Poison ivy? Don’t scratch!

Published 2:45 pm Tuesday, October 13, 2020

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I was minding my own business, watching a little HGTV, when I began to feel itchy. I went in the other room to investigate since Melinda and Ryan were sitting nearby. I noticed a little red spot on my arm, but my skin is easily irritated so I didn’t think much about it. It looked pretty odd and sort of bubbled up. I wondered if a bug had bit me, and I scratched and scratched at it. That was very unladylike, I know, and my Aunt Sarah Lee would definitely not have approved, but I couldn’t seem to help it — the urge was so intense.

A few days later, things had gone from bad to worse, and I wondered why I had waited so long to see a doctor. As I sat in the office waiting to have my turn, my entire body felt like it was on fire! I tried not to squirm in my seat, but the itching was almost unbearable. Not since I was a very young child tramping through the woods while playing have I felt such fierce itching, and I seriously hope and pray to never feel it again.

Fortunately for me, a few moments later I was on my way to the pharmacy for strong topical medication. What I had been using seemed like fertilizer to the ugly rash, and I try to avoid steroid shots if I can, so I religiously used that cream. I also, as the old song says, probably swam in an entire ocean of Calamine lotion! I remember it being really thick back in the day, but FYI it’s watered down a lot now. At least, it still seems to still do the trick.

Now, a few days later, I’m so relieved to be on the mend, but I think poison ivy can be a lot like childbirth. When it’s all over one tends to forget the extreme duress involved, so I’m taking action just in case I forget how dreadful this experience was. The fence crew is in the yard right now to prove it.

At first, I could not imagine where I picked up poison ivy, but I think it happened this way. My sweet little dachshund, Missy, and I went into the backyard for a few minutes without her leash the other day. My first mistake was thinking she would obediently listen to me and stay in our yard. She looked at me with those mischievous, sparkling eyes as if to say, Watch this, and ran into the woods behind the house with me in hot pursuit. This was the beginning of my not so excellent adventure.

This calamity is almost a thing of the past, and I am well on my way to a nice backyard area where I can relax and let Missy run around and play. It’s a little difficult to look for a silver lining when it comes to poison ivy, but I’m giving it my best shot!

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at lilsisjan@yahoo.com.