Doctor Love

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 13, No. 36            October 2, 2003

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Dr. Love is the island's and possibly the world's greatest authority on just about everything. The Doctor answers questions concerning any subject except religion or politics. Persons needing additional assistance or counseling should contact the Family Services Division at 227-7451. You may write to the Doctor at P.O. Box 35, San Pedro Town, Belize, fax 226-2905 or E-mail at

Dear Doctor Love,
In case of an emergency after standard working hours, it is nearly impossible to find a doctor on this island. This is a serious problem that is worthy of the public's attention. I have no idea who is in charge of public emergency services here or if any even exist but I do know that people do not always cooperate and have their emergency between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekdays. As a matter of fact, the opposite is true. Doctors are most often needed during public holidays and on weekends. This is the time when it is almost impossible to find one. If you call 911 for an emergency, the police still need to contact a doctor and they have the same problems as anyone else.
It happened again this weekend and a life was lost that could have possibly been saved. I know from personal experience that the difference between life and death is often a matter of a few short minutes. Just last year, a person bled to death and a doctor could not be located then either.
Why doesn't someone do something about this situation? We have 10,000 people living on this island. It is ridiculous not to have an emergency service system that works.
/s/ Experienced

Dear Experienced,
This problem is definitely worthy of the public's attention. It does not
seem likely that any of the charitable organizations has the expertise for a
project of this nature, much less the will to do it. If it is to be done, it will have to be a coordinated effort on the part of both private and public organizations. If the private organizations can get the ball rolling, perhaps government could help.
So far, the local hospital looks as if it will never be completed. It has been in exactly the same condition for over a year now with no progress showing.
Ideally, we would have the hospital finished and an emergency staff on hand at all times.
Wake up, people. The population here is getting too large for this to drag on any longer. It is a matter of life or death!

Dear Doctor,
I have discovered that my husband is having an affair. It seems like this has been going on for a long time because several people have hinted about it to me over the years. I feel like a fool because I never understood what they were talking about. It turns out that all of this time they thought I knew what was going on.
I asked my mother why she didn't tell me about it and she says that she
tried to but I just ignored what she said. She never came right out and said that my husband was having an affair. All she said was that she did not trust him and that I should keep an eye on him. One of my good friends once asked me if I thought my husband was cheating on me. She said she thought this girl was trying to get to him and asked me what I thought about it. Since I had no idea what was going on, I said that I didn't think it was true.
None of these people ever came right out and told me that they knew this affair was going on. I feel like if they had told me, I could have done something about it. I get angry every time I think about it. Whatkind of friends and family are they, if they did not tell me about something as important as this?
/s/ Disappointed

Dear Disappointed,
It sounds like you are angry with the wrong people here. Your friends
and family did not have the affair. As a matter of fact, they at least made an effort to alert you to the problem. The one who betrayed you is your husband. He is the one you should be angry with.

Dear Doctor Love,
I have a very dear friend that has one problem that is going to destroy
our friendship. She has a little dog that she takes everywhere with her. I
have tried to tell her many times that I am highly allergic to dogs and that
whenever she brings that dog around, it makes me sick. She always says I am being silly and that I just don't like the dog.
One thing that is true, is that I do not like that dog and the dog does not like me either. Over the last year, my allergies have become worse and now it is to the point where my eyes swell up and my nose starts running even in an open space with the dog, like a golf cart or on my friend's porch.
I find myself making excuses not to go over to her house anymore because I cannot stand being there for more than five minutes at a time. I no longer invite her to my house because she completely ignores it when I ask her not to bring the dog. I hate to lose a good friend over something as stupid as a little rat dog. Do you have any suggestions?
/s/ Miss Allergy

Dear Miss,
It is time for you to lay it on the line for your friend. If you have to, do it within five minutes of when she shows up with the dog. Explain to her that this is the last time you will be seeing her with the dog. From now on if she wants to see you, she will have to appear alone.
Then, stick with it and don't change your mind.

Dear Doctor Love,
I work with a woman who is a very dear friend of mine. This woman has a problem with perspiration. When she comes to work in the morning she is fresh and clean. The building where we work is not air conditioned so sometimes it gets unbearably hot. By noon, she starts to smell. A lot of times she even goes home and takes a shower at noon but by the time she is scheduled to leave work it has started all over again.
We have talked about the problem before and she finds it very embarrassing but she says it is a physical problem and there is nothing she can do about it. She has tried every kind of deodorant that is on the market and nothing works. Some of them actually clog up her pores and make her sick. She says she has been to several doctors and all of them tell her that nothing is physically wrong with her. It's just that her sweat glands function differently than other people's.
Have you ever heard of anything like this? Do you think there is some kind of drug or something that doctors could give her that could make her sweat less? Also, what do you think makes men attracted to her? I am just as attractive as she is but when we go out, men always seem to be more attracted to her. I know from experience that men like women who smell sweet and clean. What is going on here?
/s/ Sweet and Clean

Dear Sweet and Clean,
Your friend has nothing to worry about. She obviously knows this because she has already seen a doctor about the problem. She copes but she does not seem to be worried about it; so why should you? Is it that you are worried that men seem to find her attractive when you don't think they should?
Here is some news for you. Since man first evolved, the sweat glands have served as an identifier for individuals and a signal to other humans. Until man's instincts were dulled by modern life and technology, people could identify each other by smell just like dogs and other animals do today. As we have adopted clothing, bathing and perfumes, our sense of smell has diminished. Our individual distinctive odor has remained but we are no longer aware of that odor because it is either masked or washed away. This, coupled with the loss of our sense of smell, makes odor less important in today's society.
Some people like your friend have a stronger odor than the rest of us. Men probably find her attractive because they are reacting to an animal
instinct. What they smell tells them more about her than Chanel Number 5 could ever say.

Dear Doctor Love,
In a restaurant the other night I felt like I was in the middle of a bad
joke. When we came in, the restaurant wasn't very busy, but the waiter ignored us as he waited on the other tables. After five minutes, we got up to leave. He came over and asked us if we wanted anything. We had to ask for a menu and then chase him down to order. When we got the food we had to ask him for something to drink. The food was good but I don't know if it was worth the lousy service.
I remembered reading something in your column about bartenders and bad service. Doesn't anyone provide guidelines for the service industry? If they printed a guideline maybe the workers could read it in their slack time. Perhaps some of the ideas would sink in.
/s/ Disappointed

Dear Disappointed,
All right. Here is the Doctor's basic rules list for the people in the most visible parts of our service industry. These rules are guaranteed to raise tip income. Violation of these rules is a sure bet for a lousy tip.
Waiters: (1) Acknowledge the customer immediately. No one likes being ignored. Just a nod will often keep customers happy until you can get menus to them. (2) Provide menus and water at the same time that you get the drink orders. Do not waste trips to the kitchen. (3) When you take the order, go over it with the customer to make sure that you have written it down correctly. Few things anger a customer more than a wrong order due to the waiter's carelessness. (4) After the food is served, the job is only partly done. Check the table occasionally to see if the customers need anything else.
Bartenders: (1) Acknowledge the customer immediately. No one likes being ignored. (2) If the order is for a special drink, go over it with the customer to make sure you are making the drink he is asking for. It is easy to make mistakes with fancy drinks and very expensive for the bar. (3) When the glass or beer bottle is down to 1/3 full, ask the customer if you can get him a refill. Most of the time he will say yes. His tab will increase and your tip will increase along with it.
All of the Doctor's Rules of Good Service are nothing but applied common sense. Common sense is not so common around here. Perhaps in the future the Doctor will expand on these rules for other, less visible parts of the service industry.
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