Thursday, May 15, 2008

Rubella hand

Last Friday, when Enrique and I went to Punta Galeta in Colon (on the Atlantic side of Panama), I got eaten alive by chitras or chigers -- insects that are much worse than mosquitoes. Not even repellent can stave them off.

We were there to interview Stanley Heckadon, AKA Mr. Panama -- a highly-respected Panamanian anthropologist with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) at the Punta Galeta Marine Laboratory.

At first, the bites disappeared. But then they re-appeared in full force on Saturday and were worse on Monday. Enrique said it looked like I had rubella. I agreed.

So I went to the hospital on Monday and they referred me to a dermatologist, who gave me an appointment THAT day. An aside: do I need to point out that in Canada it would have taken days or weeks to get an appointment with a dermatologist? I didn't think so.

However, that didn't settle one little problem. That day, I was scheduled to have lunch with Canada's ambassador to Panama at the Four Points Sheraton. I was so worried that he would think I was going to pass on some horrible disease to him. But luckily we didn't have a lot of time for lunch, so we were focused on talking business, and he had no time to be distracted by my disgusting paw.

Later, I saw Dra. Coutté who said I had an allergic reaction to the Galeta chigers and promptly prescribed an oral allergy medication, a moisturizer, and a cream of some sort. My hand is getting a lot better, it's not itchy anymore, and I don't look like I am carrying around a communicable disease. Thanks Dra. Coutté.

PS: I promise my next post will be much deeper and more meaningful.



1 comment:

jaclyn said...

ahhhhhhhhhh!