by Melinda Gallo

From eczema to something much worse

I went to the erboristeria (herbalist's shop) today to pick up some natural remedies a friend of mine told me to get for my eczema. I ordered them on Monday and the woman told me to come back on Friday afternoon. The shop was already closed when I arrived, so I had to go back this morning.

After the woman explained why they had closed (she had an appointment and the woman who was supposed to work was sick), I decided to look around for something else to help ease my eczema. I already bought some Jojoba oil and vitamins.

I asked the woman, "Ha qualche consiglio per la mia pelle?" (Do you have any suggestions for my skin?) She told me that she noticed that it hadn't cleared up. I explained that it did clear up and then it came back again and this time a little worse. I told her that I think it's an allergy because I've had it before and usually I get it at this time of the year. I explained that when I take an antihistamine, it clears up quite a lot.

She asked her colleague to look at me. "Forse Lei ha una micosi. Ha visto un dermatologo?" (Maybe you have a mycosis. Have you seen a dermatologist?) I stood there thinking that the word sounded familiar, but I wasn't quite sure what it was. He then continued, "Non si preoccupi però mi sembra piuttosto una specie di micosi." (Don't worry, but it seems to be a type of mycosis.)

At that point, I realized he was talking about mycosis (which is, I believe, a type of skin cancer). After my initial shock from such a serious diagnosis by a sales clerk, I realized that I should calm down and just take my goods and go home. He kept telling me that he might be wrong, but that I really should get it checked out.

On my way home, I thought that maybe it's not eczema...maybe it is worse. And then I remembered that I can't believe everything I hear. As I got farther and farther away from the erboristeria, the panic subsided.

I got home and sat down on the couch. In the quiet of the apartment, I asked myself what I felt was true. And the answer I heard was that it is an allergy, I will be fine, and no I shouldn't listen to everyone's opinion.

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