Dr Gott Dear Abby (PDF download)

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                                                    Comics
                                                                                                   Saturday, Sunday, March 12-13, 2011
                                                                                                                                 www.thesheridanpress.com
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  SHERIDAN              Press
BABY BLUES® by Jerry Scott and Rick Kirkman
                                                       Dr. Gott                                                                                     Dr. Peter Gott

                                                           DEAR DR. GOTT: In January 2011, your column              tion affecting about 1 percent of American adults. It is
                                                       responded to a 19-year-old who had a chronic cough for       most commonly diagnosed in those age 50 or older and
                                                       16 months. I, too, had a chronic cough whenever I sat,       in those who have acid reflux. Men are twice as likely to
                                                       stood, laughed, was around smoke or after exercising. It     develop the condition as are women, with Caucasian
                                                       lasted more than 15 months. My other symptom was             men most affected. It causes the lining of the esophagus
                                                       hoarseness with a sensation of something in the back of      to change so that it resembles the lining of the intestine.
                                                       my throat. I had been put on prescription cough syrups       It is most commonly associated with reflux symptoms
                                                       and pills. I had also tried some of the same medicines       but by itself does not cause signs. Rarely, sufferers may
                                                       that were mentioned in your column, including those for      develop a fatal type of esophageal cancer. Barrett's may
                                                       asthma, acid reflux and allergies. I was asked about acid    be present for many years before this cancer, known as
                                                       reflux but hadn't had the usual symptoms for it. I saw an    esophageal adenocarcinoma, develops. Unfortunately, it
MARY WORTH by Karen Moy and Joe Giella                 allergist and a pulmonologist. I had a chest X-ray, aller-   often isn't detected until late stages, when treatment is
                                                       gy tests, CT scans of my sinuses, breathing tests and a      not very effective.
                                                       bronchial scope.                                                 Barrett's esophagus doesn't typically require treat-
                                                           While awaiting an appointment with yet another doc-      ment unless severe changes or cancer are detected.
                                                       tor about the cough, I had my yearly pap test, and blood     Treatment can include photodynamic therapy to destroy
                                                       was also found in my stool. I was set up to have a           precancerous and cancerous cells, endoscopic mucosal
                                                       colonoscopy with the new physician. Before the testing,      resection to removed the affected portions of the
                                                       I told him about my other symptoms, and he told me he        esophageal lining, and surgical removal of most of the
                                                       would do an EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy) at the          esophagus.
                                                       same time.                                                       Other readers also related their experiences. One
                                                           The results of the EGD showed that I have Barrett's      found it was caused by certain cholesterol medications.
                                                       esophagus, resulting from acid reflux. It was also found     Another determined it was caused by ingesting gluten.
                                                       that the blood in my stool was coming from my esopha-        Someone else discovered that toothpastes containing
                                                       gus. I underwent a laparoscopic fundoplication, with a       sodium lauryl sulfate (which I have written about in
                                                       full wrap of the stomach around the lower-esophageal         regards to mouth sores/ulcers) caused hers.
BORN LOSER® by Art and Chip Sansom                     sphincter. My first EGD was done in 2008, the surgery            One reader experienced a chronic cough for well
                                                       was in 2009; a second EGD was done in 2010, and I now        over 15 years before it was discovered that she had thy-
                                                       won't need another one until 2012. I just thought I would    roid nodules that were found to be cancerous. Thyroid
                                                       send this information so you could possibly pass it on to    enlargement can cause a choking feeling and hoarse-
                                                       the person in your column.                                   ness, which may lead to coughing. Treatment depends
                                                           DEAR READER: Since that article appeared, I have         on the cause. An overactive thyroid may require anti-
                                                       received several letters regarding readers' experiences.     thyroid medication. An underactive thyroid requires
                                                       Yours was not the only to suggest Barrett's esophagus        supplemental thyroid hormones. Cancer often requires
                                                       and acid reflux as a possible cause.                         surgical removal of the thyroid, followed by supplemen-
                                                           Barrett's esophagus is a relatively uncommon condi-      tal hormones to replace those the gland previously made.


                                                       Dear Abby                                                                        Pauline Phillips and Jeanne Phillips

GARFIELD by Jim Davis                                      DEAR ABBY: I recently ran into         She has asked me to lunch to              DEAR ALL GROWN UP: You
                                                       "Grace," who was a dear friend back     "catch up." I'm a stay-at-home mom       are wrong to prejudge the woman.
                                                       in elementary school. Back then my      and not comfortable meeting her in       While it's possible Grace has a drug
                                                       parents helped her mother flee and      person, espe-                            problem, it is also possible that the
                                                       divorce her abusive husband. At age     cially with                              car accident left her with an injury
                                                       12 we lost touch because Grace          my kids. I                               that has affected her speech. See her
                                                       moved to another school and joined      feel guilty for                          without your children and make a
                                                       a "bad crowd."                          not wanting                              determination.
                                                           Eighteen years later I was happy    to see some-                                 If she is impaired because of
                                                       to see her again, and gave her my       one I was so                             injury, would that make a difference
                                                       phone number. I have the feeling        close to when                            in how you feel about her? Your
                                                       something is a bit "off" about Grace    I was young,                             lives have gone in different direc-
                                                       now. She has called me repeatedly       and         for                          tions. She appears to be needy. With
                                                       and in her messages she sounds ner-     assuming she                             your responsibilities as a parent,
FRANK & ERNEST® by Bob Thaves                          vous and stumbles over her words.       has a drug                               how much time and effort would
                                                       When I called her back, she told me     problem.                                 you be able to devote to her? Only
                                                       she was in a serious car accident          Am I wrong in making this             you can answer these questions. But
                                                       nine years ago and hasn't held a job    assumption? Should I stop returning      to take the coward's way out and
                                                       since. The entire conversation was      her calls and ignore her, or should I    ignore her would be cruel.
                                                       strange, and my gut is telling me       see her to make a determination? --          DEAR ABBY: I am a 40-year-
                                                       Grace has a drug problem.               ALL GROWN UP IN VEGAS                    old single mom who is just getting
                                                                                                                                        back into the dating scene after
                                                                                                                                        being divorced for a year and a half.
                                                                                                                                        There is a guy, "Hank," I'm interest-
                                                                                                                                        ed in getting to know better. We
                                                                                                                                        both have kids who go to the same
                                                                                                                                        high school. We have gone to sever-
                                                                                                                                        al out-of-town football games with
                                                                                                                                        our kids and have texted each other
REX MORGAN, M.D. by Woody Wilson and Tony DiPreta                                                                                       often.
                                                                                                                                            What's bothering me is Hank has
                                                                                                                                        never asked me on a one-on-one
                                                                                                                                        date. Should I ask him, or should I
                                                                                                                                        wait for him to make the first move?
                                                                                                                                        I don't want to appear desperate, but
                                                                                                                                        I really would like to get closer. --
                                                                                                                                        STEPPING BACK INTO THE
                                                                                                                                        SCENE
                                                                                                                                            DEAR STEPPING BACK: I
                                                                                                                                        wish you had given me a little more
                                                                                                                                        information about Hank -- such as
                                                                                                                                        why he's raising his children alone
                                                                                                                                        and for how long, and whether he
                                                                                                                                        dates at all. However, I don't think it
ZITS® by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman
                                                                                                                                        would be overly aggressive to say
                                                                                                                                        (casually) to him, "You know, we
                                                                                                                                        never get a chance to talk one-on-
                                                                                                                                        one, and I'd like to get to know you
                                                                                                                                        better. Why don't we have dinner
                                                                                                                                        one night?" It's not an obvious
                                                                                                                                        proposition, and if he's at all inter-
                                                                                                                                        ested he'll agree.
                                                                                                                                            DEAR READERS: To those of
                                                                                                                                        you living where daylight saving
                                                                                                                                        time is observed, I offer this gentle
                                                                                                                                        reminder: Don't forget to turn your
                                                                                                                                        clocks forward one hour at bedtime
                                                                                                                                        tonight. Daylight saving time begins
DILBERT by S. Adams                                                                                                                     at 2 a.m. tomorrow, and you know
                                                                                                                                        what that means -- spring is on the
                                                                                                                                        way!
                                                                                                                                            Dear Abby is written by Abigail
                                                                                                                                        Van Buren, also known as Jeanne
                                                                                                                                        Phillips, and was founded by her
                                                                                                                                        mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear
                                                                                                                                        Abby at www.DearAbby.com or
                                                                                                                                        P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA
                                                                                                                                        90069.
                                                                                                                                            To order "How to Write Letters
                                                                                                                                        for All Occasions," send a business-
                                                                                                                                        sized, self-addressed envelope, plus
                                                                                                                                        check or money order for $6 (U.S.
                                                                                                                                        funds) to: Dear Abby -- Letter
ALLEY OOP® by Dave Graue and Jack Bender                                                                                                Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount
                                                                                                                                        Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is
                                                                                                                                        included in the price.)

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