Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Timely Warning

Yesterday Hubby and I were in Sandpoint running our weekly errands. While we were in Safeway doing some grocery shopping, I noticed a display of lovely little plants that looked like miniature Christmas trees labeled "Lemon Cypress". So cute, only $9.99, and with "lemon" in the name, you just know they have to smell good, right?

Not satisfied with just smelling the plants, I ran my hand through one and sniffed. Ahhh...lemony! And for good measure, I did it again and caught up with Hubby so he could sniff too. Aren't they pretty?

Image from
Didn't think anything of it, but a couple of hours later I noticed that the inside of my thighs felt irritated and itchy. My first thought was the old equation:

Blue jeans + thunder thighs + lots of walking = Chafing

So I didn't think anything of it. Fast forward to that evening, and we were settling in on the couch to watch TV, I realized that both of my legs were itching like crazy, really feeling creepy-crawly. I just thought my skin was dry, so ignored it as long as I could.

Then it got worse. The itchiness turned painful, so I ran into the bathroom, yanked down my jeans, and slathered my legs with lotion.

Went to sit back down, and my legs felt like they were on fire. Ran back to the bathroom, tore off all my clothes (by that point wishing I could tear my skin off too), and jumped into the shower. When the warm water hit my legs, it felt like acid. Had to ignore the pain and scrub like crazy with soap, repeated, then stood in the hot spray for a while.

When I got out of the shower, my legs were red and covered with a rash from my ankles all the way up, especially on the inner side of each leg. I put on my thinking cap, dug through the medicine cabinet, and sprayed my legs with a topical anesthetic and then drank a good dose of liquid Benadryl. Couldn't figure out what in the world I could be having an allergic reaction to, because nothing I had eaten that day was new to me, and the skin products I used were the same as always.

The Benadryl knocked me out and so I went to bed. When I woke up this morning I was fine, thank goodness, all the symptoms were gone. I had a brainstorm and Googled "lemon cypress" and found a website (Dave's Garden) that warned that touching the plants can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions. Eureka!

Just so you know, I'm not the kind of person who is sensitive to stuff like this; I don't have any allergies (except to morphine); even poison ivy doesn't affect me very much although my son is deathly allergic to it.

So the next time you're at your local supermarket or nursery or home improvement store and you see these pretty touchee! They really should have a warning sign on these things because if someone as unlikely as me can have a severe reaction, then someone who is truly sensitive could end up in the hospital.

Be careful out there, my friends!



  1. Thanks for the heads up, it is good to know and I am glad your doing better.

  2. Thanks for the warning!I am sure my local Safeway has them, I of course have to touch everything, so I will avoid this next time I am there.

    Sandpoint is beautiful! we go there once or twice a year to eat at Spuds and walk the town... I am a Colville girl so it is an easy day trip!

    I know the itching was not funny, BUT the blue jeans and thunder thigh thing was hilarious, I wish I did not know personally what you mean here....

  3. How horrible...but I have to say..I was laughing while reading your blog post..please forgive me but you are so darn funny! And thanks for the heads up on the plant..I must say though it is a really pretty plant.


  4. Ewwww....I think I have to go take a shower now....Certain things set me off in no time flat (like just LOOKING at poison ivy); liquid laundry detergents; Levaquin....Now I have the itchy crawlies....but thanks for the warning - with a name like that, I'd have been sniffing and touching too....Hope you had a great Sunday - and have a wonderful week ahead! Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

  5. OH NO! That is terrible but I'm glad you shared! We were at Lowe's and Home Depot today and I was looking at all of their small plants! I'll have to be more careful! Hope this goes away pronto! Hugs! ♥

  6. Wow ~ thank you for the heads up. I would have done the same thing ;-)


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