Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My Current Epidermis Situation

It's been a tough 17 days around here. I'm still covered with poison ivy and today I'm venting. 

Last Thursday I saw some improvement and then woke up to a new type of rash on Friday. Seems to be the first round is where the poison ivy came into contact with my skin. That's doing better. The second round is where the oil had spread through my pores. It's everywhere. EVERYWHERE. 

For 17 days I have not shaved, worn make-up, worn a bra, worn non-elasticized pants, or even had a glass of wine. Literally and physically - it's hairy around here. 

I've tapered down to the lowest level of steroids, which is better because the steroids? They make-a-me crazy. I will say, on the worst afternoon of my steroid-induced-craziness I managed to order drapes for the family room, sign the kids up for swim lessons, and line up a new babysitter for a night out next week. I was bout it bout it and on a mission to get stuff done. 

I'm amazed at how powerful this stuff is. I came into contact with it 17 days ago and I'm still itching and burning like crazy. I'm scarred for life of the outdoors. Trimming shrubs and gardening was my thing. Now it's tough to step in the grass. I'm thinking potted silk flowers will look great on the front porch this summer. A little girl tried handing me a green leaf the other day at the bus stop, pushing it into my hand, and I jumped. Yesterday I ordered Ivy Block and special poison ivy soap just to keep on hand in case I feel like wandering outdoors again.  

Good news though, the rash doesn't look as red this morning so I'm hopeful that I'm getting somewhere. It's gotta end sometime, right?


This is where you tell me that your cousin's cousin had a really bad case of poison ivy and that it lasted exactly 17 days and on that 17th day at precisely 3:37 in the afternoon it magically disappeared. Poof. Gone. She was able to shave the next day, enjoy a glass of wine, and not go to bed covered in ointments and ice packs. 

Have a nice day. 

10 Responses to “My Current Epidermis Situation”

  1. Oh my! I can't believe you STILL have this!!? Any wives tales about how to make it go away faster than the steroids?? Like take a bath in baking soda or something!?

    Your silk flower comment made me laugh...my mom DOES this. The crazy thing is, it is REALLY hard to tell. We tease her all the time, because it SOUNDS SO CHEESY, but she gets great quality ones, and you seriously have to touch them to figure it out. She mixes them in with real ones too, and she even puts them out at the "right" time for each "bulb" to be sprouting. It's insane, but on holidays we do take bets on "fake" or "real" and then go touch it to determine the winner.

  2. Thanks for commenting Erica!

    I've tried everything - baking soda worked in the early stages. Oatmeal baths. Calomine lotion. Benadryl spray. Ice. Heat. Two different ointments prescribed by the doctor. The kid's excema lotion...

    I think I'm just severely allergic to it. And it didn't help that we had no idea that we had gotten into it - so instead of washing our skin with cold water and soap immediately (that's what you're supposed to do), I took a nice hot shower after doing yard work which opens your pores and lets the oils spread. Plus all the oil that was spread from our clothes, shoes, etc. that we touched that day. Needless to say I've done a million loads of laundry and sanitized the house like a crazy person.

    Today has been better though - so I think I'm on my way!

    That's so funny about the silk flowers! I love how she's so tedious about it! I'll have to take lessons from her!

  3. Anonymous4:16 PM

    that is a huge bummer. Can't you take some medicine every day so if it happens again you won't break out so badly?


  4. I don't think there is a medicine like that. And besides, I don't like taking medicines. I think the answer, like my doctor said, is that I now have a life long pass from yard work.

  5. Kristin9:39 PM

    I trimmed bushes this weekend and thought of you...

  6. You're breaking my heart Kristin...

  7. I feel for you! Poison ivy is the worst and I get it like you do. One time it even got infected so it was all the misery of poison ivy combined with the disgustingness of an oozing infection. If it makes you feel any better (it probably won't) I worked as a landscaper one summer and pretty much had poison ivy for the entire summer. Ever since then my poison ivy attacks seem to be more mild. I swear I built up a poison ivy tolerance. Maybe this huge attack will do the same!


  8. Thanks Ari! Yikes! I can't even imagine it getting infected - that must have been horrible! You're a stronger person than I am - It's going to be awhile before I get back into the outdoors. Bad news for Justin, we never finished doing all the other trimming that needs to be done around the house.

    Sounds like a cute yard boy is the answer to the problems!

  9. The summer we moved into our house, I was doing some much needed yardwork and didn't realized that the vine growing up the tree was poison ivy. I pulled it down with my gloved hand, but I had on a short sleeved shirt and shorts...needless to say, I got it bad...very swollen and horribly itchy. I don't remember it taking so long to heal...and I've had it since in milder forms (like Ari was mentioning). My cats will have walked through some and then hop on my lap and the next thing I know, I've got it again.

    What I do, which after reading what you said about hot showers, I probably shouldn't do...I scorch the area with extremely hot water. The infected area will get soooo itchy for the few seconds until you can start to feel the burn of the hot water. But then the itchiness is subsided for quite some time. Each time the areas start making me crazy again with itchiness, I do it again. It really made it so much more tolerable. I know, it's weird, but it works for me.

    BTW, I'd love to see just how bad your P.I. was...pics?

    Here's Jerome one year:

  10. In the early stages I did the same with the hot water. For the second rash that came, hot water felt horrible on it.

    I checked out Jerome's picks - he did have it pretty bad. I had some areas that looked like your typical PI - the blisters, the redness, and the streaking, but what caused the doctor to back away and call it "severe" was my arm that had the "black oil" spots on it. It was just a continuous band of red that covered from my elbow up to and around my bicep. It later moved up to my shoulder and down into my armpit and down my side. Now I have welts around all the places that I had it bad in addition to new spots. It's looking better, but there's no way I can post pics. Jerome looked like nothing compared to what I have going on here. :)



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