Ivy anxiety

So I’ve got a mess of poison ivy. A very blistery weepy patch on my inner right forearm. A broad patch all over the left side of my neck, behind my ear, and under that side of my chin. And what looks like another broad patch over the right side of my face, although that’s the least developed patch.

Exposure was Wednesday evening; I was helping friends weed, and thought I’d be fine with my gardening gloves and long sleeves and long pants. Must have brushed something off my neck with a glove. I don’t know how it got under the wrist of my right glove; I suspect that wearing my hand / wrist braces that night made that patch fester faster.

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights have been wakeful. I’ve been napping a lot, as I can. When I’m awake, I’m super aware of the poison ivy — its presence, its itchiness, its soreness. It made it hard for me to play dulcimer at two events on Saturday; I could hardly think of what to play next, or get through a whole song without looking at my forearm.

It’s weird — this is just poison ivy. Yeah, it itches, but in the grand scheme of things it’s not really great cause for alarm. Theoretically it won’t spread once the oil’s all washed off, which it certainly ought to be by now. And yet it’s apparently really triggered my anxiety. I feel more incapacitated than I probably am. Sleep loss always makes me anxious, too, so that doesn’t help.

If this is what I’m like on poison ivy, can you imagine me with cancer?


5 thoughts on “Ivy anxiety

  1. I am so sorry that you’re so miserable with this! I gotta tell you, I can sympathize with the accompanying anxiety…I had the same effect last week with my headaches. It turns a small everyday issue into so much more. Hang in there. Hope you’re feeling some relief this afternoon.

  2. Anxiety is definitely an interesting beast.

    I got a steroid shot, steroid cream, and a prescription antihistamine yesterday. The weepy patch is no longer weepy, although it is still bumps upon bumps, red, and a bit stiff and sore. I hardly feel the neck and face patches anymore unless something touches them. A friend gave me a poison ivy soak I used last night — it was really nice.

    I am less anxious now, and got a decent night’s sleep finally, but am still very low on energy. I’m making bread anyway.

  3. Even though this is an older post of yours, i had to find it and comment. I have NEVER had poison ivy before, but I have it now. And very severely. And I’ve HAD cancer (and all the accompanying treatment) so I can compare the two.
    And I have to say – the poison ivy is extremely distressing. I find I can’t sleep, don’t have any appetite, can’t focus on anything, can barely function. It has been 9 days and new patches keep appearing. I got an oral steroid and some cream from the doctor a few days ago but it kept getting worse. Finally I went to the doctor today and got the shot and some antibiotics for cellulitis, which developed when a patch got infected, and is now red, hot and throbbing on my thigh.
    After a cancer diagnosis, chemo, radiation, surgery, I have to say — THIS is brutal. Very very difficult to handle, manage, endure, even though you know it IS eventually going to heal.
    I am hoping (since I got the shot) to have a better night of sleep tonight. Have been waking every two hours for a week now. Not good.
    From one tough cookie who has endured a LOT of hard things with bravery and courage – this has knocked the wind out of me completely. So don’t be too hard on yourself.
    (I got it on a hike when, I think, I went to pee in the woods off the trail. It might actually be poison oak or sumac, not ivy – because I can recognize those leaves. But whatever, once you have it, they are all pretty indistinguishable in the result.)

    • Yikes, Amy; I hope the shot kicks in fast so you can get some sleep, and that no more rash crops up.

      And it is interesting how sometimes the supposedly smaller things do irritate more sometimes.

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