I get the stuff every year. I don't even get upset anymore, I just grit my teeth, promise this time I won't scratch, and cave after that first night spent scratching myself in my sleep. That was Sunday night.
I'm not sure why I'm so alergic to it, it could be genetic. The Gram Hamm (my grandfather) can catch it on the breeze. It possibly could be blamed on Peter Nelson. Peter was my first real friend in the sixth grade. I was a dork and Peter's face looked like an over ripe strawberry. He had gotten a bad case of the stuff and it found it's way to his eyes. Man what a scary sight that was...but we instantly hit it off. Ever since then every time I find myself the victim of the ivy I think of Peter and wash my hands every 5 minutes. Last I checked he was the mascot for the Tennessee Titans.
Another Ivy fact is that I only get it when something major is just beyond the horizon. Last year I got it two weeks before Fred was born and ran screaming for help at the sight of the first bump. This week finds me 4 days from seeing my Dad, and 1/2 brother/sister, for the first time in a year. Again I made myself the promise I would not scratch. Covered up whenever Fred was around...normally it starts on my arms and comes from pulling weeds. This time around I got it from ignoring Lucy and weed eating in a pair of shorts ("I'm just going to be out there 15 minutes. What can it hurt?"). It started with a tiny bump on my knee last Thursday and by Sunday it had jumped legs and was quickly approaching the equator.
The Dr. simply said hi and asked me my opinion on what works best. He figured that by now I knew more about it than he did. By the way why does the waiting room after the waiting room not have any mags to read? You spend an hour outside with a 6 month old copy of Forbes surrounded by the living dead and as a reward you get rushed away into a room that may have once held the dad from The Shining. Yes I appreciate the free jars of applicators and tongue depressors, but the marshmellows are always fuzzy and stale.
The final result was a shot and a 10 day round of Prednisone. I've got a history with this particular drug. It's partly responsible for many of my childhood horror stories. It gives you the worst acid reflux, makes you mean as a snake, refuses to let you sleep, dries your mouth out, and in 6 days the Ivy is gone....then you spend the next 6 months trying to catch up on sleep and apologizing to your wife. Aaah the wonders of modern medicine.