I feel like I’m not much of a bragger. I’ll toot my own horn on occasion, but I like to think I pick my spots and am not annoying about it. I also know that bragging inevitably comes back to bite you in the ass, so in addition to making you look bad, it’s just tempting fate.

Example: just a week ago I was bragging a little about how I’m not allergic to poison ivy. We had done some yard work the previous week and, like clockwork, S had a few blotchy rashes from making contact with poison ivy. As long as we’ve been married, when we do yard work, she ends up with a rash, I come out clean. I might get a couple bumps on my arm, but never the bad rash that she gets. We had some friends over, they were commenting on S’s rash, and I made it clear how poison ivy doesn’t bother me.

Then, last Monday, the back of my left hand started itching. And then that arm. And then my right arm. Over the next couple days the itching spread to both legs and all along both wrists. The bumps grew into angry rashes that I did my best not to scratch.

By Saturday morning the rashes were much worse and I was lathering myself in creams and lotions to try to control the itching. I was glad the weather turned cooler so I could wear long sleeves and try to hide the rash when I was out in public.

Both Saturday and Sunday nights I would wake every few hours to find myself scratching one appendage or another and would shuffle into the bathroom to coat the rashes with another layer of ointment. I tried taking Benadryl to help me sleep through the itching but that was no help.

The worst part is it doesn’t seem to be getting better but rather new hot spots keep popping up. My right eye is swelling because there are bumps both on my eyelid and below my eye. Somehow I got the rash inside my belly button (I assure you was wearing a shirt while doing yard work). This morning I awoke to find several new spots. The itching seemed to be better until about 10:00 when I was suddenly a hot mess again.

I realized I did not pick this up the same night S and I were pulling landscape netting out of the yard. Rather, almost two weeks ago, I decided to cut a bunch of vines off a tree. In retrospect all or most of them were poison ivy/oak/sumac. I know I came in and took a shower immediately after finishing, but now I’m trying to remember what I touched afterward, what shoes I was wearing, etc and then doing my best to wipe all those surfaces so that any oils I brought in are gone. I trashed my shower loofah in case there was oil on it and that’s why the rash has spread to some weird locations that weren’t exposed.

What a mess!

I want to take this moment to sincerely apologize for ever bragging about not being allergic to poison ivy and let those of you who have suffered through this before know that I feel your pain. I’ll do my best to keep my mouth shut the next time I have the opportunity to brag about something.