I've been reading a lot about poison ivy lately. Don't worry, I won't gross you out with pictures! Take my word for it, it's nasty. There's a cycle of poison ivy outbreak. First it starts as just a simple, red spot. I think I found my first red spot last Wednesday. I thought it was just a bug bite...so I scratched and scratched and scratched. Before long it began spreading. I knew I was no longer dealing with a simple bug bite, but I bought a new kind of soap at the health food store and thought I was having an allergic reaction. By now it's Friday, I've stopped using the allergic soap, and the rash is getting worse! The bumps are now merging with one another and what started on my thigh, is now on my ankles, the back of my other leg, and a few spots on my arms. I'm still oblivious, but wondering about my diagnosis. The itching is INTENSE!!
Saturday I call my Dad and talk to him about it. Then I realize...OH NO! Remember this awesome shot?
See all those pretty, little vines in the background? POISON IVY! My heart stopped when I realized I surrounded a not-even-two-week-old baby with poison ivy. I called Jayli's Momma to make sure she was all right, and THANK YOU GOD, she's ok!
As any dedicated photographer would do, I rolled around all over the ground getting the "perfect shot." Haha. It's only funny because I'm the only one with the outbreak. If anyone else would have been affected, I would never have forgiven myself. It's just my luck, I would go rolling around in poison ivy. As it turns out, it photographs beautifully! : )
So anyway, back to the cycle of poison ivy. Once all of the little red bumps merge into a big patch, blisters form. The fluid inside the blisters turns yellow and then eventually dries up and becomes crusty. Right now, I'm on the blister phase for most of the spots. There's some newcomers though that are just in the red bump phase. What started out on just my legs and arms has creeped up to my neck and chin with a few spots on my cheek.
I have tried everything imaginable to help with the itching:
Cortizone cream- absolutely no help
Poison ivy scrub from Walgreens - helped for about 15 minutes
Something you spray call Ivy Dry from Walgreens - just really stinky stuff with no relief
Baking soda paste- finally getting somewhere, but leaving white flaky stuff everywhere around the house and not suitable for an outing to the grocery store
Rubbing alcohol - might be onto something here, but after a few hours I realized my skin was now so dry that IT began itching too
The hottest running water you can stand - Ahhh...that's it! I started with warm water and slowly cranked it up as hot as it would go. I read that it in a sense shocks your nerve endings and tells them to ease up a bit on the itching signals they insist on sending to the brain. It really works. I was up about 12:30 this morning, already trying the alcohol and spray stuff, so I hopped in the shower and actually got a few hours of decent sleep.
My Mom and Mother-in-law have convinced me to see a doctor. It's been a week since I've been exposed and I also read if left untreated it could last (in extreme cases) 5 to 6 weeks!
I'm thinking happy thoughts, but I don't think I'll sign up for 4 to 5 more weeks of misery!
Although I am a bit curious to see how the whole cycle plays out...
Just kidding Mom, really, I'll see a doctor. Promise.