When Playing in the Woods Turns Ugly
A couple of months ago, a new neighbor moved in. They have a boy Caleb’s age, and a girl in kindergarten. We’ll call this little boy New Friend and his sister New Friendette. Creative, I know.
New Friend and Friendette have a glorious treasure of elementary school childhood right in their backyard. A thicket. Actually, it’s a large thicket that runs down our street a piece, so we call it “the woods.” Joshua, Caleb, and their new friends have spent hours over the last few weeks playing in the woods. Their joy has just been overflowing.
My joy level was pretty high the other day, too. I stepped out on my balcony, and I could have sworn that I saw someone move in the woods. I stood very still for a long time, just thinking and praying. I love looking that way, because beyond the woods, the elevation slopes down, so there’s a small glimpse of ocean.
As I stood there, perfectly still, a “lots of points” buck rose up out of the bushes in the woods. Then his whole herd rose up around him, and I just stood there in awe. I HAD seen something move!! It was the deer, ducking out of sight, at my sudden entrance onto their scene. They just stood there, munching on leaves, or whatever they eat, probably poison oak or something.
I can’t tell you how that uplifted my spirits that day!
And then Wednesday came. On Wednesday, Joshua and Caleb stayed in those woods, building, imagining, and socializing for two hours, which I hope they will look back on fondly some day.
On Thursday morning, Joshua woke up with a red rash on his face and itchy arms. Thankfully, he was not having breathing difficulty at all, so we didn’t have to rush off to the Emergency Room. We weren’t sure if he had poison oak or a mild reaction to nut exposure Wednesday night. We fed him lots of Benadryl, and we kept a close eye on him.
Friday morning he woke up broken out on both sides of his face. 🙁 I started researching poison oak a whole lot more.
Did you know it takes 3 weeks to get over poison oak exposure?
Did you know that it may not show up until up to 72 hours after your exposure?
Did you know that you don’t need to seek medical help unless the poison oak is in your eyes, private areas, or covers more than 1/3 of your body?
I found a bottle of Prednisone with about 3 teaspoons in it, left over from his great cashew reaction of 2014. I gave him a dose of that on Friday. That took care of the left side of his face pretty quickly.
Unfortunately, by Saturday, Joshua had poison oak on the corner of his eye, all over his right cheek, forehead, and chin, and little red dots popping up all over his body. Off to the ER he went. He now has a good, two weeks’ supply of Prednisone. He still looks pretty rough.
I feel sooooo badly for him. He’s handled it really well, though.
Did you know that unless the oil from the actual plant is still on your skin, a person with poison oak is not contagious? I did my research on this. However, the sight of Joshua would probably scare most folks, so he will be staying home with Nonna tomorrow.
By the way, we have had some great field trips/adventures this week to the Redwood Forrest and the Monterey Aquarium. That aquarium has found a new fan in me! Alan and DaddyO got to go kayaking too!! I can’t wait to get all the photos uploaded to share on my next post!