My children have watched an embarrassing amount of television, we haven’t been to the pool or even run through the sprinklers, and I’ve snapped at them more times than I care to admit. I haven’t held them, snuggled them for a good book reading, or let them cuddle next to me in bed.
Last night, our son woke up screaming so my husband took him downstairs to the couch. My daughter had a nightmare and was convinced ants were crawling in her bed; she tried to climb in with me and I refused her. She found Daddy and brother on the couch and all three of them woke up in the family room.
I was alone in our bed, awake, itching all night. In fact, I’ve been itching for the last eight days and waking every two hours to run cold water over my arms and legs.
Culprit: Poison Ivy
Sequence of events in chronological order.
First trip to the doctor: confirmation that indeed I had contracted a rash from the poisonous plant.
Treatment recommended: Benedryl, oatmeal baths, and hydrocortisone crème.
Outcome: What a joke. The rash basically laughed at me and scoffed, “that’s all you got?”
Second trip to the doctor: yes, it’s still poison ivy and it can take one to three weeks to run it’s course.
Treatment: a cortisone shot to my rear end should provide some quick relief.
Outcome: Nothing. I actually wondered if I was accidentally given a shot of air.
Days 5, 6, and 7 were a miserable combination of no sleep and itching. I tried every over-the-counter drug in the pharmacy, home remedies from Pinterest and friends, and lots of tub soaking. I’ve soaked in baking soda, Epsom salt, and oatmeal. I contemplated Boric Acid but the pharmacist didn’t seem too keen on that 1950’s home remedy, (recommended by Dad) so I passed.
I spoke to the nurse, who consulted with the on-call doctor. I was told to wait two more days and watch for any signs of infection.
Later that afternoon:
After lots of Internet research, consulting with my husband and Mom, I’m pretty sure the swollen, red, hot-to-the-touch area on my right elbow is infected. I called to schedule an appointment with the doctor first thing in the morning.
Today is Day 9 and I went back to the clinic. As I expected, infection has set in and my kitchen counter is now stocked with a two-week supply of steroids, antibiotics, and sleeping pills.
Now I wait.
I wait for relief from the itching. I wait to see if the Ambien will help me catch some ZZZ’s. I wait for the landscape company to call me back with an estimate of what it will cost for them to take the poisonous greenery out of my yard. And I wait to see if some of these skin lesions will look less like leprosy in time for the bachelorette party I’m supposed to attend this weekend.
My kids wait for their more loving and patient mommy to return. My husband waits until I give him permission to touch me and for a restful night’s sleep next to his wife.
Jessica Brashear is married with two children. Read her blogs every Monday on momaha.
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