I took all the necessary precautions, long sleeve shirt, work gloves, even coveralls.
I scrubbed in the shower within thirty minutes of completing my garden work.
And still I got the oils on my arms.
When the outbreak started a couple of days later I applied over-the-counter salves.
When it continued, I followed a pharmacist’s suggestion for a soaking powder and calamine lotion.
When it got worse, I went to a drugstore clinic and got a prescription salve.
As it worsened, I went back and got prednisone.
After a miserable night, I went to a hospital-run clinic and got a shot.
But it’s the prednisone that drives this escapade. I kept my wife awake all night, she claims.
She had been pretty sympathetic until this. Now, she’s suggesting a different sleeping arrangement for the duration.
I was warned the prednisone might affect my sleep. Wow. That wasn’t the half of it.
It affected my appetite, my activity level, and my sleep.
That’s what got me in trouble with Sharon.
I made repeated trips to the kitchen throughout the night, which she says she heard between her naps.
I started the evening after supper with a bowl of watermelon. But that didn’t hold me.
I followed that with a granola bar. Then a banana. Then mixed nuts. Then an apple. Then vanilla wafers.
It was the vanilla wafers at 3:30 am that were the straw that broke the camel’s back, to mix my metaphors.
Well, that and the noise of the shower, which I took to try and stem the itching.
It was the crinkling tin foil and scratching sounds that I made pulling the wafers from the box that woke her for the last time.
I thought I was being stealthy. She says it sounded like a turtle scratching inside a cardboard box.
I guess tonight I’ll sleep upstairs.
But first I have to go to the grocery store.