Monday, June 18, 2012

Bad Mango Tree!

Well hello, Mango Season.

Did you know it was Mango season?

Well why yes  here in South Florida it is Mango Season and guess who happens to have a Mango tree? Me!
Here is the mango tree in my back yard. See the little yellow balls - those are ripe mangos.

I actually don't love the taste of Mango. But my kids do and I love that they love it and I like to eat things and serve things that come out of my back yard. Connecting to food and all that. Our Mango tree ripens early because it has Honey Mangos (artufo mangos?)which are smaller and yellow instead of Red. Not that it matters much - it doesn't.

So, in anticipation of the upcoming mango season I had purchased a Mango Picker. It's a pool cleaning pole with a sharp part at the end and a basket.

The Mango Picker got off to a bad start when my son gave himself a doozy of a bad cut on his hand from reaching in at the sharp part. Luckily he did not take off a finger or need stitches so we are basically no worse for the wear here at casa de Mango.
Nope not the pool skimmer - the mango picker. See the razor blades up there at the top (just under the yellow danger / peligroso sticker) yup Jack and Ana didn't see them either.
The cuts happened when he was mango picking with our housekeeper, Ana. Two days later to make sure that neither Ana or Jack were traumatized by this experience I lead the next Mango Picking extravaganza. I was dressed for my track workout (shorts, singlet, shortie socks) which immediately followed the Mango picking. We picked about 50-60 Mangos off the tree. It was fun - Jack climbed the tree. Ana helped Jack and everybody was all smiles. My husband came home - and I set off for the track.

I did my track workout, including stretching where apparently my hands touched my legs- ate sushi with my track buddies and came home where I took a quick shower because I smelled bad.

I went to bed and around 5:30 AM I woke up with what I thought was a super annoying mosquito bite around my knees. I got up and was sort of amazed to see that my legs were covered in itchy, red angry hives. While scratching frantically I saw that so were my arms and what's this on my chest ... ack is this crap spreading!?!?. Oh boy this was not good. The red angry mounds were swollen and hot to the touch and as mentioned before - itched like crazy.

Hmmm... did I mention my husband was out of town. Ugh ... single parenthood with an itchy rash. Wonderful!

So, I showered again. Smeared aveno creme all over me which neither helped with the itching nor smell good. Got the kids to camp and went straight to the doctor/nurse practitioner. I had seen her a few days earlier for a patch of itchy on my arm. I was blaming the intracoastal swim ... she had said that was most likely not it but we couldn't figure what it was so I went on my merry way.  I did not have an appointment ... I just went in. Had the office been closed I may have gone to the ER I was miserable. But the office was open. The receptionist said ... oh Poison Ivy. I said, I don't think so. She put me into a room where I tried not to scratch non-stop. I'll be honest I wasn't doing a good job of that.
I took this picture of my hairy leg just a moment ago. Notice the red part? That is a remaining part of the rash. I had that all over my legs and arms and chest. Interestingly I noticed that this "strip" is exactly the length of my thumb - coincidence, me thinks no. I think I probably rested my hand here while driving the car.
The Nurse Practitioner came in. She took me through what I had done the day before. (swam, ate breakfast, mommyhood, lunch, mommyhood, mangos, track, sushi, heat game, shower, bed). When I finished she said ... it's most likely the Mango Tree.

The sap is a relative to Poison Ivy. Lots of people can't even touch them. You probably got sap all over you. Aha ... news to me but okay then it's the mango tree.

Stupid Mango Tree! It makes sense - the Mango picker does cut the stem and they ooze sticky sap. Several high up mangos missed the basket and would bounce around on the ground I probably did have sap all over me.

She found samples of itch creme and gave me a giant prescription for more. Told me it should last a week. A week sounded like forever when surviving a minute was all I could do. I filled the prescription and then went home and sat on the couch covered in creme trying not to scratch. It was agony.

So I've applied the itch creme 2-3 times a day and the rash is going away. Slowly. But it is better. Alas, no more mango picking for me unless I'm totally covered with clothing because this sucks!

But you gotta pick the mangos because if you don't the fruit all falls onto the ground and attracts critters that you want in your yard even less than you want an itchy rash.

Also - PS - tie in this is my excuse for not training Friday. My Saturday and Sunday excuse is slackerdom.


  1. Yes, they are related to Poison Ivy. UGH. My husband is allergic to it - his skin blisters like acid was poured on it, so be careful! And don't let water that was on the tree drip on you (like after a rain). FYI - if the rash doesn't clear up quickly with the cream, there is a shot you can get (sorry, don't know the name of it), but it will go away in a day or two. Take care!

  2. That's surprising! At least you figured it out.