DEAR ANNIE: I’m 29 and single. I’m proud to have worked my butt off since college and am now seeing the fruits of my labor. I’ve got the dream job that I’m passionate about, am making good money and have the most amazing group of loved ones and mentors. The cherry on top of it all would be a…

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DEAR ANNIE: My very good friend “Pamela” has a son who recently got married. The wedding took place in the middle of September. The bride decided at the beginning of December that she didn’t want to be married. My question is this: Who gets the gifts? The bride and groom were living with her…

DEAR DR. ROACH: I keep hearing that amlodipine, my blood pressure medicine, has a cancer-causing agent in it. I had ovarian cancer surgery in 2010. So far, my doctors say I am doing well. I am very concerned the amlodipine might be to blame. – M.H.

DEAR DR. ROACH: My husband and I are very fortunate to have had a happy relationship for many years. Our lovemaking has always been a pleasure for both of us. Now, we have to add Viagra to the mix. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t, which is a disappointment to both of us. Is there an…

DEAR ANNIE: Every December, my ex-mother-in-law organizes a holiday party for all of the women from her side of the family. It’s a fancy dinner, and they have a $15 Secret Santa gift exchange.

If you’ve saved a lot for retirement, or your parents have, you could be affected by recent changes in the rules about retirement distributions.

PELL CITY, Ala. – Brenna Carlisle is a fifth grade teacher at Williams Elementary in Pell City, Alabama. Outside of the classroom she is a breeder, owner and handler of top-notch bluetick coonhounds.

AP

For many of us, January is all about giving things up: Maybe we’re going to stop eating meat and embrace a plant-based diet. Or we’re ready to kick excess sugar to the curb after a holiday season awash in sweets. Or we’re committed to avoiding fast food.

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 67-year-old woman who works with young children. I get a physical each year for my job, and until this year it was acceptable to say that because I was born before 1957, I was presumed to have immunity to measles, mumps and rubella. This year I was required to get an i…

DEAR ANNIE: People who complain about giving gifts and not getting one in return should remember an old saying: If you are giving something and expecting something in return, then it is not giving; it is business. – Good Ol’ Saying

“One day, before I was on medication, there was a lady in my house cooking pizzas and there were 12 baked pizzas on the floor. I was cooking these pizzas but, in my mind, there was a woman cooking them.”

DEAR ANNIE: Our beloved family dog, Dasher, passed away last year. Dasher was a husky. She was the sweetest and best dog I ever could imagine. Good with the kids and our old kitty. When I contacted the breeder I bought her from, he said that he is no longer breeding. My friend suggested I lo…

DEAR DR. ROACH: My 78-year-old father is experiencing the early signs of dementia. It has been suggested that he try a $500 device that would aim a low-intensity red LED light into his nose to stimulate his brain and stabilize or perhaps even reverse the symptoms of dementia. On the surface,…

DEAR ANNIE: I have a problem with my friend “Julie” that I’m not sure how to handle. She’s a really good friend in many ways. She’s always there when I’m going through hard stuff. She’s generous with food and gifts and other thoughtful gestures. For instance, last year, when she was watching…

AP

Who hasn’t felt the shame of a refrigerator purge? You’re sentenced to face the forgotten leftovers, fuzzy produce and years-old salad dressing that you swear must have come with the fridge. But it didn’t. You paid money for all these things, and now you have to throw them away.

DEAR DR. ROACH: Three weeks ago, I had to have removal of fluid that had collected around my testicles. Nearly half a liter was removed. Five days later, fluid started to build up again, and now it has filled back up. I have been checked for cancer and infection, and have neither. What is ha…

DEAR ANNIE: I am a 32-year-old married man with two children. I am trying to come to terms with my childhood. I grew up in a dysfunctional family, with an alcoholic father and a mother who had numerous affairs.

DEAR DR. ROACH: When I went to my new doctor, whom I like very much, I found that they do a lot of things in their office for which I would normally be sent elsewhere. The nurse drew four vials of blood and gave me an EKG.

DEAR ANNIE: I am in my 60s, as are my brothers and sisters, and we’re all retired. We have always exchanged nice, thoughtful (though not expensive) gifts for birthdays, Christmas and maybe some other special occasions. Over the past several years, my brother “Rod” and his wife, “Erma,” have,…

DEWITT — 10 of Soul will help you shake off the winter blahs at 7 p.m. Saturday, when the group brings its tribute to soul, funk and everything in between to the Central DeWitt Performing Arts Center. The CDPAC is located at the high school campus in DeWitt.

DEAR DR. ROACH: I was considering LASIK surgery for my eyes, but I recently saw some concerning information on the news that makes me doubt the safety of the procedure. Is it safe? – L.B.

DEAR ANNIE: I read your column daily and always like your tough love and sensible advice. I’m interested in what your advice would be in the following situation. It involves gift giving at Christmas for nieces and nephews. My daughter does not feel that her brother gave as much to her sons a…

AP

Most retirees regret not saving more. A 2018 study by Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found 73% wish they’d put aside more money on a consistent basis, and half felt they waited too long to get serious about retirement saving.

DEAR ANNIE: I have a 31-year-old son who has always struggled with mental illness issues. He was diagnosed with depression at age 15 and again in his early 20s when we sent him to a weeklong involuntary residential treatment. He will not stay on medication or go to counseling.

DEAR ANNIE: My husband and I have been married for five years. We are in our early 30s and child-free. We talked about having children before we got married. At the time, we were both very much on the fence. We promised to keep checking in with each other and having honest conversations abou…

AP

More than 8 million federal student loan borrowers use income-driven repayment plans. These plans can drop payments to $0 based on a borrower’s income and family size. And after 20 or 25 years — 10 if you work in public service — any remaining balance is forgiven.

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have heard that fish oil can clog the arteries and cause problems, but I’ve also heard it’s good to take. I don’t know if it is good or bad! Can you help me out with this? – G.G.

Dear Annie: Since I was a little girl, I’ve always known I wanted to be a mother. Now, as a woman in her late 20s, and after four failed embryo transfers through IVF, that dream seems less and less a reality. My husband and I shared our news of infertility with his sister and her husband aft…

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 73-year-old active lady. I recently noticed a wrinkle in my palm near my ring finger. I had a consultation with a nearby doctor, and he diagnosed Dupuytren’s contracture. He said I should come back when the finger is curved down. I was surprised! Wouldn’t it be better …

DEAR ANNIE: New Year’s Day is approaching, and it’s time for new resolutions. I’m ashamed to say that mine will be the same it is every year. My goal is to get into shape. Each year, I start with a few workouts but quickly fall back into my old lazy routine and let my diet slip. I’ve tried j…

DEAR DR. ROACH: When I was quite young, my doctor told me to never get a flu shot because it could kill me. I do not remember the reason behind this statement. I’m in my 70s now and am very concerned about not getting the shot. I had yellow jaundice as a child and don’t know if this had anyt…

Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married for more than 50 years. We have had a great life together, sharing a lot of the same interests.

DEAR ANNIE: I’ve dated my boyfriend for more than 12 years. We got along fine when his grown kids were out of the picture, but now they’re back living with him. His youngest is 21, yet he treats them like infants. The daughters are manipulating and controlling. When I bring up my feelings ab…

DEAR DR. ROACH: My husband had a kidney stone, and the doctor used shock waves to clear it up. Now the doctor says he needs to take fresh lemon juice twice a day, all his life. None of the other men in the community center with stones have been recommended lemon juice. We would like your opi…

DEAR DR ROACH: Many years ago, while I was battling breast cancer, a scan showed spots of concern in my midthoracic area. Upon further testing, it was determined that I have sarcoidosis. My pulmonologist warned me to stop all calcium and vitamin D supplements. Now, after 15 years, my primary…

DEAR ANNIE: Recently, I retired from youth sports coaching. I am writing this letter to warn your readers about an alarming trend that I have noticed over the last decade. Namely, parents will attend their kids’ sporting events, but then spend most of the time on their smartphones.

DEAR DR. ROACH: Are you aware of the possibility of pancreatitis resulting from long-term vitamin D2 supplementation? I was diagnosed with IPMN with chronic pancreatitis after being on 50,000 IU of vitamin D2 once a week for nine months. I had mild upper left quadrant pain, which I am told i…

DEAR ANNIE: Lots of people need nothing, but everyone wants something. If you ask someone directly, “What do you want for Christmas/your birthday/the holidays?” then they’ll probably say, “Nothing.” Or “Save your money.” So don’t ask. Just pay attention.

DEAR ANNIE: I am a clinical social worker and have some training in, and experience with, domestic violence in my work.

DEAR DR. ROACH: Many folks take prescription medications for years, for example Valium to help with anxiety and sleep and to help mellow out their lives. You mentioned in a recent column that these can be dangerous long term. Is it safe to stop taking them cold turkey? — P.M.

DEAR ANNIE: There is an elderly man who attends daily Mass at my church. He insists on hugging many of the women after Mass as they leave the church. He is a nice man, and I don’t think he’s up to anything creepy. I think he’s probably a throwback to the ‘70s when “hugging” was a big thing i…

DEAR DR. ROACH: Your recent column on the shingles vaccine did not address those of us with compromised immune systems. I take Enbrel and could not take the original shingles vaccine. What is the protocol as of now with the new vaccine? – C.H.

DEAR ANNIE: I lost my wife of 32 years, and two months after, I lost my son. I will never be the same. How can I get through this? – Grieving

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