Saturday, May 24, 2008

Poison Oak Attacks Woman's Face - Change of Course for Memorial Day Weekend Plans

Here I apply the homeopathic remedy, Green Gunk, to poison oak on my legs. The next day, I resorted to the anti-inflammatory medicine, Prednisone. Sorry, no gruesome face pictures! Photo credit: Leslie Kefauver, aka, Mom.

"Karen, where are you?" my friend called.

"Over here," I said, laughing at the ridiculous predicament I was in - stuck in a bush.

On a group mountain bike ride this past Tuesday evening, I made a classic cycling error: I looked precisely where I did not want to go. In this case, I was rounding a sharp corner of a narrow, dirt trail. As I entered the turn, I panicked seeing a steep drop-off. Sure enough, I started to steer off the trail. At the last second, I realized the impending disaster and leaped off my bike. My bike fell onto the trail, but the momentum from the turn propelled me right over the edge of the cliff. I rolled several feet down the hill until I was stuck, up to my neck, in a big thicket of brambles. The rider ahead of me, Jec, heard me yell as I fell. She rode back to check on me

"Where are you?" she called from the trail above. "Oh, wait! I can see your red helmet sticking out of the top of the bush," Jec said. "Let me give you a hand."

She reached down the steep slope and helped haul back onto the trail. When she confirmed I was ok, we shared a laugh about it.

But I am not laughing now. As a result of that tumble, I have poison oak on my face for the first time! I look like a sci-fi character with my crusty lips, bright red nose, and spotted neck. Ick. Not to mention my arms, legs, torso also sport big patches of this miserable stuff - which is caused by my skin coming in contact with the oil in the leaf.. With my itchy, oozing blisters, I decided not to go out of town to Paso Robles for the Great Western Bike Rally.

I am confident that if there were a video of my mountain bike crash this past Tuesday, it would soar to the top of You Tube's most-watched list.

Another reason to skip the road trip: the raging wildfires in Santa Cruz County! Governor Terminator was here earlier this week and declared it an emergency zone. Another good reason to stay home - a lot of smoke in the air! Luckily, no bodily injuries have been reported, though homes have been lost.