Monday, April 04, 2011

Dad; Sunita and Ronin arrive in Isla; allergies

I called home yesterday and mom said that she went to the hospice and while she was there, dad fell in the bathroom. This was at 7:30am. The nurses went to pick him up and they had a bit of a time doing that. They told him that he is to call when he needs help but he says that sometimes it takes too long so he goes by himself. He is very shaky and doesn’t seem to realize that it is dangerous to try to get around on his own. The tumour was bleeding but it was probably from the fall and not from anything more serious. After that, he was fine so when Sister Leila and her friends went to visit in the afternoon, he told them that he was doing good. Sophie sent an email update letting me know that dad fell and about the tumour. She said that Nurse Janine said that although it was some blood (about an ounce), they have seen more blood from previous bleeds.

When I spoke to mom, she said that she was over at her house and the new buyers bought some of the garage items and a few things in the basement but not much else. Her neighbour came over and bought some things too. A plan for disposing/storing the other furniture and clothes will have to be made pretty soon. Sophie said she’ll be taking care of some of that (finding storage rental space and selling some of the items). Lots of work to do but at least we don’t have to spend time cleaning out the garage and shed. The buyers said to leave it as it is.

Sunita and Ronin arrive in Isla

We went over with the Ultramar ferry to Cancun to meet Sunita and Ronin. They arrived in really good time and because of the change to Daylight Savings, the sun was still up when we crossed back to Isla.

Ronin on his first ferry ride
While we were crossing on the ferry, Ronin saw the beach and he was telling me that there was lots of snow. I told him that it was sand but he wasn’t sure that I was telling him the right thing. It reminded me of when Subhadra was in Guyana when she was 3 and she thought she was also seeing snow when she arrived there in March. We took their luggage to the hotel and went to Rolandi’s for dinner. Rolandi makes the best pizza in a wood burning oven. I had a shrimp and cheese pizza with a pesto base. That was quite yummy.


I was quite tired by the time 9pm came around. I think it was from the sun I had yesterday. We went to the beach and although I didn’t go directly in the sun, by the time I got back to the hotel, I had a good rash on my chest, arms and legs. I wore sun block but didn’t wear it for my early morning walk – hence the rash. You’d think that I’d know better. I am allergic to sunlight. Yes, you read that right. I am allergic to UVA and UVB rays. I remember the first time that I had hives more than 27 years ago. It was late in August and the hives were around my left eye. Dad the quack doctor said that it was ringworm because some cat must have done his business in my garden and I must have scratched my eyes and got ringworm. So he told me to put some Nixoderm on the rash and you can guess what happened. I burned my skin and made the area with the rash much larger. So I went to the pharmacy to get another cream to treat the ringworm and the pharmacist said that it looked like I had a chemical burn on my face from the Nixoderm. She said that she thought it looked like a sun allergy. I must have had a blank look on my face. I had never heard anything that preposterous as people being allergic to the sun. That’s like being allergic to the air that you breathe.

I went to my dermatologist and he did some allergy tests which basically consists of exposing your skin to sunlight for different amounts of time to see if you’ll react. After the first 20 seconds, I told the technologist that my back was burning and she said that it couldn’t burn that quickly. Well it did. As soon as she was finished the first two exposures, my skin blistered so she didn’t continue with the other ones. The problem 27 years ago is that sun screens were not as prevalent as they are now so trying to find a sun block that would block out UVA and UVB rays was almost impossible to find and if I did, it had so much PABA that it caused me all kinds of grief. Eventually more products came to the market that were better and more available So here’s one piece of trivia and one piece of advice. Trivia: Sun block with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) any higher than 30 is useless, especially if you are paying more for it than the SPF 30 one (this from my dermatologist who is a genius). It’s only a marketing ploy directed to those of us who don’t know any better. Advice: Look for sun block that protects against UVA and UVB rays. Some only protect against UVA (the more common) but UVB are also harmful. The one good thing about being allergic to the sun is that I don’t spend endless hours out in it baking myself (a sun tan is your body’s defence mechanism against a burn on the skin) so the darker you are from a sun burn, the more harmful it is to your skin eventually. So I may have been saving myself from skin cancer for almost 3 decades. And by the way, brown people can also get skin cancer so don’t think that you’re immune to it.

Now back to my sunburn from yesterday and today. I barely spent any time in the sun today and did wear sun block (not sun screen which generally has an SPF of anywhere from 4-20) but the sun is very hot here so now I have a huge rash on my upper chest and neck, as well as my arms, shoulders and tops of my legs. I put some aloe jel but I needed some cortisone cream which helped with the itching. Well, at least the weather is warm and I don’t have to wear a coat every time I go out. Tomorrow is a new day and I will remember to wear my sun block on every exposed part of my body.

Just had dinner - pescado de verecruzana _ Basically "stew fish Guyanese style" with lots of pepper. It was very dellicious. Ronin was quite enjoying the beach today and I loved seeing him enjoying it. I'll be posting some pics of him when I return.  He was laughing his head off when the waves were "catching" his feet.  Off to the seawall for another 30 minute walk.  Had a 45 minute walk this morning but I think I'll have to walk in the evenings when the sun is down.  It's nt hot and quite pleasant.

North Beach at Isla

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