Q. I notice that my baby gets dehydrated when she’s sick, but I don’t always know if it’s serious enough to call for a trip to the doctor. Any tips for a first-time mom?
A. Though being a first-time parent can be frightening, your new baby is fortunately very resilient! There are several things to note if your child is hydrated enough. One, if your baby continues to make tears when they cry, that is a good sign. If you notice wet diapers once every 6-8 hours, your child is still hydrated well. However, if your child’s mouth looks dry or has crusting around it, these are some signs of early dehydration. If your child has had frequent loose stools or vomiting, be sure to offer them fluid (water or Pedialyte-like; NO sodas or juices) in small amounts around room temperature – ideally around an ounce or two every 10 minutes. Even if there is some delayed vomiting, your child’s stomach lining rapidly absorbs fluids when needed. But, if you feel your child is in need of fluids that you cannot replace, do not hesitate to seek help!
Q. I’ve recently decided to seek treatment for my disordered eating, but I’m worried that working through it in a group setting will be embarrassing. Any advice?
A. The idea of group therapy can initially seem intimidating. Opening up in front of others about specific and very personal struggles can come with a lot of fear, shame, and embarrassment. This is normal for someone beginning their search for treatment, and freedom, from the eating disorder. You may think that you are the only one to feel like you do, and that you are alone in your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Group therapy gives you an opportunity to interact with others going through similar experiences and recognize that you are not alone. Hearing from others about their recovery journey can also provide you with encouragement and the belief that healing is possible.
Q. I didn’t wear much sunscreen when I was younger, but now that I’m in my 40s, I’m noticing a lot of dark spots and sun damage. Is there anything I can do to improve this?
A. Yes! Using a prescription skincare line that is made to address pigment from sun damage is a perfect place to start. This will help to fade the brown spots on the skin’s surface and suppress melanocyte production deeper in the skin. This is typically a six-month regimen. Products such as the Obagi Nu-Derm correction kit are great. You can then refine and resurface the skin with laser light photo facials and resurfacing lasers. I recommend the stacked treatment of Broad Band Light to stimulate collagen production and the Moxi laser to promote cellular turnover and reduce pigmentation.
Q. My elderly father will be moving into an assisted living facility later this year. Any advice on how we, as his family, can make this transition as smooth as possible for him?
A. This decision is not always an easy one, but of course you want your dad to enjoy his experience while living a worry-free lifestyle and knowing care, fun, and community are available at his future home. Communicating any of your concerns is vital in the transition process. Facility directors can take past experiences that have worked for similar families and have a positive result. I would encourage you to bring your dad over, if possible, for a social event or perhaps a game of bingo to get a feel for the community and meet some future neighbors of his. Lastly, decorate your dad’s room like his favorite room in the house; bring his favorite chair, book collection, or painting to hang. All of these attributes will allow for a sense of familiarity and really make his new home feel like his.
Q. I’ve been dealing with carpal tunnel for a while, but lately the pain has progressed. Will I need surgery?
A. In short, it depends on the severity of your condition. Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) can cause numbness, pain, and even weakness of the hand because of a compressed median nerve in the wrist. Maintaining a flexed or extended wrist position can lead to CTS, so wearing a brace or splint can help reduce pressure on the median nerve by keeping the wrist in a neutral position. Bracing can be especially helpful at night or when doing activities that worsen your symptoms.
Identifying aggravating activities and avoiding repetitive hand use is important in managing CTS. NSAIDs can help relieve inflammation and pain, and corticosteroids can be injected near the median nerve.
These non-operative treatments can be especially helpful for milder cases, but in severe CTS, surgical treatment is often needed to prevent permanent nerve damage. That’s why it’s important to see a physician who is experienced in treating CTS for appropriate evaluation and