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Wed, 2nd September 2015

The lady in the coffee shop came over to take the order. It was impossible not to be startled by her ears or rather, the ornate gear that dangled therefrom. It was very impressive. Those enormous rings, several in each ear. "I love ear pieces." she said, obviously having answered our questioning looks hundreds of times before. "Love 'em. I have heaps of other ones at home, bigger and better than these" with a giggle.

Good Luck

"Good luck" I said, "Hope they don't get caught in anything," and so the brigade of ear adornment marches on. They look cute. They have appeal, and accentuate the normal charm that many happy faces exude. But please, a word of caution about anything that dangles from the body, and the ears in particular. Visit any hospital ER, and sooner or later they turn up. Damage ranges from small and innocuous, to massive destruction that may involve the entire ear or indeed part of the scalp.


It is easy for appendages to become caught up in something nearby. The large loops may be caught in almost anything. In industry, caps are often mandatory to protect hair, and may include the ears. We hear on current affair programmes the horrors of removed ears, and their replacement by painstaking plastic surgical repair. However, the same applies to any device that is not provided by nature. Studs, things hanging to the eyebrows, nostrils, lips, tongue, nipples and many other places, some unmentionable here. Whenever contemplating a new appendage, consider the down side. What gets caught, and it plus the adjoining territory are suddenly torn away. Pain, bleeding, later scarring, pain from scars, the time taken to heal, and the possible enormous cost of future repair surgery. There is no condemnation of anything the wearer thinks adds to beauty or self esteem. Just be thoughtful, and "look before you leap."



My younger son has sore legs, x-rays did not indicate bone damage and the doctor said "shin splints - it will get better."


Constant pulling of muscles where they are attached to the leg bones may lead to discomfort and pain. Occasionally hairline fractures may develop. Most heal naturally with reduced physical activity. Physiotherapy may also help produce a positive outcome.

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My mum who is nearly 89 felt quite ill, and was admitted to hospital but simply died suddenly.


This is a common story, and in a sense your mum was probably lucky that she did not linger for years with an awful debilitating illness and pain. Doctors and hospitals do their best for their patients, but none can overcome the remorseless ravages of time.

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I try and take a fairly long 60 minute walk each day for health reasons, and also because it makes one feel better inside. But an hour later, I get awfully painful knees and hips. Would it be a good idea to take some pain killers before I start?


Yes, yes, yes. Paracetamol is the first line therapy for any kind of pain relief including sore joints, bones or muscles. Today, Panadol-Osteo offers long acting pain relief, containing 650 mg of paracetamol in slowly absorbed base. Take this before your walk and the pains will probably not occur. Dose for chronic pain is two tablets twice a day after food. It is important not to overdose on paracetamol for this may adversely affect the liver.

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For the first fifty years of my life I chewed my nails. This invariably led to painful finger tips, bleeding and an ugly appearance. Then suddenly I stopped through sheer self control. Now I have long nails of which I am proud. But instead I keep scratching my skin, and now suffer from scratch marks which often show as red streaks.


Your nervous energy must go somewhere. Nail biting (from experience) is a lovely way to express and release anxiety frustration. As this has ceased, there must be some alternate outlet. Why not irritable skin? "Neuro-dermatitis" is the common name given to itchy skin for which there is no obvious cause. Main danger is tearing the thin surface layer leading to infection. Applying cold flannels to the itchy spots may help, or gently massaging in some weak cortisone based cream. Get mentally involved, read a book, go for a walk, and get the nerve waves occupied. Talking is also an ideal outlet, even talking out loud to yourself if there is no audience.

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Do doctors still prescribe the benzodiazepines?


Yes, and Valium and Ducene, the first and most commonly used brands are still used but much less. They are quick acting, and calm down the nervous system. However, as they may become addictive, their ongoing use is now not advised. Often they are given as a kick start, with other anti-anxiety medication also being given, but which takes a longer time to produce a positive outcome.

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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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