Itinerant Air-Cooled's Torment In Alabama

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Itinerant Air-Cooled's Torment In Alabama

Post by Amskeptic » Sat Aug 24, 2013 8:11 pm

No pictures . . . what ever shall we do? Who just reads any more?

You don't need to see pictures of what I have been enduring any how. I left the Cow Interlude hardly aware that I had been bitten hundreds of times, so engrossed was I with the rocker sill repair on Chloe. Those stupid black flies and ants had nipped on me and I swatted and sweated and flailed and kept busy.

Two days later, however, I had welts the size of udders, crusty yellow scabs and little red circles all around my sock lines, but worse yet, the little buggers had nailed me in the arm pits and a couple had managed to bite in more delicate places yet. I don't know about you, but when I see people scratching, I get a little squicked. When I see people scratching their armpits, worse yet. When I see people lift off their seat to scratch in private areas, well, I just hate them.

There I was, legs, ankles, armpits, crotch, back, elbows, just a mess of insane itching, but get this, 95* in Arkansas and 70-90% humidity, I was covered in primer gray goo running off the wet sandpaper down to my armpits, all over my legs, the blood the yellow ooze, the new Arkansas ants and flies just so happy with what Texas delivered, and I am somehow painting myself as much as the car, note to self: YOU CAN'T SWAT AT A FLY WITH THE PAINTBRUSH HAND! it gets worse. In Arkansas, I found a less dusty and more grassy work spot, good for painting, right? Well, I DID note that the local flora had kind of shiny leaves, but I had work to do. I had my towel down as I got up made a new batch of Savannah Beige + Almond Appliance Paint, got down and brushed, got up and made more paint, got down and brushed, got up and made more paint, got down and the towel was sort of out of place by then, in the blistering humid frying sun, along the railroad tracks off US 70 eastbound, and the fly/ant/mosquito bites all made me scratch and scratch and we now have to add poison ivy or oak or whatever this is, to all the bug bites. My right arm pit got the brunt of it, a raging red rash, but there are other places too. By the time I visited Luftwagen, the itching had reached a furious crescendo of what looked like a bad case of crabs and scabs and the humid sticky air was making me sweat poison-whatever oil all over the place, I could barely bear it. 2 miles from his house, I pulled into a sticky hot dirt lot in the afternoon humid air, stripped on down and gave myself a Chlorox bath. Pain is preferable to itchiness, I decided. Rinsed with water, toweled "dry" and powdered myself in all crevasses with Desinex (sic) foot powder, well hell, it SAID "relieves itching" that is all I needed to see. I am newly confident that no foot fungus is in my armpits or knees or elbows. Then I sprayed myself with Benadryl (sic) Spray "do not use over large areas" it said on the label, followed by Off Insect Repellent just because it stings on the itches in what I believed was a beneficial way "do not apply to open sores", aw shut up. Then I put on a topcoat of 100% cornstarch Equate Baby Powder . . . and visited Luftwagen, who is brilliant, you can see it even if you can't understand it, and we talked "sampling" and air fuel ratios and timing with his custom fuel delivery system, and I wanted so bad to scratch and scratch.

Made it through dinner, a very good dinner. The dogs did not even bother a polite crotch sniff, are you kidding? I was a chemical refinery. Took off down I-40 after bidding a gracious, "Thanks for dinner, and keep me posted on your Vanagon," and I was scratching my right leg with my left shoe and scratching my belly button with my right hand while my left steered, and it was sheer irritation. Found a hot muggy field off US 70, and the dew point was around 80*, everything was wet and the mosquitoes were delighted to see me. Another Chlorox bath, too hot to sleep, and mosquitoes and itches. Walked down the road just to keep me distracted. Fell asleep around 2:00AM.

Woke up at 7:00AM. I have blisters arrayed in stripes from my ankles to my knee. The right armpit is enraged, the left has hanging udders of welts glued to the hair with yellow crust. I made an Important Decision at 7:04. Today, I am not going to scratch. This reaction, after all, is not an actual attack against my body, it is an allergic reaction, which means that my body is turning against Itself, and that is something I have control over. I shall pit mind over matter, I shall Ignore . . .

At 7:05 I let loose with a fit of scratching, opening up the night's healing scabs, and I washed them down with Chlorox and Tide at a suitably powerful strength to actually lather as I scrubbed it in. The sweet bliss of pain, followed by more Desinex/Benadril Spray/Off/baby powder.

Tried to do some color-sanding around noon, but sweating makes everything infuriated, so I ducked into a Panera where the over-air-conditioning provided some temporary relief. " . . . may last several weeks," says Wiki-Answers in response to my query "how long does poison oak/ivy/sumac last?"

Now I am hours away from Atlanta. It is blessedly cooler. The itches are currently asleep. And soon, I hope to be as well . . .
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled's Torment In Alabama

Post by Vis » Sat Aug 24, 2013 8:23 pm

well, i must say i am glad there are no pictures here!

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled's Torment In Alabama

Post by ruckman101 » Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:15 pm

Ouch, so sorry to hear that Colin. Sounds unhumanly miserable.

May your recovery be quick.

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled's Torment In Alabama

Post by Boesen » Sun Aug 25, 2013 4:58 am

I know the feeling of poison ivy all too well. Every year I seem to get it while out doing fun and activities. Even with long pants on. Somehow if its close by I'll get it. =D>

I've tried it all from baths with Epsom salt, shots from my doctor, benedryll, etc. I hold out dealing with it as long as I can. Then when I can no longer take it, I hop in the shower, lather up with Burt's Poison Ivy soap and go to town on scratching it all until it bleeds. Yes seriously. But then within 3 days its gone. I may look ridiculous with scabs all over but better than itching. :salute:
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled's Torment In Alabama

Post by aopisa » Sun Aug 25, 2013 6:06 am

Sorry, to hear about your affliction. It has been a while since I have had poison ivy, but I react strongly to it. There seems to be few things more miserable than having a bad case of it.

Have you washed everything, including tools that may have come in contact with it? You don't want to keep reinfecting yourself.

I think Chlorox and Tide might just irritate your skin more.

This from American Academy of Dermatology:


Caution:
When treating this rash, dermatologists recommend that you:
Do not apply an antihistamine to your skin. Applying an antihistamine to your skin can worsen the itch and the rash. (As well as Chlorox, Tide or Gumout)
Do not use a hydrocortisone cream or lotion. These relieve only very mild cases.

How long does the rash from poison ivy last?
The rash from poison ivy, oak, or sumac usually lasts 1 to 3 weeks. During this time, your skin can itch.

Stop the itch
As the skin heals, it can itch. It is best not to scratch. Scratching can cause an infection. (Show me a person that can resist scratching)

To ease the itch at home, dermatologists recommend that their patients try one or more of the following:

Oatmeal bath: Take short lukewarm baths in a colloidal oatmeal preparation, which you can buy at your local drugstore.
Baking soda bath: Draw a warm, not hot, bath, and add 1 cup of baking soda to the running water.
Calamine lotion: Apply this to skin that itches.
Cool showers: Short cool showers can help.
Cool compresses: You can make a cool compress by running a clean washcloth under cold water and wringing it out so that it does not drip. Then apply the cool cloth to the itchy skin.
Antihistamine pills: These pills can help, but you should not apply an antihistamine to your skin. Doing so can worsen the rash and the itch.

Hopefully you can find a day in your schedule to treat yourself to a stay at a Motel 6 to apply a few of these methods to get some relief and give your skin a chance to start healing.
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Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate. - Chuang Tzu

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled's Torment In Alabama

Post by hambone » Sun Aug 25, 2013 1:33 pm

Just got back from 5 days in the woods, stung by wasps 2x, hand swelled up like a balloon....OUCH, MAN.
It is the Season of the BEE in the NW, they are a formidable force. Had to move camp after 2 days due to the invasion of tiny striped dogs.
I too need a Chlorox Bath, stinky-assed and gnarly.
Thank you for your support.
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled's Torment In Alabama

Post by Xelmon » Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:39 am

Heszus Kriszto, that is a downer.

As always, wishing the best!

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled's Torment In Alabama

Post by Amskeptic » Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:44 am

update:

Sure is much better now. Really, that was crazy. I am a proponent of Chlorox/Tide Applications but cannot recommend it to anyone else who has not already developed an affinity for the chemicals that make me happy. I still look like I came in off the set of "Contagion" or "Doomsday Virus", but my stunned nerve endings have given up, a good thing.

Spent a good part of yesterday color-sanding the new paint on the rocker sills, a laborious wet mess since it is mostly upside down work on the lower edges of the rocker sills,

a) the paint nozzles blow paint all over your fingers
b) it is defective (inadequate hardener)

. . . . so, after a visit to Sherwin Williams to discuss this lousy paint, I will sand it all down and retry yet again with new paint.

Tolerably ignorable itches . . . it's a whole new lease on the beautiful day.
ColinInAlabama
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled's Torment In Alabama

Post by drober23 » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:15 am

This sounds even more miserable than your Texas insect attack from last year. Blerg. Glad to hear things are starting to settle down a bit with it!
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled's Torment In Alabama

Post by Amskeptic » Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:01 am

drober23 wrote:This sounds even more miserable than your Texas insect attack from last year. Blerg. Glad to hear things are starting to settle down a bit with it!
This definitely won 1st Place in the Annual Itinerant Air-Cooled Bug Attack Competition.

Strange how I never remember the steaming hot summer misery when looking out the window at the snow falling . . .

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BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled's Torment In Alabama

Post by hippiewannabe » Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:46 pm

I have, unfortunately, a fair amount of experience in matters Poison Ivy. Here's what I can relate:

The irritant is an oil, so strong soap or detergent to remove the oil after exposure is a good thing. Bleach? I don't know, it seems more like a medieval cure for a bacterial infection.

Regular moisturisation is a good idea, especially before any potential exposure. Dry skin will grab oil, either the Cephalon or the poison ivy.

It's a histamine reaction. I don't know why some say not to use topical antihistamines as well as oral, they work for me. Caladryl has both Calamine drying agent and Benadryl antihistamine.

Whatever you do, don't scratch! Scratching causes tiny injuries, scraping off the skin's protective layers, opening it up to the irritant.

Glad you are better, my outbreaks last much longer.
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled's Torment In Alabama

Post by Amskeptic » Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:44 am

hippiewannabe wrote: Whatever you do, don't scratch!

Scratching causes tiny injuries, scraping off the skin's protective layers, opening it up to the irritant.

Glad you are better.
That was the crux of my battle of mind over matter. Matter won.
Colin
(it is better now, thankfully, as Atlanta is doing the humid hot sticky thing right now)
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

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