Monday, November 19, 2007

Just A Friendly Reminder That Mother Nature Can Still Kick Your Ass

"My girlfriend and I went on a picnic. I don't know how she did it, but she got poison oak on the brain. When it itched, the only way she could scratch it was to think about sandpaper." --Stephen Wright

One of my first blog posts ever was about a run-in I had with poison ivy. I have been lucky that I have gone almost three years since being afflicted, but my luck ran out a couple of weeks ago when I must have touched some while cutting down a few dead trees on my property. Below is a picture of what my forearm looks like now, 12 days after first noticing the small blisters.

I was lucky this time, check out this guy, or even worse, this one. I remained diligent in keeping the infected area clean and dry, and the rash remained fairly localized. I have had it enough now that the first time I feel anything I bust out the Fels-Naptha brown soap and go to town on it. The lye in the soap seems to dry out the poison ivy oils, and keeps it from spreading. I have been doing this 2-3 times a day for the last 12 days. Some people find vinegar compresses or rubbing alcohol helps, and I know one person who said it feels better if you pee on it. My brother-in-law once had it so bad on his ankle, he poured gas on his foot and lit it on fire. I wouldn't recommend this. What did work for me was running hot water over the infected area, which in some strange way, felt really, really good. Like crack cocaine good. From what I've read the hot water allows all the histimine that is building up in your system to become released. Histimine is what causes the itch. It is only a temporary relief but it does last up to 8 hours or until the histimine builds back up.

Listening to: Alejandro Escovedo- Bourbonitus Blues


CHW said...

You're such a hardass.

fern said...

I can't believe you made me look at that guy with those huge blisters. gross. someone needs to lance those things.

I've actually looked like the other guy before, except on my legs and without the beard and chest hair. I was prescribed a lb of steroid cream so I'll have it for eternity. That stuff works. Also, I keep a bottle of Tecnu next to the shower. It's soap that you rub on your skin for a few minutes within 4 hours of exposure.

JMH said...

Fern: I've tried Tecnu, it works, but I've had better luck with Fels-Naptha (old-timey laundry soap). It has a heavy lye content, which dries out the rash, and is cheap as hell.

On another note, did you ever replace your Surly cross bike? I am building up a Cross-Check this winter, and would be interested in what you thought of yours.