Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Poison Ivy

This isn't the same house referenced below, but the brush was just as bad as or worse than this.
Actually, this house is near Antioch, not terribly far from where the incident below occurred.

For several days now I’ve been in denial about the fact that I have poison ivy.

Does one actually have poison ivy or is it more appropriate to say that one has contracted  a rash due to poison ivy or is one simply allergic to poison ivy and is this as painful to read as it is to scratch write?

The fact of the matter is, up until now I could wallow in poison ivy and never feel any effects.  Chesapeake Bay Son?  If he so much as looks at it, or someone utters the words poison or ivy he’s broken out for weeks, in agony. It’s terrible.

(Around here we pronounce that last word TERR-rhymes with her-uh-bull.)

But I grew up here in the country, spent years, days and hours on end wandering around in all manner of weeds, tall grass and woods and never once was sensitive to it.

Well, OK, maybe once. 

Here recently after messing around with some clippers in an area that I know is rife with poison ivy, one small bump appeared on my ankle. I pointed, ridiculed and laughed at it, and away it went.  The End.

But last week something happened.  Something I was hoping to avoid telling.  Something I wasn’t exactly going to share with anyone, much less the internetz since it may or may not have involved me setting foot on property that is not public. Just for a minute.

I was jogging down my favorite jogging road, which for purposes of this story shall remain nameless even though I’ve named it millions of times before

Anyway, I got to thinking about this magnolia tree which stands in the middle of the woods close to the road.  I thought how oddly situated it is amid so many pine trees and then got to thinking how usually magnolia trees are planted purposefully in people’s yards (unlike pine trees which grow in my some people's gutters).

Perhaps this tree was marking the site of an old house.

So I slowed down from a jog to a walk and peered into the woods near the magnolia.  (Anything to take a break.)

Lo and behold, I saw an old house sitting way back off the road, hiding in a very dense thicket.

Knowing no cars would be along ever for some time, I hopped across the Grand Canyon cavernous ditch and scampered back into the woods. There was lots of waist-high brush everywhere (and I was wearing shorts) but I didn’t pay it any mind. I was dead set on two things: escaping the ferocious winged monkeys known as Mathews Mosquitoes that had suddenly descended out of nowhere now that I was in the woods; and getting a closer look at that house.

Well, the mosquitoes were so bad I couldn’t open my mouth without ten flying inside focus on the house, although the little bit I saw looked charming. After trudging several hundred miles yards through dense jungle brush, swatting at winged monkeys mosquitoes the whole time, I turned around and headed back to the safety of the road, already scratching at the damage done by those mutant insects.

By the way, today, when I asked how things were down Bavon, my high school classmate Johnny Pugh replied that the mosquitoes down that end of the county were "taking off and landin' like jet planes." Bavon is Mosquito Hell Heaven, but I think these woods I was in could give even Bavon a run for its money. Regardless what part of the county we’re talking about, we grow insects big—monstrously big-- here in Mathews.

Finally I made my way back to the main road and resumed my run, swatting at real or perceived mosquitoes or anything that made a buzzing sound inside around my head. I drove home and thought nothing more of the incident.

Several days later, I started itching.  Bad.  And then the rash appeared. 

I either have poison ivy or the beginnings of malaria, or possibly West Nile Virus.  Either/or, take your pick.

Rest assured it will be a cold day in hell Mosquito Heaven before I venture into those woods again.

The End.

This isn't poison ivy. But just pretend that it is. Also pretend there are mosquitoes the size of bald eagles descending so thick you can't even see this window. Then wonder if the rash you have is caused by poison ivy, which you've never had, or malaria, which you probably do have based on exposure to unusually large, unusually dense, mutant mosquitoes.


Kay L. Davies said...

Mosquitos don't like me. They love my husband but ignore me. I think I had one bite this year, but I could have been mistaken.
However, when I was walking the dog tonight, I swallowed (I swear) several insects, maybe more than several. I was breathing through my mouth because I hate having insects in my nose.
I'm afraid I wouldn't know poison ivy if I saw it. I really should look it up.
But I'm ever so very sorry you're rashing and itching. It sounds absolutely grim. I'm not going to complain any more about the bumps (not itchy) on my forearms caused by my allergy to sunshine.
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Annie said...

Oooh, that's not nice. In fact it sounds downright nasty. Take care!

Maria_NJ said...

so when are you going to the doctors?...

when I had Ehrlichiosis from the tick bite, that is how I started with a rash and itching on my stomach, I then got very lethargic and tired...please if you don't feel well get some advice...

BTW, I am like CBS, I cannot even look at poison ivy w/o getting it, the husband could rub it all over his body and!!!

Mental P Mama said...

I just returned from walking the dog this morning. And I have 5 new mosquito bites. I think we should take the rest of the week off. Wait. I already am!

Ann Marie said...

as always if you want to see what the inside of that place looks like let me know lol..

Jamie said...

My guess is that you were probably sweating from your jog. If so, your pores would have been open and more receptive to the oils from the poison. Also, if the amount of the poison is about 10% of your body area (could cover the palm of your hand) then you should see your doctor. I'm not a doctor but I pretend to be one by diagnosing people on the internet. I think one day when I'm down, we need to check out some of these places. I love exploring.

thomas said...

Try Zanfel , a over the counter product. It works for us in W. Pa.

Linda said...

Poison Ivy Queen here. Wash EVERYTHING you were wearing; hairband, sunglasses, shoes and laces. Especially your shoes and shoe LACES, your purse, iPod, the seat in your car could be contaminated too. The oil from the poison ivy can stay on unwashed clothing (shoe laces) for years and continue to recontaminate you and yours. Dawn dish soap works well if you can't find poison ivy soap.
I have found Band Aid Anti-Itch Gel or Benedryl Gel to work well along with a antihistamine if the itching gets out of control.
Good luck!

Daryl said...

Calamine lotion does nothing .. get thee to a drug or health food store and buy some Aveeno with 1% hydrocortisone .. you will thank me.

growing wild on waverly lane said...

Whatever you do don't scratch it. I've got spray that works. And a happy 48th wedding anniversary to me. Visit my blog for details. Mum

Dghawk4 said...

Whew! I was beginning to think all the mosquitos in the state of Virginia had moved to New kent County! I can't walk out my door without being attacked.

Sorry about the poison ivy. It likes me, too.

Got any chiggers? If not, I'll gladly send you a few. I hear they like to run with the mosquitos.

Now I'm itching again!

fighting mermaid said...

My sympathies for your poison ivy. I insisted on saving a sassafrass tree earlier in the summer and could have bought a truckload of em in what David and I lost in copays, prescriptions and missed work. Tecnu works with poison ivy if you catch it quickly, but like you I had the delayed reaction. I actually laughed and boasted about not getting it for two whole days while D suffered. I got the more karmic version which I think is far worse.
Our mosquitos look more like bats. They are a new breed that itch more than the old ones did. I think they flew in with Irene by way of the Amazon (wholly unscientific).

Meg McCormick said...

My husband is like you (were) - he was the kid who always had to go retrieve the ball from the weeds, so immune was he to poison ivy.

One of my kids contracted a mild case of it at the end of August - I was surprised to learn that the drug stores don't even really sell that pink stuff anymore, but instead what seem to be a variety of colorless sprays and lotions that have a nicer consistency and go on CLEAR, so as not to scream "I HAVE POISON IVY!" at anyone who sees your rash.