I have poison oak.

Y'all.  It took me TWO DAYS to figure this out!  TWO. 

I got a wild hair, and, as so many of these projects go, a weeding project turned into a "Get Rid of ALL the DANG Bushes in my Yard" project ... with a hacksaw, mind you. 

I suppose the itching started that next day.  Three spots crawling up my leg.  Chigger bites.  That's what I thought.  Those dag-blasted things love to eat me alive, and they will cause me to itch for weeks.  I'd much rather have mosquito bites, I do believe.  And I'm not talking the wimpy mosquitoes you find around this area.  No, no.  I'm talking about the come-out-of-the-back-woods of Northern Michigan kind.  The kind that could pick you up and carry you away. 

You think I'm exaggerating, don't you? 

Oh honey!  Think again.  The mosquito is the unofficial state bird of Michigan.  For realsies.

So, I scratched the daylights out of those chigger bites because I CAN. NOT. leave bug bites alone.  I'm like a 10 year old.  In fact, I am not entirely sure why I tell my fourth graders to stop picking at bug bites/scabs/what not and so forth on their arms and legs, when, given the opportunity, I would pick away myself. 

It's a sickness.

Only these chigger bites weren't like normal bites.  They started oozing after scratching them. 

Ummmm, red flag number 1! 

I'm a bit slow on the uptake at times.

Then there was this whole spot of stuff that looked a lot like a spider bite.

Folks, my first bout of poison oak?  Yeah, thought that was a spider bite too.  In fact, so did the inept ER physician I saw at 2 really early in the morning.  He sent me home with antibiotics. 

Fat lot of good that did me.  By morning, it was all over my forhead and chest.  My mother was all, "GET TO THE DOCTOR, NOW!"

Doctor took one look at me and was all, "OH YEAH!  Poison Oak!"

What the doctor failed to tell me was that while on vacation, I should avoid the sun ... and sweating ... cuz, that encourages the spread of said poison oak. 

Awesome sauce!

That little misstep led me to ANOTHER ER visit, this one in Westfield, NY.  I highly recommend this little hospital ... at least I did 11 years ago.  Nice staff ... totally knew there stuff ... and dude that helped me out (I'm a little fuzzy on all the details what with all the Benadryl they pumped me up with .... Land a'mighty, that stuff will put me under a table faster than you can say SWEET TEA!) informed me, "Yeah, so, sorry about your vacation, but stay out of the sun."

Vacation....at a lake ... for a week ... talk about cruel and unusual punishment ...

Any who!  It wasn't until last evening that I really took a look at that supposed spider bite, plus the other spots that were starting to show up (and itch!) that I decided to do what all smart, highly educated people do:
1. Google it
2. Ask the interwebs

So, yeah, poison oak.  This mean I must limit my sweating. Easier said than done when it's 91 degrees out, and you refuse to turn on your AC because you're trying to save money. 

Summer Break is starting out fabulously!


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