Cat Scratch Fever? NO! Poison Oak!

16 04 2009

Oh, woe is me! I just got my first case of the dreaded p.o. and my luxurious lack of reaction to the stuff is over. Wow. When it first appeared, I thought it was a cat scratch. Was I ever wrong! This is one nasty, itchy, painful rash, and I never want to get it again. I encourage ALL cachers to review information on it (or poison ivy, if that’s what’s in your area).

Know what it looks like in all seasons and where it is likely to grow.

It’s sometimes hard to tell where it will manifest, but never plant a cache in or near it, and post warnings if you notice it near one or on a trail to one.

I’ve got it all over my arms and starting on my face – ew – and got a couple of photos in the doctor’s office as I waited to get a prescription for Prednisone. My case is fairly mild, too… I know f0t0m0m got it on half his body and face last go around…. Horrors!




Feel free to comment with your thoughts, experiences, and suggestions about poison oak/ivy – and may you NEVER get it!

Oh, and here is my token cache find in Washington D.C. today. It’s the closest one to my hotel, and I least wanted to grab one, wishing I had time for more and to see more sights in the city. I’m opting to rest up for my performance tonight, though, and to write this for y’all…
Manifest Destiny

Some NICE photos of DC on a perfect spring day:

And one of Mt. Shasta from my parents’ house.
I was up there for their 51st anniversary party, and had time for one cache in Medford, OR, near the Harry and David:
Here’s to You,PEANUTHEAD!

Until next week…. happy, rashless caching!




12 responses

16 04 2009
not tom

It took me a couple of years to learn to stop and look before going into the bushes. Important note, remember to clean your vehicle and gear of any PO residue you may have left. Scratch on, I mean cache on!

17 04 2009

This was a very timely post! I contracted my first case of poison oak two weeks ago. I was out of work all last week and finally returned this week sporting more makeup than I’ve worn at one time. That was on Monday, today you can hardly notice the marks on my face. Once the blistering was over I broke open vitamin E capsules and spread it on the marks.

I had poison ivy as a kid, but the poison oak was far worse. I don’t know if it is because I’m an adult now or it is just worse. I truly feel your pain!! On my face, neck, shoulders, under my breasts, and at my waistline! The absolutely worse part is that I think it was at a DNF that the nasty plant got me.

I hope you recover soon!!

17 04 2009

Wow! You’ve never had it before? I’m impressed! We have had it a few times over the years since we started caching (2002) but no one gets it as badly as my #1 kid, Ricky. His problem is that he tends to scratch and touch himself a lot (honestly! not trying to be gross). So if he gets the oil on his fingers, he ends up with PO EVERYWHERE. Legs, arms, neck, face, trunk… And then he gets it systemically and has to go on Prednisone. The rest of us usually just get a little patch somewhere. I had it on my inner upper arm once and that was bad enough. I got betamethasone ointment for it finally… Ahh relief. I can’t imagine having it all over the place!

Anyway, hope you feel better soon!

17 04 2009

Ouch, that does not look fun at all. I hope you recover quickly Elin. I have been fortunate so far to have not had a poison oak incident. I have been around it often, but have never had a problem, and I hope to keep it that way. I have heard from others who have had PO reactions, and from their desription, I’d have to agree that you have a mild case. Good luck.

19 04 2009

I feel your pain…ah, actually I don’t. But I’ll stop feeling so smug about my total (so far) immunity – in case someday I have to make a similar posting on MY caching blog. Feel better.

20 04 2009
Erin M

We were traveling through Medford and Yreka that very same day! We had been taking a short Spring Break trip to Oregon. Hope the P.O. is all cleared up soon.

20 04 2009
Mike Pacholik

I walked thru a lot of Poison oak last week in Holy Jim. Lucky no reaction. I did use a Poison Ivy/oak kit which has wipes and lotions to use before and after touching the stuff.

Also since you have an Iphone you need this app. Wikihow. Check out the Survival Tips about plants.

21 04 2009
Elin Carlson

Wow, Mike – what is this before/after wipe thing called? I think it will be de rigeur for me from now on!

27 04 2009
Mike Pacholik

Here is the Wipes and lotion.

27 04 2009
Mike Pacholik

Here is the store near you that has it.

18515 Devonshire
Northridge, CA 91324
(818) 363-1067

28 04 2009
Elin Carlson

Thanks, Mike! I’ll be looking in to that AND in to Rhus Tox for prevention, too. My arms are STILL healing! What an agricultural adventure….

19 05 2009

I’ve gotten poison oak quite badly on recent caching trips. It’s especially bad when it’s on your face. My face was swollen up so much that the doctors had to give me a steroid to stop the swelling. But the other thing that they gave me was over the counter Benadryl tablets, which, for me, worked the best by far in reducing the horrible itching. It does tend to make one a little sleepy but it did a good job at keeping me sane.


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