Back to Reality…

Back to reality in a hurry, in the form of Luke’s poison ivy/oak/whatever running rampant all over his body, and trips to Luke’s school/Jack Henry’s school/doctor/L’s school/pharmacy/L’s school/JH’s school kinda filling up my morning.

I am working on a recap of our fun weekend away in Nashville (that post is here), but I’m also trying to assimilate myself back into the role of female head of household and all that it entails…thankfully, Nana Jo and Papa Ron left us with a clean house and baked chicken in the fridge for tonight, so we’re covered there!

So, as I was saying, it appears that Luke might be in the category of people that reacts rather, ahem, badly to poison ivy and her evil cousins, poison oak and poison sumac and whatever else poison there is out there in the wilderness of suburban St. Louis county.

Case in point:

this was taken 7 days after the first tiny spots were discovered

poor luke.

I am fairly certain that he came in contact with it Sunday at the ballpark, warming up behind the dugout (this is in retrospect; we didn’t seen poison ivy there at the time, but it’s the only place we can trace it back to, and a teammate of his ended up with a bit of poison ivy, too). On Tuesday, I saw a couple of small blisters on his arm and thought, “Shoot, that’s probably poison ivy.” I put cortisone on it and forgot about it until Thursday (because, hello, did I mention we were going away for the weekend? I had already maybe kinda a little checked out of my parenting duties just a tiny bit by then), when I realized that it was spreading.

I chatted with the doc (who I was visiting with Bennett because he had croup AGAIN for the frillionth time and because we were leaving town, I wanted him on a steroid so as to avoid it lasting forever and worsening) about Luke’s poison ivy. He educated me on the spread of it – how it’s not contagious unless you come into contact with the oil from the plant (so, scratching at it does not make it spread UNLESS you still have the oil under your nails or on you somewhere).

This made me feel better, since I knew that Luke had showered right after his game. Major underestimation #1. I thought that what had shown up would be it. It was evident by Friday night that my assumption was incorrect, because there was more…what had started as a few small spots on one forearm and the top of his ear had grown all up his arm, made some small advances on his other arm, had completely taken over his ear and had moved up into his hair a bit, and was on his side by his ribs.

Still…this was day 3. Surely it was nearly done. Before Matt and I headed out of town on Saturday morning, I left Jo a note, asking her to please pick up some Benadryl to help with the itching, and to continue using the gel I had bought on Thursday. She let me know over the weekend that it was definitely still spreading, but until I saw it in person on Monday evening, I didn’t realize how much it had kept spreading.

It’s now encroaching on his face, including his eyelid, and has engulfed one arm and his trunk. He didn’t want me to show his face, but he was ok with me showing the other pictures of how bad it’s gotten. It was time to see the doctor.

When your doctor responds, upon seeing your child, with an immediate, “Oh, yes, this is a bad case,” you know you’ve done the right thing by taking it a step beyond over-the-counter meds. He’s now about 4 hours into his first steroid dose, and I’m anxious to see him after school.

What I hate is how much his arm resembles his and Bennett’s allergic reaction to amoxicillin. What is it with my kids?

Clearly, he’s the kind of kid who will not be allowed to play in the woods unless he’s wearing a long-sleeved shirt, pants and a ski mask.

Postscript: The steroid was DEFINITELY necessary. Within 24 hours’ time, the spreading had stopped, and in another 24 hours, it started to retreat. Which was a major relief since we’d scheduled family pictures for that Saturday months prior to all of this. There was some minor scarring, but none of it was evident.

The really good news in all of this is that Luke was such a trooper, and repeatedly told me that while it was uncomfortable (the skin being hot and tight), it really didn’t itch that badly. Unbelievable! He’s managed to stay away from poison ivy since then, but next time he gets it, I won’t mess around with treating it at home first…we’re going straight to steroids.

18 responses to “Back to Reality…

  1. Unfortunately, the rash from poison ivy can show up anywhere from 4 hours to 10 days after exposure. 😦
    This is what leads people to believe that they are spreading it from scratching at it.

  2. Thank goodness he didn’t go to the bathroom before showering!! We’ve had that before & the child, who wants to be left unnamed, had to use an ice pack on his crotchal region for 3 days straight to deaden the itch. Not fun! (BTW, Why oh why does that kind of thing always happen when you decide to go away?? You come back & immediately feel horrible!)

    • the doc IMMEDIATELY asked about this last week! He said, “you know, boys usually come in from playing outside, use the bathroom, and then hopefully wash their hands!” SO thankful that didn’t happen!!

  3. oh man this brings backs memories of charlie when he was this age. he always reacted realllly badly to poison everything. i will talk to mom because i know there was something they got locally in town (if i remember correctly it was from the guy who made horeshoes) that helped significantly with the itching. it sounds hokey as i typed it but i guess if it helps it helps.

  4. You know, I don’t even think I was fully aware of how much worse it was getting while we were there–he only commented on the itching on Sun morn. I feel bad now that I didn’t have him taking the Benadryl more regularly than he did, but I really didn’t notice him itching throughout the day. I just made sure he was putting the gel on when he was supposed to. I can’t imagine that he wasn’t miserable, but it sure wasn’t apparent to me (other than the fact that I could see it was getting worse). I really hope the prescription acts quickly. 😦

    • Don’t feel bad! He STILL isn’t itching much and isn’t complaining of it at all…I don’t know that I’ll continue the Benadryl. It just looks so bad!

  5. Ahhh!! Poor guy looks horrible!!! When I saw the first picture I was thinking of his horrible reaction to amoxicillin. Until Luke’s reaction as a baby – I had never seen something so horrible to meds before!!

  6. I feel so bad for him. Can’t imagine that he hasn’t been wild with itching. Steve blamed the school for not being aware of what was growing in the area. A lot of people are clueless. He is so smart you can educate him on leaf identification. So often they just look like everything else green until it turns red in late fall. Hoping each dose improves his comfort level!

    • Surprisingly, he just doesn’t seem to be itching it much. I’ve let the school know the areas he was working in, and they’re checking…Luke’s job that day was hauling away weeds that parent volunteers had pulled from the beds, so chances are good that’s where he got it. I’ll look up the pictures to show him the different kinds…especially because the doc thought it likely was not poison ivy but poison oak or something else.

  7. cringe!

  8. AGH! That looks awful! I’m so sorry! And apparently, I need to apologize for stealing your blog title…sorry! I hadn’t checked anyone else’s blog before I wrote mine for today. πŸ˜€ Hope your little man gets to feeling better. πŸ˜€

    • ha! No apology necessary πŸ™‚ Escaping from real life for a short time is fun!

      Luke seems to be improving today – even beyond just the spread of it being halted, I think I’m seeing a bit of improvement!

  9. oh wow!!! 😦 poor luke!!!

  10. Poor guy! I feel so bad for him!

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