Thursday, April 24, 2014

That Time I Got Poison Ivy (or Sumac or Oak or Some Other Devil Plant)

Yesterday's episode of Curious George was about poison ivy. Well, he's about a month too late since it's been a month since I got it (or sumac or poison oak or some other plant from hell).

Jeremy had a mild case the week before I did. I was so paranoid that the oils from the plant were somewhere else in our house, but Q and I somehow managed to stay clean.

The next weekend, we did some work in the front yard. I had never used a weed eater before and I decided to trim back the lantana in front of our yard since it was all dormant and brown from the winter. I kind of enjoyed weed eating...something about it was therapeutic. BUT, that little plastic thing that goes on top (to keep stuff from flying at you) was coming loose. Since I am a genius, I decided to just take it off and keep going.

At that point, stuff started flying up at my legs and arms (Jeremy was smart enough to give me some glasses to protect my eyes). It stung a little, and I thought "Hmm, I will probably have some scratches on my legs, but this is so fun, I'm going to keep going."

I'm not sure what got me, but I had a major allergic reaction to something. It started out as little bumps that sort of itched, to full-on torture. It itched and burned so badly all the time! I couldn't sleep and I would try not to scratch w/ my fingernails so I ended up just rubbing so hard that I caused bruising.

It has been a month and I still have remnants on my skin.

The best part...I haven't shaved my legs this whole time (I mean, how was I supposed to?!). Yesterday, I wore shorts and I could feel the wind blowing through my leg hair. Awesome and sexy, I know.

Here's what I learned:

1. Don't do yard work in shorts and a tank top. Basically you should cover every inch of your body with something and pray. A lot.

2. That plastic thing on the weed eater is there for a reason.

3. If you get poison ivy, sumac or oak, here's what works best:
-A paste made of baking soda, salt and ground up oatmeal relieves the itching and burning (temporarily)
-Ocean Potion ICE works wonders on the burning
-Tecnu scrub helps with the itching and takes away the plant oils
-Calamine lotion also helps relive the itching and burning (I had to apply it a few times a day)
-JUST GO TO THE DOCTOR!! I learned the hard way. I waited a week and finally went. I'd had it w/ the itching and not sleeping. She gave me a steroid and an anti-itch pill that helped. It didn't go away immediately, but it helped a lot.

4. I don't know why people don't use this as a form of interrogating criminals. Give them poison ivy, let them get to the burning and itching point and then they will tell you anything you want to know to make it stop. Seriously...I could be in the FBI.

Enjoy the graphic pics below and burn them into your brain as a warning. Don't mess with these plants...they are for real.


The Houses

Eek! We thought Jeremy's legs were bad, but this looks so painful! You gave some good advice for people moving to the same neighborhood full of dangerous plants... we will watch out!