Illness leads to transplant questions
Dear Amy: My sister is receiving treatment for a chronic illness. Eventually her treatment will cease to be effective without a kidney transplant. When she was diagnosed, five years ago (and from time to time since then), my family and I have expressed our wishes to her to be tested to see if we were transplant matches.
She has never provided us with transplant testing information, nor do we even know if she is pursuing a transplant. She is a very private person, particularly about her health, and she resents advice or inquiries that she thinks are intrusive. I accept that she is an adult and can make her own choices regarding her health.
We lost our parents years ago to cancer, and our family can be overbearing and inquisitive. Many well-meaning relatives ask me about her latest news, and they seem to think I should be pushing her more to pursue this transplant.
I would be devastated if this illness claimed her life, and I have a young son who adores her and whom she adores, not to mention all the family and friends who care about her. Should I be doing more to advocate for my sister’s life?
— A Concerned Sister
Dear Sister: You can contact the National Kidney Foundation with questions about kidney disease, donation or transplant by calling its hotline, 855-653-2273, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can pursue initial information regarding live organ donation without your sister’s participation. Then, down the road, if she chooses to pursue a transplant, you will be prepared and informed.
You should not push your sister, but you should be honest with her about your feelings: “I know you are private and our family can be overwhelming, but I want you to know that your favorite nephew and I care so much about you, and I’m waiting to help you in any way you might want or need, now or later.”
Dear Amy: My chiropractor of over a decade recently retired and I needed a new one. I found a chiropractor whose techniques I really appreciate, however, he has an annoying habit of giving extensive explanations. If I tell him about a new symptom I’m having, he will spend five to 10 minutes pontificating on basic information. He always includes a dis- claimer that this new symptom is not his fault. As I have told him, I have been seeing chiropractors for over 50 years and so it’s not as if any of this basic information is new to me. I’m not blaming him for my new symptoms; I just think he’d like to know what’s going on with me.
How do I get him to quit talking down to me and just do his job?
— Rolling My Eyes in Oregon
Dear Rolling My Eyes: One client’s “talking down” or “pontification” is another’s “information session.”
Your new chiropractor is not a mindreader. You should communicate clearly with him: “I haven’t been your client for long, so I’m letting you know that I appreciate your techniques but I’d rather you get right to my adjustment, rather than explain things. If I have questions, I’ll ask. I want you to know that I trust you — I just want to maximize our time.”
If he can’t — or doesn’t want to — adjust to your style, then you should keep looking for a new practitioner.
Dear Amy: Why the Catholic-bashing in your answer to “Excluded”? The question was about a rabbi nephew who refused to attend the family’s mixedfaith wedding. You noted that in the Catholic Church, the list of exclusions to attend is “several items long.” You don’t know what you are talking about, and I resent your bigotry.
— Upset Catholic
Dear Upset: I responded regarding Catholicism because that is the religion I probably know best and to punctuate my greater point that many religions create exclusions for witnessing weddings.
Some Catholics decline to attend weddings considered “invalid” by the church — the most obvious example being a same-sex union. (The rabbi nephew in question was declining to attend a wedding he obviously considered “invalid.”)
Michelle Arnold, my favorite columnist on Catholic.com, notes that “Can I attend this wedding?” is the question she receives most frequently.
Copyright 2018 by Amy Dickinson
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency
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