The Reboot — How to get Up and Going after an Illness


My rainbow reboot!

I contracted my first poison ivy rash near the beginning of June. Miserable, I went to the doctor and got a shot that eventually cleared it up but somehow caught a tummy bug the next week. By the time I was feeling better, I found another horrific rash on my legs that itched and hurt like poison ivy but it was much, much worse. I experienced extreme swelling and fever at the site. My doc again told me that it was some type of contact dermatitis. After the pain and itching went away, my tonsils started swelling and my throat became inflamed with tonsilitis. By that time, I felt like a truck had hit me. When I was a little better, I went outside just to pick a couple of tomatoes from my garden. And, you got it…I got that same horrible rash on my hands this time and had to have a shot and antibiotics.



The culprit: Virginia Creeper!


As you can guess, I was beginning to feel “learned helplessness” like Seligman’s dogs in his classical conditioning experiment.


Point is, I had become very discouraged. The house needed cleaning, my family had been eating out a lot during my infirmary, and I was deplete of positive energy.

I needed a complete reboot!

Just shut the whole system down, and start over.


Here are some things I learned about rebooting after a major setback:

1. Be patient. Regaining energy takes time. Be sure to give your mind and body time to rest so that it can heal. You definitely don’t want a relapse!

2. Be patient. It takes time to get back into the swing of things–the housework, grocery shopping, prepping meals. Patience helps to keep you from being overwhelmed by it all.

3. Be patient. Ease back into an exercise routine. I found that tai chi was a good way to do this because I can do it inside, and the stretches and movements are slow and easy.

4. Be thankful. In my case, I’ve been thankful that I don’t have a long-term illness and am usually very healthy.

5. Go! I began to feel alive again after getting out, being around people again, and being creative.

The reboot isn’t fast, but I’m thankful that it’s happening.

I’ve just got to avoid the Virginia Creeper.

“Jesus said, ‘Rise, take up your bed, and walk John 5:8.’”


This beautiful field of flowers makes me happy.



2 thoughts on “The Reboot — How to get Up and Going after an Illness

  1. You have my sympathy! I can get poison ivy if the wind is in the wrong direction. The Squire is part First Nations (Cherokee) and it doesn’t seem to bother him . Our oldest grandson is also immune to the stuff. He works for Gas & Electric, so this is a Good Thing.

    Pour plain old laundry bleach on the roots, and that should kill the plants. There is almost always Jewel Weed growing in the same area. It has broad, scalloped leaves and a flower that resembles an elf’s shoe. Start with cold water and chopped leaves and make a “tea”. Let it cool, and dab it on your rash. I keep it in the fridge all summer.

    I’ve never heard of Virginia Creeper causing a rash. I’ll have to keep an eye out for that one.

    There’s a wonderful picture of me, in full poison ivy glory, on a January 2105 posting on my blog. The wages of sin…

    • Oh, you poor thing! Heat is one of the worst things for the stuff! I feel so sorry for your child-self. The painful itching must have been intolerable! At least we can get steroids now. 😉

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