August 07, 2009

Awake, Again - Naturally

A warning to my readers:
If medical conditions
(and stories about blisters)
make you uncomfortable;
please do not read this post.

1-1/2 weeks ago
I was exposed to poison ivy;
no big deal to most people,
but I have severe allergic reactions to the stuff.

Most who have allergies
will develop an obvious reaction
within 1 week of exposure ("check").
Raised blisters will appear in curving lines
from brushing up against the leaves of the plant ("check").
These areas will itch like a sun of a gun ("check").
Sometimes Benadryl will help ("nope"),
and sometimes it will only make the person drowsy
with no relief ("check").

The good news?
A person with an allergic reaction to poison ivy
is NOT contagious to others.
Poison ivy can not be spread from person to person.
Only the direct contact
with the oil of the plant
can cause the reaction.

The bad news?
If the exposed areas are thoroughly washed
in the first few minutes
you can remove up to 90% of the oils
before they are absorbed by the skin...
But a 10 minute wait before washing
may only remove 5-10% of the oils.
-I (my dear readers) washed my hands
within about 5 minutes;
I was wearing gloves
a hat
3/4 sleeves
long pants
and it was not enough.

Calamine or Caladryl will usually dry the blisters,
but needs to be applied 2-3x/day,
may take more than a week
for the areas to dry
to finally heal
and for the itching to stop ("still waiting...").

Cool compresses may help ("nope").

Then again the blisters may be slow to heal
very slow to dry out
may continue to itch like
convention-sized groups of several
sons of a gun.
(Is that the correct term? Unsure at 4:01 in the morning)
Where DO convention-sized sons of a gun
hold their conventions, anyway?
And where exactly did the term
"son of a gun" come from?

The blisters may be evident
all over both forearms ("check"),
all over both ankles and calves ("check")
and near my eyebrows ("check - but healing the best so far").

I itch
and therefore
I bitch.

And I also wonder; (at 4:02 in the morning)
if Universal Health Care
(AKA "socialized medicine" in the USA)
was currently available:
Would I have been carefree about
visiting a doctor
or a dermatologist
a week ago,
(when the blisters first came to visit),
with no worries of co-pay cost
if I had the "correct" insurance,
and no really big worries about
the "whole enchilada of cost"
if I was without insurance,
... Had received a prescription for Prednisone;
also free or at a very low cost with
"socialized medicine",
but somewhat expensive
with prescription insurance,
and probably very expensive without insurance,

would I be sleeping right now?


I may visit a doctor
this weekend.
I am a health care worker
who works with
doctors, nurses and pharmacists
every day of the week,
with health insurance provided through my employer,
(at a moderate cost to myself),
and I am concerned
how much money I may have to spend.

I will let you know.



Anonymous said...

for origin and meaning of son of a gun. : )

Hope you feel better soon.

Deborah Allison said...

My poor Marty. You have my total sympathy. My mom gets a horrible case every summer, through clothes and all. She does find Burt's Bees poison ivy soap to be a help.
We've heard that the irritant in mango peel is in the same family.
One more reason to live in the desert!
Miss you guys.
D & W