Dear Dr. Christina, My husband and I have been married for 5 years, and he is a wonderful man. I am concerned because for the past three months he has been peeing blood off and on. I have been telling him that he needs to go to the doctor. He just jokes about it and tells me he strained himself on the job and that it is nothing I should worry about. I cannot help it. I told him I would go with him and that I would make the appointment for him. He tells me that I am making something out of nothing. I do not want to nag him, but something in my gut is telling me that I am not wrong. I love him and I do not want anything to happen to him. Please tell me if I am being too protective.
Dear Dr. Christina, I am in high school and I have never been asked out on a date. I doubt I will ever start dating because when I see the other girls in my class, especially in gym class, I do not think I am pretty enough. They look so perfect. My parents do not let me wear any makeup or dress up in any trendy clothes. My parents say they are just too expensive to buy so I just get my sister’s hand-me-downs. I do have a problem with acne and I am overweight. I hate to look at myself in the mirror. I hate to get caught when my friends take pictures of me because I feel so fat. My mom says it is only “baby fat”, whatever that means, but I am not a baby. I feel like such a dork and I know I’m just plain fat. I see all those pictures in the teen magazines and on TV and I just want to drool. I just feel I don’t have a chance. Is there anything I can do to help myself? Dolly
Dear Dr. Christina, I am writing to you because it is that time of year again to celebrate Mother’s Day. Last year, I lost my mom to cancer and my great grandmother to old age. I am not sure how I can celebrate this day without them. Just last year we were four generations (great grandmother, grandmother, Mother and me). Now there is only my grandmother and me left. I feel so sad and I don’t know if I will be able to handle this holiday. We were a very close family and I miss them so much. How can I pay any sort of tribute to this holiday when I am still grieving their losses? Mother’s Day will never be the same, and I am unsure if I can get over the fact that they are gone, even on the other days of the year. Can you please give me some ideas for how to just get through this holiday? Suzi
Dear Dr. Christina, I sometimes feel humiliated because my manager will start criticizing me in front of my customers, and now she has been giving me the jobs no one wants to do, like cleaning the toilet, putting out the garbage, and mopping the floors. She, and now my co-workers, are calling me names. They make me feel like I am too stupid to be out in this world. I am beginning to feel like I am such a failure because this has been going on nonstop. When I go home, I just want to cry. I have also been losing weight. Is this me? Am I such a loser? Sherri
Dear Dr. Christina, I separated from my husband 3 years ago. I am finding that the more my kids are around him, and especially when they come home from being with him, they are not the same as when I dropped them off, especially my oldest. They are very reserved and quiet, and seem like they have been kicked to the ground. I have sat down with my oldest son, who is 16, and asked him what is wrong. At first he kept telling me nothing; but one day I went into his room after they had been dropped off, and he was just sitting there balling and sobbing. I sat down next to him and asked him what was wrong. He finally told me that when he is at his dad’s, his dad constantly tells him that he is such a disappointment and that he cannot do anything right...
Dear Dr. Christina, My grandmother, who was 92 years of age, was one productive woman who was alert and loved life. She lived independently and loved to read, cook for the family, and go for walks with her walker. I am writing to you because it pained me to see how she died and to learn how her death could have been prevented. Sally
Dear Dr. Christina, After reading your article on the Broken Heart Syndrome, I am very concerned about my mother who suddenly lost her husband of 50 years from cancer this past month. I am beginning to see my mom’s health starting to fail and she seems to be losing her desire for living, just like you described. I am so frightened to think that she will give up on her life and that she will begin to stop doing all the things she once did so actively with my dad. I am her caretaker and I only live 5 blocks away from her. My own grief gets in the way of my thinking of things to help her know how much she is wanted and needed by me and my kids. I appreciate any help and ideas you can offer before it is too late. Glee
Dear Dr. Christina, My 76-year old mom was a widow and had not gone to her doctor for a few years. When she did go, she was told she did not have to have a pelvic exam or a Pap® test any longer. She has always suffered from constipation. Whenever she had a bout of it, she would bleed. She would go to her doctor and was told not to worry about it. He told her the bleeding was most likely caused by her hard stools and her hemorrhoids. She was told to go to the store and buy some Preparation H®, some stool softeners, and eat plenty of fiber... (Read the tragic ending to the story, and Dr. Christina's response to spotting colorectal cancer early.)
Dear Dr. Christina, I am 40 years of age and I am beginning to wonder if there is something wrong with me. All my friends whom I went to school with and relatives have gotten married, and I have not even received a proposal yet and feel left out in the cold. I have gone to so many weddings as a bridesmaid that my entire closet is full of gowns that I have worn to “other people’s weddings.” I am beginning to lose count! Am I doing something wrong? Am I ever going to know what it’s like to commit to and love that one special person? Can you please help me with some ideas as to what may be going on and help me understand why I have not landed my soulmate yet? Thanks, J
Dear Dr. Christina, I am so distraught. I took my wife Amy, who is only 40 years old, to the hospital over the weekend when she was complaining of extreme fatigue, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, indigestion, and nervousness. The doctor told my wife she had a virus and that she probably ate something that did not agree with her. He gave her what he called a “GI cocktail” to help with her indigestion and told her that it would help settle her upset stomach. He told her to drink plenty of fluids, get some rest, and gave her a shot to help calm her nerves. He sent her home with instructions to be seen by her private doctor on Monday. -- Two hours later, she threw up and fainted. I called 911 and she died in the ambulance on the way back to the hospital. I was told she had a massive heart attack. -- What happened? I thought she only had indigestion, felt tired, and was only having a panic attack. That is what the doctor said and I believed him. Now she is dead. -- I feel so betrayed, lost, and guilty. Could I have done something different? ~ Bill