I think, like most kids, I was told about poison ivy, what it was, what to look out for, but how much attention had I really paid this very important lesson? It seems enough, but apparently my friend had not because here they are with a case of it that is driving us wild. Let’s be clear, not all cases of poison ivy are the same and not all remedies work the same for everyone so plan on spending a few bucks and ending up with a cabinet full of solutions that, hopefully, you won’t need again.
My experience with poison ivy came when my best friend had this horrible case of poison ivy which I thankfully avoided. We had been playing together, running around playing army or whatever game we had conjured up when we decided that catching spiders would be a great idea. Off we went to get a couple of moms mason jars with the lids and we set off for the hedges where we knew there would be some awesome webs with nice size spiders to catch.
We were in luck and found a spider or two, but when Bill had a spider in his jar, he nervously tried to put the lid on to quickly and part of it fell into the hedges. If you know anything about mason jars, the lid consists of two parts and it was the solid piece that had fallen. Scared that the spider would crawl out a bite him, Bill hurriedly scrambled for the missing piece. He set the jar down and using both hands went in up to his elbows moving about the hedges trying to find the lid. Mission accomplished, with the lid on the jar and spider in hand Bill carried a big smile as well as a big spider off to sit and watch it squirm.
It would be about five or six days later when we would notice these small bumps on his arms, not knowing what they were he would occasionally complain that they itched and of course he would scratch them. It would not be long before this had spread all over is forearms . Although I had not touched the poison ivy it was as if I had because we spent all of our time together and it was a terrible experience watching him go through this and seeing what this can do to you.
His mom would try things like putting bleach on the really itchy spots which sounded painful but did not seem to bother Bill too much, but it did not bring enough relief so he had his mom get some cortisone cream, which he would apply carefully on the blisters trying to keep it on only the blisters and not the rest of his skin. He would not sleep much because of the pain these blisters caused and described them as “pin pricks” of pain.
Eventually, his mom had to take him to the doctors where they gave him a shot of prednisone, and he also got a prescription which had worked for other kids his mom had heard about from her friends. The pills, bleach and calamine lotion would not be an easy treatment, but one that eventually worked after a four time a day regimen. It was terrible watching my friend who I missed playing with go through this horrible experience and I will tell you that I had learned an important lesson as did he and we would take the time to study up and be much more aware of what this poison ivy looked like and would keep as far away from it as we could.
You can bet that we checked out any hedges that we would even think of playing in before ever we would go near them. To this day I remain poison ivy free and make sure my kids are educated about it and know of my best friends terrible experience.