Staying healthy means making the right choices, like choosing not to eat that fourth bag of pork rinds. Here are some of the issues our readers faced this month.
Dear To Your Health:
I have warts on my hands that won’t go away. Last Sunday I was scooping at our church ice cream social and a little girl said she didn’t want her cone because I had hands like a witch. The girl’s mother just said “That’s okay, sweetie, I’ll get you a cupcake,” without so much as a “Say you’re sorry” to her daughter. This woman drives one of them fancy Range Roover cars, if that helps you get the picture.
My sister-in-law tells me you can use banana skins to cure warts. Is that true? Will wait to hear from you before I try it, as I would look funny walking into Piggly Wiggly with banana peels on my hands.
Edwina H., Chillicothe, MO.
The doctor will see you now!
Bananas are rich in potassium and B vitamins-they’re the number one fruit! The inside of a banana’s skin can be used to relieve minor topical irritations such as mosquito bites, and people who believe in “natural healing” say warts are also susceptible to the banana’s healing powers. Take a piece of banana skin large enough to cover the wart and attach it to your skin-yellow side up–with a plaster or surgical tape. If some busy-body asks you what it’s for, tell her to mind her own bee’s wax.
Cute widdle viruses
I gave birth to twins about six months ago and now would like to lose some of the extra pounds I put on during pregnancy. I have heard of a new flesh-eating virus that is offered in some Mexican clinics. Has this technique been approved by our federal government?
Mrs. Royal Kritzler, Orono, Maine
I would be leery of such a risky-sounding treatment. If you have any overweight friends or neighbors, why not suggest that they try it first!
Dear “To Your Health” Person:
Our neighbor-I will call him “Darrell”–has a big tub of leeches on his front porch. He says he is going to use them on his mother-in-law for high blood pressure. I suspect foul play, as this woman’s husband died a few years back in the prime of life, and Darrell took over the family hardware store. Is there an anonymous hot-line I can call? Darrell works out a lot and has a butt-ugly dog tied to his satellite dish, so I don’t want to mess with him directly.
Joe Don Ewing, Hoxie, Arkansas
Leeches are back! These aquatic cousins of the earthworm hail from Europe, where doctors since Hippocrates have valued the friendly little bloodsuckers, but their popularity declined in the 19th century. Leeches’ saliva contains a powerful blood thinner, and the slimy creatures are now used by surgeons to remove clotted blood from grafted tissue. (I know, it’s disgusting–but you asked!) So you should encourage Darrell in his do-it-yourself hematology.
Dear Mrs./Ms. To Your Health:
Last night I made my Stuffed Pork Chops for my husband, Earl. Also my Apple Brown Betty with whipped cream, which Earl dearly loves. I can give you the recipes if you want–they were both prize winners at last summer’s Mackinac County Fair. Anyway, when Earl stood up after dinner he became dizzy and passed out. He said the room went black on him, then he was in a long dark tunnel with a bright spot at the end and he heard voices saying “Come to the light!” Do you think he’s okay, or should he get a “cat scan”? Don’t ask me to feed him salad, as he will just turn up his nose and call it “rabbit food”.
Mrs. Marguerite Bucholz, Eau Claire, Michigan
“Earl–come to the light. We’ve got more pork chops!”
What happened to your husband is common after a heavy, high cholesterol meal such as you prepared. His temporary light-headedness probably didn’t cause permanent brain damage, unless he hit the floor hard on his way down. I’m afraid you are Earl’s “enabler”–to use a psychobabble term–and are a little too eager to please him with your good cooking. Try sneaking some leafy green vegetables into a hearty casserole or stew. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but don’t give him a coronary!
Yak: Accept no substitutes.
Dear Health Person:
My husband Earl is junior varsity basketball coach at Valdosta Consolidated Regional High School (Go Wildcats!). He has fought a life-long battle against Athlete’s Foot due to the nature of his job. At one point the doctors thought they would have to amputate!
In order to ease the burden of his suffering, I bought a copy of “The Sherpa Sutra: Himalayan Love Strategies That Will Send Your Man to the Top of the World!” We have been experimenting with “The Mongolian Cartwheel,” substituting our dachsund “Tiny” for the yak.
My question is this. I am starting to get some kind of crud between the fourth and fifth fingers of my left hand. Is there such a thing as “Athlete’s Hand”?
Naomi Watkins, Five Points, Georgia
The parasitic fungus that causes Athlete’s Foot can thrive in any area of the body that is dark, airless and damp. Be thankful you got it where you did.
Available in Kindle format on amazon.com as part of the collection “Take My Advice–I Wasn’t Using it Anyway.”