Dis­cov­ery of preg­nancy tests sur­prises live-in girl­friend

Moose Jaw Times Herald - - GO GUIDE -

I am a les­bian. My girl­friend and I have been dat­ing for six months. We have an awe­some re­la­tion­ship and are very happy and open with each other.

I know she has dated guys in the past — so have I — so I’m not wor­ried about that non­sense at all. But I re­cently found some­thing of hers that sur­prised me. It was a con­tainer of preg­nancy tests, and one was miss­ing with a Plan B pill along­side of it. I am not mad about it be­cause I know stuff hap­pens, but I would rather that it not hap­pen in our apart­ment.

I’m tempted to bring it up, but I would hon­estly rather not dis­cuss it at all. I just don’t want any­thing hap­pen­ing in the apart­ment. Would it be weird if I just threw the stuff out with­out telling her, or should I say some­thing?

What if she wants to keep it? I don’t think that would be the case, but it would start a fight be­cause, as a fe­male cou­ple, we ob­vi­ously don’t need a preg­nancy test. I know I am over­think­ing this, and I could use some ad­vice on how to han­dle this un­com­fort­able sit­u­a­tion.

I’m glad you asked. Do NOT “qui­etly” throw out those preg­nancy tests or the med­i­ca­tion. I don’t know what kind of ar­range­ment you have with your livein girl­friend, but if fi­delity was part of the agree­ment, you should ab­so­lutely talk with her about what you found. It does not have to de­gen­er­ate into a fight, but it’s im­por­tant that you know why she feels the need to be in an in­ti­mate re­la­tion­ship, re­gard­less of gen­der, with some­one else.

My hus­band and I have a won­der­ful life and much to be thank­ful for, but we have no chil­dren and are usu­ally alone on Thanksgiving and Christ­mas. Every­one makes such a fuss about shar­ing these hol­i­days with loved ones, but I be­come de­pressed dur­ing this sea­son.

I do vol­un­teer work on these hol­i­days, but still feel sad and like every­one else in the coun­try is hav­ing a bet­ter time than I am. Any sug­ges­tions?

You must be a new reader of my col­umn or you would know that ev­ery year around holiday time I re­ceive let­ters from peo­ple like you, ex­press­ing that rather than feel­ing joy­ful and elated, they feel de­pressed and de­prived. Some of it may be the re­sult of the in­ces­sant mar­ket­ing of these hol­i­days, which gives the im­pres­sion that “every­one” is hav­ing a grand old time sip­ping cider, stuff­ing them­selves with turkey and car­ol­ing un­der the win­dows of their neigh­bors.

An an­ti­dote for your holiday blues might be to do more than vol­un­teer. Why don’t you and your hus­band plan to do some­thing spe­cial to treat your­selves, rather than stay home feel­ing like every­one else is en­joy­ing them­selves? Choose a dif­fer­ent des­ti­na­tion each year to visit and learn about.

Or in­vite some friends or ac­quain­tances to join you at home. There’s a say­ing that mis­ery loves com­pany, and in your case, com­pany might be the so­lu­tion to the prob­lem.

I am 95 years old, and have been suf­fer­ing from a very painful case of shin­gles. I take many medicines for pain, and for high blood pres­sure and glau­coma. My health-food store ad­ver­tises a nat­u­ral cure for shin­gles, and I won­der if it would in­ter­act with the med­i­ca­tions I take.

As far as I know, there is no cure for shin­gles, nat­u­ral or oth­er­wise. There are treat­ments to help al­le­vi­ate the pain, but pain fol­low­ing a shin­gles in­fec­tion can last for months, years or, in some cases, a life­time. Stan­dard med­i­cal treat­ments for the pain fol­low­ing shin­gles in­clude drugs that work on pain fibers — an­tide­pres­sant medicines like amitripty­line, and anti-epilepsy medicines like gabapentin (Neu­ron­tin).

A nat­u­ral ex­tract of hot pep­pers, cap­saicin, can be ap­plied to the painful area, and this is suc­cess­ful in some peo­ple. I have read about nu­mer­ous other pu­ta­tive treat­ments, such as olive leaf ex­tract, but couldn’t find any re­li­able in­for­ma­tion on their ef­fec­tive­ness.

Your best re­source for check­ing in­ter­ac­tions be­tween your medicines and any sup­ple­ments is your phar­ma­cist, but he or she will need the ex­act name of the treat­ment you are con­sid­er­ing.

In a re­cent col­umn, you wrote about low body tem­per­a­ture. I am 66, and my tem­per­a­ture has al­ways been 95 to 96. That be­ing so, what would a high tem­per­a­ture read­ing be for me? Should I be con­cerned with a temp of 98 or 99?

There isn’t a pre­cise an­swer to your ques­tion. It is true that in peo­ple whose body tem­per­a­ture is slightly lower than nor­mal, a fever may not be as high as what we typ­i­cally think of. It’s also true that older peo­ple (and there’s a big dif­fer­ence be­tween some­one who is 66 and some­one who is 80 years old) may have lower body tem­per­a­tures than younger peo­ple, even with se­ri­ous in­fec­tions. Fi­nally, tem­per­a­ture is vari­able through­out the day: The low­est is early in the morn­ing, and high­est around 6 p.m. So, a sin­gle num­ber doesn’t pro­vide all the in­for­ma­tion we want. If an older per­son, whose nor­mal tem­per­a­ture is a bit lower than the av­er­age, has a tem­per­a­ture over 99 in the morn­ing, that would be enough to get my at­ten­tion, and to at least con­sider whether there might be some­thing re­ally wrong. Pneu­mo­nias and urine in­fec­tions in par­tic­u­lar can be very sub­tle in older peo­ple.

I had two teeth im­planted us­ing hu­man ca­daver bone, due to bone loss. Did I get a trans­fer of that per­son’s DNA in the process, and if so, how would it af­fect my ge­net­ics?

Yes, the bone cells that came along with the teeth have the donor’s DNA. How­ever, bone cells gen­er­ally are sta­ble, from a ge­netic stand­point, so the DNA is likely to sit there and not change the DNA of any of your cells.

That said, peo­ple who get dif­fer­ent types of trans­plants can get donor DNA that may spread to other cells in the re­cip­i­ent’s body. For ex­am­ple, a 2007 study of peo­ple who re­ceived a kid­ney trans­plant found that some of the donor DNA could be de­tected in blood cells even two years later. It’s very much the same process as ge­netic trans­fer be­tween mother and child: Most of us have a small amount of our mother’s DNA in some of our cells, and mothers may have some of their chil­dren’s DNA in their own bod­ies. How­ever, the germ cells (that’s oocytes, or eggs, in women; and sper­ma­to­zoa of men) are rel­a­tively pro­tected from for­eign DNA. It’s very un­likely that you could pass on the DNA from your donor, mother or child.

The book­let on asthma and its con­trol ex­plains this ill­ness in de­tail. Read­ers can ob­tain a copy by writ­ing: Dr. Roach Book No. 602 628 Vir­ginia Dr. Or­lando, FL 32803 En­close a check or money or­der (no cash) for $4.75 U.S./$6 Can. with the re­cip­i­ent’s printed name and ad­dress. Please al­low four weeks for de­liv­ery.

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