Leaves of Three – Let Them Be

I thought I was immune, but I guess I’m not anymore… For the first time in decades, I’ve got Poison Ivy. I got it pulling some vines off my trees. My hands are a blistered mess, which makes typing interesting. In others words, this’ll be a short post. Just a quick refresher for those who might have forgotten what Poison Ivy looks like.

poison_ivy.jpg This is what’s left of the vine that I foolishly grabbed with my bare hands.

Poison Ivy is most easily recognized by its compound leaves consisting of three pointed leaflets (thus the rhyme leaves of three, let them be). The middle leaflet has a much longer stalk than the two side ones. The leaf edges can be smooth or toothed. The leaves are reddish when they first come out in the spring, turn green during the summer with the mature stems covered with hairy rootlets, and turn various shades of yellow, orange or red in the fall.

As I bemoaned my stupidity and my itchy hands with Cait in earshot, she quickly put it into perspective.

“It could be worse, Mom. You could have it on your butt.”

I stopped complaining immediately.

16 thoughts on “Leaves of Three – Let Them Be”

  1. Hey Karen, my good friend and I were discussing Poison Ivy the other day, and he thought he had some in his woods, and they had 5 leaves. Of course I forgot the saying because I never knew I’d need that information handy one day. Well, now it’s cleared up and I’m glad he doesn’t have any ivy hanging on in his backyards!! Thanks for clarification, and you know you can use that “c” name stuff, claramine or some sort of name?!

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  2. Yeah, but why would you be picking poison ivy with your derrière – or is there some transatlantic nuance I haven’t picked up here?

    More likely that you’ll have scratched poison ivy elsewhere on your body and then inadvertently scratch your derrière, thus spreading the poison ivy there. :) 

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  3. I’m so sorry. And I want to thank you for writing about it. We get poison oak on the west coast, and I have always thought I was immune because I was as a girl. I had no idea that I might outgrow that immunity and who knows what trouble I could have gotten into if I had not read this post today!

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  4. My worst case – three week old baby, got it on my wrists, spread it to my breasts while nursing. The baby had to nurse through the blisters. Pure misery.

    I think that one takes the prize. Yikes! 

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  5. Yikes! Checkers jumped around in poison ivy a few weeks back and the irritants rubbed off on Mr. T’s arm when he picked her up. It was just AWFUL! Caladryl helped a little, but mostly it was just waiting it out. Hope you feel better soon!!

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  6. Oh dear — on the butt!! So sorry for those girls and you Therese. Really ouch!!

    I haven’t heard of Zandfel. I’ll check it out. I first put some Jewel weed on it, which is a plant you can usually find right near by poison ivy and that works well. Tee Tree Oil also clears it up pretty fast. My hands are much better today.

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  7. Bummer!
    I just got over a bout of it, though it’s poison oak where I am. Have you tried using Zanfel? It’s expensive, but works wonders. I can’t survive without the stuff anymore.
    Hope you feel better soon.

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  8. OUCH! I haven’t had poison ivy for a while but I had a nasty case when I was a kid. My neighbor and I crawled under our back fence just enough times to get a serious case of poison ivy…including on our butts..and everywhere else you can imagine! Believe me…Cait is right, it could be worse!

    Feel better…and don’t scratch! ;)

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  9. I was a counselor at a camp once where three girls did get poison ivy on their butts. We had to send them home before we could laugh at them.

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  10. Oh, you poor soul! I really feel for you…what misery.
    However, I am guilty of laughing at Cait’s comment.
    Sorry.

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  11. Aww sorry to hear about poison ivy, that stinks! But yes as Cait said it could always be worse. :)
    Wishing you a speedy recovery!

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