The gift that keeps on oozing

September 25, 2022 Comments Off on The gift that keeps on oozing

The last time I got poison oak I was lying in a ditch naked. Two days later my legs were covered with a horrific rash that oozed pus and itches like a million torments for over a month. Even now, years later, when I am stressed my legs break out along the contours of that old rash in a raspberry shade.

This case is much milder. There I was, so proud of having done a dastardly hike off-trail, over boulders, scrambling down ravines, bushwhacking through dry creekbeds … what an amazing Daniel Boone of a guy!

Two days later the first welts popped out, followed by their eager cousins, and it was all I could do to remember The Rule of poison oak, which is Thou Shalt Not Scratch Thine Eyes or Thine Balls. Because poison oak is coated with a thick, invisible unguent that easily spreads by touch. Pretty soon I was covered in pustules, but not nearly as badly as any of the awful cases I saw on Dr. Google. Nor was I in any way comparable to the woman I once met who told me about using poison oak to wipe her butt and her parts while on a camping trip.

Still …

Thinking that a bike ride in the hot sun would dry out the sores, I learned that sweat efficiently carries the poison oak oil to other areas.

I suppose after all my nagging to get off the couch, shoot the TV and go explore, it’s fitting that I would get such a miserable and ineradicable rash. Even the cat couldn’t lick it off, but bless him, he tried, and I learned another lesson: Rough sandpaper cat’s mouth rips open the pustules and gets them infected, possibly because cat’s tongue is daily employed in extended sessions of butt licking.

I’m hoping this doesn’t lead to skin grafts, but so far the poison oak is batting 1.000, and I’m just batting the 000’s. Does anyone have a couch and TV I can borrow?



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