Doctor, doctor: The gym exhausts me and a child fears his op

I am nearly 55 and go to the gym around three times a week, where I work out for about 30 minutes. Following the exercise, however, I am exhausted for the rest of the day (I usually go to the gym during my lunch break). Should I eat more beforehand, or is it just creeping old age? I make a point of doing the necessary stretch exercises before and after each session.
You should recover from your exercise within an hour or so, and then feel much the better for it – not exhausted. It's not a matter of loading yourself with food beforehand: if you are exercising regularly, you should have come to an equilibrium with your food intake naturally before now. So I wonder how healthy you really are? Please ask your doctor about this. He or she will probably examine you, and may even carry out other tests to rule out possible relevant health problems.

Our nine-year-old son is about to go into hospital for surgery. This will involve a general anaesthetic and a few days' stay. He is obviously anxious about it – as are we. He keeps asking about the anaesthetic and the pain he should expect, and what might go wrong. How much should we tell him – does he really need to know about possible ill effects beforehand if they are unlikely to happen?
Young children – even ones as young as nine – are more savvy and resilient than you might think. The latest survey of children's attitudes to impending surgery showed that they do want to know as much as possible beforehand. Their concerns include how frightening it is to be "put under", the pain they might experience afterwards and even the possible complications. Interestingly, the more anxious the children in the survey were, the more they wanted to know – they did not want to be kept in the dark. Your son's doctor will be able to explain all about it to him, and ease his concerns, particularly his fears about anaesthesia. You can also reassure him that he will be specially looked after by the nursing team at all times. One fear that children may have is that they could be left alone, so reassure him that this won't happen.

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