Sunday, October 14, 2018

14. Poison Something

I’m not one to use a thimble when I needlepoint, and until recently I didn’t much care for using gloves when I weed. Even though I don’t like having messy hands, I don’t mind the feel of dirt on my skin or under my fingernails.

As I began de-weeding my jungle, I kept an eye out for poison ivy. I had reason to believe there might be some up there in the mess, but I wasn’t too sure if I’d recognize it as I yanked weeds. I googled it once or twice and what I saw did not match what came up in the google search, so I kept pulling weeds and making giant piles while wearing tank tops and bare hands.

A day or two after the most recent session in the yard, my wrists and the tops of my hands began itching. And then they began burning. The skin reddened, swelled, and became really uncomfortable.

It was peculiar how the breakouts were in nearly the same exact places on each arm. A friend looked at my arms and suggested it was time for hydrocortisone cream. The cream definitely helped and the discomfort began dissipating a few days later.

I’m still not convinced that it was actually poison ivy, but it was poison something. I feel like this brush with whatever it was was a warning: Cover up and use gloves. Next time could be worse. There’s no need to suffer unnecessarily.

I now wear long sleeve shirts and my overalls. I also wear gloves. I found some that have grippy material on the palms, so not only do they protect my skin, but they help with stubborn weeds. 

I know my grandma would be pleased that I’m taking this precaution.


  1. I learned that lesson the hard way. Good for you!

  2. I’m a little weird in that I also like seeing the gloves get dirty and show wear with use. Like a record of my work.

  3. Lesson learned! My husband is our gardener and he much prefers to not wear gloves... but we have just a tiny flower garden and so far, he hasn't had to learn this lesson (yet)?

  4. I've been a fan of the no-glove approach, too. It just feels good. It doesn't take much in the way of grass cuts or thistle scrapes on my arms and hands to make me itch like mad, though. I have no garden to connect with right now, so I'll tackle that when I get there.

    I love that you found gloves with grippy palms. Sounds like a wise move!