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Wed, 11th June 2014

Do you ever wake up in the morning feeling a bit grumpy, a little miserable, not your usual sparkling self? Wrong side of the bed, some say. This is not uncommon. As the day proceeds it may vanish or it may become worse. What to do? An old guy once said to me - you wake up in the morning (that in itself is a miracle), and there are two decisions. Either you're going to have a great day or a miserable one.

Your Decision

The decision is yours. It may not seem that easy, but in essence it is true. So, if feeling a bit depressed, try the following. Tell yourself very firmly. "Today is going to be the best day of my life. Every day in every way I am feeling better and better". Do not delay. Do not wallow in self pity. Jump out of bed, have a splash of cold water or hop under the shower.

Action Plan

Immediately replace the misery thoughts with an action plan for the day. Write it down. Say the points over and over for clarity. Even though it may be hard, get out and start talking to somebody - the other kids, parents, lodgers. Try a cup of coffee. The caffeine sting is a good wake up call. Probably have two - skinny flat white. Then get on with the list. The more you sit immobile, the miseries become worse and crowd out activity from mind and body.

Talk to Others

Talk around, have brekky, make a phone call or two, socialise, start moving to work and become involved immediately. The more you interact with others the better. Idle hands and idle brain cells are the powerhouse of misery. Get active. The more exercise the better. Soothing music is better than blaring neurone smashing stuff. Work your way through the list, and you will be surprised at the outcome. At days end you will feel a heap better, in fact les miserables will not have taken over after all.



My five year old has been diagnosed with asthma, even though there is a cough but not much wheeze. She now uses puffers. Will this continue forever?


Everybody is different. When growing up, often symptoms vanish and permanent treatment may not be necessary. Also, the cause may also alter, especially with seasonal changes, airborne pollutants, climate and area living area. Once an asthmatic, the tendency is there, often an inherited "atopy". Unnecessary treatment is not a good idea, but guidance by the family doctor is advisable.

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Some councils are going crazy creating road humps and narrow areas in the belief this may reduce accident rates. I believe it has the opposite effect, and probably creates more. A Whacking big road hump in a road that suddenly narrows is dangerous.


Most council actions like this are carried out after careful surveys often for many months or even years. I agree it seems crazy, but most are well signposted in advance, and only crazy people drive at rates that can lead to accidents. The idea is to reduce speed, force drivers to drive more carefully, and be aware of the road, pedestrians and other cars.

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What is the best way to treat simple superficial burns?


Place the part, usually fingers or hand under the tap or plunge into cold water. This often reduces pain immediately, and helps prevent damage to underlying tissues. Then cover with a light cotton bandages, or even left unwrapped if mild. Do not apply anything. They usually heal within a few days. Sometimes a blister will form. Do not prick for this allows germs to penetrate and set up infection. Any deep burn needs immediate management at the burns unit of a major public hospital.

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My kids all wear caps, often with the peak at the back (it's cool they say). But I prefer a hat with wide brims. Who is right?


Hats with a broad brim that shield as much of the facial skin as possible from dangerous UV rays of the sun are preferable. Caps protect the forehead (if worn the way they are meant to), but little else. The younger in life that exposure occurs, the higher the risks in later life (say from 18 years on) of damage occurring. Re-dialogue with the kids and try and set a trend! Good luck.

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The more flat white coffees I have, especially in the afternoon, the more I am jumping for joy at midnight!


Flat white, cappuccino, short black or any other kind of coffee is loaded with caffeine. Like anywhere from 150 to 300 mg, one helluva hit. Sure it makes a person feel great, as the neurons are swept into super activity. But the effect from hit number one is anything up to 18 hours. So, coffee at 6 am is still having a mental kick at midnight! That is a grand slam. Ideally go for weaker varieties, and none after midday if you desire peaceful sleep. Powdered coffee, pretty dull stuff, has about 60 mg a cup.

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This health advice is general in nature. You are advised to seek medical attention from your doctor or health care provider for your own specific symptoms and circumstances.



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