Sunday, August 8, 2010

You're An Innocuous Looking Lil' Thing Aren't You?

This is poison ivy.
I am sure many of you knew that.
I have always been an outdoorsy kind of gal. At least I used to be, but I do know what poison ivy looks like
I will also add that I have managed to get poison ivy only once in my life.
For that I blame darkness. And my first husband.
Until last month.
This time I fault the darkness and? Wallene. Because it just wouldn't be a story if Wallene wasn't involved with things such as plant life, habitat or you know - secret paths that Mom just MUST take, because they are so cool!
When I am going to learn not to listen to this kid?
Pooldad and I walk the dogs every evening. I have to say we live in doggy walking nirvana - the bike paths in our neighborhood are extensive [read: miles upon miles] but you rarely see a bike on them. People would rather walk their dogs. Which is great [and healthy! hey!] but sometimes people will make a path though the woods where they want to get to where they are going faster then if they stayed on the mandated "you must walk this way" asphalt paths.
That's cool too. Blazing new trails and all. I am sure the HOA applauds you! :)
Then your daughter discovers those same short cuts through the woods and decides it would be a great idea to take Mom, Dad and the doggies through her own special, secret [look out for that low hanging branch!] world and the Mom is wearing flip flops.
Flip flops tadpoles. Oh, and need I mention again that it was dark? Pitch blackness kind of dark?
We only went on this path once. Once was enough for my half naked feet as you can probably tell. She was very familar with the trail but Pooldad and I were stumbling around like fools, tripping over root systems, ducking large tree limbs, trying to keep track of Mutt and Jeff on their leashes while lil' Miss Sacagawea ran on ahead to show us the glory of - ta da! - our neighbors backyard. The things we do. Sigh.
When we arrived home I noticed my ankle was scratched up. I honestly thought nothing of it while I cleaned it up and then went to bed.
That was three weeks ago and yet? I find myself writing about it because I STILL freaking have poison ivy. On the front of my ankle. And it itches. And I scratch furiously it as any human being alive with fingernails and a severe lack of self control is wont to do. Right? [Admit it - you would too. Yes you would.]
So, yeppers - I still have poison ivy. Which wouldn't be so bad since I thought I had found a fool proof way to stop itching it. I covered it up with industrial size band aids [6!] - you know the ones - head wound size? But it has decided to do what poison ivy infected skin does best when denied fresh air to allow it to dry up. It weeps. Copious amounts of water. Since, y'know - I have swell-y ankles and such at the end of the day from the water retention and there is a lot of water there. [Thanks CHF! Love you! Send chocolate next time! Heart failure humor - it gets me through the day ::wink::]
Oh, sorry. So where was I? Oh, yeah - the itching. Any suggestions on how to take off the band aids and not itch? Benadryl doesn't work. Calamine lotion doesn't seem to help. I did actually try a "Stop Itch Stick" that Wallene had for mosquito bites and right after I dabbed it the first time she yelled "Oh I forgot to tell you that stings!!!" NO KIDDING. Why didn't the kid just put matches between my toes and light them instead [ala' Tom & Jerry]? I think the searing pain would've been less. Gah. [Again - remind me why I follow her lead?] I just really don't know what to do and the internet has all kinds of wacky ideas. Vinegar? I am not a pickle. Baking soda? Mosquito bites yes, poison ivy no. And so forth and so on.
Have any of you had poison ivy? And how did you get rid of it? Do tell. Please?
** All wacky ideas will be considered if you promise me they worked for you.


ellen abbott said...

I am very allergic to it and I wish I could help with an itching remedy but I can't. I can spot that stuff from a mile away and so I never get it anymore. We do have it out here at the country house but I dig it up as soon as it sprouts (gloves). You might try an ice pack.

Diane Laney Fitzpatrick said...

Oh boy. I'll stop laughing about Miss Sacajawea now and try to help. I have a son who is immune to poison ivy (he could -and did - rub it on him and nothing happens) and I have a husband who can break out in a poison ivy rash if he stands near it. Yes, it can go airborne. He would walk into our back woods fully clothed, and careful not to touch anything, walk back and have a poison ivy rash on his stomach.

Oral Benedryl (Remember Hitch?) The topical creams don't help all that much. That's all I got.

qandlequeen said...

Oooh! You poor thing! I've got nothing except to put socks on your hands to avoid using your nails to scratch.

RV Vagabonds said...

The clear gel Calamine lotion sticks better to the weeping rash than the pink stuff. Isn't wonderful for the itching, though. I'm one of those that puts rubbing alcohol on the stuff simply because I prefer the burn to the itch. Yeah, I'm weird. I've gotten poison ivy in the winter from bringing in firewood that at one time had poison ivy twining around it. Others have gone to their local pharmacy to get Extra Strength Benadryl Cream containing 2% Diphenhydromine Hydrochloride (most others contain 1%)

Someone else's suggestion: When you get to that point where you have the strongest desire to itch get a hair dryer. Point the dryer on high at the desired spot and hold there. Hold the dryer on that one spot as long as you can. You will feel a sharp pain--don't exceed a minute. Repeat 3-4 times. The itching goes away and the rash dries out at the same time.

word vert: entell I entell from your blog that you are miserable with the itching.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

You have my sympathy! I tried every hair brained treatment I heard. I had it on my face, neck, armpit and under my breasts. The itching is torment. You want to dry the area as much as possible. There is a product called Ivy Dri. Comes in a spray bottle. It helped, but I don't think it helped any more than the tree tea oil spray. Gold Bond medicated lotion helped. IT stings at first, but would provide enough relief to be able to get to sleep. Try absorbent socks at night and be sure to wash them well before you use them again. DON'T use a moisturizing soap. I actually used LAVA soap on my arms. You can always use lotions after you get rid of it. I took a round of steroids, but I doubt your doctor will want you to do that. Antihistimines help, but ask your doctor first. I hope some of this will be useful. Don't go walking with Wallene!!!!

Rudee said...

Make a paste of baking soda and vinegar and slather it on. Some say to use it as a scrub, but that depends on how tender the area already is. I think the ultimate goal is to dry it out, so bandaging may give you an effect you're not after--as you've so eloquently stated (and sorry to say, made me laugh over).

I've never had poison ivy, even when traipsing through areas where others picked it up. Either I'm immune to its nasty effects, or I've been lucky. However, I do not need to have a run in with it to understand how nasty it is. Good luck!

Jeannie said...

I've been running around the woods my entire life and never had poison ivy. My father says a ran through it barefoot as a kid without any problem. If you hadn't posted the picture, I wouldn't know what it looks like. I'm positive I've seen that plant.

I have had psoriasis for years and years though so I'm familiar with itches that won't stop and I feel for you.

Amy said...

Poison Ivy? Really? I thought that was an urban legend. :0) Out here in the desert we don't give that stuff a second thought.

I can only imagine the itching! When I was pregnant with Thoamas I got PUPPS the last 3 weeks of the pregnancy. It is the most horrible rash ever. I have never been so miserable in my entire life because of the itch. I had to quit work 2 weeks early because I couldn't wear clothes because it would make the rash much fun! My dr. said the only way to get rid of the rash was to deliver the placenta, so too bad, so sad...I had to just deal!

Here is what worked for me...

-ITch Stop spray. I don't know if it is the same stuff you are using, but the spray was nice because you didn't have to touch the spot when you put the ointment on.

-Aveno Oatmeal baths

-Ice - I would keep ice packs with me. When ever I would start to itch, I would just place the icepack on the spot until it was numb.

I didn't try this because it wasn't available, but try Zyrtek. From what I understand, Zyrtek is an antihistamine fighter where Benydryl is an antihistamine blocker. I guess it works better for allergy attacks because it actually fights off and kills the antibody. Couldn't hurt to try.

Good luck, Skip!

TinaM said...

haha, I know that is so much easier said than done. I hope that someones idea will help with the itching, but ultimately you HAVE to stop scratching it.
Good luck!!!

Linda in New Mexico said...

VINEGAR. I know ick, you will smell like a salad but it works. Pure apple cider vinegar on a dampened wash cloth or absorbant cloth. Apply it like a poltice...old word for let it stay on there for at least an hour. Vinegar is an anticeptic and also has drying properties. It also works on high fevers...same cloth soaked in vinegar either on forehead..icky smell or the bottom of your foot. It draws it up or down. Honest...would I lie to your sweet self.....? Now it will sting but only momentarily and then heavenly relief. You can alternate it with a baking soda soak. That also will dry out the PI. Or if you want a two in one....used Epsom salt and that will help with the swelling in your ankles...or cankles. Sweet Man swears by this too.
vert word altion. Maybe altion share some more home remedies with you and save you money on OTC drugs and salves.

Michaela said...

Oh NOOOOOO! It sounds horrible! We dont have PI here. Ticks, spiders, poisonous snakes yes. PI, no. Hope you get some relief soon. I would try something like claratyne (systemic anti-histamine)? Poor Skippy. Bad Wallene! xxxooo

Marni said...

Oh sweet misery, I hate that stuff. I am sooooo allergic.

Luckily, I haven't had it in a long time. And that is only because I refuse to go in the woods. The minute I get close to the stuff I break out.

Wish I could help with the itchiness. Clear Calamine works for me, but the Epsom salt bath someone suggested sounds like a winner. And the vinegar? Never heard of using that but I would try it if I got it again.

Hugs to you honey! Well, not until you are free of the PI.