Sister is appalled by what brother asks mom to do
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.