I have spent a fair amount of time carefully wandering around the yard searching for the wretched plant that did this to me. I thought I knew where it was but I just didn’t see it. The rash has been creeping up in other areas, all on the same side of my body. Thankfully to a lesser degree, I have read online (I swear I’m an expert now) that it will do that, pop up over a few days due to varrying degrees of exposure. So, the new areas on my stomach and breast(!) are not as bad, they are not good, but I haven’t reached for a ruler to scratch with, yet. My arm is hanging in there, the blisters seem to take on a new shape every few hours, looking better, then worse. Always itching, there isn’t a moment that I don’t feel it. So, finding this in the yard has become my mission. I want to hurt it, pour gasoline on it, or bleach or something to make it shrivel up and die. But, gas is what, $3.96 a gallon and bleach will kill my other plants and grass…still, I want it to die a slow painful death.
This morning Nathan and I headed to the nursery to buy the flowers for the empty bed in the front. When we got home I began unloading the car, I squatted to set down the pots and there it was. Looking right at me. I froze, “there you are you *0th3r&u(*e%! ” And I stood there, staring at it. I couldn’t move, I had been looking for this since Friday and not found it. Looking in the wrong place, walking slowly, carefully in tennis shoes and socks and long pants, protecting every inch of myself, searching. And, then it found me, when I wasn’t looking, where I wasn’t expecting it. Right in the front yard, right where I had just ripped it out. I thought it was all clematis, it had wrapped itself around the downspout and I didn’t want it. I yanked it out, but, I have done so at least 4 times since we have moved here. And this time it got me, actually in all of my obsessive research I have learned that the first one or even few exposures don’t always cause a reaction. You can develop the allergy. But today, I got scared. I just stood there, feet stuck to ground. I was wearing flip flops, I could feel my feet start to itch just LOOKING at it. It was ridiculous, the way it made me feel sick to see it. I unloaded the rest of my plants and came in the house. I didn’t want to plant them anymore, I didnt want to go within 10 feet of that crap. I put my safe shoes back on and went around the house again, now that I knew exactly what I was looking for, and I found more. Since Friday it has grown over my garden hose on the other side of the house, now, I am sure its in the corner that I was looking at the whole time. I cant see it thru the raspberries but I know its in there, too. I came back inside and called the people who mowed for us last year to ask if they will remove it for me. I hope to hear back soon. I want it gone. I don’t want my dog or Mike or Nathan to come in contact with it. I know this is SO lame, its just a plant, its just a rash. It is, but I have not slept since Thursday because the itch is so intense. I lie down at night with wet washcloths draped over the areas and try not to move. I wake up, re wet them, put more cream on and try to go back to sleep. It would probably be more tolerable if I could take something but benadryl is off limits when you are nursing. I swear, if Nathan would take a bottle I’d pump and dump, but he wont. So I try not to scratch, and keep count of applications. Neither of the creams I am using can be used more than 4 times per day.
I did suck it up and get back out there to plant my flowers. But I’m still afraid of it….Leaves of three, let them be. Fat chance, they are toast. I didn’t know what this looked like until now. Please take a close look and remember it. Glossy leaves, three per stem with a notch or a few in each leaf. They are gowing at my downspouts where there is the most moisture. For a closer look you can click on the photo.