The summer of 1989 was probably the worst summer of my life! I was 13, and that was summer I contracted my first case of poison ivy. Being that I was a pretty active child, it is nearly impossible to tell exactly where I came in contact with it. I was always outside playing or riding my bike around the neighborhood. One thing is for certain though, I DID come in contact with it, and I spent the next month treating it.
If my memory serves me right, it started as a little rash in the bend of my arm. In the beginning my mother brushed off as heat rash, told me to take a cool bath, and put a little baby powder on it. However, as the next couple of days went by, that tiny rash progressed into, what I would describe as hives, and spread across my entire body. And it itched, oh how it itched.
Once things started to progress, my mother treated it with the normal over the counter remedies, cold compresses, calamine lotion, and a some hydrocortisone cream. The problem was that, what was once a small rash, had not only progressed into creeping hives, it was now developing into weeping blisters. These blisters were EVERYWHERE! In between my fingers, up and down my arms, on my face, inside of my ears and nose. They would pop and ooze, then scab over. It was horrible. I looked as though I was deformed. This was when my mother decided it was time to take me to the emergency room.
When the ER physicians saw me, he said it was one of the worst cases he had ever seen and that I must be HIGHLY allergic to it. He then prescribed that I receive an injection of which I do not remember and take prednisone to heal up my symptoms. I was so thankful that within a couple days the poison Ivy was all but gone, but I will never forget that experience. Now I am much more conscientious about where I am at, and what is around me, when it comes to being outdoors because I NEVER want to suffer that again.