Recently I was visiting my father in the USA and was helping out with some chores around the farm. Several trees had come down and I was pulling logs off the tracks in the woods as my father cut section with his chainsaw.
Much to my dismay, my romp in the woods that day resulted in a pretty bad case of poison ivy. My left ankle was the worst, most likely the site of the initial brush with the annoying plant. The rash on my ankle had formed into large blisters much like a 3rd degree burn. I won’t disgust you out with photos or a horror film version of the weeping pus. Let’s just say it was gross and it really itched!
I was on my way back to Singapore so there was no time to go to a proper doctor. I checked in with two pharmacists instead. Both agreed that drying the wound with alcohol & keeping it dry with gauze was the best road to recovery. My father wasn’t happy. He took a photo of my ankle and sent it to his dermatologist. Hours before my flight, a prescription was called in & picked up just in time for my departure.
But I didn’t take the medicine. Something about it wasn’t right. So I waited.
On my arrival back in Singapore I went to see my awesome doctor. She knows me well & knows that when I show up, I’ve got something pretty seriously wrong. The last time I was in for poison ivy, it had consumed half my leg from ankle to knee. Thankfully, it wasn’t that bad. I showed her my wounds and the medication I was given then said, “There’s just one more thing…”
You see, I had a tick latch on to me during my time in the woods and didn’t notice it until the last day I was in the USA. It would be a few more days for the rings to appear indicating I was infected with Lyme disease.
“I didn’t take the medication because it states in the contraindications that it suppresses your immune system. That’s not good if I have Lyme disease, right?”
It was a hunch. It was my intuition saying to me that the 1st doctor who gave me the medication didn’t have the whole story. I could have compromised my immune function just so my ankle would look and feel better. I wouldn’t die of poison ivy. I could die of Lyme disease. My doctor advised me against taking the medication and instead gave me a mild antihistamine. It took a few weeks for my poison ivy rash to go away but I’m grateful that I listened to my gut and potentially saved my life.
Do you listen to your intuition? What has it been trying to say to you?