Another post on English Ivy and some thoughts about the Furlong experience for others seeking information.
Any information about our allergic reaction to cutting back our Ivy is very hard to obtain on the internet.
Symptoms are just labelled “respiratory difficulties” – so what does that mean?
Well, in us, it was like this.
In the late afternoon after pruning an old Ivy, left unrestrained for years on a garden arch, in the morning, we BOTH – Mr Furlong and I, SIMULTANEOUSLY, developed burning, dry throats. Lots of swallowing. Coughing.
We felt “feverish” as if developing a sudden, miraculously co-ordinated “flu”.
I took throat lozenges to help me sleep and Mr Furlong drank cough syrup. I found tiny sips of milk helped the burning. We did not have a good night. It was in the night it occurred to me that we must have been poisoned by something for the chances of us BOTH presenting with exactly the same symptoms from a virus or bacterial infection were astronomical. I thought of the Ivy.
In the morning both our throats were producing altered voices – gruff and growly – hoarse.
We were still coughing and burning. We felt tired.
That was the day after cutting back the Ivy.
By the evening our voices had started to disappear, or come in strange tones as if our voices were “breaking”.
On the next day, we virtually had no voices.
Trying to force talking is very tiring. We were less dry coughy and more trying to release-phlegm coughy. I had vague feelings that I was developing bronchitis, which I had had before. Mr Furlong doesn’t know that feeling but points to his throat under his Adams Apple when he coughs, so I presume it’s the same feeling. So we both developed a kind of bronchitis. By the evening MY voice had completely disappeared.
To sleep, I used a steam inhalation and Mr Furlong used his cough medicine.
Today, the third day, I have absolutely no voice. Mr Furlong is growly and coughing more than me.
On the coughs, we are producing some phlegm which has not happened before. We don’t feel bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. In fact, I feel just bloody depressed that somehow, the rest of the Ivy has to be got down off the garden arch.
I am making these posts so that other people who get zapped by an unfriendly Ivy have some kind of information more that “respiratory difficulties” to go on.
- The most frequently reported adverse effects related to English ivy are allergy symptoms, such as allergic contact dermatitis, asthmatic bronchitis, or allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (inflammation of the lining of the nose and the mucous membrane that covers the front of the eye and lines the eyelids). Gardeners and those with frequent exposure to English ivy may have a high risk of sensitization and should wear appropriate protective clothing.
More to follow……