Hot as Hades

Waiting for prescriptions. I’ve got about six green pieces of paper sitting in the pharmacy. Amoxicillin for general infection, cloxacillin for impetigo – Delphine’s Caribbean bug bear, and skin ointments. Lots of skin ointments.

When we get to Trinidad, it’ll be hot as Hades. I like saying that – hot as Hades. And if humid heat is anything to go by, Hades must be full of skin infections. During the month of September, the Caribbean is in the middle of the hurricane season. This means that humidity will be at its peak, mozzies will be rife, bites will be waiting on the other side of the mozzie net and we’ll have to be careful.

I mean, here I am packing long trousers and socks, and what I really need to do is buy mosquito repellant. I wonder if I can convince Jack to stay in the boat yard and hold onto our rented air conditioning unit until Mid-November? The doors will be shut, the inside of the boat will be cool and our skin will be unblemished.

Fingers crossed. It reminds me – after sailing to the Caribbean, I got a case of acne I couldn’t shift. After suffering with it for months, i gave up the ‘soap your face five times a day and then sprinkle bicarbonate of soda all over it’ method. Ended up seeing Grenada’s wonderful leading dermatologist. She was trained in Cardiff and operated from a little medical office by St. George’s market square.

‘I think you just need to go home.’ was this doctor’s  conclusion. ‘Your skin just may not be suitable for this hot climate. Once you go North into cooler conditions, you’ll probably find it goes back to normal.’

I stared at her. Her magnifying glass. Her white coat. ‘But it took me years to get here,’ I said, trying not to whine. ‘We sold our house and everything. And there are a lot of terrible wet summers in the UK I’ve had to endure. Getting to the Caribbean has been an amazing, lifetime experience.’

She shrugged. ‘Your skin doesn’t seem to like it here unfortunately.’

Typical, I thought. My own face was betraying me. One spot after another was apparently telling me to go home.

Eventually I did get my skin under control – but it took a year or so. I have the scars to prove it. A daily dose of systemic antibiotics, hormone-based contraception – I love the weight gain as a side-effect with this particular medication by the way. Or maybe that’s just me? The jury’s out but coincidence lives on. I’ll gladly live with the old ‘five kilos for good skin’ contraception trade off. And the lotions and potions. All of it helped my skin to recover. We came back home too. Wait a minute – was this move actually the key factor in my skin health like the doctor said? 

I don’t know, but I’m sitting in the cool temperature North lands, in my doctor’s surgery, waiting for these prescriptions to be filled. Swapping vanity for adventure. Every single time. Oh, got to go. The pharmacist’s calling my name.

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