Wife: Could you clear out the poison ivy in the back yard?
Husband: Of course! I’m not sensitive to it, so it’s no problem.
Wife [thinking]: He wasn’t sensitive to it 20 years ago - he might be sensitive to it now. He should be careful just in case. But I won’t tell him that - he wouldn’t listen anyway.
Husband: Zounds! I have a rash. But it couldn’t be poison ivy - I’m not sensitive to it.
Wife: I think it’s poison ivy.
Husband: I think it’s poison ivy. How is that possible?! I know, the tree trimmings scratched my normally impervious skin, letting the poison ivy in.
Wife: I think you just lost your resistance to it over time. I thought about warning you, but I figured you wouldn’t listen to me anyway.
Husband: Yeah, I wouldn’t have listened to you anyway.
Wife: It’s looking worse - maybe you should go to the doctor.
Husband: I’ll be fine.
Husband: The guys at work say you can lose your resistance to poison ivy over time - that must be what happened.
Wife: :smack: It’s looking even worse, and you’re scratching till you bleed. Why not call the doctor?
Husband: They’ll just tell me to try not to scratch and wait for it to go away.
Husband: I can’t sleep and when I walk down the street women and children run screaming, “Dear God, what is that crusty, oozy, inflamed thing?!” What’s the doctor’s number?
(I do feel very grateful and very sorry for him. I wish I’d nagged him to be careful even if he agrees he would have ignored me. Hopefully the doc will fix him up today.)
My SO, a woman BTW, was pretty bad about not putting on sunscreen or bug spray then getting sunburned or bug bit then bitching about it. I used to warn her, often to no avail. Now I just declare “I DO NOT want to hear you bitching about being burned or bitten later” (and I mean it too). Compliance levels have gone way up lately.
And oh yeah, hubby better be careful in the future as he could be pretty sensitized to it now. And for gods sake never let him (or anybody for that matter) BURN poison ivy. I hear the smokey fumes can be much, much worse, even to the point of being life threatening.
Is this play going to be made into a musical? Or perhaps a made for TV drama?
I helped weed-whack at the local community pool when my daughter’s swim team made the finals. It was a hot, humid day. I showed up with long sleeve shirt, long pants, gloves, and face shield. Other dads wore banana hammock type swim suits, claiming that the chlorine would wash off anything from their skin.
Fast forward one week. I’m occasionally scratching at a small lesion on my wrist. Three other dads have spent time in the hospital and are still miserable.
Sorry, my own play was in previews long before yours went into production.
I’ve just come off of a wicked case of poison ivy. Actually, I HOPE it was poison ivy, because if it wasn’t…
Anyway, like a moron I declined treatment for a few days until it got really bad. Then I was put on prednisone, which took care of it remarkably quickly. What really sucked is that I had to work several days at the height of the infection, in hot / humid weather. Truly hell on earth.
The only way I could sleep was to take a scalding hot shower before bed time. Aim the water, as hot as you can stand it, at the rash. It burns with the heat of 1000 suns for a few seconds, then numbs. Something about the histimines in the skin discharging themselves. Painful, but it works.
The doctors said he wins the prize for worst case they’ve seen this year! They gave him a shot, plus oral medication - I’m guessing prednisone (he’s terrible at remembering drug names), topical cream, and a bandage for the worst bit on his arm.
The doctor also said if he’d encountered it before, and not had a reaction, it was most likely luck (didn’t get much oil on him somehow) rather than lack of sensitivity.
Best part - he told his mom about all this, and she was like, “What are you talking about - you’ve never been immune to poison ivy. Remember that horrible case you had when you were 8?” And once she said that, he did remember.
The worst poison ivy infection I ever got was when I helped my dad cut back an enormous bush behind his office building. Even though it had the infamous grouping of 3 leaves, we didn’t think there was any possible way poison ivy could grow that big.
What’s amazing to me is how the condition keeps getting worse, even though the oils were washed off days ago. The doctor told him that some molecules can get into your bloodstream or something? (I apologize for my vagueness - it was something the doctor told him, that he told me on the phone, while both of us were going through drive-throughs and ordering lunch, so clarity of transmission was not great.) That is just terrifying!
Back in high school, I had a friend who was seemingly immune to poison ivy. I remember a day when he and I took our girl friends to a local park; he spotted some poison ivy and decided to prove he was immune. He grabbed a bit of it and rubbed the leaves over his hands and forearms. He didn’t break out but a couple of days later, his girl friend did and in some of the least likely places. Her mother professed to being baffled as to how darling daughter managed to become infected “in those places.”
Poison ivy is an allergic reaction, not an infection (though the skin can subsequently get infected due to open sores). Cite.
Nobody has a reaction to urushiol (the irritating sap present in poison ivy) the first time they are exposed to it, because the immune system has to be primed first to build up a defense reaction to the allergen. If someone only has light or moderate exposure to urushiol, they may be able to encounter it several times before getting a noticeable reaction.
What this means is that every time you encounter poison ivy, any reaction is going to be at least as bad and likely worse than the previous time.
Anybody who intentionally exposes themselves to poison ivy is an idiot. They’re needlessly sensitizing their skin to the allergen and guaranteeing a future reaction.
This. Method. Works. I’m super, super allergic to poison oak and have gotten it more times than I can remember. Tecnu does nothing for me, although I have had success with the Zanfel that pudytat72 recommended. However, I have had the greatest success with the hot water treatment Mach Tuck recommends. Only I don’t think it’s painful at all…in fact I find it unbelievably pleasurable. It’s like giving the rash the deepest and most substantial scratching you can imagine. It’s great. The wildland firefighters who turned me on to this method used to call it oakgasm which isn’t that far from the truth.