Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Poison Ivy Outbreak
And, most recently, she unknowingly brought me a nasty case of poison ivy rash.
Please do not read any further if you don't want to see some really gross photos that should be located in a medical journal, but are actually close up looks at the rash on my arms.
I started breaking out with the itchy, red spots ten days ago, and at first I thought I had been the recipient of some bug bites. I was sitting at an outdoor graduation ceremony, and so I figured that the spots were probably from mosquitos.
Over the next few days the number of spots multiplied, and it soon became clear that I was having a full blown case of poison ivy.
The best I could figure is that the puppy had run through a patch of it, gotten the oil (urushiol) on her fur, and then shared it with me.
So, I'm wanting to scratch, gouge, and shred my skin from the incessant itching. It even wakes me up during the night. I'm treating it the old fashioned way by applying Calamine Lotion at regular intervals during the day and before bedtime, but even that sets off the itching again.
It's amazing how a simple rash can darn near make a person go crazy.
Because I had a scheduled session of physical therapy this morning, and because I am concerned about exposing my current grossness to others, I did a bit of research before I went.
Here's what I learned about poison ivy:
Although ugly, the rash is not contagious to you or to others. You cannot catch or spread a rash after it appears, even if you touch it or the blister fluid, because the urushiol will already be absorbed or washed off the skin. The rash may seem to be spreading, but either it is still developing from earlier contact or you have touched something that still has urushiol on it.
Last evening the husband/lover/gardener was doing a few chores in the yard, and when he came in, he said, "I think I have found where your poison ivy came from."
My gardener removed the offending plant, and immediately went and took a good shower. Perhaps the dog needs a good scrub too.
If there's one positive thing that I can take from this unpleasant experience, it's learning a great new word.
Urushiol is bad.
Urushiol will make you itch.
Urushiol is not your friend.
Stay away from the urushiol.