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Features

In POTS, response to position changes is exaggerated

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. Is it safe for me to get the COVID-19 vaccine or will getting the vaccine make my tachycardia or other symptoms worse? -- K.K. ANSWER: The body goes through a complex set of changes to adapt to an upright posture. When changing ...

Woman interrupted; Make sure you understand someone

Dear Annie: I have been with my husband for 21 years, and we have been married for 15 years. I truly love him very much. But I try my best to avoid his brother and his brother’s wife as much as I can because, whenever I try to talk with them, they constantly interrupt me. This makes me very ...

What activities are OK after getting COVID vaccine?

DEAR DR. ROACH: I participated in a research study and received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on Nov. 30. I have lab-confirmed antibodies. Gyms are known to be especially susceptible to the virus spreading, but is it reasonably safe to return to the gym after having the vaccine and ...

Reeling from wife’s affairs; There’s so much to do

Dear Annie: I found out a month ago that my wife has been sleeping with a plethora of men that she’s met on a dating app. Her profile says she’s single and that she also has a college degree, neither of which is true. She told me she is in love with another man. After I spoke to the man’s ...

Becoming Tech’s organist: Taking a chance at hockey games

I followed the advice of Bob, the ice arena’s manager. The following week I spent a lot of time in the arena. For me, it what was a major event in my life. Not only did I have to become comfortable climbing that ladder, but I had to “learn” that Wurlitzer. It offered a lot of challenges ...

Foot pain? Don’t wait to visit a specialist, nip the problem early

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 73-year-old male with continued pain in my right foot and ankle for the past five years. I try to stay active by golfing two days a week in season, and I walk 3 miles four times weekly around the neighborhood. The pain started about five years ago after a very active week ...

Trust your gut; Check with your doctor to explore the brain-gut highway

Dear Annie: My whole life, I’ve been a worrywart, and my worries always seem to make their way into my stomach. While I’ve always experienced stressed-out “digestive issues” like that from time to time, over the past few months, it’s gotten out of control. I find myself running to the ...

Natural immunity versus vaccination; Don’t risk infection

DEAR DR. ROACH: I was sick for two weeks at home with the coronavirus and made a complete recovery. Why wouldn’t recovering from the virus be at least as good as getting the vaccine? I’ve heard that I’m probably safe for three to eight months. Surely, they don’t expect the vaccine to be ...

Boyfriend won’t commit; Stop getting jerked around

Dear Annie: I have been with my “boyfriend” on and off for three years. I put “boyfriend” in quotes because he says he doesn’t like labels. I’m at his place 90%of the time, yet I still pay rent on my own apartment because he would never agree to move in together. I have met his ...

Anxiety attacks benefit from expert help; Anxiety disorders are complicated

DEAR DR. ROACH: My daughter-in-law has anxiety attacks. It gets so bad that she ends up throwing up. She has seen a doctor, but so far it has not helped. Can you give her any advice? -- M.L. ANSWER: Anxiety is something that nearly everyone has felt when confronted by a difficult, unexpected ...

Decoding the results of an electrocardiogram; What are they?

DEAR DR. ROACH: I recently had an EKG that showed first-degree heart block and “inferior infarct, age undetermined.” What does that mean? What should I do to make sure it doesn’t get worse? I will be seeing a cardiologist in a few months to get an exercise stress echo. What is that? -- ...

Happy St. Patrick’s Day; Two poems and some Irish blessings

Dear Readers: March 17 is a day to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick. Born in the 4th century, in Roman Britain, Patrick was taken captive by Irish pirates at the age of 16. He turned to God and Christianity and escaped. He returned to Ireland in 432 as a missionary. When he ...

Notes on narcissism; Just a few notes and added opinions

Dear Readers: The issue of dealing with a narcissist in the family struck a chord and prompted a number of letters offering insights and advice. Most were pretty disheartening because narcissists rarely change. Here are two interesting ones: Dear Annie: This is a message to the sister in ...

Shoulder injury during vaccination is a long-lasting pain

DEAR DR. ROACH: About two weeks ago, I received the vaccine for COVID-19. By the next day I had a great deal of pain in the shoulder area where the vaccine was administered. For about five days, I could barely lift my arm. It is still sore but the pain is subsiding, and I can now fully raise my ...

Keep it separated; She’s still your daughter, too; try not to be so cold

Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married for 12 years. Overall, I think we have a great marriage. All marriages have an area where they struggle, and ours is children. We were both married previously, and all of our children are from our previous marriages. But we consider them ...

Let’s play for hockey: Climbing that proverbial mountain

Early the very next morning my phone rang and a voice told me “Stay home Gerrit, we have a snowstorm in Ontonagon.” I tried going back to sleep, but my mind was working overtime. Maybe I should just wait until the next snow day? I dismissed that thought immediately. Throughout my life ...

Hot flashes have not subsided post-prostate cancer treatment

DEAR DR. ROACH: I’m a 76-year-old man who was treated for prostate cancer starting in summer 2017. Following radiation therapy, I was given Lupron injections every six months for two years. It’s been two years since my last injection, but I still experience hot flashes as a result. Will ...

Yuletide usurper; Tell your sister to keep her ham to herself

Dear Annie: My sisters and I always took turns having the family Christmas at our respective houses. Six years ago, it was my turn to be the hostess. I was in the kitchen all morning cooking. As everyone arrived and was going through the buffet line, I noticed no one was taking much food. Some ...

Can you take a PPI forever? Try ween after a while and replace

DEAR DR. ROACH: You have written about PPIs such as Prilosec, which I have successfully taken for over 10 years to fight a severe case of GERD with a small hiatal hernia. However, what is your opinion on my long-term usage (which has been a true lifesaver) and continuing it essentially ...

Not really invited; Familial rifts around brother’s ex-wife

Dear Annie: This has bothered me for a while, and I just can’t get over it. My brother got divorced when his children were very small. His ex, “Susie,” always said that we, “the family,” were the cause of their divorce, even though Susie cheated on him. I have dealt with it over the ...