First off, big thank you to Cheddah, his dad Jeff, and his girlfriend Jordan. I jumped along for a few days of slackpacking, and boy, were they amazing. It was such a relief to walk without a full pack for a few days, especially during the huge heat wave. Jeff and Jordan would meet us at road crossings with cold gatorades and sodas. The biggest help came after a completion of 21 miles. I had started to notice a gross looking red rash on my arms, legs and feet. Due to the heat, I was concerned that it was heat rash. Thankfully, Jeff and Jordan were close and picked Cheddah and I up. I cleaned myself off with a cool shower, ate some food and got some Benadryl. The next morning the rash had improved a little. Cheddah and I hiked 11 miles and called it a day because of the heat. (though we did manage to cross the border into PA despite the low mileage) I’ll tell you one thing, those first 5 miles were like pulling teeth. Hiking on Benadryl is horrible. I felt slow and loopy. Later that day, after a shower and during lunch, I noticed the rash getting worse. My immediate thought was, what if the reaction gets worse in the woods when I am all alone?
Thank you Jeff, for immediately taking me to the ER upon my request. I was starting to wonder what could have caused this…why would my legs and arms be the worst bit? Hmmm….I did use bug lotion….but, I’ve used it before, not often. My hypothesis came to a conclusion when the bottle informed me that “some severe skin reactions can occur in rare cases. If this happens, discontinue use, and contact your local poison control. Save the bottle if you see a doctor.”
After a two hour visit at the ER, where I revealed to them my hypothesis, I was told never to use my bug lotion again. I was given medication that would keep me awake and then told to keep on Benadryl, which would make me sleepy. Uppers and Downers….and all it’s seemed to do is make me feel sick, often. Well, at least I will be protected from further reactions if I am alone in the woods! Things seem to pop up and I suppose I have been pretty lucky thus far, so taking one day off due to accidental poisoning isn’t that bad….
Can’t wait to get back out there!