Ask hailebop!

Did you ever wake up and wonder when your life became a soap opera? A bizzare mixture between 'Dawson's Creek' and 'Days of our Lives'?

I know I've had that feeling - that it's just all too dramatic and ridiculous, and wouldn't it be nice to go and under a nicely-furnished rock for a while? So, whilst I do not promise or claim to be an expert on how teenage boys minds work or how you can uncode your best friend's baffling behaviour, I'll always attempt to empathise and offer some honest words of advice.

I am 21, with a fairly dysfunctional life as a artsy student type. I've recently graduated with a degree in Philosophy, and am spending time working in the law before returning to university for further study. I still don't know what I want to do with my life, but I like where I am at the moment. I like shoes, bad television, chocolate cheescake and pretty things.

I am very busy at the moment, attempting to fund my life as a postgraduate (that's grad school to the Americans). I do still stop by quite a lot to help out with the admin stuff, but my column is pretty lame and inactive. Boo-hiss. I will however still endeavour to answer any questions that are sent my way, so feel free to send questions to my inbox.

Frequently Asked Questions

Actually, I made them up. But they are questions that I've seen more than once around this site (and, indeed, in the real world), and so have created general responses to them, linked below. It's a little sparse at the moment, but I'll be adding to the list as I think of more questions (and, er, answers to them).

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Gender: Female
Location: England
Occupation: Student
Age: 21
Member Since: December 30, 2003
Answers: 455
Last Update: June 7, 2009
Visitors: 39744

My alarm wakes me up every morning at 6:00; but I usually hit the snooze button until like 6:40. How can I make myself wakeup and kick the urge to press snooze and go back to bed?

You will either find this works for you or doesn't, but it's worth a shot.

At the moment, you have 40 'spare' minutes in your morning routine. You presumably can get up and out of the house at the time you need to having got out of bed at 6:40 rather than 6:00. Because you have this time, you end up pressing the snooze button multiple times.

It is worth trying setting your alarm later. If you are snooze addict, perhaps set it at 6:30 and allow yourself ten extra minutes in bed, but then get up. If you set your alarm later, you are more likely to get up after only one snooze routine because you know that you have to get up then in order to leave the house on time.

This does require a significant amount of willpower, but it might really help you. I used to snooze for half an hour and then take twenty minutes getting up and out of the house. When I realised I only needed twenty minutes to get up, I set my alarm later, enjoyed twenty minutes more undisturbed sleep, and got up immediately as soon as the alarm began to ring, because I knew otherwise I'd only have ten minutes, which wouldn't have been enough time.

Of course it has potential for going wrong if you are the type who'd forget you'd set your alarm earlier or wouldn't get up despite knowing you were running yourself out of time, hence why I said it either would work for you or it wouldn't. Still, it might work for you, so give it a shot - although possibly not on a morning when you desperately need to be on time, as it might be something that needs a little fine-tuning.

All the best.

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Okay well I know you guys aren't doctors but we can't get ahold of ours right now so I thought I'd ask.

My friend was at baseball practice this morning and got hit with a ball coming out of a pitching machine at 70 mph right in the forehead. He had to go to the hospital and eveything.

Well, he's over at my house now because no one is home at his house and he can't fall asleep for more than 1 1/2 hours at a time. They told him to keep his head elevated from his body to try to reduce the swelling.

He started complaining that when he uses a pillow it get very uncomfortable. We tried differnet pillows and he still doesn't want one. Do you think it would be okay if we just let him lay without a pillow or anything to keep his head up?

If the doctor told you to keep the head elevated, it's best to follow that advice to the letter, even if it is uncomfortable for him. Keep a close eye on him, and if it becomes uncomfortable to the extent that it's painful rather than just uncomfortable to elevate the head, seek emergency healthcare. Some discomfort would be expected, as he did suffer a blow to the head and keeping your head really elevated when you are sleeping might be uncomfortable anyway if you aren't used to it, but if things get worse or you are worried err on the side of caution and seek medical care.

I'm sure you've already been told this, but also watch out for symptoms of concussion, particularly vomitting or dizziness. If you are worried, call your doctors again.

I hope your friend feels better soon. All the best.

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ive been trying a few diets lately like the south beach diet and stuff like that. what is a good diet that doesnt cost much that is highly effective and will make me shed lbs. FAST!?!?!?! please help me!!! i'd like to be really skinny by christmas. if you need info: 4'7" about 120 lbs. want to be about 90-95 lbs by christmas.


recipies needed

maybe even lunch ideas (easy)

You are attempting to loose 25% of your body weight in two weeks. That is completely unrealistic and if you attempt it by going on a ridiculous crash diet you will only make yourself feel physically ill as your body struggles to cope with the sudden deprivation and mentally negative as you do not achieve anywhere near your goal.

I know this isn't what you want to hear, but healthy weight loss is slow and steady weight loss. That's not to say that you can't start before Christmas, just that you can't expect to be a completely different person in only two weeks. Even fad diets like South Beach and Atkins won't promise you this, and they aren't good for you at all, especially if you are still going through puperty, as you need a balanced diet including all the food groups to ensure healthy development.

Instead reduce your food intake by having smaller portions, eat healthier foods and snacks, cut out junk food and soda drinks and exercise. Don't cut out everything you enjoy or you won't stick to it, but have things in moderation. This type of plan won't get you results as quickly as some other diets, but it is considerably better for your health and long term wellbeing. If you loose the weight sensibly by moderating your general behaviour and eating patterns rather then sticking to something very strict for a short period of time and then giving up you are also much more likely to keep the weight off. All the best.

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I have been really sick lately with sinus infection. I woke up this morning with really bad chest pains. They are on the front of my body, in between my breasts. They only happen when I take a breath in, the deeper the breath, the sharper the pain, and when I puff out my chest. I'm kind of scared because I thought they would go away, but they arent, and its hard for me to breath. It hurts pretty badly. What could they be? What should I do. Please help me, its getting scary.

If you are having chest pains you should go and see a Doctor. I do not have any medical qualifications and so cannot offer advice as to what it might be, but with anything of that nature you shouldn't take chances by not visiting a doctor. It could well be related to your sinus infection and something that can be sorted out very easily without medication, but you don't know that without seeing a Doctor, and it's important to be sure by seeking appropriate medical attention.

All the best. I hope you feel better soon.

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Ok when I drink sometimes I can drink a lot and be normal but other times I can drink very little and get wasted. Why does this happen?

How quickly you feel the effects of alcohol depends on a number of things, so it's not suprising that you sometimes feel drunk more or less quickly than you expect. Most people know that how much you've eaten and how recently effects how quickly you feel the effects of drink (if there isn't anything in your stomach the alcohol goes straight through your system with nothing to slow it down), but the types of food you've eaten also have effect, so if you've had a protein and carbohydrate rich meal, you'll get drunk slower than you otherwise might.

What you are drinking also has effect. Wine, for example, always goes straight to my head, as I think it does for most people. If you are drinking spirits with mixers (code, lemonade, etc.) then it's also difficult to judge how much alcohol you are getting. If you are buying from a bar, it should be in standardised units so you know how much you're getting, but at parties it tends to be people just sloshing an amount in, and drinks can be much stronger than you are used to without you really tasting the difference.

Taking medication will also effect your alcohol tolerance, sometimes quite drastically. If you are on any prescription medicine, you should check the directions inside the packet for whether it is safe to drink whilst taking them. Some drugs, such as sleeping pills will seriously effect your ability to deal with alcohol and you'll find yourself feeling absolutely wrecked (not in a good way) on very little. If you are taking anything (or have just finished an antibiotics course) check.

All the best.

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What could be causing blood while urination and pain?

A UTI which has spread to your kidneys would cause you pain whilst urinating and some blood in your urine. Kidney stones are also a possible cause.

The problem is nobody can make a medical diagnosis over the internet. If there is blood in your urine then you must see a doctor, as it's typically a sign of some sort of kidney trouble, which can be very serious and will not benefit from being left untreated. I know it's embarassing to go to the doctors, but it really is for your own good.

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I get sharp Pains after I'm done peeing, and blood is coming out, only a little, but still bleeding... And I'm always peeing at least every hours. My period Ended on Thursday and I've been getting the pains since two nights ago.... The pains started getting duller yesterday, but they're back to very painful, sharp pains....

Can anyone tell me what this is and how to treat it? Even better how to treat it without my parents finding out?

That sounds like a UTI (urinary tract infection) that has or is beginning to spread to your kidneys. UTI's are easy to treat with antibiotics, but you do need to see a doctor as soon as possible because if left untreated they turn into full blown kidney infections and make you quite seriously unwell. I know it's embarassing admitting that you have a problem like this, but it's honestly better if you just go to the doctors. They'll probably do a dipstick test on a urine sample, but that's it, so it shouldn't be too embarassing for you.

In the meantime, drink lots of water. This might sound like the last thing you want to do as it will make you go to the toilet even more, but it will help the infection pass. Cranberry juice is also a traditional remedy, but make sure you get the plain variety and not sweetened stuff. All the best.

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Is it true that if you drink a lot of water at night you'll look healthier and your eyes will not look so tired in the morning?? there a such think as drinking TOO MUCH water? thanks!

Most people don't drink enough water, and increasing the amount you drink will make you look and feel fresher and healthier. The effect on your skin might not be instant, but if you get a healthier amount of water generally then it will be able to replenish more quickly and you'll see a difference.

The statistic that's thrown around is that you should aim to get at least 8 glasses a day. That sounds a lot, but if you have a bottle of water and are sipping all day you'll get through a lot.

It is possible to drink too much water (in Nazi Germany they did experiments where they force fed people huge amounts of water until they died) but you are highly unlikely to consume a dangerous amount if you are just drinking a few extra glasses a day. You may also find that when you first start drinking extra water you need to go the toilet a lot, but I found that this calmed down after my body got used to it, and it was definitely worth drinking more. All the best.

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i have three daughters who always seem to suffer from headlice, the doctor has gave me some shampoo to treat it which is very good but i can't seem to get rid of the little white eggs, could you please suggest some-thing, thanks.

Headlice have become quite resilient to chemical treatments, making them harder to get rid of. If the chemical shampoo doesn't work, the best way to get rid of them is to use a natural remedy such as a shampoo containing tee-tree (look in your pharmacy for something labelled a natural headlice remedy) and then just to comb them out with a special very fine comb. This takes a reasonable amount of time and needs to be repeated several times to make sure you've removed all the lice and eggs. If your daughters have long and thick hair it's difficult to do it really thoroughly, so take your time and repeat as necessary so that you get rid of all of the eggs, including dead ones.

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I heard that doctors put you on birth control to make your period regular. Other people said they just give you regular medicine to regulate your period. But if I get put on birth control, is that the same one that prevents pregnancy (so I can kinda kill 2 birds with 1 stone haha) and does ALL birth control make you gain weight cause that's a turn off. Thanks.

If you are put on a birth control pill (BCP), then this will have the effect of both regulating your periods and stopping you ovulating, which prevents pregnancy. All BCP does this, and both comparatively low dosage and high dosage versions will have the same effectiveness at preventing pregnancy (which is over 99% if taken correctly).

There are many different types of BCP which have different levels of hormones. They will all have the the effect of regulating your periods, as you just have a period when you have a break from the hormones. In some versions you stop taking the pills for a week, and in others you take a week of sugar pills. The other effects of BC however vary depending on the person and the particular pill, as drugs interact differently with different people. Weight gain is a possible effect of BC, as are changes in libido, breast tenderness, breast size increase, headaches, and others, of varying commonness. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell how you will react to a particular drug before you take it and which, if any, side affects will be problematic for you. Before being prescribed any form of BCP your doctor will talk you through the various risks and possible side effects so you can make an informed choice. You may find however that you will simply have to try different pills to find one that suits your body and needs best. If the first pill you try makes you gain weight, you can always switch to a different brand. All the best.

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I had my period since I was 11 (5th grade) and now I'm 15 (10th grade) and my period STILL isn't regular. However I get it usually every 21 days/3 weeks instead of the normal woman's cycle - 28 days/4 weeks. But this time my period never came and it's been OVER 28 days which is unusual for me and probably other women too. Is it normal to get a period like over 28 days cause it's been 30 days since my last period. There's no way I'm pregnant, I did't change my diet and exercise, and I'm not stressed out. And say I go to the doctor/gyno. What can they do for me?

28 days is the average cycle length, but women's cycles vary from 3 to 5 weeks. If you have a period roughly every 21 days, that doesn't mean you aren't normal and regular, it just means that you have a shorter than average cycle.

Your period is late according to your cycle, but it's not late enough to be concerning. Sometimes our bodies just feel like behaving a little differently. You've mentioned that you don't think stress or diet are factors, and though these are the most common causes of delayed periods, sometimes it's just your hormones being a bit wacky, or other factors that affect your body, such as travelling affecting your body-clock.

Basically, I wouldn't worry for the time being. If you have no other symptoms, the chances are it's just your body taking it's time for some reason. If it still hasn't arrived in the next week to two weeks, then I would mention it to your doctor, but even then there's no reason to alarmed. All the best.

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I'm 12 and a female and i really need a strapless bra but i'm only in an A.Where can I get a cheap,good strapless bra?

If you are an A cup then it would probably be better to just go braless than buy a strapless bra. Strapless bras don't offer a huge amount of support, and as they are notoriously uncomfortable (they have to be quite tight to stay up!) you'd probably be more comfortable braless if you aren't desperately in need of extra support. It might feel weird being braless when you are used to more support, but being able to go without when wearing certain outfits is one of the great things about having relatively small breasts.

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Okay, I wasn`t really sure what to put this under but okay. I am 13 years old and I have some clear, kind of gooey stuff that sometimes appears in my panties. I'm afraid to get fingered because of it. I'm afraid the guy will get grossed out. Could someone tell me what this is and how I could get rid of it?
Thanks I'll rate fives for good answers.

It sounds like normal and healthy discharge. Discharge is secreted by your vagina naturally as it cleans itself. If your discharge changes suddenly in colour, smell or texture, this could be a sign of infection, but otherwise it's absolutely a normal and healthy part of being a woman.

If the wetness in your underwear bothers you, you can wear a pantyliner on days when your discharge is heavy, but this is up to you. As for guys, any guy who is put off by the natural vagina is cbviously far too immature to be sexually involved with anyone. But honestly, I think it's highly unlikely that any guy would be the least bit put off by it, as a moist vagina is a sign of sexual arousal.

In conclusion: it's normal, and don't worry about guys not liking it.

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Could a doctor tell that u "played with yourself" when u go in for a checkup?

No, absolutely not. An internal vaginal exam might reveal your hymen is broken if you've inserted fingers into your vagina, but even if this is so the doctor won't draw the conclusion that you've done anything sexual, as many girls nowadays break their hymens during everyday childhood activity or exercise.

Don't worry about it. The doctors really don't care what you have or haven't done - they only care about your health and well-being. Privacy laws also dictate that even if a doctor or nurse did suspect you of being sexually active, they wouldn't be able to tell anyone about it. All the best.

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How do you treat or make a sun burn go away?

Put aftersun lotion on the affected areas. Look for ones that contain aloe vera, and apply liberally. It can also help if you put the lotion in the fridge for half an hour or so before you apply it, so it's extra cool on your skin. This should help cool down the burning so it's not as sore, and help prevent too much flaking. This should help you feel more comfortable, but the redness just needs time to heal. Vitamins, if you don't take them already, can help your skin heal more quickly, but again, the main thing is just time.

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Was wondering, does anyone happen to know what you can do/use to get rid of stretch marks? LAst summer I lost a lot of weight really fast because of allergies (every time I ate I'd just vomit, waaay too much mucus in my gut for the stomach to deal with plus food) and now I have stretch marks on my sides. They're kind of unsightly, so I just wanted to know what I could possibly do to get rid of them/decrease visibility.

In all honesty, stretch marks are pretty resilient. A really rich cocoa butter moisturiser applied daily can help them fade a little, but don't expect miracles - they may fade a bit with cocoa butter and time, but they will probably never vanish completely.

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i have always been the girl to get her period REALLY heavy, like changing a super tampon every 2 hours and ive always been on schedual to the day! but this time i was 2 WEEKS late AND i cant even fill the littlest tampon. is this normal? please dont reply by saying its disgusting b/c i really need help! i rate good advice!

As others have said, it's normal for your periods to be irregular sometimes. Even those who are blessed with predictable cycles occassionally have off months where their body behaves differently. Are you under stress? Have you changed your diet recently? Have you been travelling (I always find that long-distance travel plays absolute havoc with my cycle. I hate flying for this reason)? There are many reasons why your body could be behaving differently, so don't worry. If things don't return to your normal pattern next month and you are concerned, have a word with your doctor for reassurance, as they'll be able to talk through anything specific about your lifestyle that might cause erratic periods suddenly - but otherwise, don't worry.

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hi im 15 and still a double a (crazy, i know), is there any way i could make my boobs grow naturally?someone at my lunchtable said carrots? i need boobs!! i mean im 15! and im tired of everyone saying things about them i want to cut theirs off! okay yeah im weird someone help me!

If you put on weight it may go to your breasts, but it depends on the type of body shape and build you naturally have - look at your mother and grandmother for an indication. If they are much bustier than you are, your current size may be just because you aren't eating enough so don't have much fatty tissue. It is likely however that you are just be naturally small framed and just not genetically destined to have large breasts, and if that's the case, you just have to learn to love your body as it is. However, 15 is still young and you are unlikely to be fully developed yet. Women's bodies do not stop growing until a woman reaches her early 20s. But you do not "need" boobs - if you remain an AA until you are 90 everything will still turn out okay. I know it's hard to be young and feel insecure about your figure, but if you are naturally small built, it's just something you are going to have to learn to love - and you really should love having smaller breasts, it gives you a lot more freedom when buying clothes or underwear, and you'll avoid the lower back pain that is the curse of the top-heavy woman. All the best.

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hi im 14 and i got my period in august and i only got it once and i hadnt had it since..august! i know im not pregnant! do i have cancer or an infection?? someone help me!

As others have said, it's absolutely normal for your periods to be irregular in the first few years - it's just your body settling down to all the change. Most women take several years to settle into a really regular 28 day cycle and most find that even as adults sometimes they are erratic. You need to relax and not worry about it. It is highly likely that your periods will start to regulate themselves in due course. Talk to your mother about it. If she experienced similar when she went through puberty, that's an additional sign that what you're experiencing is normal. If you haven't had a period in six months time, I might consider mentioning it to a doctor, but at this stage there is no reason to be concerned.

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okay im starting on birth control soon..and im on itcuz of my acne..but im also happy im on it cuz when i do bcome sexually active (imma virgin) with my BF of a year and 3 months i want to me 100% safe meaning using a condom and being on birth control..and i wanted to long till birth control is effective? like how long should i wait till i can trust that it will work before i feel safe enough to go off and lose my virginity..

For safety you should be on the Pill a month before you become sexually active to give your body a chance to get used to the changes. It is sensible to wait longer though because it can take a while to get used to remembering to take your pills reliably every day at the right time. Taking them just a few hours late effects the reliability of some brands. It takes some girls a while to get used to habitually taking them, and it's best not to be using them as contraceptives until you've really got in the habbit and know you won't just forget one, because this will really reduce the reliability.

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