Saturday, May 06, 2006

Here Be Whining

At least, that's what Brad thought was a good title for this post after I read it to him. I say, it's justified whining.

A couple weeks ago, our next door neighbor to the left of us pointed out that the juniper bush that sits on the property line was becoming infested with vicious honeysuckle vines on our side of the bush. She was worrying that it would affect the health of the bush...and would we please do something about it.

So we threw ourselves into a violent tug of war with nature twice in the last two weeks. It was a huge job and very difficult. Honeysuckle! Who knew that it could be such an insidious enemy? It sounds so harmless and charming...a word that should be associated with sunny mornings and cozy cottages. But it had grown into a mass of tangled, deeply entrenched vines and until the neighbor pointed it out, I actually thought that it was how it was supposed to look- it looked so established. I carted several wheelbarrow loads full of vines down to the garage and stuffed the trash can full- both times we did this. Brad borrowed a massive, two-handed machete from Nate and used it to hack away at the evil growth. We also tried to dig up some of the stuff by the roots so it wouldn't grow back.

My opinion was that we should just torch the stupid bush and be done with it. It was not worth the gwunting and stwuggling.

Last Friday I discovered some weird looking bug bites that had sprung up on my arm. I attributed them to some brutish gnats that I remember attacking me at a yard sale that day. The bug bites blossomed to a frightening size and I began to look like a victim of an atomic disaster.

It suddenly dawned on us a couple days ago that these were not bug bites and realized that I was suffering from an allergic reaction. I'm still not sure whether it's poison ivy (I've never had it before) or simply honey suckle. Or maybe we're the first victims of a terrorist attack. Anyway...much suffering has ensued. And now Brad has it too, poor fellow.

The urge to scratch cannot be ignored. This situation reminds me of the Calvin and Hobbes cartoon when Calvin and his family are on a road trip and Calvin needs to answer the call of nature...and as they look for a rest-stop all he can think of is Noah's Ark, Hoover Dam, and Niagara Falls...All I can think about is sandpaper, steel wool, and claws...

I have woken myself up the last couple nights itching my arms and legs like crazy. In fact, last night I realized in the wee hours of the morning, as I convulsively scratched my arms, that even if I knew that scratching myself would kill me, I would still do it....because I just HAD TO. It was a horrifying realization: if that was the choice, I would plunge down the road towards death without a moment's hesitation. I suddenly felt like I could relate to those with self destructive addictions.

I also felt a strange kinship with poor Eustace Scrubb-turned-dragon in the Voyage of the Dawn Treader. As I slathered on a mixture of calamine lotion and aloe vera, at 1:30 this morning, I felt like I was preparing myself for a strange decoupage project. I wished with all my heart that Aslan would come along and tear off my skin.

The latest thing we've tried is a mixture of three parts baking soda and one part water. We slathered it on our poor welted skin this morning. I look like a science experiment gone bad. Sigh. What a mess. And the calamine lotion makes me look like a wall of sheetrock with random spots of joint compound. Our skin is like hideous living Braille.

I want to hide myself upstairs til it's all gone.

You will no doubt laugh when I tell you that after all this, there was some question as to whether we should do a video blog about this... I think if we did a video blog, no one would ever come back to this blog again. I haven't really had much writing exercise recently anyway...

15 comments:

ljmax said...

Hi, my name is Claire and I am a scratcher. It's been 10 days since my last scratch...Yeah, the self-destructive addictions comparisons must stop.
Gots to post pictures!
Also, what about fire ants?

Kristi said...

Oh, you poor dears! At least you both have it so you can share in the fellowship of your sufferings. :-)

Mrs. RF said...

You both have my sympathies-I am so sorry! The fire ant theory might be possible! Yuck! It might have been better to just cut down juniper! Ah, well, the juniper must live at all costs.

Cara said...

My deepest sympathies, Brad and Claire. I know what it's like to itch. There's the part where you refuse to scratch, then you allow yourself ten scratches, then you stop, then you resist temptation again, then you throw care to the wind and scratch til you are bleeding. I've been there. Hope it's figured out soon. Thanks for making me giggle. :D

Amy said...

That's miserable! I'm so sorry for you! I'm very allergic to poison ivy...during my senior year, my parents & I went out to NC to visit a college. I got into some poison vine thing and had some horrible looking welts. I don't remember much of the week after we got home beyond wishing I could either cut off my arms or just die to stop the itching. Why, oh why, did God decide poison ivy was a *good* idea?? :)

I hope you guys heal up quickly. There are few things worse (in the average person's life) than walking around covered in calamine lotion, knowing that you're scaring the children. :)

And sorry if this posts twice, but I just hit "login and publish" and it didn't do anything, so I'm going to try again.

karena said...

Claire, you MUST publish! Sorry about the agony!

Katie said...

I heard about a soap from Bert's Bees that's really good...dries the stuff up. Hope you get some relief

Claire said...

KK- MUST publish what?

lis said...

Ai yai yai! My HEARTFELT sympathies!

Hopefully they are still good, despite the good giggle I just had.

Living Braille, joint compound, decoupage, and Eustace Scrubb? Masterful description indeed!

DJ said...

You poor people. My deepest sympathies.

If its poison "something", I suggest a homeopathic remedy called Rhus Tox. Its for arthritis pain, but it is a miracle worker for the itching. Have to go to a health food or natural store. Try it if things get to bad. The worst that will happen is it won't work.

Blessings...

Aaron S. said...

You have my sympathies!

asaphat said...

Didn't sound like whining to me. Sounded like a very factual account of the past few days in your lives.

Now, had it been a video blog, we could never have mistaken whining when we saw it (Claire: "Ice cream!")

Living Braille. Ew. Vilely gisdusting.

kw said...

I just mean that with every passing blog, you are turning into an award winning writer...

the Joneses said...

No laughter here. I hate poison ivy with a passion, since I've had some nasty cases of it (including one right before Addie was born).

--DJ

Marie said...

Please post a video blog if you still have the vile stuff. When I was with YWAM I got a HORRIBLE case of poison ivy, it was poison something.... I've thought it was an allergic reaction.... my ankle swelled up... I had huge boils on my leg and some on my right arm... size of quarters and maybe bigger....

Also the nastiness on my leg was from my ankle up to below my knee adn it was on the back of my leg too and in the joint of my right arm.

I feel your pain and am now a little itchy, possible from reading about your ordeal....

I'll pray it goes away soon, and you'll find relief!