Sis­ter is ap­palled by what brother asks mom to do

Moose Jaw Times Herald - - OPINION -

My brother and his wife re­cently had their sec­ond child through in­duced labor. On the de­liv­ery day, my mother asked what she could do to help. My brother asked her to go to his home, which is an hour away, sweep and vac­uum the house, change the sheets and do the laun­dry be­cause they didn’t have time.

I feel it was ex­tremely in­ap­pro­pri­ate. Pick­ing up di­a­pers and mak­ing sure the bassinet has clean sheets are ac­cept­able re­quests; clean­ing the house is not. My mother wasn’t both­ered by it, but I am ap­palled. Am I wrong?

You are en­ti­tled to your feel­ings. How­ever, be­cause your mother wasn’t both­ered by your brother’s re­quest, my ad­vice is to stay out of it be­cause it was none of your busi­ness. Please don’t stir the pot more than you al­ready may have be­cause the per­son who will suf­fer for it is you.

I’m a mom who raised three kids and now I help with the grand­chil­dren. I had dogs all my life un­til my last one died of old age. I was en­joy­ing life with no re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and could walk out of my house with­out worry.

My friend, who lives in an apart­ment, asked me to keep her cat, “Fluffy,” while she was on va­ca­tion. I gladly helped her out and care­fully took care of her cat. Now Fluffy loves be­ing at my house and acts mean when she goes back to the apart­ment. The only an­swer was to keep Fluffy, but I don’t want a cat!

How do I get rid of a cat who loves be­ing at my house? I’m mis­er­able be­cause I miss my care­free life af­ter many years of car­ing for oth­ers.

You have done enough. If you can, fig­ure out why Fluffy is happy with you so you can share that in­for­ma­tion with her owner as you re­turn her. You de­serve the care­free life you have earned.

My son vol­un­teers as a chap­er­one for his daugh­ters’ ele­men­tary school field trips. Each par­ent vol­un­teer is as­signed five or six chil­dren.

Be­fore they board the bus, my son gath­ers his group and tells them they are go­ing to take a mem­ory pic­ture. He does it be­cause if a child is ever lost, he wants a photo to im­me­di­ately show any re­spond­ing po­lice of­fi­cers. His ex­act words to me were, “Mom, in an emer­gency, I might not re­mem­ber what a child was wear­ing, what her back­pack looked like or how tall she is.”

He never tells the chil­dren the real rea­son for tak­ing the pic­ture. After­ward, he just emails it to any child who wants a sou­venir of the trip.

Con­grat­u­la­tions for hav­ing raised a smart son.

My read­ers will let us know if his idea is orig­i­nal, but it’s a good one, which is why I’m print­ing your let­ter. For any­one su­per­vis­ing a group of chil­dren, this could be a help­ful sug­ges­tion.

A woman in my town wears oxy­gen and has some­thing called “LAM.” What is LAM, and when should one get eval­u­ated for it?

Lym­phan­gi­oleiomy­omato­sis is a rare dis­or­der (a few peo­ple per mil­lion will have it) that can af­fect many or­gans, but most com­monly the lung. It is found mostly in women.

It is neo­plas­tic (mean­ing “new growth”), which makes it a rel­a­tive of can­cer. It can be as­so­ci­ated with another con­di­tion, tuber­ous scle­ro­sis. The un­der­ly­ing prob­lem in LAM is the un­reg­u­lated growth of smooth mus­cle cells, es­pe­cially in the lungs, kid­neys and lymph ves­sels.

The lion’s share of LAM di­ag­noses are made in peo­ple in their 30s and 40s. The most com­mon symp­tom is short­ness of breath dur­ing ex­er­cise, and it may be mis­di­ag­nosed as asthma or COPD. Cysts may be seen on films, and th­ese can burst, caus­ing a pneu­moth­o­rax, which is an emer­gency. The di­ag­no­sis tra­di­tion­ally has been made with CT scans and biopsy, but a new blood test, VEGF-D, may re­duce the need for biopsy.

Women with a his­tory of pneu­moth­o­rax should be con­sid­ered for this dis­ease, as should any woman with a di­ag­no­sis of COPD or asthma and cysts in the lungs, es­pe­cially if they do not have other risk fac­tors (such as smok­ing or al­pha-1 an­tit­rypsin de­fi­ciency, an un­der­rec­og­nized cause of chronic lung and liver prob­lems).

LAM tends to progress slowly. Al­though there is no cure, LAM of­ten can be treated with medicine, like sirolimus. Oxy­gen is help­ful for peo­ple with low lev­els of it, es­pe­cially with ex­er­cise.

I rec­om­mend check­ing the web­site www.the­lam­foun­da­tion.org for more in­for­ma­tion.

I’m hop­ing you can an­swer a ques­tion re­gard­ing fi­bro­mus­cu­lar dys­pla­sia. A fam­ily mem­ber has this con­di­tion in her carotid artery. Is it pos­si­ble that the FMD is re­spon­si­ble for per­son­al­ity changes that we have no­ticed over the past three years? If the artery is re­paired, will the changes re­vert? — F.D.

AN­SWER: Fi­bro­mus­cu­lar dys­pla­sia is a dis­ease of the wall of the ar­ter­ies in the body. It most com­monly af­fects the ar­ter­ies to the kid­neys, but the carotid ar­ter­ies to the brain also may be af­fected. It is much more com­mon in women, and most of­ten is di­ag­nosed in a per­son’s 50s. The di­ag­no­sis can be made via imag­ing stud­ies, such as CT or MRI, and some­times re­quires an an­giogram to con­firm.

FMD in the carotid ar­ter­ies can have symp­toms that are sim­i­lar to other types of block­ages. A tran­sient is­chemic at­tack is a tem­po­rary loss of neu­ro­log­i­cal func­tion, es­pe­cially sud­den weak­ness, in­abil­ity to speak or loss of sight. Peo­ple with FMD can have strokes, and mul­ti­ple small strokes some­times lead to per­son­al­ity changes. How­ever, if your fam­ily mem­ber is over 65 or so, I would be con­cerned about other types of de­men­tia syndromes, as th­ese are more likely than FMD to cause per­son­al­ity changes. Per­son­al­ity changes may not re­vert even with treat­ment, un­for­tu­nately.

What is the nor­mal eye pres­sure for adults? Some say it’s in the sin­gle dig­its.

The nor­mal eye pres­sure in adults, also called in­traoc­u­lar pres­sure, is be­tween 8 and 21 mmHg (the same units as blood pres­sure). El­e­vated in­traoc­u­lar pres­sure is the big­gest risk for glau­coma, a type of dam­age to the op­tic nerve. It’s not com­mon, but peo­ple still can get glau­coma with nor­mal in­traoc­u­lar pres­sures, which is why pe­ri­odic eye ex­ams are rec­om­mended. Th­ese ex­ams not only check the pres­sure, but also look at the op­tic nerves. Ac­cord­ing to ex­pert groups, eye ex­ams by an eye pro­fes­sional are rec­om­mended pe­ri­od­i­cally for ev­ery­one over 40.

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