Saturday, November 5, 2011

Poison Ivy has EVERYTHING to do with moving to Poland

When Martin and I were sophomores in high school he contracted one of the worst cases of Posion- Ivy in his life. One of the "top 3" as he puts it.  He was missing from school for a week, if I remember correctly, and by the third day I was getting worried about him. Although, at that point, I didn't know he had Poison Ivy, I just knew he was "sick." I eventually got it out of his brother  what was going on, and then he (of his own accord) proceeded to tell me that it was so bad that they had to take him to the hospital and put him in an "incubator." I had no idea what he was talking about. I was worried. I thought he must have gotten it so bad that he couldn't breath and his airways were shutting down. It was scary.

Well, that was clearly a lie, elaboration on the truth. He was back the next week, perfectly fine, and told me the whole story, which never involved hospitals, non-breathing, or iron lungs. I had a vivid imagination at 16. I was relieved and life carried on as usual.

Fast forward to our married life, where, any time he is outside in the weeds, trimming trees or bushes, mowing the lawn, anything green, he comes running to me asking if "this looks like poison-ivy" and showing me some random bump or scratch. To which I always say "no." He asks me a little later "after the shower because that's when it's more obvious." I answer "no." And then again, about 3 hours later, just "because sometimes it takes longer for it to appear." And I answer "no." Because the answer is almost always no. Once, (ONCE!) he has actually had remnants of the rash on his skin, a very small amount, and I was in charge of cleaning every single piece of cloth (no exaggeration) in the house ("because the oils can linger for up to 5 years, I could have it on and off again for 5 years!"). Knowing what happens when I say "yes" has given me a keen eye for all possible skin rashes caused by plants. 

So, today, he was doing some much needed yard work, and ever so diligently spraying  Poison-Ivy poison over every helpless little vine that dared to creep in our backyard. Cursing the plant from hell, and basking in the knowledge that, in Poland, there is no Poison-Ivy-Oak-Sumac-enter random plant name here, anywhere, in the whole country.

Sigh of relief. From him. And me.

P.S. random side note. Uncle Freddie, featured here, is also very allergic to Poison Ivy. Fred contracted a fairly bad patch on his leg the day before our wedding. He was a groomsman. I hope they wash those rented tuxes reeeeal good. 


  1. I forgot about the pre-wedding poison ivy. I only remember the middle school incident. I think I have a picture of the wedding rash somewhere. Poor guy.

  2. We don't have poison ivy or poison oak but we do have pokrzywa - look out!


  3. That's an interesting story.