I was in my mid 40s before I had a personal encounter with poison ivy. Just remembering the incident causes me to itch. My family had decided one afternoon to visit Carvins Cove. This is a local reservoir where there is fishing, hiking trails, and a picnic area..
We were walking along one of the trails when we noticed that it had become eerily silent. We also observed several larg piles of feces on the ground. Considering that we were a long way from the parking area, and it was almost dusk, we decided to head back to the car and go home.
We had seen no other vehicles, so when we heard sounds not far from us, we perceived it not to be humans, but an animal. One of the children pointed out that the huge droppings on the ground were too large for a deer, and might indicate the presence of bears. We picked up our speed, made it back to the parking lot, and soon were home.
The next day, my arms were red with lumpy bumps and were itching. I had not seen any poison ivy along th trail, but I knew this is what plagued me. I was annoyed that neither my wife our 3 children or our daughter’s friend who went along had been affected.
I was miserable, and very irritable. From my elbows to my wrists, both arms were inflamed. I soaked in the tub, and applied cortisone cream to stop the itch. It did not work. I applied baby powder, and that did not make a difference either. The itching and burning were maddening.
My wife went to several stores before she could find calamine lotion. I hated using it because it left my arms pink, and got on my clothing. I also had to wash my hands over and over for the next few days. My wife told me an antihistamine would also help with the itching. She bought the CVS brand of Benedryl and it did make a bit of a difference..
I advise everyone who is going hiking or camping to do four things. First familairze yourself with poson ivy, so you will recognize it. Second, please pay extra attention to your surroundings, especially if you are hiking or camping. Not one us remembers seeing this plant but it is obvious I made contact with it. Be careful what you touch, and 4th, please wash hands and arms as soon as possible after being in a wooded area.