Saturday, August 8, 2009

I battled the poison ivy....and I won

Ok, so I didn't actually pull it out.....but I don't have a rash today, so that is mega-points for me!

For my one major remaining gardening job of the summer, my last big project is to clean out this bed on the side of the backyard. When I was edging it to make space for the mulch last week, I noticed several giant patches of poison ivy lurking within. I showed it to the lady, who has never noticed it before. I also noticed there are other patches of ivy that look similar, but don't have the telltale irregular notched edges.

They were going to try to remove the poison ivy for me, but didn't have a chance, yet. They wanted to spray, but I warned them against doing so, because all the literature says that just spreads the urushiol oil around.

So, I went out in my "Poison Ivy Haz-Mat" gear to work in the yard today. I wore my gardening shoes with socks pulled all the way up, jeans over my capris, and a long-sleeved button-down shirt over my t-shirt. I pulled my hair back tightly at the crown so that none would fall out, and used Wegmans bags over my gloves. And I did my best to work around it as long as I could stand it.

Why am I freaking out about it? Well, the last two summers, I ended up with cellulitis from poison ivy rashes. I published my perils just about a year ago:

My Poison Ivy Rash Turned Into Cellulitis

But worse than that was the fact that it indirectly also caused me to become anemic, and it took me over six months to recover from that.

So why do I keep gardening? People keep telling me that I shouldn't work in the gardens if I am so sensitive to it. But I love to work outdoors. There isn't a better way to make money in the summers! And since I know what it looks like, I can try to avoid it. I also tell people up front that I will not touch it, and why I won't touch it.

I also always carry poison ivy soap with me, so that if I accidentally come across it, I can immediately wash myself. Laundry detergent also works. And remember to not wash in hot water, as that opens the pores.

If you do get yourself into a nasty patch of poison ivy......

How to Get Doctor's Care for Poison Ivy

1 comment:

  1. I love gardening too, and I've fought so many horrid weeds just to have flowers growing. My yard is totally out of control, gets this way every summer. Because of my lupus, I can't get out in the heat to work on it much. I fix it all back up in the fall.