As I ran along the Mall during the noon hour on Wednesday, my left arm felt heavy. It also felt full, like it was under pressure. The skin was taut, and that I had Popeye forearms was undeniable. They were fiery red, and unbearably itchy.
I had a bad case of poison ivy. That'll teach me to clear out the underbrush behind the garage, which I did on Sunday.
My left arm was definitely swollen. The rash had started crawling up my forearms on Monday, and I was barely able to sleep on Tuesday night. The itching woke up at 2 a.m., 4 a.m., and 6 a.m., at which time I decided to get up.
I located some itch-relief medication under the sink, which told me that my last bad case of poison ivy was in August of 2002. The Ivy-Dry bottle was notated in my handwriting, "Works well, Eckerds, 8/02." On the Bio-Sentry Anti-Itch spray bottle I had noted, "Doesn't work any better than calamine lotion, 8/02."
The bottles of topical analgesics had expired half a decade ago so I figured it was time to use them up. I started with the Bio-Sentry, to finish it off and keep the good stuff in reserve. It didn't help my maddening discomfort much that night.
Wednesday I ran with my workgroup and, given the swollen nature of my left arm, I decided to go to the doctor. For poison ivy. Wimpy me. My arm was weeping big drops of amber fluid out of a blister at my elbow. (Does poison ivy make my arms look fat?)
At the doctor's office I received a steroid injection in the deep muscles of my buttock (the last time I was shot in the butt was 51 years ago!) and a 12 day prescription of prednisone tablets. I was getting juiced!
By yesterday the swelling was down and the itching was tolerable. Except for running with my workgroup (I lead the group), I didn't run at all during the entire workweek due to the frustrating condition. Wimpy me.
I think my arms are totally grossing people out.