Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York on December 11, 2020 · C11
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Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York · C11

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Location:
Rochester, New York
Issue Date:
Friday, December 11, 2020
Page:
C11
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DEMOCRATANDCHRONICLE.COM | FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2020 | 11C pearls before swine stephan pastis for better or for worse lynn Johnston shoe Gary brookins and susie Mcnelly rex MorGan, M.d. terry beatty fred basset alex GrahaM MarMaduke brad anderson rubes leiGh rubin the faMily circus bil keane ZiGGy toM wilson & toM ii heathcliff peter GallaGher Janric classic sudoku instructions: Complete the grid so that every row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 through 9 (no repeats). difficulty ratinG: Silver at left: Answer to yesterday’s puzzle dear dr. roach: I have a question about the accuracy of blood pressure cuffs. I am a 70-year-old male in good general health. Recently my blood pressure was taken at my orthopedic doctor’s of- fice, using a wrist cuff. The pressure reading was 154. I told the nurse that my blood pressure has never been that high, but that is what she wrote down. I immediately went to my local pharmacy and used their bicep cuff ma- chine, and it read 130. Before that episode, at another doc- tor’s office my blood pressure was taken with a wrist cuff. The nurse saw the reading of nearly 160, looked at me and said, “That can’t be right.” She went back to the manual method with a stethoscope, and read 130. It appears to me that the bicep cuff matches the manual method, but the wrist cuff reads considerably higher. When I related my experience with the wrist cuffs to my doc- tor, he said wrist cuffs are not accurate, especially for older people. What cuff do you recom- mend for home use? — D.S. answer: I recommend patients with high blood pressure get a home cuff and measure frequently, and pre- fer those readings to in-office readings to guide therapy. Particularly at home, people must be sure to avoid caffeine and smoking before a blood pressure reading, to have a properly sized and placed device and to keep both feet on the floor. In general, home devices that measure the blood pres- sure at the arm are more like- ly to be accurate than those that measure at the wrist or the finger. This is not necessarily a problem with manufacturing: The blood pressure signal is diminished the further it is from the heart. When choosing a home monitor, I strongly recom- mend choosing a device that has been independently vali- dated. Online retailers do note this in their listings. Several consumer organizations rate blood pressure monitors. A sampling of those I looked at showed the top picks all to be validated devices. BP signal more accurate at the arm than at wrist Send Dr. Keith Roach your medical ques- tions. Write to him at ToYourGoodHealth@med. cornell.edu looking for movie times? Go to democratandchronicle.com/section/movies for the latest times. dear amy: I am in my first long-term relationship as an adult (I am 31). My boyfriend of two years told me that he will not pro- pose to me until I pay off my debt. I had acquired medical bills and a few credit card debts before we met. I owe $14,000 to creditors. He said he doesn’t want to go into marriage in debt. I understand that, but he is acting like he will not pro- pose until all of my debts are settled. That is going to take about another year. How would you take this? — Only The Girlfriend? dear Girlfriend: Debt, spending, and money manage- ment problems are very high on the list of stressors that break up relationships. More important even than the debt you carry, is how you each respond to it. Is your guy angry, judg- mental, and controlling about your money choices? If he is angry and controlling, then this is a very bright red flag. If he is calm, supportive, and nonjudgmental, then I want to marry him. So, wake up. Your adulthood is calling. You two have already taken an extremely important step, by communicating honestly about this. If you can retire $14,000 worth of debt in a year, I’d say that you are being impressive- ly proactive, and that you are lucky to have a high enough income (and low enough expenses) to lose this burden relatively quickly. After you’ve paid off your debt, you can then take the ex- tra money that has been going toward payments each month and become an aggressive and responsible saver. dear amy: “Three Daugh- ters” were feeling estranged from Dad after Mom died and he was dating someone new. In their eyes, this person was creating a wedge in the family. Your response was to be sup- portive of Dad and to let him make his own choices. My wife and her sister are in a similar position, with one glaring twist. Their dad is 75 years of age, and she is 29. Is your same advice appli- cable? — Dan dear dan: Yes. It is vital that family members do ev- erything possible in order to stay close to their elder so that he does not become isolated from them. Your father-in-law has the right to engage in an inappro- priate, unhealthy relationship. Family members have few options. Questions about their father’s mental capacity and estate should be taken to an attorney. Girlfriend’s debt burden delays possible proposal

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