(Photo Courtesy of Virginia Tech Weed ID Guide)
I spent several hours writing a post the other day about the horrible case of poison ivy I've been battling for the past month. It was was a pretty good article - complete with photos of oozing welts, bloody scrapes, black, green and purple bruises and a list of my suggestions for remedying the situation (complete with a prescription and over-the-counter drug cocktail and my favorite martini recipe).
While having dinner with friends last night, however, I realized that there was no reason to post that article. I can't imagine there is one reader out there who really wanted to see or hear about my ailment and I wondered why I felt compelled to write it in the first place. I came to the conclusion that it was because it was "only poison ivy" I felt like I needed to vindicate myself. From the day I realized I had come in contact with it until I literally felt like I was losing my mind in the third week I kept thinking "it's only poison ivy". Didn't I get this all the time when I was a kid and spent my summers traipsing through the woods around Peppertree Pond? It's "only poison ivy" for Godsake! How in the world can I be this miserable from "only poison ivy"? People are going to think I am a freak!
But nobody did. My friends all listened to me whine and complain endlessly about how miserable I was. They oohed and aahed appropriately when I showed them my welts, reassured me it was as bad as I thought it was and actually cheered when I proudly showed off how much better it was getting (though I'm sure they were thinking it was still too disgusting to be flaunting in the middle of Zo-Ca-Lo). I got concerned texts, e-mails, and phone calls from my family (possibly prompted by the photos I texted to my known-to-be-squeamish sister). The Spicy Chicken even offered to come home from his business trip (though I think that was more because after the "roid rage" fit I threw on Monday evening he may have been a little concerned about the well-being of his children...).
What it comes down to is that it wasn't "only" poison ivy - it was poison ivy and I was miserable. However, thanks to the combination of steroids, antihistamines, ibuprofen, a little vodka and the love of my friends and family I am on the mend.
As I stated on my Facebook page this morning "I am convinced there is no ailment that great friends, food, cocktails and lots of laughter cannot remedy".
At least until the drugs wear off...