Poison Ivy

I couldn’t bring myself to post anything all last week, because on top of an extremely challenging and stressful week at work, I’ve been dealing with an incapacitating poison ivy rash. I must have rubbed up against some poison ivy by mistake when I foolishly ventured outdoors a few weeks ago. (When will I ever learn?! Indoor kitties should stay INDOORS). 

For more than two weeks now I have been dealing with a repulsive, oozing rash. Whenever I see people (and I see people ALL DAY LONG), I feel compelled to blurt out awkward things like, “Oh, hi, I swear I don’t have leprosy or Ebola…it’s just poison ivy. The pus isn’t contagious, but you probably don’t really want to shake my hand.”

Just poison ivy, but the itching! – the torturous, unrelenting itching that has brought me more than once to tears of despair! I can only describe the feeling as having insects crawling underneath my skin. I have become a bag lady, toting ice packs everywhere I go. Ice is the only thing that brings any kind of relief, and believe me, I’ve tried everything.

My mother was aghast when I turned up at her house last weekend, dripping from ugly patches all over my arms and legs. Unable to sleep for worry over her miserable daughter, my poor dear mama got up in the middle of the night to consult with everyone’s favorite primary care physician, Dr. Internet, who told her that chicken was the cure. I woke up to the smell of chicken soup. Even though I stopped eating meat years ago, I ate bowl after bowl of the soup, and maybe a dozen eggs that weekend. At this point, I would eat raw, pulverized worms if I thought it would help. Alas, the chicken cure has not had any discernible effect. What’s more, when I later googled “chicken” and “poison ivy” myself, I could find nothing. Could this all have been a ruse devised by my crafty mother to get me to eat meat again?

“Do you think it’s because Mom was searching on Korean websites?” I asked my husband.

“Of course,” he replied with an authoritative air, “She would have been looking on mudang.co.kr or something like that.”

Mudang means shaman in Korean.

If I thought insurance would pay for it, I’d ask to be put into an induced coma for a couple weeks. I’ve resorted to knocking myself out by trying sleeping pills for the first time in my life, with mixed results. I’ve engaged in fisticuffs with my husband, who tries to grab my desperately clawing hand to prevent me from tearing at my festering pustules.

Well. If you’re still reading, I’m astonished. Thank you for indulging me. I know there’s nothing more tedious than to hear someone complaining endlessly, so I will conclude this mournful lament with a solemn vow to never speak of such things ever again and a whimper: uuuuuuuuuuuuuuunnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnggggggghhhhhwwwwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!


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