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  1. Heal time longer on fingertip crush injuries

    Dear Dr. Roach: Three months ago, I slammed the fingertip of my left index finger in a drawer. The fingertip is still swollen and painful. My doctor sent me for an X-ray, and there is no fracture. I can bend it at the joint, but cannot put pressure on the fingertip. I looked online, and read something that said a fingertip crush injury can take six months to a year to heal, and the swelling may never go away completely.

  2. Guillian-Barre causes progressive weakness

    Dear Dr. Roach: Three months ago, my daughter, age 50 and a healthy person, was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome. The onset was gradual, beginning with numbness in her hands and feet, and severe pain in her back. After an MRI didn’t reveal any nerve problems in her spine, she was referred to a neurologist and began an IV of immunoglobulin. Her condition improved dramatically, but two weeks ago the symptoms returned and she began a series of IVs again.

  3. Search on for cancer pain relief alternative

    Dear Dr. Roach: I’m about midway through a 5-year follow-up treatment of aromatase inhibitors for estrogen positive breast cancer (after surgery and radiation). I was told to expect joint pain, and I have had it, but I’m using let­rozole, which for me has the lowest level of side effects. Now I have pain in my Achilles tendons.

  4. Sneezing when eating is more common than you think

    Dear Dr. Roach: All of us look forward to eating. However, in my case (age 79) it has become a chore. Whether it is breakfast, lunch, dinner or a few snacks, after the first few bites I have to blow my nose. This goes on throughout the eating period, and at the end, my handkerchief is soaked. At breakfast time, after eating, I proceed to sneeze five to 10 times, most of the time.

  5. Most clot-stop filters shouldn't be removed

    Dear Dr. Roach: I am 79 years young and in pretty good health, considering the medical problems that have left their signature on my body.

  6. Artery blockage another reason to give up on smoking

    Dear Dr. Roach: I would like to comment on your column regarding blood-pressure differences between the arms.

  7. Adult may learn he is autistic

    Dear Dr. Roach: I am writing about a lifelong problem I’ve had with food. An article in my local newspaper spelled out exactly what I’ve lived through for 55 years. The article was about an 8-year-old boy who is autistic and caused problems by bringing his own food into a sports grill. It described him as “autistic,” “a special-needs child” and that he “only eats 15 types of food.

  8. Hallucinations may result from vision loss

    Dear Dr. Roach: When I lost the vision in my eye in an accident, I had Charles Bonnet syndrome hallucinations. I am 80, and I went completely blind in one eye the day of the accident. There were patterns I saw whenever my eye was unfocused, which pretty much obscured everything. I saw complicated figures like very bright TV. I have read Oliver Sacks’ explanation in his latest book, called “Hallucinations.” What I viewed is exactly what he described.

  9. Which was first: ADD or thyroid disorder?

    Dear Dr. Roach: My 15-year-old son was just admitted to the hospital for depression and ADD. His thyroid tests came back abnormal. There is thyroid disease in the family. Is that the cause of his illness?

  10. Man's prostate cancer decisions are personal

    Dear Dr. Roach: I am a 72-year-old male in good general health. I have been monitored for my prostate enlargement for a few months. Last week, my PCP did regular labs. Yesterday I went to my urologist. He took my PSA, since he had not recei­ved the results from my PCP. Here is the problem: My PSA reading from the urologist’s test was 10.7, so we set up a biopsy. Today, the results from the PCP came back, and the result was 6.4. Six months ago, it was 5.4.

  11. Genetics of hereditary hemochromatosis

    Dear Dr. Roach: I have hereditary hemochromatosis. I know that means that I received the HH gene from both parents; however, neither of my parents had HH. As I learn more about this very common genetic condition, I am wondering if my maternal grandfather, who died from colon cancer at a young age, and my paternal grandmother, who died from liver cancer, could both have had HH.

  12. Fibrosis treatment not ready for FDA's OK

    Dear Dr. Roach: I recently was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. I am an otherwise healthy 73-year-old male who underwent bypass surgery seven years ago. I work out to keep in shape, not to look like a teenager. I had 12 weeks of pulmonary rehabilitation, which was very helpful.

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