Thursday, June 12, 2014

Dreadful, Despicable and Downright Disagreeable

Sometime in the first few days of June, I took it upon myself to clear out some vines that were taking over a portion of our backyard fence. I had just bought a pair of garden loppers and was anxious to try them out on the various vines and limbs that were beginning to irritate me.

So, whack whack whack, off with the vine on the fence! Snip snip snip on some small tree limbs hanging where they shouldn't be. Stuff it all into a trash can to be hauled away by the garbage guys.

I didn't work long, probably about 15 minutes -- I am not a gardener and don't enjoy that sort of thing (although, I secretly wish I did... 'cause looking at the gorgeous flowers grown by fellow bloggers make me want to see if my black thumb would turn green...) Anyway, I went inside and considered that enough yard work for the day.

Fast forward a few days -- I wake up with a couple of raised red bumps that I thought were bug bites of some kind.... then the next morning there were more and I was getting creeped out. Off go the sheets! No bugs in sight. I vacuum around the baseboards and tell hubby I want him to spray.

Next day, more bumps. And the next. They're getting bigger. I'm freaking out! I had been using Cortizone 10 that I had on hand but needed more so when we went to Target for a few things, I showed the pharmacist the bumps and asked about something to use on them for itching. She asked if I had been working in the yard recently, because it looked like poison ivy!

Smack me upside the head! I hadn't thought of poison ivy -- only being bombarded by some creepy crawly! I was actually relieved that it was only poison ivy....

"Leaves of three, let them be"
Poison ivy even has its own special poetry

Only poison ivy....  HA!!  I'm about a week and a half into this now, and believe me, you don't want this horrible stuff. The cortizone keeps the itchiness down but there are a few places that seem to itch all the time and when the stuff wears off.... OMG!!!  Sometimes I phantom scratch.... hubby calls it "air scratching" LOL!

It's growing up the tree

I turned to my pal Mr. Google and found out all manner of things I didn't want to know... I confirmed that the vine was, in fact, poison ivy. I won't show you pics of my arms and legs lest you run away screaming in fear and disgust but suffice it to say that I did see photos of other arms and legs that looked just like mine -- and lots than were worse -- I'm the one running away in fear and disgust now!!

Way up the tree

all the way up that tree...
I swear I have never seen this stuff on the fence before now 
so apparently it's pretty fast growing.

I also learned that the urushiol oil from poison ivy (the stuff that causes the breakout) stays potent, essentially FOREVER unless deactivated!! You not only have to wash it off your body, you have to wash your clothes and garden tools too. An allergic reaction is possible for a year or more if the clothes were never washed. Can you imagine?!

"Side leaflets like mittens will itch like the dickens"
(Another little poison ivy rhyme)
Do you see the mittens?

I started thinking back and knew which shorts I had on (yeah, I know -- shorts and gardening don't mix, but it was on an impulse) and I hadn't washed them but had worn them again. Hubby calls them my "uniform" since I typically wear them a few times before washing. (Oh, quit it, you know you do the same thing...) I'm thinking, well the rash on one of my legs right at shorts level was spreading -- could this possibly be because of the shorts??

So I started washing -- hot water, hot dryer. I've washed those shorts and my gardening gloves four times now. I've also washed the sheets, just in case, although it can't be spread by anything except direct contact with the vine. So my shorts can be a carrier of the oil, but not my sheets. But I still feel better washing them. I even washed every t-shirt I own as an added precaution!
Hot hot water.

Yikes! I found some by the shed....
But I also found a homemade concoction made of Dawn dish washing liquid, vinegar and Epson salts that's supposed to get rid of it without the harsh chemicals of the store-bought stuff.
We'll see what happens, if it ever stops raining...

And we won't even speak about how much I'm itching.... and itching.... and still itching....

And so I will leave you with something much less itchy and awful...

Do you remember this little ditty? From The Coasters, recorded in 1959.

Measles make you bumpy
And mumps'll make you lumpy
And chicken pox'll make you jump and twitch

A common cold'll fool ya
And whooping cough can cool ya
But poison ivy, Lord'll make you itch

~ sharing this despicable plant over at AlphabeThursday where we are studying the letter D
Don't get too close to your monitor, or you may be next!!



Duni said...

I'm so sorry this happened, Sarah! I've never come in contact with poison ivy before, but after reading this I'll be taking extra care.
Hope the itching stops soon!!!

Paige @ Little Nostalgia said...

Oh man! I'm sorry it got you! And I'm glad you shared all of those pictures because I forgot what exactly it looked like. I'm going to go make sure we don't have any in OUR yard. Gaaaah!

Anonymous said...

Oh, no!! That's awful! I think I'm starting to itch ...

Natashalh said...

I am so aware of poison ivy because I'm really allergic. I react to it about as strongly as a person can without going into shock. It may be a little late in the game now, but if you go to the doctor sometimes they can help with steroid shots/creams/pills. Also, if you ever touch it accidentally and realize it promptly, there's an amazing product called Tecnu that gets the oils off your skin.

carol l mckenna said...

Sending you lots of healing hugs ~ I have more poison ivy this year than any previously ~ Great pics ~ Be well ~ xoxo

artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

Cristina Pop said...

Oh! That`s awful! I didn`t know how poison ivy looked like, but now I know from what to stay away!

Julie said...

That is awful! I had no idea poison ivy worked that way... not sure what I thought, but not that. Good to know both what to look for and the need to get rid of the oil from clothes and tools.

I hope your itching goes away as soon as possible!

Peggy Kirsch said...

Holy cow! That's a lot of poison ivy!! I've never had a reaction to it...but, come to think of it...I'm starting to ITCH!

Grantham Lynn said...

I'm sorry I giggled at the title. But so sorry for all your trouble. My brother was allergic to poison ivy. We had it all over our property growing up. I was a nightmare to get rid of but we had to! Great post!
Have a good Friday,

Grantham Lynn said...

I am sorry I forget to tell you thank you for coming by my Letter D. post!

Grantham Lynn said...

I am sorry I forget to tell you thank you for coming by my Letter D. post!

Kc W said...

Oh you poor thing. I have never had poison ivy but I remember my cousin having it really bad in boy scouts. He bathed in calamine for at least a week! So sorry you are itchy and twitchy!

storybeader said...

so sorry you got into it! I'm still cutting up the branches that came down from over the house. I have an annoying vine on my fence (forget what it's called at the moment) and I'm always cutting it back, keeping it away from my trees and bushes. Hope the itching goes away soon. {:-D

Anonymous said...

Feel for you - and there's so much of it in your yard -thanks for showing the pics (the leaves look so innocent:( )
Hope that itch will soon go away!

Jenny said...

Some people have shots to calm it down. Oh, my! xo Jenny

Memories for Life said...

That's such a bummer! Poison ivy is no fun! For some reason I always thought it had red on it somewhere. This plant looks so innocent. I'll keep my eyes open for sure!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

yikes! that doesn't sound like much fun.

Splendid Little Stars said...

definitely despicable!
absolutely despicable!
My daughter acquired a backyard FULL of poison ivy. Up the trees it grew. (no longer, after 2 years of efforts by her, her husband, my hubby) It still grows in the yard, though.
Poison ivy has a hairy vine when it grows up trees--another way to identify it.
I hope your itching will soon be at an end!

pasqueflower said...

So sorry about your itching!!

And I DO remember that Coasters song!! It started running through my head as soon as I started reading your post....and then there it was, at the bottom of the post!! Ha!

Melissa at said...

How awful! I got poison oak once but I've never had poison ivy. I hope it goes away for good soon!

Esther Joy said...

The only time I think poison ivy is beautiful is in the fall when it's leaves turn brilliant red. Of course, I only like it from a distance, though! Hope your discomfort goes away quickly!

Sue said...

Poison ivy (and oak, too) is miserable! My hubby always soaks his clothes in Technu, and his body, too.


Jenny said...

At least poison ivy doesn't grow in the desert!

Definitely not a delightful plant!

That Coaster song always makes me laugh!

Thanks for a dandy link to the letter D.



Related Posts with Thumbnails