Monday, August 25, 2008
Bad to Bathe
So we all know that strange rumors fly around medical issues. I heard two this week… The first was from my host sister. I help her study English a few times a week, whenever I have time in the afternoon/evening. She could not come to my house to study one day. No big deal. The next day, I went to her house. She informed me that she could not come over because she had cramps. (About once a month she doesn’t come because she is sick due to menstruation. Side note: menstruation is a fairly regular excuse for women to not show up to various things like studying or soccer games.) This time, she had gone to the doctor and was told that since her stomach cramps feel worse after she drinks hot or cold beverages, she should therefore not bathe for 2 days. What?! What the hell does bathing have to do with it? I have enough confianza with her to tell her that I think it is ridiculous and that I don’t see the connection between her menstrual pain and bathing. She couldn’t explain the connection.
Numero dos: I heard about soap cancer from the Passionists but yesterday, in the back of a pick-up on our way home from a soccer tournament, I heard a local guy talking to one of the players about it being “malo” to bathe with soap after exercise. Another guy chimed in and asked if it was due to chemicals because your pores are open from sweating (the closest thing to a pliable explanation I have heard) but everyone just said “no” or “I don’t know why, it’s just bad”. Apparently, it is ok to bathe with water after you exercise but don’t use soap! It will give you soap cancer and is bad! I have been doing that my life so if I suddenly get sick with soap cancer you will know why. When you hear things like this, what do you say? If it is someone I know well, I will tell them that I don’t believe it and try to explain why some claims are unrealistic. But when I am surrounded by people I don’t know that well, how do you tell them something they believe seems ridiculous to me and that I don’t believe it? The best I have found is to show subtly that I don’t believe it but try not to negate them. Some outlandish beliefs very well may be true but some, I just don’t see the logic. I have also been told not to bathe when you have a fever. I did it anyway. When I talked to the doctor, the first thing she told me to do was shower. When is it bad to bathe? I can’t think of a situation where you shouldn’t bathe for health reasons but if you can, let me know. I guess taking a freezing cold shower if the weather were cold and you are sick may not be the most comfortable thing but you can always heat a bucket of water.
Oh, yes, I found a women’s soccer team to play with on Sundays. The “team” has an interesting dynamic. I am appreciative of the chance to play and the experience is great for my self-esteem. It can be a little frustrating seeing 5 people from the same team within 5 feet of the ball but I see it as a great opportunity for a little exercise and a way to get to know some women (even though the majority of them are under 18).
Photos: I took another trip to La Tigra with Lauren, one of the new Passionists. It is always nice to get out in unspoiled nature.