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Dear Doc | My in-laws driving me out of my mind

Published:Friday | September 8, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Q Dear Doc, my husband and I have been married for a little over a year, and my in-laws have been living with us for more than half that time. I feel as if I am going out of my mind.

Though my husband realises that I am extremely stressed about it, he fails to speak to his mother about how she tries to take over. She behaves as if our house is her son's house even though we bought it together.

At one point, they went back to their home for a while, and after his mother cried and did her little show, he gave in without even speaking to me about it and they moved back in. They have their own house, but prefer to live with us.

Now we are fighting all the time because of them. He wants us to buy a larger home so we can all live together. I feel as though I cannot even relax in my own home, and I realise that I no longer look forward to coming home from work - I take every opportunity to work overtime. I love my husband, but I am seriously thinking about leaving.

A You have my sympathy. The fact that you love your husband and he loves you is a good foundation from which most problems can be solved, so don't give up on your marriage so early. Does your husband have other siblings? If so, then maybe they can rotate the visits between them so that you can get some breathing space.

Have you and your husband discussed your feelings with his parents? If not, try to do so in a tactful way. Many couples, early in a marriage, want to spend time alone, without intrusion, before they start having children - your in-laws should consider this.

Some adults get lonely and physically dependent as they get older, hence the desire to live with their adult children, so it may not be a bad idea to move to a bigger home and employ some help.

Seeking counselling together as a family may also be beneficial, so see if you can arrange this before your marriage falls apart.


Difficult to orgasm


Q Doc, I have been having a problem recently. During sex with my wife, I have to be going three or more rounds before I can orgasm. Why is this so? I don't like it.

A Knowing your age is always helpful as many medical conditions are age related. Delayed or impaired ejaculation can either be psychological or physical, but occasionally happens with no apparent cause.

Psychological causes are often due to relationship stress, so the problem does not occur during sex with other partners or masturbation. Anxiety, depression and work-related stress are also other factors.

Medical issues such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure are common causes in middle-age and older men, so an annual visit to your doctor should be a priority.

Infections of the urinary tract and/or prostate is also another possible cause.

Have you recently started any medication? Some antidepressants and high blood pressure medication can also affect you. Some drugs used to treat epilepsy (fits) can lower testosterone levels, which leads to impaired ejaculation.


Is taking vitamins healthy?


Q Good day, Doc. Over the years, I have been taking seven different vitamins tablets daily. I am now 82 years old and feeling pretty healthy. I only suffer from type two diabetes. The medical supplements I am taking are: vitamins C, B, ginseng, ginko biloba; garlic; cod liver oil; royal jelly. Do you think this is healthy?

A You seem to be taking great care of your health. The subject of vitamins is a controversial one - some believe they are unnecessary if one follows a balanced diet. Other sources say a certain prescribed list is required for optimal health. Generally, they appear to be quite harmless in recommended doses.

Vitamin C is found in many fresh fruits and vegetables - it is a very powerful antioxidant, supports the immune function, helps maintain healthy skin and mucous membranes. Daily supplementation has no known adverse effects as it is highly water-soluble, and so dissolves easily in tissues, and passes out in urine.

Vitamin B, which usually comes as a complex of several B vitamins, is essential for maintaining a healthy nervous system and general metabolism, both of which are usually impaired by diabetes. Just ensure that you stick to the recommended daily allowance.

Ginseng and gingko biloba are commonly found in combination in supplements. Studies show that they have glucose-lowering ability. However, they are most noted for their ability to combat fatigue, improve certain brain functions, such as memory, and improve blood circulation. You should ensure that your doctor is aware that you are taking these, as they can have a negative interaction with certain medication.

Garlic has blood pressure-lowering and anti-platelet (blood thinning) properties, but is also has significant blood glucose-lowering activity. When taken with ginseng and gingko biloba, bruising of the skin and sometimes bleeding may occur from the nose and in the urine, so caution is advised.

Cod liver oil is a fairly inexpensive source of omega-3, which is very good at fighting inflammation all over the body. It also helps to improve blood glucose levels, and has a significant amount of vitamins A and D. However, many people cannot tolerate the fishy odour and after taste.

Royal jelly has cholesterol-lowering properties and, so far, has no known side effects, except that people who are allergic to honey and bee pollen may not be able to take it.


Lump on my vagina


Q Doc, I am seeking your advice. I have a reasonable size lump on the inside of my vagina. It appeared around three to four days ago, and it's making me uncomfortable. When I am having a bath, I can feel it when I insert my index finger. Also, since the lump has appeared, I have been going to the bathroom a lot to urinate. There is also a pain on my right groin area with a 'wax and kernel' type of feeling. Please can you tell me what's the cause? I have been led to believe that it could be UTI, as I do feel pain when I urinate. Or is it fibroids? I am worried but can't visit the doc in person right now because of financial challenges.

A First of all, let me clarify that fibroids do not occur in the vagina, but are muscular tumours that develops in the womb.

Without a physical examination, based on the information you have given, these seems to be signs of infection. Whatever this lump is, when it becomes irritated and inflamed - as usually happens after sex - can lead to a urinary tract infection. Clearly, you need medical attention. I suggest you take a break from sex, keep the area clean and dry until you see a health-care provider. There are clinics all over the island where you can see a doctor or nurse free of cost.