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Saturday, April 28, 2012

#atozchallenge - Prednisone

Well, here it is April 28th, and I'm behind by a lot on three different blogs. I'm still going to finish, but I've realized that it's not likely to be a post per day... Might take me a little longer, but I'll cross the finish line one way or another.

I took the week that my kid had off from school and got a few things done around the house that needed doing. I made a decision to stay off the computer the whole week, regardless of the challenge. Sorry to disappoint, though I'd be surprised if anyone actually noticed I was gone. :D

One of the things I got done over the week off was some yard work, that ended up with a few cases of poison ivy... Mine wasn't too terrible, my wife's was just a little worse. My nephew on the other hand, got it pretty bad. Felt rather badly about that.

The poison ivy had grown all over an old brick BBQ pit that my father in law had built some years back. That's the actual thing in the picture.

This picture was taken last year in the middle of the summer. I'd used that push broom early in the season, and a couple short weeks later, I was too afraid to touch it again. :)

This year, we figured we'd remove the structure before the ivy grew. While I thought this was a solid plan, I found out the hard way that the oil from the ivy can persist on objects it's touched for up to 2 years after the plant is removed...

The put itself was filled with dirt, which apparently was laced with the oil.

I'm not quite the spring chicken I used to be, so when we started tearing the thing down (which was the very easy part) and loading it brick by brick into the wheelbarrow, I realized that it was a pain in the ass. Last year, I'd hired my nephew to do some similar work, and he was happy to do it. I also worked him pretty hard all week, and paid fairly well at the end of the week, for which I'm sure he was pleased.

I loaded up one wheelbarrow, and decided to find out what he was doing. Turned out he was free, so I came by and picked him up. He did a great job of relocating the bricks, and removing most of the silt that had built up inside.

The day after, my wife woke to a swollen eye and itchy spots. I was fine. I texted my nephew, he said he was fine. The day after that I was itching too. I texted my nephew again, and he said he was covered. I had no idea how badly though, until a couple days later... The dirt had gotten down into his shoes, and ground around and such. Poor kid.

I will make it up to him though.

*I* have had poison ivy a few times in the last four or five years now, and I've tried to tough it out with calamine lotion, or however the heck that's spelled. It doesn't work. I'm too much of a hedonist to not scratch, and too much of a moron to care that it makes things worse. So I scratch. My favorite is scalding hot water... Absolutely amazing feeling. I highly recommend it.

My own stupidity and lack of self control means that I have to resort to other methods of dealing with it. I cannot get rid of poison ivy without the help of drugs. I call the doctor, and he calls in a prescription of prednisone, which is a steroid. I hate it, but it works.

It's a relatively short process, taking about twelve days, starting with a few days of a big dose, stepping it down every three days. Unfortunately, it makes me hot. And grumpy, and uncomfortable. Makes my fingers tingle.

Have you ever had poison ivy? Or had to be on prednisone? Do you have a nephew you like to recruit for work you could probably do yourself, but just don't want to? ...is he allergic to poison ivy?? If not, what's his number?