Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

29 Adar II 5760 - April 5, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Home and Family
Your Medical Questions Answered!
by Joseph B. Leibman, MD

Diplomate, Board Certification of Emergency Medicine

Chairman, Department of Emergency Medicine Ma'ayenei Hayeshua Hospital

Hi. It's me again. Just wanted to finish off our discussion. You will notice that as you begin your teenage years, you are now always hungry. This may result in pudginess until your growth spurt starts in full swing. You must be careful that you eat foods that are good for you. Overindulgence in junk food at this point in your life can result in habits that last a lifetime, and could lead to an overweight adult. You're probably sleeping more. In fact, aside from babies, teenage girls sleep more than any other human being: an average of ten hours a night.

Furthermore, we discussed hormones last week. These hormones can make a person very moody. You should be prepared for this and realize that sometimes you shout and holler for reasons that later don't seem so important. Also, remarks by friends can cause you much distress for precisely this reason. Sometimes you may feel you just "want to be left alone." Teenagers, their friends and parents must be very understanding at times like this.

Teenagers are given physical powers that allow them to do tremendous feats of endurance. By the same token, they like to test these powers by seeing just how far they can stretch themselves. This can be used in a positive sense, such as in learning or getting into a set exercise program, but testing one's limits can also have a negative side. You must understand -- and I write this from my heart because I really do care -- teenagers do die. Not usually from diseases like old people, but from testing themselves combined with inexperience and poor judgment.

Let me be more specific. Many of you will be getting your driver's license during this time period. This gives you a tremendous amount of freedom. But it is one of the leading causes of death and permanent injury in your age group. Driving too fast is usually the reason as well as not wearing seatbelts and weaving in and out of traffic. It is the leading cause of death of young people in Israel. You don't get a second chance here. Take it seriously.

Lastly, when I was a teenager, I believed that my parents knew little about the new world and as such their advice and experience would not be useful. Boy was I surprised to find out that when my parents were teenagers and their parents as well, they all thought the same thing.

Trust us. We know that some things you need to experience on your own, but sometimes you just have to take our word for it. Our rules weren't designed to harass, they are there because we love you in a way we can't express the way we did when you were younger, because we don't want to embarrass you. And I speak for all parents when I say that despite all the awkwardness and all the moodiness we are very proud of you. Let that be your beacon. Let that be your comfort when times are difficult. We'll be there for you through it all. Bye, and write me soon, in care of the Yated.

Exercise-induced asthma and cold-induced asthma can be problematic. One way to prevent attacks before they start is Serevent, a longer acting inhalation therapy than regular Ventolin. It should not be used for acute crises, but it is very useful when you know you will have an attack in the near future, such as a walk in the woods where allergic plants abound. Serevent is easy to take and effective.


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