The Insidious Poison Oak

And just in time for Thanksgiving, I find that I have the gift that just keeps on giving.

I have learned that Poison Oak in late fall and winter is simply reddish-black stems that have no clear markers like three glossy leaves, that look similar to oak leaves, that can easily be avoided when you are out clearing a trail. And I have also learned that the exposures don't necessarily show for up to 3 days after infection. So each day I discover new areas on my body where I get the gift of a poison oak rash.

Now theory is that if there is plant that causes harm, that growing near it is a plant that provides the cure. From my research that plant happens to be the Manzanita tree and what an incredible plant it is. ( Supposedly I could create a poultice of manzanita berries and put that on the rash or I could make of the tea of the leaves and stems to also apply against the rash. I figured I should do both and that would bring about a miracle cure. Hmmm. I suppose it did something but whatever the case I still had the rash and it appeared to be getting worse.

With my stoic New England and Swedish background kicking in (some may say stubborn), I became determined to beat this thing and have dutifully applied the tea, berries, Calamine, Benadryl, and scotch (well maybe not the last one topically) to, as I said before, marginal effect. So I've come to the realization that I need to let this thing run it's course and find a way to minimize the impact of the discomfort and itch. That was until today when the gift that was bestowed on me was a new patch on my eye.

With that, Cheryl suggested I call the nurse hotline, who suggested that I get seen by a doctor, who suggested a steroidal shot with a topically applied cream. Well it turns out that this shot needs to be given in a large muscle group and it seems that my largest muscle is my butt. Well here I sit (somewhat gingerly) eagerly looking forward to the Thanksgiving holiday with my family.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Peter Berg2 Comments