Poison Oak 101, DIY Widow

Posted in The Widow's Blog | 4 comments

Not Again!

What is the deal with Poison Oak and why does it find me every year?  It is a sneaky little “devil” that lurks in the chainlink fence, bushes, and around the trees.

After pulling vines out of trees while clearing land for a new trailer home in 1979, I found out at age thirty that poison oak and I are “enemies” of the worst kind.

What I was told by Mr. Frank that was for sure an asp sting on my arm, ended up being a full-blown case of poison oak all over my body. Evidently, showering in hot water did not help the situation but spread that stuff from head to toe.

I decided to fight the “enemy” with a pink lotion called, Caladryl. When Caladryl is applied in large areas all over your body, it must be dried either with lots of fanning with a piece of paper, a hair dryer on cool setting, or running around without clothes on in the privacy of your home with the drapes drawn, of course.

Nobody, absolutely nobody wants to see your body covered in that “pink stuff”.  As a matter of fact, they will stifle laughter as you walk by.  You do not care!  That Caladryl is like a magic potion.  Ignore their laughter!

If you choose not to dry it, that pink stuff will get all over your clothes.  I really recommend the hair dryer on the cool setting.

You will also have to wash your towel and clothes every day to prevent spreading that terrible “enemy”.  I recommend wearing long sleeve shirts and long pants to bed to keep the Caladryl and Poison Oak from getting on your sheets or you will have to run your washer night and day.

Also, when you wash your clothes, you will want to use hot and rinse them with some vinegar in the water to cut the residue from the oil of the Poison Oak out of your clothes.

Please, just trust me on the wardrobe.  I chose to wear my husband’s long sleeve shirts since he had diagnosed the place on my arm as just an asp sting.  Maybe a little payback?

That year, I had the “enemy”, Poison Oak, five times but the first time was the worst.  After my ear turned purple and swelled up, I decided it was time to go to the Doctor.

I was given a cream to apply to the rash, a Medrol Dose Pack to take by mouth and a warning from my Doctor that it would take two weeks to clear the “enemy” rash up.  Not what I wanted to hear!

Anyway, the whole reason for this blog is that the “devil” Poison Oak has attacked me again.

All I can think of that might have caused this attack is a pair of old gloves that I wore mowing which had not been washed from a previous mow.  Thinking I reached down and rubbed my leg. What was I thinking or why wasn’t I thinking?

Doctor call is in order along with buying more Caladryl to paint my body pink.  Not doing purple swollen ear again, so I am in full Caladryl armor!

Typing this reminds me of the “Giant Chigger”  story.

Gotta go, I missed a spot!

Visits: 233


  1. I’m actually becoming almost clairevoyant! I knew before I even hit your link this was a caladryl story! Over the years, it was a staple in our home! Mostly because my mom could attract a mosquito from 2 miles away! But also because of what was indigenous to our neck o’ the woods. Poison Sumac. As well as a little poison oak here and there! Great stuff that Caladryl !! Accidentally fed our Bitsy the dachsund mix(she came with our first house in Green Valley) some red licorice and she had some pretty nasty lookin red bumps on her nose the next mornin…a little Caladryl and the bumps were gone by the next day! I look forward to your Chigger story, a friend Ray and his wife settled in Arkansas and had a lot to say about them lil varmints! Til then…keep on keepin on!

    • Thinking maybe that clairvoyance had to do with the picture. Lol! I keep that Caladryl as a staple around here too.
      They actually make a clear stuff like Caladryl but it doesn’t work as well. Pink is the best.
      When we moved to the Gulf Coast not only was there a creepy fog hanging on the ground in the giant trees but things like butterflies were huge along with biggest chiggers I have ever seen.
      Thank you for your comment and sharing your memories of Caladryl.
      God Bless you,

  2. Wow! I have never seen poison oak, but where I have been going for vacation the past few years and where we went when I was a child it rife with poison ivy. I learned at an early age to recognize it, and fortunately never came into contact with it. My mother, while digging in a little garden at the cottage where there must have been some poison ivy growing at some time in the past, ended up with it on her hands. We ran into a man a couple of years ago on one of the trails up there who had contact with poison ivy in April and in August his limbs were still a terrible mess. I hope you can manage to stay clear of your enemy from now on. God bless.

    • Thank you for commenting Diane. Yes, I usually stay very clear of it but this must have been hiding in the bushes when I hedged them. Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, and Summac a very abundant down on coast of Texas because of the wet climate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.