By Mike Wilcox, Publisher
Independence Day has come and gone and I have great memories, fireworks, a bonfire and grilling. It seems like the older I get, the more I appreciate holidays.
One remnant of this holidays isn’t so great. It seems while weeding in the yard, I inadvertently kneeled in poison ivy. Now, a few days later, I am still covered from ankles to arms with itchy blisters caused by the nasty weed.
It didn’t use to be that way. Until age 40 or so, I could I could lie in the stuff, and not be affected. Allergies from pollen or trees never bothered me. I could bask in the sun for hours, bare chested and never burn.
At about the same time I had to get reading glasses, however, my body began to change, and most notably I have been susceptible to poison ivy to the point, sometimes, I don’t want to take a walk in the woods for fear I might catch an airborne whiff and be itching for the next couple of weeks.
One of my favorite sports to participate in was golf. I haven’t, however, picked up a 9-iron in nearly 10 years. Why? Although I can putt with the best, I cannot hit a drive straight. I either hook or slice, rarely does the ball trickle in the fairway. And when it is in the fairway, it’s because I’ve either topped or undercut the ball and it travels 50 yards, not 250 yards, the distance a decent drive would travel.
That means I’m searching in overgrown rough, and sometimes weeds and creek beds, for my ball. That means I sometimes stumble upon poison ivy. That means I must endure two weeks of incessant itching.
I quit the game because poison ivy got the best of me. I wish I could quit pulling weeds from around my house, but like poison ivy, they grow rather quickly and require my attention often. I have no clue, this time, where the poison ivy came from, but both ankles and hands were noticeably covered a couple hours after I had finished weeding.
And now three days later, as always, the nasty rash has spread across most of my body. I’m not itching my face, my legs, and even my ears. I keep a bottle of calamine lotion with me at my times, so that I can dab the itchy spots, but I know, the incessant itchiness will continue for another week and a half.
The rash always seems to be worse when attempting to sleep. I say attempting because I get very little sleep when I have the rash. I do all I can to keep body parts away from the infected areas. I wear long pants, shirts and socks to bed so that the rash won’t spread. Nothing, however, works it keeps spreading and the itching never goes away.
Poison ivy for me is a yearly, sometimes twice a year occurrence. One might ask if you suffer so, why do you keep getting the rash? That’s a fair question. One I always ask myself. I do study the weed, and think I know what I’m looking for, but for some reason, it always finds me. Once I was invincible, it never bothered me. Now I am highly susceptible, by air, by touch, by being close the rash finds me and makes my life miserable.
Oh and did I ask how your Independence Day was? Excuse me for now, the itching is unbearable and I have to spread some more calamine lotion on my feet. Hope your holiday was better.