Can I handle it?

We had a few inches of snow last night. Twenty-five degrees feels pretty nice to me. Above freezing feels downright balmy. On Saturday I went shopping for skirts and wore ballet flats and capris. It was only around 40 degrees, if that. Today I realized that I got a “tan line” on my feet, from the ballet flats. In other words, I’m my pasty winter self that is accustomed to frigid cold. A week from tomorrow, I leave for India. What is the temperature there? 80s, 90s, even 100.

Besides the culture shock, I might go into temperature shock. Can I handle it? As I’ve gotten older, I’ve appreciated “cooler” weather. I really don’t need it to be super-duper hot. Seventies and low eighties are nice. But so much for nice. 90s is what I’m getting.

I will not complain. I’m way too excited about the trip to worry about the heat. I’ve decided to recycle my Tanzania wardrobe. I did go back to the Indian clothing store and got another skirt on Saturday. But it may be too nice to take with me. My friend that is living in Delhi mentioned something about going shopping for some Indian ensembles for me to wear during the week. I think the skirts will work well for the heat. But I’m curious about my other options that I can find while I’m there.

I did get my passport back on Friday with my brand new colorful Indian visa. I wasn’t expecting it until today. I’m much more relaxed, knowing that the visa is set and my passport is back in my hands. I’ve found a ride home from the airport, but now I need to find one to the airport. My parents are out-of-town, so my normal airport shuttle is out of service. I still need to pack. Since my feet will see the sun, I’ll get a pedicure before I go. I have an appointment with a travel nurse on Monday. So I guess things are shaping up nicely. A week from tomorrow, I’m off!

The I’s Have It.

Spring Break is 4 weeks away. I usually go somewhere and the last three years I’ve been heading over to Europe. I’ve found that spring break is a great time to go there because it’s not the high season and the weather is still decent. My first spring break trip to Europe was to Portugal (Iberian peninsula). But the last few years, the I’s have it. Italy and Istanbul.

After During our crazy long winter, I still didn’t have any plans as of 4 days ago. I was going stir-crazy and was madly searching the internet on Friday when I got home from school. At first I was thinking about New York City. But when you cost that out, going by oneself, it’s pretty spendy. For that amount (or a little more), where else could I go? Searching, and searching, I decided to look for tours. By Friday night I had narrowed it down to two.

The trip that I didn’t choose was Budapest & Prague. Three nights in each city with hotels and transportation between arranged. I could add-on lots of extra tours in each city. It was an independent tour, so I would be mostly on my own. I’m super interested in both of those cities. But when you get down to it, if I did them on my own, I’d choose hotels that were closer to the center of each city with more charm.

The tour that I did decide to take is fully guided. Several meals are included as well as transportation between cities, airport pick-up and drop-off and hotels. The other plus of this location is that it should be in the 80s. I need some warm weather at this point. I’m traveling by myself, yet I’ll be with other people. There will be lots of new and stimulating culture, sights and food. Where am I going? I’ll give you a hint. It starts with an “I.”

India. Two days in Delhi, two in Jaipur and two in Agra. It’s quick but hits lots of highlights. The Taj Majal should be amazing. I also have a friend that is teaching in Delhi. I’ll meet up with her for dinner at the beginning of the trip. I have a former colleague who did this same trip over Thanksgiving with his daughter. They had a great time! I applied for my visa today and sent off my passport to Chicago. That process was not very straight forward. Hopefully I’ll have it all back within about a week of leaving. That’s the part that makes me nervous. Now I’ll be able to enjoy reading about the destinations and planning my packing list. Hmm… I wonder if I’ll need any shots?

I love travel. It’s my way to rejuvenate and get some perspective on life. Planning and looking forward to a trip is part of the process. And I enjoy every minute of it!

*For anyone guessing Ireland, that was an option, but I’ve already done a lot of Ireland while traveling with students.

Bottom-Up vs Top-Down

Healing, that is.

I do get a fair number of people who search for information on excisions, re-excisions and melanoma in-situ. So I’m just putting up an informational post about healing.

I recently had a mole removed. It was moderate atypical, but the margins weren’t clear. I had to go back in so my dermatologist could get a larger “scoop” of the area. While I was there, I showed them pictures of a reaction I was having. I have been having reactions like this since I got my three re-excisions last August. I thought I was having issues with the adhesive from the bandages. It turns out that it was the bacitracin.

It is recommended that you let these heal from the bottom up. That means using some kind of ointment and keeping them covered while they heal. Because of my reaction, I was keeping them uncovered, since I thought it was the band-aid causing the problem. As a result, I’ve had recent ones heal from the top down. When you do this, it creates a small bump. So you need to ask yourself, do I want my scar to be an “inny” or an “outy?” Now that I’ve had my time for experimentation and can see the results, I’d recommend the “inny” version.

So for people wanting to know what it looks like… Very irritating.

Here’s the skin reaction to the bacitracin.

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Here’s the same area healed from the bottom up.

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Lastly, here’s one on the top of my shoulder from last August that healed from the top down.

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If you are allergic to bacitracin, plain vaseline petroleum jelly works great!