I wish I had pictures to document this post, because it's pretty hard for me to describe it adequately.
A few years ago, I joined the YMCA in the town where I was working at the time. Our school didn't start until 10:00, so I could go to the "Y" and swim laps before school.
One weekend after I joined the "Y", Hubby and I did some yard work. For some reason, the push mowing part of the yard work always falls to me. If I'm not here ... it doesn't get done. These two things are connected, just trust me.
During the day at school one day, my eye started itching. Not my eyeball, but the eyelid. It had a couple of little bubbles on it. I'm horribly allergic to poison ivy/poison oak, and I figured I had encountered something while mowing the weeds under the fig tree in our back yard. I immediately went to the doctor, considering my past experiences with poison ivy/poison oak, and he muttered something like, "Well it MIGHT be poison ivy...." as he wrote me a prescription for blasted steroids. I hate steroids.
Stupid doctor. Don't I know when I have poison ivy/poison oak?
Fast forward four months down the road, at the end of summer as school has started back. I decide to jump right back in the routine of swimming before school in the mornings before I can think of excuses not to.
This time I start feeling a little itchy on my back and face, but no big deal. I wake Hubby up in the middle of the night to put some anti-itch lotion on my back. The next morning, we are sitting at breakfast when Hubby says,
"OH. MY. GOD."
And he's staring at my face.
My eyelids had blisters on them, I had welts on my face and neck, my back and arms were broken out, and naturally I felt like crap. Back to the doctor.
Sitting in the waiting room, I have an epiphany. I get out my checkbook to see the date I wrote the last check for my co-pay when I thought I had poison ivy/poison oak.
It was four days after I joined the "Y".
I'm a little puzzled, because one of the reasons I joined that particular "Y" is that they advertised using a salt system in their pool instead of chlorine. I had developed an allergy to chlorine bleach when I was pregnant, and I had a feeling that pool chlorine had the same effect. I broke out after swimming in our home pool only sometimes, and only mildly. It was pretty easy to keep our chlorine regulated.
This wasn't mild.
I called the "Y" and explained the situation. I assured them that I wasn't blaming anyone for my plight, but I needed to satisfy my own curiosity. The aquatics director put me on hold while she went to check the date of my visit. Her explanation didn't make me feel much better.
"I know what happened," she said. "The day before you came to swim, we had a 'fecal incident' in the pool. I had dumped 25 pounds of chlorine in the pool. I was coming in at 8:00 to neutralize it."
By 8:00 AM, of course, I had already been swimming in the pool of death.
Apparently they did have a salt system, but after a "fecal incident" they had to shock the pool the old-fashioned way.
"Next time," she said, "check with the lifeguard to see if we've had to shock the pool."
That won't be necessary, lady. I'll just stick with my own pool, where we don't have "fecal incidents."
Eventually we switched to a salt system in our own pool, and the results have been amazing. No more break-outs, and the cost of salt for the summer is about $6.00 versus around $200.00 for chlorine.
I still wish I had pictures.