Monday, June 19, 2017

Poison ivy and prednisone

In a moment of sheer insanity I took my hand clippers last weekend and attacked a patch of poison ivy that was growing at the corner of our house. The ivy was growing at eye level and while I was careful not to touch it, I was whacking away at it with the clippers and suspect I released the oils which then wafted onto my face. Thankfully I wear glasses! But both sides of my face, my neck, several areas along my arms, and and an area on my abdomen are all raspy and itchy now. As the bumps got closer and closer to my left eye I caved in and made an appointment with my doctor.

She recommended Prednisone for 10 days and I gratefully accepted. I was up in the wee hours of the night scratching and trying not to scratch, and with the heat and regular barn chores in my day figured it was best to kick back at this now and not try to suffer through it.

About 3 hours after the first dose I am not nearly as itchy and feeling a little woozy. I'll take it. Thanks to dear daughter and sweet husband for doing the chores for me while this passes.


I read an article that describes a much safer way of dealing with poison ivy without using chemicals. You can find it HERE.


Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Oh wow - I feel for you billie. For future reference, when your poison ivy issue is not as serious, the otc medicine Zanfel is fantastic. I've had really good luck with nearly immediate relief from itching and it prevents spreading. (binds with and removes the ushriol oil) It's expensive, but if you follow the directions precisely, one tube lasts forever. All clothes and tools need a hot water bath as well - apparently ushriol can persist on surfaces for up to a year.

Grey Horse Matters said...

J. who had never been allergic to poison ivy must have suddenly become allergic last year as she attacked some vines on the rose bushes. She was a complete mess until she went to the doctor too. Our neighbor found and gave her something I think is called Jewelweed that you crack open and rub on the itches. It worked. They say it usually grows right next to the poison ivy.

Hope you feel much better soon. I know it's an awful thing to contract.

billie said...

Thank you! I will get some to keep on hand and will go ahead and try it on what is left of mine - says it can be used with steroid medication and they two can work well together.

That said I am thinking it is unlikely I will ever need it because I am pretty much done with removing this stuff! I am trying to find a gardener who will finally clear the beds I have been working on and get it away from that corner of the house. Then I need someone who does this as a job to come in and clear the property boundary which is where the bulk of it actually is. Or get goats. Or both. :)

billie said...

A, I have read that too about jewelweed. I feel sure we have it but I have been so busy and itchy and sweaty I have not had time to try to look for it. Honestly, I thought I had gotten bug bites at first when I started itching. Then remembered my crazy attack on the poison ivy patch and realized that while I never actually touched it I was butchering the leaves and stems and likely created a veritable cloud of urushiol around my face. then sweated and wiped with my shirt sleeve. Ugh. The prednisone has made things 90% better already. I was worried about the eye area and that stopped itching within an hour of taking the first dose!

Lesson learned. I'll go back to my electric trimmer and work on non-poisonous things again!!