May 18, 2016

That's Gotta Be Code, Right?

Hey, Bonita…

Hey there! I'm a soldier who just got assigned to Athens a couple of months ago. Coming from St. Louis. Can you ask around to see where there might be some indoor volleyball going on? Thanks!

Welcome to Athens! Since this is a dating and relationship advice column, I assume you're using some sort of code language for gay cruising. Ben Burton and Dudley Park are both local hot spots for no-strings sexcapades after dark, but watch out—someone got busted at Dudley recently, so I'm sure the cops are watching. There are also a few local retail stores with popular bathrooms, but I don't wanna name those for liability reasons. You can easily Google that info, though.

If you're looking for more meaningful social connections, I'd recommend the very queer-friendly Go Bar or Sister Louisa's Church, or just seek out any event attached to the Boybutante Foundation.

On the chance that I've read into this entirely wrong, it doesn’t look like Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services has an adult volleyball program. There's one in Atlanta, however, if you're down to travel.

Hey Bonita,

Longtime listener, first-time caller. A very dear friend of mine has been battling serious health issues. Like so many women, she puts everyone and everything before herself. There's a lot going on, so here's a list:

  • She has a 3-year-old and is six months pregnant.

  • She had major hip surgery less than a year ago, when she was diagnosed as an adult with hip dysplasia.

  • She's in an accelerated nursing program until the end of May and on her feet 14 hours some days.

  • She has full-on alopecia that began after her first daughter was born.

  • She also has Hashimoto's and hyperthyroid (also diagnosed after her first).

She's seen handfuls of specialists to figure out what is going on with her and is only recently getting real answers from an integrative doctor—it looks to be chronic Lyme disease with some other complications. Now the pressing threat is that her adrenal levels are so frighteningly low that they're at risk for burning out. How do you give birth without adrenal function? She hasn't even alerted her midwives yet!

Her husband is next to no help. Her family is not around, and she's far from me. I don't know how to make her slow down and take care of herself. She's an accordionist and recently played a gig! How do I make her stop and take care of herself?

How do you help a faraway friend?

It's really tough to be miles away from someone who needs your help. Your friend sounds like a real go-getter who is used to doing it all and having it all, the type that runs at full speed all the time. People who aren't used to going slow typically don't want to when it's time for a rest, making them prone to meltdowns and burnouts.

Certainly, this would be a terrible time for your friend to get even more ill or just fall apart, what with a baby to take care of, a degree to earn and her accordion hobby. I'm also guessing that she probably doesn't listen when people tell her to take a rest, unless it comes from some extreme authority.

Has the integrative doctor told her to chill out? If not, I'm sure her midwives would. Seeing as how her husband isn't pulling his weight, I'd recommend you get in touch with her midwives yourself and update them on your friend's health. That might seem like “meddling” to some, but this isn't just about the friend—she's pregnant with a baby that she intends to keep, and she's not thinking about the effect her behavior could potentially have on childbirth or the kid's post-natal health.

Tell the midwives what's up, then instruct them to get in touch with the husband and tell him the hell off. Seriously, his ass deserves to be roasted for not paying more attention to his wife's health and not being more active in her pregnancy. Hopefully, from there, the professionals and her family will convince her to take it easy.

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