Wednesday, November 26, 2008

more poison ivy stuff

Earlier this month, I wrote this long post about poison whatever, which is probably the most immediate health and safety hazard at most field sites I've been to (other than tripping over crap). I thought I'd add a couple poison ivy oddities I've encountered.

1. I had an annoying case of poison ivy a few years back that was centered right at the waistband of my field pants. It drove me nuts, but eventually went away. About a week after it did so, I had one of those hellacious weeks of fieldwork where you start with no budget (due to earlier cost overruns that are out of your hands) and you have difficult neighbors/client reps and everything that can go wrong does (this was the week that I first needed a drain snake). So you look like an idiot while you've got these other people breathing down your neck. All week.

Two days into this hellacious field week, my poison ivy reappeared in the same places it was a couple weeks before. Yep, I had stress-induced poison ivy. And it lasted the same amount of time as a regular full-course attack - another couple of weeks.

2. A dear friend of mine is pretty sick right now. He had cancer a while back and it appears to be in remission, but it was pretty serious and had a fair number of side effects he's learning to live with. He got surgery, radiation, chemo. Right before he started chemo, he tangled with some poison ivy and he had a pretty impressive case of it. When he started treatment, the poison ivy cleared in a flash, prompting jokes about using chemo to end poison ivy symptoms.

When the chemo ended, the rashes came right back to where they were before. He went through the whole course of poison ivy if nothing had happened.

Yeah, poison ivy's way more persistent and more of a pain in the ass than I'd imagined before starting fieldwork.

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