Poison Ivy Stress Syndrome

…or, Post Traumatic Itch Disorder

I found this hearty, mature poison ivy plant under the deck in the back yard.
I found this hearty, mature poison ivy plant under the deck in the back yard.

The now infamous Rains of May have greened up our whole patch, from wildflowers to the fruit trees to the front yard. Unfortunately, it has resulted in another bumper crop of poison ivy. Like maybe 70% to 80% of the population, I am sensitive to its allergen, urushiol, but I have gotten pretty good at spotting it in the pastures and under trees.

Tonight’s outdoor work was firing up the DR mower to carve a bike trail/walking path down past the pond to the back fence, past the blackberry bramble, through the south pasture and the orchard to the driveway. As I went, though, I ran into several healthy stands of poison ivy, as well as some hiding in the tall grass. I was able to stay out of it, I think, but as a precaution I came home early and had a double soapy cool shower.

So here’s where it gets weird. Every time I fight the good fight against poison ivy, whenever I close my eyes in the shower, I see poison ivy leaves. Man, I am damaged goods.

The good news is I have big, fat tomatoes on the vine, as well as squash and cucumber, and some marigolds.
The good news is I have big, fat tomatoes on the vine, as well as squash and cucumber, and some marigolds.
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3 Comments

  1. I didn’t know what the percentage was, but I’ve known since I was young that poison ivy (and other, similarly named plants) didn’t seem to affect me. I remember once getting in trouble because I stood in a patch of it while playing tag with my sisters, and they knew they couldn’t wade through without getting red itchy bumps all over.

    (Which is a really odd memory, because I’ve *always* been able to outrun them anyway. I must’ve only been standing in the poison ivy to be a dick.)

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