Friday I was pulling weeds from the rose & iris garden bordering the front of our brick home, and I spied it!! The despised vine clinging to my brick, climbing a foot and a half already up the wall. Three leaf or five? I leaned closer, and really, it looked like some had three leaves and I was sure I saw a few clusters of five leaves. Usually here in Zone 7, we live in West Tennessee 20 minutes from the Mississippi border, usually five leaf is Virginia Creeper, not Poison Ivy. But I decided to take no chances. Having already lightly touched it, I quickly washed my hands thoroughly with hot soap & water. Then I grabbed a pair of rubber gloves and began to pull the unwelcome intruder up. Of course, it was about 10 feet long, had rooted down in several places, and had sent a second runner up the wall about three feet from the first one. They were all attached. In gathering the long legged intruder up, it accidentally lightly brushed against my right inner wrist where the glove left off it's coverage. Now had I had my thinking cap on, I would have immediately gone into the house once I got it into the wheel barrow and washed my wrist well, but no, I was lost in my work and how good my weeding was looking.
Fast forward to Saturday night, (last night). I reached down and absently scratched my wrist that had just began to itch, then a second later did it again. I noticed my skin felt bumpy, I looked and there it was, a large patch or red rash on my wrist. I immediately had a flashback of the forgotten brush with the Ivy as I folded it into the wheel barrow. Oh no! I have been so careful. I haven't had Poison Ivy in YEARS! My husband Joe told me to go put some bleach on it, I soaked a cotton ball in bleach and wiped the wrist down for about 45 seconds. I don't advise you do this if you have scratched it raw, for just my couple times of light scratching, and the bleach stung slightly. The bumps had already formed little blisters and couple times to scratch had opened some of them, and this would have spread it more, ouch! Anyway, then, I made a bleach water bath in the sink, 1/4 cup bleach to almost a sink of water. I soaked the wrist in the bleach water 5 minutes, and behold, my itching was stopped. This did not sting either. This morning, there are no bumps, no rash. But I can see the few places where I scratched the top off some bumps with that one little scratch session. Posting this to help others who are allergic, as it is a miserable thing. And this just worked for me! Thanks to my best friend & sweetheart for saving me a week of misery. If we both make it another 6 weeks, we will celebrate 40 beautiful years of marriage.