Q. I almost blacked out some years ago while driving with my two young daughters. I had drunk a glass of orange juice with a vegetarian Thanksgiving meal. The only way I could find to stay conscious long enough to drive to my nearby baby-sitter was by asking my toddler to engage in a "yelling contest" with Mom. Imagine the looks we got from other drivers as Mom and daughter yelled at the top of our lungs, windows down, so I could stay awake!
How times have changed.
In 1990, Thanksgiving made me uneasy.
Not about getting together with my family. No. That year I'd lost more than 100 pounds for the first time and in my family, Thanksgiving dinner triggered the start of a food-centric race running for the next six weeks. T-Day 1990 marked the single toughest meal I'd faced that year.
Q. I am a very healthy woman, not overweight, with total cholesterol around 200. I have no history of heart disease in my family.
You should have seen me. I was trussed up like a Christmas goose.
I wore a tent-sized apron, and next to my latex swathed hands was a spray bottle of Clorox Clean-up. My hair was tied back, and my glasses were acting as safety goggles. The only reason I wasn’t wearing a face mask is because I freak a wee bit when stuff covers my mouth and nose. But I was drawing infrequent, shallow, nervous breaths.
Since the Department of Public Instruction on Nov. 7 released school proficiency scores under our new state academic standards, all of us in the DPS community have reflected on what these higher expectations mean for our school system and, more importantly, our students and schools themselves.
Q. If a spermicidal lubricant is used during sexual relations, can it cause the man genital irritation or discomfort? A friend of mine told me that after using this type of lubricant several times, he experienced irritation and pain.
So I asked The Kid if there was anything I should include in this week’s column; Thanksgiving with an emphasis on food safety. My little chef wrote this informative discourse:
“This holiday season, please don't kill your family.
Last week, the state Department of Public Instruction released school performance data for 2012-13. Because this covered the first year of brand new, highly rigorous state standards for what we teach and how we test it, the data lead me to two conclusions: I am encouraged by what our students and teachers accomplished last year, and we have more work to do to support student achievement.
Q. I have endured restless legs syndrome (RLS) for years. I also suffer from extreme compulsive behavior, including shopping and gambling. I take Mirapex both evening and morning, as my RLS symptoms have become worse with age.
This medication has ruined my life. I discovered only recently that the compulsive behaviors are drug side effects.
If controversy and confusion caused weight loss, anyone considering intermittent fasting (sometimes referred to as IF) would lose weight just by reading about it.
Intermittent fasting is this year's most popular no-calorie-counting, no-fat-gram-counting, fast-track to weight loss diet. When I wrote about David Zinczenko's "The 8-Hour Diet" book earlier this year I had no clue how widespread the IF trend was about to become. Head over to Amazon.com and you'll quickly find more than 100 books on the topic, each one slightly different; many with glaring similarities.
I recently received a master’s degree at Duke.
It’s not really that impressive. It was obtained at the medical center, and the degree was in survival of the long-term hospital visitor.
Petey’s been a patient for a while at Duke. Every day he’s getting a little better, but for now, this is his home.
Q. You had a question from a woman suffering with a rash under her breasts, and I would like to offer my solution: vodka! I make a spray of half vodka, half distilled water and a few drops of orange essential oil. I use the spray as a deodorant, but I also spray it under my breasts. I started using this when I kept reacting to every other deodorant and have found the spray works especially well for itchy rashes.
We’ve had dogs, hermit crabs and even a pet rock or two. But there is a standing rule -- no rodents allowed.
That’s because two giant, voracious mice already live here — Petey and The Kid. They can never, ever, get enough cheese.
All children in Durham Public Schools, without exception, deserve an education that will prepare them for the future: college, career and life. Our teachers, principals and administrators understand and accept our responsibility for keeping every child engaged. Learning must never stop, even when circumstances are difficult.
Q. I have suffered with migraines for decades and rely on sumatriptan (Imitrex) to control my pain. The other day I was visiting friends, and I felt the all-too-familiar start of a bad headache (pain behind my right eye).