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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Poison Ivy, pt. 2

Thank heaven for the miracle of modern medicine!

Zachary spent Friday evening in the emergency room. This case of poison ivy is the worst we have yet encountered. He spent the entire day in absolute agony. Eyes swollen shut, blisters covering the majority of his face; his lips so swollen he was barely able to speak...he looked very much like a victim of chemical warfare. His body's reaction to urushiol, the toxin in poison ivy, is the same as it would be if he had suffered a severe chemical burn.

The treatment? A week long dose of very strong corticosteroids (Medrol) and a sedative/antihistamine (Atarax). The downside? Zachary apparently falls into that small percentage of individuals for whom Atarax does not have a sedative effect. In fact, it is quite the opposite. The poor young man was awake every hour, throughout the night, until 5:00 a.m. this morning.

He is looking a bit better. Hopefully, within 24 hours the swelling will have significantly decreased.

The irony of this particular case is this: Just three weeks ago, Zachary and his grandfather and siblings spent several days in the woods. Zachary didn't contract poison ivy then! A quick trip to the woods to retrieve an ax and BAM! The worst case ever.


Anonymous said...

We are praying for your little one. Our children are sensitive too like their father. We had a tree fall on our fence line and just from a glance, all looked "ok" with it but we did not see the poison ivy. The vine was soo thick and big that the vine looked like part of the tree and in some places, even looked like branches! We were fooled! Our children spent two weeks in misery and after purchasing a chainsaw on a pole and cutting most of it up, it was left up to me to pile and burn since for some reason I do not have a reaction.

God Bless You and your family.

scmom (Barbara) said...

I hope that your young man is feeling better soon. There is nothing like a bad case of poison ivy -- been there. I hope he gets lots of ice cream!

My Noah also reacts negatively to Atarax. We used to use it for treating his eczema -- made him walk and talk and thrash in his sleep. Now we use Zyrtec -- not quite as good for the itch but he can sleep. We use it in the a.m. and p.m. when we really need to control the itch.

Kimberly Wasson said...

Zachary is improving tremendously! The swelling is not nearly as severe, though I am a bit concerned about some significant swelling in his lower jaw. Three days on steroids and a strong antihistamine...I think his progress should be a little greater. Have either of you had any experience with secondary bacterial infections? Zachary has not scratched even once, but I'm worried that he may be experience a secondary infection.

He feels so very much better...perhaps I'm just being to much of a hovering mother-hen ;-D


scmom (Barbara) said...

Sorry I missed this question yesterday. If he's not scratching, I wouldn't worry too much about infection. Look for pus (sometimes hard to distinguish from the ooze from the blisters) and bright redness, not necessarily swelling.

It takes along time for the skin to look normal again. Dh had a really bad case last summer and it tooks weeks to heal even after he started on steroids.