Those of you who have travelled with me before know that on occasion I leave the safety of home and after about a week my arms, face and hands decide that they don't like the new environment and they explode with rashes, open skin and general redness and pain. Well, this trip was no exception. it started over the weekend and by this morning I could barely open my eyes in the morning as they were so swollen, or move my hands as all the joints had opened up. So I decided that enough was enough and found the address of a Dermatologist in the swanky Recoleta area. With a little help from a Spanish speaking friend I got an appointment this afternoon, and dutifully turned up almost on time, which is pretty impressive for round here.
The doctor was a very elegant gentleman who, when I told him my Spanish was very bad said, yes but you are here to learn are you not? So, we stumbled along in a bastard mix of Italian, Spanish and French. He basically said that as I have atopic eczema (from birth) I would often get these allergic reactions when I went to a new environment, and that it is impossible to actually tell what it was that triggers it. New pollen, heat, dust, really could be anything. He told me to take anti-histamine pills the entire time I'm here, as there are no side-effects but would reduce the violence of any reaction each time I move place. He then gave me a prescription to get a cortisone injection which could be done at a pharmacy, and congratulated me on my Spanish.
So, off I toddled to to the pharmacy where they asked me if I wanted to do the injection myself, to which I bravely replied no bloody way. Maybe I've seen Trainspotting too many times, but the image of me wrapping a bloody great elastic band round my arm and tapping to find a vein really didn't appeal. So I was shuffled off into a little treatment room, where another nice man asked me about my travels, congratulating me on my Spanish whilst telling me to drop my pants so he could stick the needle in my arse (my arse! I coiuld have stuck it in there. No elastic band needed). Yet another new experience. Didn't feel a thing. And I'm already starting to feel better. So, yay for posh Argentinian Dermatologists and Pharmacists!
And on the way home, I came across a house playing the guitar, which was a nice end to a successful afternoon.