Mar­riage re­cov­ers from af­fair, but wife can’t for­give her­self

Moose Jaw Times Herald - - ADVICE/HEALTH -

About 12 years ago, I made a ter­ri­ble mis­take and had an af­fair. My hus­band loved me enough to for­give me, and our mar­riage has been fine ever since.

The prob­lem is, I can’t for­give my­self. I hate my­self! I could have lost ev­ery­thing, in­clud­ing our two kids. I think of all the time I wasted when I could have shared that time with them, and I beat my­self up daily over this.

I have been de­pressed for so long. How do I get over this? I’m on meds, but it’s deeper than that. I feel I have a seat wait­ing in hell be­cause of it. So -- no chance for heaven -what’s the point in try­ing to be happy?

I can’t af­ford coun­sel­ing, and I don’t have a priest to talk to. Is there some kind of coun­sel­ing group on­line I could join? there’s one nearby. Trust me, it won’t be the first time he or she has heard a story like yours, and it may bring you com­fort.

I have a fear of “threes.” My brother, whom I never met, died at 3 months be­cause he had a hole in his heart. My dad died at 43, the day be­fore his 44th birth­day. My other brother also died at the age of 43. Mom died in the third month (March) when she was 63 years old, and that’s just im­me­di­ate fam­ily. Other fam­ily mem­bers and a cou­ple of friends also had the num­ber three con­nected to their un­timely deaths.

When­ever the num­ber three comes up, it drives me crazy. I just turned 40 and was mis­er­able dur­ing my 30s, an­tic­i­pat­ing that I would be next. I’m sure I’ll be fine for an­other two years, but know­ing my dad and brother died at 43 will make me fear­ful for the whole year. Am I cursed?

You have ex­pe­ri­enced more loss in your life than the av­er­age per­son. For that I can only of­fer my sym­pa­thy. How­ever, you are view­ing this the wrong way. Three isn’t YOUR un­lucky num­ber -- it was the un­lucky num­ber of the peo­ple who DIED. Be­cause a par­tic­u­lar fate be­falls some­one close does not guar­an­tee the same mis­for­tune will hap­pen to you. Please, en­joy the life you are given to the fullest ev­ery day and stop di­min­ish­ing your qual­ity of life with mor­bid thoughts. It is your neg­a­tive think­ing that’s the curse, and noth­ing more.

What should I have told my heart­bro­ken 6-year-old daugh­ter when all the other girls (four) on our block were in­vited to a birth­day party ex­cept her?

If she were my daugh­ter, I would have told her that we were go­ing to do some­thing spe­cial that day -- just the two of us -- and then I would have made it hap­pen.

I am a 70-year-old white male. I work full time as a vet­eri­nar­ian, teach two aer­o­bics classes and take a weekly class for strength train­ing. In the past three weeks, I have fallen twice — once just walk­ing in the air­port. It was sud­den and scary. Over the past five to six months I have no­ticed a loss of bal­ance greater than what I could blame on past in­juries and surg­eries. When stand­ing still, I am con­stantly fighting for bal­ance, and feel like I will tip over. Af­ter yes­ter­day’s fall, I re­searched bal­ance is­sues, and Parkinson’s disease seems to be a com­mon cause. I tried do­ing the “bal­ance beam” test and failed mis­er­ably. I will be see­ing my pri­mary doc­tor in a few weeks, and this will be a topic of con­ver­sa­tion. What other con­di­tions should I be con­sid­er­ing as pos­si­ble causes for the in­creased loss of bal­ance? I dread the thought of fall­ing and in­jur­ing my­self so that I can’t work.

A pro­gres­sive loss of bal­ance needs eval­u­a­tion. There are many causes (my text­book lists over a hun­dred, and al­though Parkinson’s disease can cause in­sta­bil­ity and falls, it usu­ally does not do so un­til rel­a­tively late in its pro­gres­sion. Your symp­toms are more con­cern­ing for ataxia, a type of loss of mo­tor con­trol that of­ten comes from dis­or­ders of the cere­bel­lum, a large struc­ture in the base of the brain that con­trols co­or­di­nated move­ment.

I would not wait a few weeks to see your pri­mary doc­tor: I would see your doc­tor sooner, or go di­rectly to a neu­rol­o­gist.

I have some­thing to say to health care providers: Please do a phys­i­cal exam on your pa­tients. I have taken my dad to many ap­point­ments, and all the doc does is chit-chat, pat and send him away. I have no idea what is writ­ten in their notes. I had to make one doc­tor look at his feet a cou­ple of years ago, but he did a poor exam. In the past three months, my fa­ther has been to two geri­a­tri­cians, one gait doc­tor, a nurse prac­ti­tioner and a host of phys­i­cal ther­a­pists, in part for this gait dis­or­der. No one ex­am­ined his feet or tested his sen­sa­tion — so I did. He has greatly di­min­ished sen­sa­tion; long, in­fected nails; painful cal­luses; and three toes with open areas of in­fec­tions be­tween them. Twice, his he­mo­glo­bin has dropped, with no re­sul­tant GI exam of any sort. He has been on med­i­ca­tion that can cause neu­ropa­thy for years, but one has mon­i­tored that.

Doc­tors, your clin­i­cal judg­ment needs to be sup­ported by a phys­i­cal exam. With lim­ited time for vis­its, health care providers must make time for both. Pa­tients, in­sist on an exam! no

I agree with you. I know many doc­tors do not do a reg­u­lar exam, and I can’t de­fend this. It’s true that the his­tory most of­ten leads to the di­ag­no­sis, but the phys­i­cal is im­por­tant for ev­ery­body — es­pe­cially older and sicker pa­tients. Doc­tors may be friendly, but in the of­fice, our pa­tients are our pa­tients, not our friends. That means tak­ing clothes off and do­ing an ap­pro­pri­ate ex­am­i­na­tion. It also means keep­ing an un­bi­ased ear open for con­cerns and act­ing on them. We like to say that ev­ery­thing is OK, but some­times it isn’t, so know­ing when to look fur­ther is a crit­i­cal skill.

The book­let on her­pes and gen­i­tal warts ex­plains these two com­mon in­fec­tions in de­tail. Read­ers can ob­tain a copy by writ­ing: Dr. Roach Book No. 1202 628 Vir­ginia Dr. Or­lando, FL 32803 En­close a check or money or­der (no cash) for $4.75 U.S./$6 Can. with the re­cip­i­ent’s printed name and ad­dress. Please al­low 4-6 weeks for de­liv­ery.

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