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Poison Ivy Woes

Updated on July 3, 2017

On June 16, 2017 was my one year anniversary being here in America. This country is a dream come true to me, a wonderland literally. The space, the beauty of nature, trees, foliage and woodland along the countryside drive and oh the wide planes, am talking about Indiana particularly, the changing colors of the four seasons.

Summer is a prevalent variety of not only colors but also of species of flowers that I had never seen in my native country. It was summer when I arrived here and oh what a summer, it was far too cool compared to our Philippine summer which would literally burn you. Here, summer is cool breezy fresh air, the wind feels so good on the skin, no sweat, the heat of the sun don't bite, it's literally a wonderland.

Then one day I noticed the change of the trees and the woodland, first their leaves generally turned yellow or orange or red and then all of a sudden they got naked. I just watched them in awe, and the temperature got too cold for me and it was just the beginning.

Then that morning I woke up and out I went to the window only to be amazed by the whiteness of the surrounding, such whiteness that prompted me to run outside the house to the chagrin of my hubby, he ran after me and pulled me back inside the house where he handed me the winter clothing that he had instantly prepared for me. Once outside I created a small snowman. This was the first winter for me and it was wonderfully white. It was so unbearably cold but hubby knew what to do, we went shopping for all the warm winter outfits from head to foot. I really felt funny about how I looked, first ever wearing those heavy but comfortable and beautiful clothes, I actually liked wearing them, my mind went to the books and movies I had read and watched, I felt like I was an actor or a character of the books and living in wonderland.

Then spring came, the green trees awakened and I can hear again various sounds of birds and actually saw them flying and playing on treetops, the branches and leafy twigs, was a happy and beautiful feeling and my clothing had gradually went back to normal.

But there was a twist, I did not get sick during winter despite the bitter cold but in spring I coughed profusely and the regular visits to my doctor and the medications my cough never goes away for the entire two months; I was allergic to the pollen in the air, I had developed COPD and was constantly taking several medicines and had undergone several laboratory tests such as CT-Scan in the head, the lungs and the heart and all the rest of the laboratory tests. I am very hypochondriac because I don't want to die yet, I have seven gorgeous grandchildren that make me live like a queen, I have a wonderful husband and two astutely successful children in their budding respective business as IT and VA professionals. I don't want to leave them I want to enjoy life to the fullest with them. Getting seriously sick is the last thing that I can bear. I really had thought that I may have some serious illness such as cancer especially that I am smoking and that I am not young anymore.

But then after those tedious and expensive tests the results showed that there was nothing really serious, it was just plain allergy that could easily be controlled with the right doctors and medications.

Okay, I was excited that I could live as long as I desired without serious illness. But then at the onset of summer I started working at the backyard fence, I cut the grasses and vines that get thick by the fence; I never had expected that disaster would happen to me. I had started scratching but I still continued until I finished cutting all the weeds and vines. I was so excited in my chores but when I was done the itch got worse every day. Hubby knew what it was so he told me not to scratch and he started medicating me. I never had experienced anything like this, my skin from head to foot got swollen and I thought I could die for the horrible itch. Then hubby took me to the urgent skin clinic, the doctor said it was poison ivy. I had no idea what it was I had been suffering for two weeks and am filled with blisters, y limbs, my neck, my face, my scalp and everywhere, I cannot sleep at night even at 2:00 o'clock at dawn I dip in the warm water in the tub to sooth the itch and scratch under the water with an ivy poison wash. I had never known nor heard of this before, never seen anyone suffered with this poison ivy misery. I spent almost all of my time in the past in a big and crowded city in my own country, only janitors and maids do all chores inside out the household.

What an irony, those serious diseases I dreaded never happened to me here, thank God but poison ivy? Really horrible, it's beyond description, I thought I was attacked by an incurable skin disease such as leprosy or skin cancer I thought I can die of it when I still had it. At night instead of sleeping I cried and wailed, that went on for two weeks until I was brought to the dermatologist.

Oh beautiful America what are you doing to me! You are both a wonder and a stunning misery to me. Amazing place both in the positive and negative sense.


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    • Jynzly profile image

      Jenny Pugh 7 months ago from Marion, Indiana, USA

      Karen Hellier ,

      Hi Karen, thanks so much first for reading my hub and most important for the advice, actually I was thinking of burning them as if to avenge myself, your advice is so valuable and timely, my God, I never had thought of the worst things to happen, you are the first I heard of this consequence of burning them...thanks a lot. My very kind mother-in-law had actually invited me to join her in Florida last winter, she has an apartment there but I preferred to stay in the cold Indiana winter to give myself a chance to experience something I never had, I don't regret though, I have something real to tell my grandchildren back home, in fact my cute seven-year-old granddaughter asked me if I can send her a box of snow....hahahaha, really funny and when we chatted in skype she asked me to open the windows so she can also the snow live...really funny cute baby, but hubby and I will spend vacation to the Philippines this winter, he already booked for our flight, so there would be no worries.

      Thanks again, I do appreciate your advice. God bless.

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 7 months ago from Georgia

      Oh my Jenny, so sad that you are suffering with poison ivy here in America. The best tip is to stay as far away from it as possible. And NEVER burn poison ivy because as it is burning, the oils from it can get into your lungs and I have heard people have died from the swelling it can cause inside. I very much enjoyed your description of how much you enjoy America. If you want warmth again, you can find it in Texas, Florida and southern California. maybe your hubby can take you to one of those places for vacation?