As I've mentioned before, I reign over a vast kingdom of poison ivy in real life. There's nothing glamorous about it. What started out as a few small patches of dermatitis on one cheek—acquired during phase 2 of my annual poisonous weed patrol of my yard—exploded into a swollen, lumpy, crusty mass of oozing, weepy flesh. Within a week, it had taken over the entire right side of my face, ear to nose, jaw to cheekbone. I had to tie my hair back in order to keep the strands from getting stuck and then drying to my cheek in an unholy thatch. And the itching. Dear god, the itching! It took every ounce of self-control not to claw myself to death.
This all coincided with our backwoods vacation, of course. I watched with trepidation as the rash (that word doesn't even begin to describe it) advanced toward my mouth and eye holes. Finally, my lake companions—in between private bouts of discreet retching—convinced me to seek medical attention. I located a clinic in the nearest small town (population: 1,700) and carried half of my face there in a pot. The sympathetic medical staff prescribed me large quantities of steroids, which have enabled me to regain human form and return to civilized society once again. Now it just looks like I have some kind of weird splotchy sunburn on one side of my face. (Also, I'm ripped!)
So, in case that photo gave you the impression of happy, carefree days spent shucking corn in the late afternoon sun, now you know. Those afternoons were happy—but very itchy!