Back in the early 60s my girlfriend and I would play cowboys and Indians in the woods near our house. Little did we know that the vines we were using to tie each other to the trees were poison ivy! I got the worse end of the deal because I also suffered from eczema and had open sores on my arms. Well, that poison ivy went straight into the bloodstream.
I was in the hospital for 2 weeks because I was swollen up so badly. I remember trying to eat with a long-handled wooden spoon but couldn’t even get the spoon near my mouth because my arms were so swollen. You could hear the water slosh in my elbows! From my waist to the top of my head was one swollen mass. My face was swollen, with just slits for the eyes.
What was the worst, no one in the neighborhood had ever seen anything like this. I was a major attraction for two to three weeks every fall. Bless my grandmother’s heart for not allowing any photos! I had the attacks for the next 4 years – every fall a stay in the hospital – even though I was no longer playing in the woods. Knock on wood – nothing has happened to me in the last 40 years!