I remember running through the woods playing Hide and Seek night after night. The joys and thrills of my youth relived moment by moment. The poison ivy that I got was a medal of the courage that I had shown in hiding in the best spots.
Being hid in those undetectable spots, totally secluded from the peering eyes of the hunters, I came out victorious time after time. While I may have been victorious in my hiding, I could never hide from the effects of those long moments of seclusion. Each summer, it was a given that I would get poison ivy at least two times. The screams and demands of my dad to stay away from these areas was met on deaf ears. That is until the itching and blistering of the poison ivy would grab ahold of me and keep me up throughout the night.
These nights led to days covered in pink lotion, and quick scratching when my dad wasn’t watching led to more pain in the evening hours. The mere sensation of the sheet lying against my skin would send me in frenzy. Once he let grandmom in on the situation, well, all I can say is that every home remedy in the mind came to the table. She had a way to deal with the scratching, the drying, the spreading and yes, even in the lectures about how to stay away from it. I was told many times if it has leaves such as 3 let it Be and 5 it can stay alive.
Some of these remedies included:
Oatmeal and Salt Bath- Dries out the open wounds and seals the remaining- supposedly helps to make it go away faster. I am not sure about that but it could possibly be true and that my repeated ignoring of the rules caused me to get it again as fast as the first case went away.
2 Cup Oatmeal
1 Cup of Epson Salt
Pour the oatmeal and salt into a bath running warm water.
Mix the water, salt and oats thoroughly to ensure they dissolve as much as they can.
Allow the bath water to cool.
Get in and soak, using a cup be sure to lightly pour the oatmeal water over your arms, chest and back.
While I suppose her remedies worked much better than the warnings to stay away from the three and let it be areas, I wouldn’t trade a moment of the pain for the glory I had in those summer days and nights.