Friday, June 27, 2014

Poison Ivy for the win

We are doing a backyard renovation this summer and have spent a lot of our time outside working.  On the Saturday before summer started, I started by taking down our barb wire fence.  It wasn't too hard and I got it done in about an hour or two.  The following Monday, I noticed some major bites up and down my forearms, but they were big and long, like a scratch.  I didn't think anything of it until about Wednesday when they started itching like crazy.  I tried cream, but it wasn't helping.  On Thursday, I went down to Dallas and everyone informed me that I had indeed gotten poison ivy.  By this point, my arm was a little swollen, the rash was spreading, and I was miserable (or what I thought was miserable before the next week taught me what misery really was).  

I started trying to keep the itching under control by using Calamine lotion, Caladryl lotion because it's clear and you don't look like a freak (but it doesn't work as well), baking soda and vinegar shower rub, and Hydrocortisone Cream.  They all seemed to help for a bit, but I wasn't sleeping at night for more than a few hours and I was miserable during the day.  I stuck it out for a few more days until I realized it was spreading far beyond my arms.  I went to the urgent care and he gave me a stronger hydrocortisone cream.  Everyday, it inched farther.  It started crawling up my arms to my neck, across my face, surrounding my ears.   It skipped most of my stomach, oddly enough, and started with dots scattered down my legs.  And finally, it reached my toes, including in between them, which was super uncomfortable.  After using the cream for a few days, I realized that I was allergic to the cream and my arms were completely covered in hives and swollen so much that my pores were leaking fluid.  It was SO uncomfortable.  I finally went to another urgent care and got a shot and some steroid pills.  Thankfully, this did the trick and within 24 hours I was itching much less.  It still took about another week and a half for the rash to subside enough that I didn't look gross, and sadly the pills gave me insomnia so I didn't sleep well for over three weeks.  So now I just need to obliterate the stupid plants and I can move on with life. 

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