We've had a rocky start to the summer vacation. Wesley came down with the creeping crud at the beginning of the week. He had a 103 degree fever for a couple of days. He was pretty miserable, poor kid. I've had a rough week as well. Over the past two weeks I've been mowing and weed eating the walnut grove. It consists of 200+ black walnut trees and once a year I venture into the grove to trim the poison ivy vines that travel up the trunks of the trees. I had called our extension agent when we moved into this house about the poison ivy and he recommended just trimming the base of the vine and letting it die on the tree. No removal needed. I am all for not using Roundup and keeping it as natural as possible since one day soon we hope to have it fenced in for the goats (it's an ongoing project).
Anyways, I went out there two different days to weed eat and trim the poison ivy. Each day I was dressed head to toe, long sleeves, gloves, boots, safety glasses. The only skin exposed was my face. As soon as I went inside I would put all the clothes directly into the washing machine and take a shower and scrub from top to bottom. I felt like I was safe from the evil poison ivy rash. I was wrong. Last Monday (almost 2 weeks ago) the little bumps started on my face. I ended up with a blistering rash on my face that is just now clearing up.
But that was just the tip of the iceberg. I noticed on my upper thigh all the little dots starting to show up. I couldn't figure out why there would be a rash developing on my leg. Then it dawned on me that each time I trimmed a vine I would put the trimmers in my jeans pocket. Apparently the oils on the trimmer went through the pocket fabric and got onto my skin. A hand sized blistering rash developed. Then over the weekend it became infected and fluid started collecting around my thigh. It was red and inflamed all the way down to my knee. Into the doctor I went on Monday and he said it was a staph infection with cellulitis. Talk about uncomfortable! The entire leg itches like it's on fire. My stump of a leg won't fit in my normal pants so I've been wearing the loosest shorts I own to keep it from chaffing. I'm on day 5 of heavy duty antibiotics and it's finally stopped being so red. The fluid is still there and it's still incredibly itchy. I can't sleep well, whether that's from the inflammation or the antibiotics I'm not sure. I've learned my lesson though, I'm staying out of the walnut grove. The poison ivy has officially won.