The first time my teen got poison ivy he was young enough to mistakenly call it “poisonous.” I don’t remember it being much of anything, but our first encounter and my mommy nerves were enough to send us to the pediatrician.
Fast forward many years and my poor son tries to do good by helping a friend with a community service project. The next day it is very clear to us all that clearing weeds included some that would have been better left alone. And since we were still not very experienced with this particular pesky rash, we worried when it started creeping closer and closer to my son’s eyes. This time we headed to the dermatologist who sent us home with prescription strength ointment and told us our son was very susceptible and reacted strongly. Hmm.
Which brings us to the here and now. And a seventeen year old boy who is covered in poison ivy. And when I say “covered,” I mean EVERYWHERE. Yes, down there too. I feel for him! As I watch him squirm and try not to scratch. And I ask myself what we can possible give him to put “down there” to alleviate some of the itching. And at three in the morning, when I heard him head downstairs for another dose of antihistamine and then into an oatmeal bath, I lay in bed wide awake with visions of him slowly falling asleep and slipping below the murky water. And I anxiously watched the clock as I waited for the magic hour when the pediatrician’s office would be open. And now I sit here typing as I pass the time waiting to hear back from the nurse.
My typical mommy reaction to any new or concerning ailment is to do an internet search. But I admit I was a bit hesitant to type certain keywords this morning in my quest to relive my son’s itching in his “junk” (his word, not mine), imagining the pornographic spam that would find its way to my computer. But concern for my son and my future as a grandmother was greater.
Right now I am just glad that he is sleeping. Like a baby:) Even teenagers are angelic in their sleep. And in another week or so the itching will pass and the scars will be healing and we can move on to the next teen crisis.
Postscript: I wrote this last week. Since then, my son has much improved thanks to oral steroids. He is still itchy and rash-covered but, thankfully, the worst is over. And I am grateful that his senior yearbook photos were taken before this happened!