Dear Dr. Christina, I am 40 years old and I have found myself in the position of having to become the breadwinner of my family, meaning me and my 2 beautiful children ages 7 and 10. My husband was killed in a motorcycle accident this past year. You see, we were childhood sweethearts and lived together for the past 10 years. My husband did not want me to work so I was a stay-at-home mom who never finished high school. Now I find myself having to find a job, but no one will hire me because I have no experience and I do not have a high school diploma. I am getting some assistance for health insurance, food stamps and social security, but I do not want to use those as excuses to supplement our needs—for they are just not enough. My only opportunity for getting a job so far has been working at a fast food restaurants. I feel I am too old for school, but I thought maybe I could start my own business. I have always dreamed of having my own business. I am at a loss as to how to take care of my family, and I would like some advice as to what I can do. El
Dear Dr. Christina, I am 50 years old and I had a hysterectomy ten years ago. I was told by my doctor that I did not need to have any more pelvic exams or pap smears. I just moved to another state and went to a new OB/GYN doctor who told me that I need a pelvic exam yearly and a pap smear, according to my particular risk factors. When I received a phone call from the doctor, I was told the result of my pap smear was abnormal and that I had precancerous cells. How can that be? I am confused as to why I was told by one doctor I didn’t need to be checked after my hysterectomy and then my new doctor says a pelvic exam should be done yearly, whether or not I have a uterus and/ or cervix. I did not know a woman is at risk of not only cervical cancer but of vaginal and or vulvar cancer. Why are we not told this to begin with? Molly
Dear Dr. Christina, I am afraid that my best friend who is 17 years old may be considering hurting himself after his girlfriend dumped him. He talks about how he wishes that he was never born. We used to go out after school all the time, but now I see that his behavior is changing. He is also losing weight. He’s scaring me when he talks about one day playing Russian roulette, but then he says he is only kidding. I do not want to be a snitch or get him into trouble, but I sometimes see or hear on TV and the news about young people actually killing themselves. Am I just blowing this out of proportion? I appreciate any advice you can give me. ~Randi
Dear Dr. Christina, I am 80 years old and I no longer have any family (human, that is), but I do have 2 small pups. Doctor, the holiday season gives me such grief. I feel I have nothing to be grateful for and I don’t want to do any sort of celebration. I have outlived my usefulness in this cold world of technology and people. I am no longer able to welcome this holiday season with any joy whatsoever, and I keep wondering what I do have to be grateful for. I am writing you this letter to see if you can help me open my eyes and heart and provide me with some ideas of how I can change this year’s awful feelings about this holiday season of dread. ~ Mari
Ask Dr. Christina: WAKE-UP CALL – Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me I Had “Dense Breast” on My Mammogram Results?
Dear Dr. Christina, I am confused. I thought if you did not have a family history of breast cancer, you had less of a chance of getting breast cancer. I also thought that if I had a mammogram done according to my doctor’s recommendations, I was safe. I even got a letter from my imaging center that says my screening mammogram was okay. I am 45 years old, and I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. What did I do wrong? Why didn’t they find it on my screening mammogram? I did not even have a breast lump. My doctor told me it was because my breast tissue was dense. Why is this the first time I am hearing about having dense breasts? I would have done something different, if only I had known. ~Sly
Dear Dr. Christina, I am writing you this letter because recently I was thinking about getting my nipple pierced; however, my sister just had her piercing done and ended up in the hospital because her right breast got huge from a massive infection and required surgery. I have heard horror stories about these types of piercings. Can you let me know if it is safe to get piercings done? Sandi
Dear Dr. Christina, My mother had to go to her doctor to get some tests done and was told she had breast cancer. How can that be? She had a screening mammogram 6 months ago and was told by her doctor that her mammogram was okay. Why did the mammogram miss it? I am so scared. My mom’s breast cancer doctor said I was too young to get a mammogram but that I should tested. She then told me about the HALO breast pap test that was available as well as a blood test. I had never heard about these other tests before. I just wanted to write to you to find out if you are aware of this testing and anything else I should know that might calm my fears. Cheeri
Dear Dr. Christina, Last week I went to my first gynecologist exam that my mom scheduled for me. Four weeks later, my doctor’s office called and told me I had an abnormal pap smear with the high risk Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). I’m not even sure what that is! I am not sure what to do with the phone call I got from the doctor’s office because I know my parents will be so disappointed with me. I am so freaked out. I decided to write to you to help me. ~ Chi
Dear Dr. Christina, My husband and I have been married for 5 years. We separated for one month and then we decided to try to work out our problems together. We both apologized and promised we’d try to make our marriage work. Last week I was told by my doctor that I needed to be treated for a sexually transmitted disease called “Chlamydia”. I was shocked. I will be honest with you; during the time I was not living with my husband, I had only one affair but the guy used protection, so I know it couldn’t have been him. I want to kill my husband for bringing this awful thing into my life and into our marriage especially when I trusted him. How am I going to handle the embarrassment of others knowing that my husband cheated on me, as well as endure my private business being reported to the Department of Public Health? Signed, Confused
QUESTION: I am 42-years old and I have been married for 22 years. I just found out that my husband has decided to leave me for a younger woman. I was a stay-at-home mom but now I am the sole provider for my family. I am not sure if I have the courage or strength to help and support my family. Can you help me?