Dear Annie: My husband’s college roommate is an internist who lives in our community. “Dr. Fred” is not our family physician, but I admit we have, on occasion, asked for his assistance in emergency situations. Maybe we’ve taken some medical advantage of his friendship, but he’s never seemed to mind.
The night before Thanksgiving, I got the flu and had extreme nausea. I gave Fred a call at his home and he offered to stop by with an injection for the nausea and some pills for later, if necessary. I thanked him profusely.
When Fred arrived, my husband wasn’t home. Fred gave me the anti-nausea injection in my hip and then left. When my husband returned, I told him Fred had stopped by. But when he heard Fred had given me the shot in my backside, he was clearly bothered, asking me if I “had to show much.” I was surprised by his apparent jealousy. For what it’s worth, we are talking about dropping one side of my pants about two inches — nothing that can’t be seen in the grocery store.
It was just a shot, given by a good friend and wonderful physician who was doing me a big favor, no less. Did I do something wrong? — Jeannie in Detroit
Dear Jeannie: Other than taking advantage of Fred’s friendship, no. Your husband’s reaction was no doubt due to the fact that Fred is a friend and not just a disinterested doctor. Still, it’s flattering to know that even while you are throwing up, he still thinks other men find you sexy. Give him a reassuring kiss and say nothing more about it.
Dear Annie: Dad married my stepmother when I was 6 years old. I consider her to be my mother. Dad and Mom proceeded to have two biological children. We are all one-third equal heirs to our parents’ estate.
Four years ago, Dad passed away. Immediately after, Mom began to show signs of dementia and has gotten increasingly worse. She is now no longer capable of living alone and will be going into an assisted living facility.
Here is the problem: Since Dad’s passing, my siblings and nephew have “borrowed” over one-third of Mom’s life savings. They repay very little. When I ask them about the money, they brush it off, saying, “If she needs the money, we’ll give it back.”
I would like to see some formal terms of repayment set up. However, I am afraid if I bring up the subject again, it will cause dissension. They are my only close relatives and I don’t want to lose them. How can I resolve this dilemma without alienating my siblings? — Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Dear Rock: Mom’s dementia prevents her from legitimately designating someone to handle her financial affairs, so you should talk to a lawyer about getting a court-appointed guardian or custodian to manage her money for her benefit. You or another family member could serve in that capacity, but we don’t recommend any of you put yourself in the middle of what may turn into a family feud. A banker or lawyer might be a better choice as guardian. If the guardian determines that Mom’s money has been “borrowed” by family members who used the funds for their own benefit, the guardian should be able to force them to repay it.
Dear Annie: Your response to “Sad Mom” was a very informative piece on steroid abuse. Although you said steroids can cause extreme mood swings, you did not specifically mention suicide. A very nice young man in our area committed suicide and it was attributed to steroid abuse. It was such a tragedy. — Toledo, Ohio
Dear Toledo: Extreme mood swings can cause depression severe enough to include suicide, and some steroid abusers can become suicidal when they first go off the steroids. Thanks for the additional warning.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 1.22.08