The snow has melted and I’ve gone crazy golfing the last couple of weeks. I’ve played oh, let’s see…. ten rounds in the last two weeks. Some good, some not so good.
During a round at a very nice club here in town last Friday (8 days ago) I had an experience I hope not to relive. I was on the 14th hole which is a par 5. I blasted a huge drive on this dog right to about 240 out. There was a group just getting on the green so I had some time to kill while waiting for the green to clear.
I wondered over to the right side of the dog leg. This spot usually has tons of balls from players who pushed or sliced their drives, or just thought they were man enough to carry the corner. There I saw a brand spankin’ new ProV1 just waiting to join his friends in my bag. I had to grab a club and go through some fairly thick vegetation to get it but I managed.
By the time I was done the green was clear and I knocked my TP 3-wood to about 8 feet. I missed the eagle putt but had an easy birdie.
Right after my putt I felt a pretty strong itch on my leg. I’d been bitten by some damn bug in those bushes.! I itched it throughout the round.
The next day my leg REALLY itched and the two little red dots on my leg expanded to a very large boil/blister looking thing. It got bigger and bigger. Then my left leg started to itch and the same little red dots and subsequent boils.
Never had it before, but I managed to get poison oak or ivy. I thought poison ivy just itched a bit and gave you a rash that lasted a day or two. A little web research and a trip to the pharmacy and I learned that poison ivy can be brutal. In extreme cases entire sections of peoples flesh can look like they have 3rd degree burns. The effects can last two weeks or longer.
The poison ivy leaves have a very strong oil which gets on your skin and causes the burns. This oil is so strong I was told to scrub the area several times per day, wash my clothes several times and only use towels and washcloths once before washing them.
I apparently got the oil on my right leg, and when I crossed my legs working on my laptop in my favorite chair the oil went to the other leg. I also apparently itched the leg then touched my left bicep and right waist line. Boils there too.
It takes roughly a couple of weeks for the irritation to subside. But in some extreme cases the oil gets under the persons skin and a surgical procedure is required to remove it. I’m told it’s very painful.
So I’m 8 days into what hopefully is no more than 14 days of terrible itching and irritation.
The next time you see a shiny ProV in the bushes, look around and make sure it’s “safe” to go in there.
Photo: Kim Hill
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