Friday, January 17, 2014


I had been doing so good all week about putting on sunblock - 85SPF. 

Till the day came when I had to come down. I forgot. About 20 minutes into the walk, my face felt flushed and we did a mad dash to get me bathed in sunscreen.  Too late. 

I have what has been called around here 2nd degree sunpoisoning. In 20 minutes. Good ol' pasty white girl skin doesn't last long here at the equator.

I hadn't realized till we were down a few thousand feet that I must have been suffering some mild altitude sickness, because even down a little bit, I felt better.

And the first thing we passed outside the Kili gates? a market stand. selling cold Coca-Cola. That was the best tasting Coke of my life (though you don't dare call it that here!)

My doc had given me antibiotics (a couple of broad spectrum ones for just about anything I could catch, and Prednisone... with the warning that should I get High Altitude Cerebral Edema, Prednisone might just save my life long enough to get me down the mountain. It's nice to have a doctor with a clue.

However... what I didn't expect to use the Prednisone for was the sunburn. By mid-day Thursday, I was swollen up like a balloon, I couldn't bend my fingers much, nor my hands. And let's not talk about the amount of pain. I was taking 4 Advil every 4 hours... till I ran out. 

Friday's adventure? Get out and get some souvenirs, but most importantly get some sunburn relief!!!!! I found two places that had some basic aloe, but wouldn't take US dollars... blah, I hadn't found some place to exchange them yet. Then, I moved on to another place that gave me this magic 90% aloe stuff. It's amazing. AND I don't feel like a scaly fish ... even if I look like one.

You can buy interesting things over the counter here -- Flumox? anti-malarials? Albuterol?no problem? Aspirin or Advil? Yeah.. problem. And I thought I had taken enough with me. They were calling me Mama Pharmacist from Day 1.... apparently not.

I'm guessing the sunburn is severe enough on my hands to scar... on my face, Lord, I hope not... but I don't know. I've never had a sunburn this bad. Thankfully it's limited to my face, a little triangle on my chest, and my face. I'd die if this was all over me.

20 minutes. Tops.

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