Dear Annie: Atrial fibrillation is a serious health issue that can lead to stroke. I didn’t even really know about it until my wife and I attended a preventive health screening at a local church where they checked for atrial fibrillation and other stroke risk factors. It turns out that atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat that you may not even feel. We had no idea my wife had this condition until the screening. We brought the results to our doctor’s office, and they jumped on it. An EKG confirmed the screening results and told us that my wife was on the verge of having a stroke. This screening saved her life. September is Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month, and I hope everyone will be checked for it. It is treatable. Finding it and working with your doctor to manage it can save your life or the life of someone you love. — Dewey Bandy, Zephyr Hills, Fla.
Dear Dewey Bandy: Thank goodness you and your wife attended the screening. We hope your letter will serve as a reminder to all of our readers to talk to their doctor about being tested for atrial fibrillation.
Dear Annie: I recently learned that my husband of 40 years has reconnected with an old flame. I don’t think anything has happened between them yet, but I am sure he’d go for it if he wouldn’t get caught. So, I would like to address this to her:
Dear Other Woman: My husband is a good provider, but don’t expect companionship. I can count on one hand the number of times we have seen a movie in 40 years. Don’t expect him to attend church or any other activity with you. Don’t expect to have a social life. Don’t expect him to go for a walk with you, even though he has a number of health issues and a walk would be good for him.
Do expect to work full time and still do almost everything else to run the household. Do expect him to spend almost every evening and weekend watching TV. Do expect him to want sex on a regular basis, although he doesn’t care about your satisfaction. When his grandchildren visit, do expect to entertain and watch them, because he won’t.
From your conversations with him, you probably think I am just baggage at this point, but say the word, and I will pack his suitcase. — Too Tired To Care
Dear Too Tired: Your marriage sounds depressing and exhausted. If you want to salvage what’s left, please consider putting some energy back into it. Marriage takes effort from both partners. Your husband is looking for excitement, and you’re fed up with his self-centered behavior. Is it too late for you to work up any interest? Could he possibly learn to be more considerate? Please get some counseling, with or without him, and decide what you want from your life and whether it includes your husband.
Dear Annie: Thank you for your perfect answer to “Wichita, Kan.,” the teacher who asked what gift to give students when invited to their graduation parties. You said a personal letter saying positive things about the student is also a “gift.” My daughter just graduated high school and invited a substitute science teacher she really liked to her graduation party. Later that evening, she was going through the cards people had left for her. When she opened the card from the science teacher, she proclaimed, “Look what Mr. McF gave me!” and handed it to me to read. There was nothing in the card but a handwritten message. But the message was priceless.
When my daughter sat down to write her graduation thank-you notes, this teacher received one, along with all of the notes for physical gifts. It was truly appreciated. — Proud Mother in N.P., NE
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.