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Friday, September 12, 2014

Toxicodendron Radicans

I get the same look every time.  First from the nurse and then from the doctor.  Sort of smirk as if to say “Yeah, so you are allergic to poison ivy.  Most people are you know?”  Then they go through the standard questions.  When were you exposed?  Does it itch? (I don’t have $200,000 is student loan debt from medical school, but I know better than to ask stupid questions like ‘Does it itch?’).

Rather than wait for them to outline my treatment option, I rattle that off right away to save us all some time.  “I need the steroid shot.”  No reason to discuss other treatments.  When my body gets poison ivy it just laughs at Calamine lotion.  Steroid creams might work if I catch it quickly.  Oral steroid pills were probably fine in this case, but I didn’t want to mess around with this stuff anymore.  Too many severe reactions.  I mean, there is allergic to poison ivy and the is ALLERGIC TO POISON IVY.

Around 20% of people are not allergic, yet it infects over 350,000 people each year.  One those is generally me.  I actually take the oral steroid every year as we begin our fly fishing week.  That place has lit me up more than I care to recall.  At least on those trips I can claim being in some exotic locale really roughing it (which is total nonsense, but makes for a good story).  This time I got it in my own backyard.  And don’t be mistaken, this is no wild jungle on the edge of the woods backyard.  It is a fully fenced, manicured yard.

The vine I yanked out on my “holiday” (Labor Day) was the same one I battled a year ago.  Or at least I assumed it was the same one, yet it didn’t bother me a year ago.  When I felt some itching the next morning I simply thought I had stepped in a fire ant bed and got a few bites.  The following day I jumped in the pool after a bike ride.  My ankles were on fire.  A quick look at it from my wife and the diagnosis was rendered.

Dang it.  I was shocked.  I never even looked at the ankles close enough to question my fire ant explanation.  She quickly advised me to get to a Doc-In-A-Box for the shot because waiting 12 hours could render me useless and swollen.  It would also save her from having to hear me whine about it…this was her real motivation.

So, that’s what happened.  Just another day in Chaos.  Things have not really cleared up, but seem to be moving in that direction.  Let’s hope so anyway.

Run in Peace, Rest in Grace

Thursday, September 4, 2014


On November 13, 2009, I posted my first entry Why Randy Runs here on Runswithacross.  It took awhile, but almost 5 years later (4 years, 9 months & 22 days to be precise) to post this….#100.  

Certainly a lot of garbage posted in those 1,756 days, some might say 99 out of 99, but I’m not doing this for them.  Yes, there have been too many typos, misspellings and horrific grammar errors to count.  One might be embarrassed to admit they even proof and re-write most of the entries many times before “publishing”.  Not ME!  Actually, some get TLC and others just foam out of my mind into my hands and onto the internet with only minor scrubbing.  

These semi-stream of consciousness posts are often my favorite.  Generally informal and less serious (like this one).  You see, I used to write these e-mails titled “Just Because” and circulate them to my friends.  They loved them.  So much so that when my computer crashed many years ago and I lost all the files, several of them came to my rescue and e-mailed them back to me.  I was flattered that they had saved them.

I guess you could say Just Because was Runswithacross before blogging became so simple.  Back then, there were fewer writers and a receptive audience.  Today, there are several million too many writers and no audience.  We’re all too busy trying to tell people what we think to actually read other people’s work.  Progress…right?

I never had any aspirations of creating one of those very rare Must Read blogs.  A successful blog, according to people who blog about how to successfully blog, stays on a single topic, has frequent posts with fresh material and promotes themselves heavily.  In other words, you have to work at it.  I’m lazy, have a double rainbow of interests and don’t believe in self-promotion.  Therefore, I’ve spent a trivial amount of time in the past 250 weeks writing anything I feel like.  While I occasionally get a message that say “thank you for the race report, I’m thinking about entering next year”, my audience is generally zero.  I’m fine with that.

In the end, this blog was intended to force myself to write more.  Given that it took 5 years to make 100 posts I’d say it has been a complete failure.

My new goal, hold your breath I’m revealing something special, is to write a little more.  Maybe 120 entries in the next 5 years.  Maybe not much an improvement, but an improvement.  We should all strive to get better.  120 is more than 100.  Better.

Run in Peace, Rest in Grace