Helpful friends helped themselves — to my medications I need for pain

I had several surgeries during the past year and needed help from friends during my recovery. They have been generous with their time, caring for me and my three boys so my husband could work. They even helped with meals and chores. I have paid them in cash and gifts to show my gratitude.

Dear Annie: I had several surgeries during the past year and needed help from friends during my recovery.

They have been generous with their time, caring for me and my three boys so my husband could work. They even helped with meals and chores.

I have paid them in cash and gifts to show my gratitude.

The problem is, I caught two of my friends stealing my pain medications. The first incident was so blatant that I immediately ended our relationship.

I then caught the second friend skimming a few pills every visit.

There is no mistake. After the first incident, I began keeping track, and it was clear that two pills were missing every time this particular friend visited.

I know if I confronted him, he would deny it or blame someone else, so I haven’t bothered.

Now my pills are locked up, which makes it inconvenient for me. But I can’t seem to forgive or forget.

I feel violated and taken advantage of and can’t seem to move forward.

Please advise. — Out of Meds in California

Dear California: If these friends are addicted to pain pills, they probably could not control themselves when access was so simple.

You have taken the necessary steps to be sure there is no additional theft. However, it sounds as if you need to get this off your chest.

If it will make you feel better, tell the second friend that you are aware that he stole your pills. State it as a matter of fact, not as a question, and suggest he get professional help for his addiction.

Don’t argue with him. Other than an admission of guilt or an apology, his response is irrelevant.

This is for your benefit, not his.

Dear Annie: My husband and I play golf once a week with three other couples, and all of us go out to eat afterward.

We live in a retirement community with many restaurants, but we always go to the same few and always eat inside.

I am cold in air-conditioned restaurants, so I prefer to eat outside. The others say it’s too hot, too buggy, too windy, etc., so I never get to eat where I like.

think we should rotate choosing restaurants so we each get a turn to select the one we want.

What do you think is fair? — California

Dear California: Taking turns is fair, but it will only work if the others agree. So, by all means, ask them. But as uncomfortable as you are indoors, you can put on a sweater or jacket to stay warm.

Those who have a problem with heat, wind or bugs can do nothing about it. I

f your golfing buddies prefer not to change the current set-up, we recommend you save your outdoor dining for other occasions.

Dear Annie: “My Heart Is Aching for Lonely Seniors” made a plea for family members to visit loved ones who are in a nursing home. I have a suggestion that has worked well for us.

Four years ago, my mother had a stroke and now is mostly confined to her home.

We installed a set of nine video telephones that allow Mom to see the kids and the kids to see her. I was surprised how well this works, and the “face to face” contact is great.

The young kids like to show off for Mom and let her see their homework and projects, and of course, Mom adores seeing them.

Telephone calls are fine, but young kids don’t often have a lot to say. With a video phone (or Skype or anything else like it), the entire family can gather around to wave and say hi to Mom. It is almost like being there.

This is particularly good for family members who live out of state. It’s worked out great for us. — G.

Dear G.: Technology has provided wonderful ways to stay in touch.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators

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