WE all feel stressed sometimes but if you are already suffering with ill-health, extra stress and worry is the last thing you need.
That is especially the case when it comes to financial issues.
These can become even more difficult when your health is on the line — as one Sun reader with dementia is finding.
But there is support available and I’m here to listen too.
Whatever the question — whether you are curious about earwax or finding it hard to get answers about a diagnosis — I will do everything I can to support you.
Here are this week’s reader questions . . .
Read more Dr Zoe
Q) I WROTE some time ago regarding my recent diagnosis of Alzhiemer’s disease.
eu era 58 no momento. I have been back to the doctor to see if I can speak to a consultant and have heard nothing. I am in total limbo with so many unanswered questions.
On top of that, the Department for Work and Pensions has reduced some of our income and for the past three months my wife has been trying to get things sorted.
We live in sheltered housing and are worried we may get thrown out, as we are having issues with the rental part of our claim. My wife has been to the job centre and written numerous times but is not getting anywhere.
Mais lido em Saúde
The stress is not helping. We are so worried. On top of this, I was admitted to hospital with an exacerbated episode of my emphysema COPD.
The hospital is 30 a milhas de distância, so my wife could not visit. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
UMA) I am so sorry you are going through this. The last thing you need on top of the dementia diagnosis is financial stress and worry.
Tristemente, it is quite common that people find themselves in your tricky situation, especially if there is a transition in the benefits you are entitled to.
Have you looked into what benefits you can get? Citizens Advice can help with this and has a national helpline as well as local Citizens Advice centres (citizensadvice.org.uk).
Several years ago, assessments for benefits were made much more stringent. For many people like yourselves, the process is now extremely difficult. And it’s not fair.
As you have been struggling to get some answers from the consultant, I recommend contacting the dementia specialist nurse team at the hospital.
Specialist nurses are not only experts in treating dementia, they are experts in helping you to manage many of the other challenges, including financial issues.
If you do not get anywhere with that, Dementia UK (dementiauk.org) has specialist Admiral Nurses there to support people with dementia.
Call the free helpline on 0800 888 6678, email email@example.com or fill in the form at dementiauk.org/get-support/helpline-form.
Q) HOW can I get my GP to test my fertility? eu sou 41 and have no children.
UMA) AI can empathise with this question, as I did fertility tests in my late thirties. I was single at the time and considering my options for being a parent.
I went on to freeze my eggs. Contudo, I had to pay privately, as the NHS does not offer “fertility testing” routinely.
It will only provide such testing when a person is presenting with sub-fertility, which means failing to get pregnant after trying to conceive for at least a year.
Paying privately for a female “fertility MOT” usually costs between £100 and £300.
It involves a blood test for levels of anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) and an ultrasound of the ovaries to look at your antral follicle count (AFC), both of which provide an indication of your ovarian reserve.
The scan will also look at the health of the ovaries, womb and fallopian tubes. For people who are considering their options for parenting, this can be valuable information.
While it absolutely does NOT give you definitive answers of how likely you would be to get pregnant, it does give a steer which can help with making certain decisions.
In my case, no 38 I was told that my fertility was about average for my age — or, if anything, slightly below.
This helped me make the decision to do what I could to preserve my fertility, in this case freezing my eggs.
Q) MINE is not a medical condition that needs advice but a medical question nonetheless.
Are the natural body oils in cerumen, otherwise known as earwax, the same in every person? Or are they different in each individual?
UMA) Cerumen, or earwax, is a yellowish waxy material produced by the sebaceous gland in the ear canal.
Its purpose is to protect the ear by trapping dust, germs and small objects to prevent them entering the ear and causing damage.
It also protects the delicate skin of the ear canal from getting irritated when water is in the ear.
But if too much collects and hardens, it can pose a problem. It is an interesting question that you ask . . . and I wonder why you are asking! Perhaps you can write back and tell me.
The answer is quite simply that we are all different, in every way, and this even includes the composition of our earwax.
Our genetics, ethnicity and even our diet can affect the colour, how sticky and even how smelly your earwax is.
Q) COULD there be a reason why my hair keeps breaking and won’t grow long?
UMA) Weakness of the hair can be indicative of a physical health problem. If this is quite a sudden change, I would suggest seeing your GP, who can explore potential causes with you and may also offer to do a blood test.
Abnormal thyroid function and iron deficiency are two possible causes of hair loss or weakened hair. Both can be diagnosed with a blood test and should be treated.
There is also a condition called telogen effluvium, which is a type of temporary diffuse hair loss. It is fairly common and tends to occur about three months after a period of stress.
Eu obviamente pensei sobre isso, mas eu tinha um trabalho a fazer.”
This could be emotional or a period of physical stress, such as having been severely unwell.
Hair falling out is actually a GOOD sign. It means hair in the follicles has started to grow again and is pushing out the old hairs.