Doctor, doctor: The teenager who won't drink water, and a damaged tendon

My 16-year-old daughter hasn't drunk water for two years. She says she hates the taste, even chilled, so drinks nothing at mealtimes when only water is on the table. In hot weather, she seems ready to risk dehydration rather than drink it. She has only artificially sweetened squashes, flavoured waters and fizzy drinks. I worry about the health risks, but also about making too much fuss. Should I just let this one go, or should I say something?
Yes, you should let it go. As long as your daughter is taking in enough fluid to keep her well – and she seems to be doing that – it doesn't really matter that the fluid isn't in the form of plain water. If you try to persuade her otherwise, you risk stirring up arguments about it, or accusations of interfering in her life, neither of which you want. She is 16, after all, so is old enough to make up her own mind (legally at least) about what she should and shouldn't drink. So leave it be. Don't bother mentioning it, and she should eventually settle into a normal eating and drinking pattern.

I'm 29 and have been diagnosed with patellar tendonitis (inflammation of the patellar tendon that connects the kneecap to the shin bone). Before the injury, I used to enjoy running and playing squash, but my GP says that I should now give them a rest. What do you think?
Your GP is spot on – you absolutely have to rest from running and playing squash until the tendon has healed, otherwise it won't and may even rupture. And if that happens, you will need quite difficult surgery with an even longer recovery time. You could keep up your fitness with swimming, which takes gravity out of the equation yet keeps muscles toned. Ask your doctor for advice – he or she may refer you to a physiotherapist who could point you in the right direction as to what other exercise you should and shouldn't do. Your tendon will eventually heal, and you can go back to your sports again then, but don't even think of doing so until a physio or doctor gives you the all clear. Even then, you'd be best advised to take things easy to begin with.

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