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:
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.