Our son Nelson, as a boy of 11, got in contact with poison ivy while creating a fort in the woods; he developed the noxious symptoms soon after. I was working an evening shift at the time and the boys were left in the care of their dad. Nelson couldn’t stop scratching and was seeking relief. He had also developed the rash in some very unmentionable and sensitive areas besides. He whined to his father, “Dad, what can you do to help me? Isn’t there anything that can take away the itch?'”
Dad went to the medicine cabinet and looked in. “The only thing that is in here is BenGay. I don’t know if it will help, but we can try it.” Nelson cried back, “Anything has got to be better than this,” and promptly started slathering the stuff around his private parts. An excruciating howl broke the silence as the boy danced about in uncontrolled agony. “Quick! quick! Get in the shower,” Dad said.
That was a lesson learned the hard way. Nelson is now a grown man, recently married, and in his own house. As I wandered around the yard looking at the plantings, I was quick to warn him of the poison ivy starting to appear in various places. His face went white with dread as he relived in his mind that horrific childhood experience while left in dad’s care.
(Editor’s note: we have nothing against BenGay, but not as poison ivy medicine!)