Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Men in the audience may want to skip this one

Warning, guys, this blog post contains references (many, actually) to the ever-dreaded feminine issues! And I mean by this bodily issues! So you may want to stop now. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Once upon a time, back around college graduation (that's about 7 years ago for those who don't know me personally), I was hanging out at Sylissima's house with some other chicas and we got to talking about living abroad. One girl was going to spend the summer in Central America, and she was wondering what she should take with her. "Vagisil," I said. Every other girl in the room quickly agreed. The chica who was doing the asking looked surprised. "They don't have Vagisil in Central America?" she asked.

"Oh no, they do, it's just that you can't really get much OTC medications there. You have to actually ask a pharmacist." Which is kinda embarrassing in itself. Asking someone for Vagisil screams "I HAVE A FEMININE ITCH!" Put together hot, humid climate, thongs, and tight pants, and I'll be damned if you don't have a recipe for feminine itch. It's almost inevitable. And guess what? Chica packed her tubes of Vagisil.

Fast forward a few years, and yes, yours truly has come down with a yeast infection. They seem to be (for me) brought on my too much sugar (plus hot, humid climate, thongs, and tight pants). Anyway, the upshot is that the Vagisil is not working and now I need to go to the pharmacy to ask for some yeast infection cream. Oh boy, this should be fun!

[Side note: In Costa Rica, probably like most Latin American countries, though I can't be sure of that, the pharmacists are also doctors to some degree, and can prescribe pretty much anything except controlled substances. Sometimes this is great, as you don't always have to run to the doctor for every little thing. But sometimes it bites balls, as when you have to go to the pharmacy and scream "I HAVE A FEMININE ITCH!" ask for yeast infection cream.]

I am begging, nay, pleading, with my husband to please please please go in there and ask for the stuff. Say it's for your wife, I tell him. Say she's a big chicken and won't come in, I say. Say her Spanish sucks. No go. Esposo has this brilliant idea that I should be able to communicate my needs to others in Spanish, and thus should go get the stuff myself (what nerve).

I steel myself, pray for guidance, ask esposo several times over how to scream "I HAVE A VAGINAL ITCH!" ask for yeast infection cream. He tells me, and as soon as I walk in the pharmacy, which is staffed by three young men barely out of diapers, I promptly forget everything he's said.

"No problem," I think to myself. "These babies men are professional pharmacists and used to dealing with everything. You can do this." So I walk up to the counter and say something like "Tengo una rasca feminina" (or, "I have a feminine scratch"). The young man gives me that squinty look, you know, the one where you try to understand someone speaking in tounges by narrowing your eyelids? I do it all the time. It doesn't work. I try again.

"Una infeccion? Feminina? Necisito crema, por favor." He now has a look of comprehension, pulls out a tube of stuff for me to look over, which I briefly do and realize I have no idea what it says, agree to buy it, make the purchase, run, panting, back to the car. I am nearly in tears.

Esposo asks to see what I got. I show him the tube. "Nope," he says, "They gave you the wrong thing. This is for a topical fungus infection. You can't put that up there. You have to take it back." Shit. Shit shit shit! This bites balls. Ok, so now I'm really close to tears. Please, I beg him, please come back in with me! Esposo looks at me with those big brown eyes, puts his hand comfortingly on my leg, and gently says, "You can do it." Bastard.

I go back in the pharmacy. This would all be so much easier if I could just scream, "I HAVE A YEAST INFECTION! DOWN THERE!" Instead, I manage to ask for "crema ginologica" (gynological cream) and that seems to produce the desired tube. I apologize, and swear I hear giggling as I exit the building. I also swear never to return to said pharmacy again.

Esposo inspects this second tube and, much to my great relief, gives it the stamp of approval. For my part, I make a solemn vow never to overdo it on the sugar. And to stop wearing thongs. Who wants to go through that again?


  1. O my god. I sympathize. And yet,this is so funny.

  2. Lordyme you had me laughing so hard my sides ache now. Esposo was just being mean.. but then again I doubt Brap would do that for me either.. men *feh*...