Having grown up in the Pacific Northwest, I am quite familiar with poison ivy and the affect that it has on the body; though I will say, I never experienced it personally until just a month or so ago.
The house I had been renting for some time had been sold by the owner and I had to look for a new place to live. The places I found to rent were either beyond my budget, section eight housing for which I didn’t qualify, or places that wouldn’t allow me to keep my dog.
To allow me more time to find a place that would suit my needs and likes, I purchased an inexpensive motor – home and moved it on the property of one of my sons. He owns several acres, so I could be far enough away, and still allow them their privacy.
The site that my son had picked for me was beautiful. From every window of my motor – home I had a fantastic view. I was excited. It was almost like camping at its best, and it never had to end. The only down – side to the site was, the ground all around the motor – home was covered in weeds, and had to be cleared away. I didn’t mind; it gave me something to do on my down time.
Next morning I went to work clearing the weeds away. I had been working for some time when I began to itch. For some reason I didn’t pay attention, and just continued to work. About an hour later, when I couldn’t stand it any longer, I went inside to check myself out. My arms from wrist to elbow, and the sides of my face and neck were on fire and I had to find out what the problem was.
To make a long story short, some of the weeds I had been pulling were poison ivy. It had got on my face and neck when I used my gloved hands to brush the hair out of my face when working.
I knew what I was in for. I had seen my dad suffer with it off and on for many years, so the first thing I did was take a long, hot bath, which gave a lot of relief to my ever intensifying itch. As the itching started again, out came the little welts on my arms that would soon be blisters.
I couldn’t rest, and I couldn’t sleep because of the itching. When my itching first began I put some Calamine lotion, and it helped for a while, but I really needed to get some sleep. What I decided to do; and I’m not sure if it was the right thing to do, was the same thing I do when I get a sunburn; I got out my aloe vera gel with lidocaine. Heavens! It started to give relief almost instantly, and I got a decent night’s sleep. It gave me enough relief that I didn’t have to scratch my itching, and I could let my rash run its course.
Clearly, my one time experience with poison ivy gave me the ultimate itch. I have never itched so bad in all my life; and I hope to never have that experience again. If I do; out comes the aloe vera gel with lidocaine. It may not have saved my life, but it certainly did my sanity.