Before deciding upon Venom of the Greenery Variety as a title, I was also contemplating Bitch of an Itch. Each are accurate.
I was born and raised in Maine, and I have never lived in another state. Other than a brief stint of city living, I’ve lived the majority of my 33 years in small towns, enjoying the quiet and beauty of country living. I’m not so country that I own dairy cows, nor do I drive a dusty and rusty pickup truck stereotypically depicted in most cowboy-esque twangy country tunes. However, I do live rurally, surrounded by nature and woodland creatures; it is abnormal to not see deer or turkeys in the yard, and just last night, there was a fox hanging out under one of my ancient and ginormous oak trees.
It is most surprising then, that for the first time in 33.5 years of life, I’ve recently encountered my very first bout with poison ivy or poison oak or poison sumac; whatever it is, it’s poisonous. What began as a dot on my neck Thursday, became a line by Friday. On Monday morning, I was peppered in it: neck, chest, arms, legs, wrists, and hands. Now, just because I live near the woods does not imply that I spend a lot of time in the boscage. In fact, this is the summer that I have devoted to spending more time out of doors with the purpose of becoming more accustomed to the heat and humidity, and also because I find most aspects of nature to be beautiful, and I miss out on much of that allurement by spending the majority of my time inside.
Though I have spent more time outside this summer, I know for certain that I have not traipsed through the venomous greenery. So, just how did I get the ivy of the poison variety? Radin. Radin gave me poison ivy; it is the only feasible explanation. Oh, how I do wish my unfortunate tale has an exciting backstory, but alas, it does not. I got poison ivy from my dog. However, in all of its lackluster, the true story maintains that I’m “that person.”
I’m “that person” who, if it’s going to happen to someone, it’s going to happen to me. Over the course of the last year or so, I have been dealt an absurd hand of cards:
- An allergic reaction to facial cleanser that resulted in my eyes being swollen closed for the better part of a week or more.
- A tumble on the pavement when my parents’ boxer, Gracie, caught a bout of the zoomies.
- Q: What was in it for me?
- A: Battered and bruised bones and scrapes and skinless patches.
- A freak and unprecedented fainting spell whereby I hit my noggin and was left with a concussion, which I still face symptoms from to this day.
- And now, bitchin’ itchin’.
Probably the most disappointing, other than the itch and pain and overall frustration, is that I had to opt out of the 4th of July 5K I had been so looking forward to running – I had such an awesome red, white, and blue tutu picked out for the event! However, the rational Amy concluded that the 98 degree weather, coupled with the humidity and my streaming, salty sweat (A+ for alliteration!), would make me feel even worse and allow the rash to spread even more. I’m almost finished with my Prednisone, and the poison laced patches are now dry so I think I can start to exercise vigorously again.
I have not had a decent run or workout since last Thursday, and while lying in bed, doped up on Benadryl, I remembered that the David Payne Memorial Run (7.2 miles) is July 23rd, and Beach to Beacon (10K) is August 4th. I am now in full blown panic mode as it’s my modus operandi to doubt my ability, especially when I’ve been forced to slow down in my training.
It’s amazing the havoc a single week down-and-out can wreak on one’s confidence.