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The Resistance

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For nearly thirty-nine years, The Resistance held me, protected me.  Within it, I was safe.  Others were affected, but I remained immune.

Until now.

The Resistance failed.  The attacker broke through, and I began to understand the suffering others have always endured.


Yes, finally, for the first time in my life I have succumb to the evil effects of poison ivy.

Always I had been immune.  I can remember grabbing hold of it with my bare hands before I knew what it was, and there was no effect.  I admit, I became complacent.  I would regularly weed my flower garden without wearing gloves or long sleeves.  I did not throw caution completely to the wind; I washed my hands and arms well afterward, but it was more to protect my husband, who is extremely allergic and to whom I did not want to pass the oils of the plant.

A couple of days ago, I started to itch.  And itch.  It was itching like I’d never had before.  The bumps on my hand and my arms looked like mosquito bites, but I’ve never had a mosquito bite itch like this.  Then I noticed that the irritation had made a line on my skin — just like I’d seen on my husband and my friends when they had contracted poison ivy.  That’s when I suspected.  I showed it to Stephan, and he confirmed my diagnosis.

Well, drat.  No longer can I pull weeds willy-nilly or on a whim.  Now I must plan ahead, wear gloves and long sleeves, and throw the clothing in the washer immediately afterward.

I must join in the experiences of nearly everyone else in the world.




About Karen Koch

I like the old-fashioned lifestyle. All this new-fangled stuff baffles me sometimes. I cherish living out in the country, raising chickens and rabbits, planting fruit trees, and enjoying a slow life filled with beautiful words and ideas. I don't always achieve a slow life. I teach middle school English and manage a little burgeoning farm with my husband, and somewhere in the midst of that, I try to find time for writing, running, knitting, reading, and playing the ukulele. And sometimes, I actually succeed.

2 responses »

  1. My boys have had great success with Technu. We get it at Dollar General. They use it after they suspect they have been in contact with poison ivy.

  2. Is it sad that my “garden” is so tame that I don’t have to worry about poison? No threat of that in our yard – but I should be more cautious when I wander in the woods because I remember a really bad reaction to poison oak when I was a kid. Hope you’re feeling better!


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