|Please, please listen to my plight and help me if you can.
I have been reading quite a bit on this site and I apologize if this post is a repeat of someone else's, but I'm desperate and I could really use someone's advice and clarification on some PI facts about how it spreads!
I got poison ivy over a good 45% of my body, the second week in July. I was given prednazone cream, the shot, and an oral version of prednazone that took 2 weeks to finish. I was going absolutely boo-ky on this medicine. I can understand when other folks say they thought they were having some kind of a mental breakdown because I felt the same way. It seems to kick your butt in the first 20 minutes to about the 8th hour, where the headache develops. (For me.) And after that? ~ I'll be feeling chronically itchy around hour 18.
The itching is dictating "when I sleep" at night. Sleeping in any kind of covers at all triggers off the itching episode.
I've actually tried most of the household remedies listed here on this site and none of them worked at all. I really wish the bleach one would, but it didn't. It's hard to take a shower w/out using soap, and washing my hair is also an issue for me, if i'm in the shower and the water runs down my legs.
Mind you, we have no idea how I contracted poison ivy the first time. The week after the last of my meds, I actually felt better, the prednazone really helped to clear it up, but I knew it wasn't completely gone, because I'd still be itchy and I'd have new break-outs appearing on my toes, on my left arm -- places I hadn't even TOUCHED with anything infected.
I've read a lot of mixed information regarding poison ivy, and also talked to several doctors that have totally different ideas about how poison ivy spreads. I can't believe the docs that say that itching it doesn't spread it!!! That's total bunk if you ask me! Of COURSE itching it spreads it, otherwise those same docs wouldn't advise you to wash your clothes with bleach, disinfect everything you've touched with alcohol, etc. They seem to say that your initial infection/exposure to poison ivy is what causes all future appearances of poison ivy on you; that "some areas are more sensitive than others". But how is that possible? How can you get it on one arm and then 4 weeks later get it on the other one? Is that from the initial exposure??? That doesn't make any sense.
I had the first break-out of PI for 4 weeks. The last week being very nice in that I didn't have anything at all.
I became very physically exhausted and sick from the meds and total lack of proper sleep.It took a few days just to recover after I was off the prednazone.
And then it came back. Could it have been in my bloodstream? Is there any scientific evidence to support this one? It seems to me that I just had another eruption after the prednazone might have finally gotten out of my system. This hypothesis would support the idea that PI is totally not spreadable by itching it, having it on your fingers, and touching other objects.
And then there's the fact that PI can stay on objects for over a year or more until all the oil rubs off the surface. This fact alone which I've seen happen to my mother after she picked up her gardening gloves after a year of first contracting PI and then getting it again from her gloves, negates the theory that there is an "initial exposure and then all breakouts afterwards is because the body has some more resiliant areas than others" (Kinda what I stated above.) (It totally negates this!!! I had a nurse tell me this and I've read it on multiple sites!!!)
**I am extremely confused at this point.** I don't know what's causing this anymore. It certainly isn't from coming into contact with the plant.
I can buy that it's in the house, somewhere. But where it is is anyone's guess. The last time I wiped off the bathroom faucet handles with bleach and alcohol, I cleaned absolutely every single pen in the house w/the same stuff, even the keyboard and mouse, the TV remotes, my shoes, the phone, my glasses, the surface of most of the books I was reading, and every door handle in the house. We washed ALL my clothes and sheets in lots of detergant and about 4 or 5 helpings of bleach. My clothes came out smelling like bleach, and I was happy because I thought maybe I'd gotten it all.
At this point, we're not sure where it is! The only thing I am totally sure of, is that it is spreading on me again. I had one or two little spots, and put the prednazone cream on it, and now I have a break-out of about 7 points on each leg. I'm hoping to GOD it doesn't go up my torso and my arms like it did the last time. I even got it on my face last time!
I've been so careful!
My boyfriend thinks we should burn the house down, just so we get it all for sure!
The nurse that told me it can't be spread at all by itching it, but that I must wash everything I've touched, also told me it will be trial and error trying to determine what's in the house that it could be on, after the initial break-out in July.
I didn't tell her that she was contradicting herself, because I thought I'd just sound really rude or arrogant. But in my heart, she's not making any sense. How can it not be spread by itching it but you have to wash everything you touched? That's not computing properly in my head!
SO ~ here's the new break-out. I found a new doctor. I told him I've been washing everything w/bleach and scrubbing objects down w/rubbing alcohol. He told me that this wasn't necessary and that the only items in the house that could be potential problems are the "original items I was wearing when I got infected". He told me that simply washing them in detergent would get rid of the oil.
And I told him, that I have no idea what those original items were! We don't know how I got it the first time! One of the things it could have been on, something I was wearing in early July, we washed with bleach and set aside! I haven't worn it all month!! The shoes I think I was wearing in the beginning of July we put in a plastic bag and it's sitting outside on the porch. (Mind you, this time is calculated by the first break out and back tracking 3 to 7 to 10 days to try to figure out when I could have possibly come into contact w/PI. That's why we think if I contracted it from the actual plant, it must have been then.)
Overall, the new doc was of the opinion that it's on the original items, and that I shouldn't worry about trying to clean my shampoo bottles and other things that might have the oil on it. He didn't seem to think it would spread that way.
The only thing my boyfriend and I can think of doing is re-washing everything with bleach again, and me going through the house and re-cleansing everything w/alcohol and bleach. This procedure gets crazy. I even washed the light switches the last time! I tried to think of everything.
This time, also, I tried using Baking Soda/Powder to help with the itching and to try to dry it up. That just gets real messy and it doesn't help.
How long can this go on?! (@_@)
Could I actually have this in the Winter?? (I just moved to the mid-west from Florida. At least at the beaches, you can avoid stepping on sting rays and jelly fish.) (I've NEVER had PI before.)
I believe that it's possible that it WAS still in my bloodstream; almost like some kind of cancer, in some way. And then, when the meds were gone, it just resurfaced. However, I will still try to decontaminate the house.
What in GOD'S NAME am I supposed to do?!?! This stuff is driving me crazy! No household remedy has worked and I tried almost the entire list from the medicine cabinet and the kitchen. I'm sure my boyfriend doesn't want to hear me moan about being sick while I'm on the prednazone again. (He's a good guy, but surely it's gotta be annoying him too?) :(
I have to take the first 5 pill dose today. I had the shot again yesterday. I'm afraid. I don't want to feel like crud anymore!! I don't know what's worse, the itching or the exhaustion from the meds and lack of sleep?
I'm going to use the hydrocortizone cream that I got the first time though, that did seem to stop the itching temporarily. But, the trick is, trying to keep that stuff on and going to sleep at the same time; it'll wipe off in the blankets.
Oh, and blankets... It seems that if the parts of my body that are infected don't TOUCH anything - like blankets - then I usually don't itch at all. I have no idea what to do about sleeping. I thought about sleeping in my car tonight because I could put my knees up on the dashboard and just let my legs dingle there.
I apologize for sounding so desperate, but I really am at this point. It's just now re-emerging so I don't think the worst has occurred yet. Maybe the meds will kick it this time. But I don't know, it wasn't successful the last time.
I've never wasted so much money and so much time on stuff that doesn't work! Even the doc prescribed creams and stuff! I've heard gambling is like this.
Please let me know about what you think. I appreciate all info given to me at this time.
Itchy Zi :(