ASK THE DOCTOR
WOMAN'S OWN|November 09 - 16, 2020
Doctor Dawn Harper answers all your medical questions...
Dawn Harper

Drink-driving – what’s the limit?

Q My partner and I take it in turns to do the driving at this time of year. I don’t drink alcohol at all if I’m getting behind the wheel, but he insists that he’s fine to have a couple of drinks and still be able to drive home legally. Is that true?

A The legal limit on drinking and driving is based on blood-alcohol levels, and how quickly we absorb and break down alcohol in our bodies can vary hugely. It depends on what else you’ve had to eat and how much alcohol you drink usually. Regular drinkers will metabolise alcohol more quickly. So the only way to be really sure you’re legal is to play it your way and avoid alcohol altogether when driving.

I want to be alone to grieve this Christmas

Q My husband had a heart attack this time last year and died. Amazingly, I coped reasonably well with Christmas last year, but this year I’m dreading it. The family are all putting pressure on me to decide what I want to do, when all I really want is to lock the door and stay at home.

A You were probably still firing on adrenaline last Christmas and things would have been a bit of a blur. It’s completely understandable that this year feels a bit overwhelming. Nominate one relative and tell them how you feel – they can explain to the others. You may need some company on Christmas Day itself, but perhaps a smaller gathering in your own home might be easier for you to handle this year.

How will her dementia make her react?

Q We had to make the painful decision to put my mum in a home this year, as her dementia was becoming too difficult to manage. My sister and I would like to have her with us over Christmas, but do you think that the change in environment would be stressful for her?

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