out that my own immune system was responsible for the rash now spotting my entire body, I let the doctor write me a prescription for Prednisone.  I will be popping two pills a day for the next ten days.  I'm really looking forward to the "irritability, mood swings and possible weight gain." 

On a high note, this tragedy confirms what I have long suspected:  I should never do yard work again.  The universe has spoken.

3 comment(s). Leave yours!:

mshike said... Best Blogger Tips

So sorry you got it again! Praying for quick healing with NO side effects to the medicine!!

Gretchen said... Best Blogger Tips

Ugh. I've heard it's painful. My sister gets it sometimes. She's a CO native living in SC.

I hope you are feeling better by now.

Prednisone is an interesting medication. The side effects are wacky. I get terrible insomnia when I take it for asthma flare-ups. Long term, it give you round, puffy cheeks. They call it moonfaced. Takes months for it to go away.

helen said... Best Blogger Tips

ugh!

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