There has to be a very good reason for me to take drugs; I'll hardly even take a Tylenol unless Mike pushes it on me, so I thought it would be a fun blog post to document my journey through prednisone. No, I've not got asthma, cancer, arthritis or whatever it is that doctors prescribe prednisone for. It's worse: poison ivy. No, totally not worse than those things, I recant that, but maddening just the same.
I'm fairly allergic to poison ivy. While clearing brush my senior year of high school for some ag conservation class I contracted a pretty serious case that lasted for a month & necessitated a shot. I got a bad case last year, but nothing that couldn't be treated at home. This year went beyond what I could treat at home. It started w/ the baby chicks.
Aren't they cute? All innocent balls of fluff & sweetness. They're nearly fully feathered now. I was moving their nursery box & all 5+ mommy escaped. So I spent an hour or so chasing them & braving her pecks wherein I fell down the slope behind the goat shed. Apparently into poison. On the doctor's advice, (herself an animal husbander sp?) I've since picketed the goats out there but I don't know if they ate it all. That was Wed. I did wash my hands, it's a family rule. In from the property, you wash your hands. I did neglect my arms until shower time, because hey, I'm not a surgeon. That was Wed.
Thurs. a small patch of bumps appeared on my inner left elbow as I was working outside. I knew myself to be dehydrated (I live off of coffee) so I chalked it up to heat rash & promised myself a glass of water in the house. The heat rash continued...
Friday I had a full blown rash on both arms, decidedly NOT a heat rash.I began to treat w/ the clear anti-itch calamine spin off because I do think it feels better & I will NOT be pink unless necessary. I am relentlessly itchy.
Saturday I am still itchy, but now a delightful new dimension presents itself & the crust on my upper arms commences to oozing after a scratch.
"So don 't scratch." you say. I have to scratch. I can't not scratch. I am looking up herbal remedies to stop the itching on google & nothing works.
Sun. I wear a long sleeve shirt to church but the ooze comes through & I fancy I see some horrified looks during the sermon. I am now sleeping w/ Miranda's diapers wrapped & tied over both oozing itchy arms & changing them once or twice whenever the wetness wakes me up. Nice, yes?
Monday I swim at Wilson's creek, hoping all of the minerals in the water will help dry me out. If you're not a local you won't understand. I itch, ooze & apply the clear calamine. Because of the never ending ooze & yellow crusted diapers (we cloth diaper) I am looking up burn care because that's what it looks like to me. I contemplate calling my sister because she is a home health nurse who deals w/ a lot of bandage changing because my arm looks like this. I guess I'm doing the dishes in this picture, Victor is my very obliging photographer.
Tues. I itch & ooze some more, applying more of my lessening calamine supply.
Wed. I itch & ooze & here is something unforeseen. Edema. I figure there is nothing I can do at home for that; I can't bend my arm enough to buckle a bra or do my hair w/ no sign of it getting less. The worst part was I can't hold Miranda. Left is my carrying arm. You will observe on my right side that I am naturally very vein-y & they were all but swallowed up on my left side. So I cave & call a doctor who sees me w/in the hour.
She, unlike the secretary & nurse managed to not look horrified though her eyes did get big. 2 other nurses (actually a student & retiree, so I get the gamut) said it was the worse case of poison ivy they'd ever seen. She writes me a scrip for 3 weeks of prednisone & my odyssey into Pharmacopoeia begins.