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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Week of March 25, 2002

    Question:   I am a healthy 35-year-old female vegetarian of average weight. I have recently noticed that my tongue feels too wide for my mouth. It is sore on the sides toward the back of my mouth where it feels most wide because I keep biting on it. This makes it difficult for me to speak. It seems my tongue gets wide on and off and it has been like this for the last couple of months, lasting a few days to a week each time. Could this be an allergy?    Dr. McLaughlin's Answer

    Question:   I have spinal stenosis in C-5 and have very few symptoms, except for a little arm pain and my arm tends to fall asleep. I want to know how long can I continue to allow my arm to fall asleep before it becomes irreversible or seriously damaged? I plan on having surgery soon. I would like to wait a few months before having the surgery, however, if my arm falling asleep causes me to lose my arm function, I will have the surgery sooner. Is there a point when I should decide to go in for surgery earlier?    Dr. McLaughlin's Answer

    Question:   My teen has promised she would quit smoking pot. I want to start testing her. How many days should I wait until I test her for the first time to achieve a negative test result?    Dr. McLaughlin's Answer