Sharon Denise Allison-Ottey
Ask Dr. Sharon
Fever, Chills, Cough; I Feel Miserable!

Sharon D. Allison-Ottey, MD

We all know the misery of body aches, fever, and chills—feeling like you’ve been run over by Mac truck. The flu is a three-letter word that can humble the strongest adult to a point of calling for “Mommy!” According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are over 36,000 deaths each year from the Influenza Virus (Flu) and over 226,000 hospitalizations in the United States. The flu season generally peaks from late fall to late winter months and can affect any age group; with the highest rates found among children, however, the most serious and life threatening consequences are found in the elderly (over 65) and young children (under 2 years).

 Similarly, cold season begins in late August or early September; starts slowly, then escalates, until March or April, when it declines. The seasonal variation may relate to the opening of schools and cold weather, when people spend more time indoors, which increases the chances that viruses will spread. Sneezing, scratchy throat, and runny nose are initial signs of a cold, with symptoms lasting one to two weeks.

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History of Abuse, How Do I Move Forward
Dear Dr. Sharon,

First let me thank you for your work and for your book—“All I Ever Did Was Love a Man”, it literally changed my life. I was in an 11 year emotionally and physically abusive relationship that began in high school. I thought that this was normal. It started with my high school boyfriend grabbing me and getting upset if I talked to other boys or wore certain clothes. I thought that his jealousy just showed me how much he loved me. We got married early because I became pregnant for him; he told me that he wanted to give me his baby. I was in bliss when I married the boy that I loved and I overlooked the fights, the threats and occasional physical abuse. My family has a history of abuse and women just seem to take it. I did talk about this with my favorite aunt in the first year of my marriage and she encouraged me to stay and tough it out.

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Urinary Incontinence

Dear Dr. Sharon,

I am a 46 year old AA female and I heard you speak at a women’s conference. I was too embarrassed to ask you this question publicly but I need help. I have very embarrassing problem, when I laugh, cough and even sometimes when I have sex; I have “little accidents” with my urine. This is becoming a major issue for me and I don’t know what to do. I wear a pad most of the time but I can’t stand the smell of urine that I always have. It is very embarrassing when I have sex with my boyfriend –there is no way to hide the accident. This makes me avoid having sex and even being close to him and this is taking a toll on my relationship. Aren’t I too young for this? Please help.

Dallas, Texas

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