Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Monday, January 17, 2011

Winter Itch 

Krystal contacted me yesterday and told me that she was going to take me to the doctor. I told her that I didn't really need to do that, because I felt that the worst of my allergic reaction was over, but she was quite insistent.

At the time that my rash first broke out, I wasn't paying very close attention, so I just can't remember for sure what might have been the cause. Most people, when they see it, immediately call it an allergic reaction. It's quite interesting...local people who see this all look like they have seen it many times before. Another expat said to me, "Let's face it, in China, you're never far from a chemical of some kind."

But it does seem to be fading slowly on it's own, so I don't really think I need any special kind of treatment. I have been putting olive oil on it, and then smearing it heavily with Vaseline. Still, Krystal went to the trouble of setting up an appointment for me, so all I had to do was show up. Krystal is a customer service manager for a state owned enterprise--she is a "take charge" sort of person, so when she saw my rash at the Bible study Saturday night, she was determined to do something about it.

When I go to the hospital, Krystal said we were already registered, and just had to wait for our number. She said, "We have a very lucky number: 66." That was interesting to me. The standard "lucky number" in China is 8. But it turns out that 6 is also a lucky number.

Krystal said, "If a phone number has more sixes, like three sixes at the end, you will have to pay much more for it."

I said, "I don't think too many people in America would pay more money for a phone number with three sixes at the end."

When we saw the doctor, I told him that the rash seemed to be slowly clearing up on it's own, so what I needed more than anything else was to know what caused it. He couldn't tell me, but he did say that it could be caused my something I ate, not just by something I touched. Great. That broadens it out. But he did prescribe hydrocortesone, and didn't know the Chinese name for that, so it didn't hurt me to visit him.

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