Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

It's a good time for you to do nothing

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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I got my feelings hurt by my teacher when I gave her a poem, and she didn't even comment on it! It's about how I've fallen in love with her. I think she cares about me, but don't know for sure. She is young -- just finished university. I'm not old enough for her now, but I could be in five or six years when I am finished university, too. I would wait for her. I know she got my poem because it was written on a certain colour of paper and I watched her take it out of her top desk drawer where I hid it for her. I feel really embarrassed now. I thought she would smile -- but she looked at it, read it, then frowned and put it back in her desk. It has been a week and she's said nothing and done nothing. What should I say to her about it? -- Feeling So Awkward, Winnipeg

Dear Awkward: This would be a good time to do nothing. Your teacher is in a difficult situation. She can't be sweet about this and encourage you in any way or she could lose her job. She's young and won't want to hurt you and embarrass you either in a private talk. She may also feel badly about ignoring you. Even if she did like you in a romantic way, she could never have any kind of relationship outside of teacher-student. She is probably trying to just let it go, and hope for both your sakes, you will let it go, too. If she responded, she might have to do it with a guidance counsellor or some other person in the room and that would be embarrassing for everyone. In five or six years you may run into her again -- and from an adult-to-adult perspective, connect as friends and maybe talk about that poem sometime. Right now, even though it's hard to do, it's better if you let this drift.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My life is full of pain and I hurt all over my body. My doctor hinted that my body pain is all in my head. He says I'm tense because I am so uptight and I clench my teeth and all my muscles in my sleep. I have never admitted this to him, but I do sleep curled up in fetal position in a tight ball and my partner says he hears me gritting my teeth I don't know what to do. I tried exercising before bed, and taking chamomile tea but it doesn't help. I think I have fibromyalgia but my doctor is old-fashioned and says it's a catch-all diagnosis from doctors who don't know what their patient has. Obviously, he doesn't know what I have either! What to do? -- Not Impressed, Winnipeg

Dear Not Impressed: If you're unhappy with your doctor, it's a good idea to find a new one with whom you have a good rapport. New docs take some effort to find, but it can certainly be done. Start by calling the Family Doctor Connection weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (204) 786-7111. Fibromylagia is recognized by many doctors now but still dismissed by others. Whatever the diagnosis, clenching at night is only going to make things worse. Curling up in the fetal position is a protective instinct when a person is anxious. Fears cause anxiety which makes people clench. So start playing detective with your fears. A counsellor or psychologist would be a good help at getting them out into the open. Here's some homework to try: Make a list of ALL your fears from the smallest things that make you nervous to big fears that haunt you. Monitor what you think about, lying in bed, with notes. You'll probably need a battery of tests and you may end up needing medication -- or not. When you see your new doctor, take the notes.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 31, 2012 C3

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