DEAR ABBY: I just finished reading a letter in your column from Tom Lynch of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Tom said that if we make a law against using cell phones while driving, then other laws might be enacted such as, "No tuning the radio while driving," "No looking at your passenger during conversation while driving," "No adjusting the temperature while driving," and "No driving without eight hours of sleep."
He also said, "We'll always have tragic accidents ... the potential loss of freedom is much more tragic."
I am outraged! I'm 13. My mother was killed in a car accident a year ago, along with my stepbrother. If not listening to the car radio, not having my dad look at me while driving, being cold or hot in the car, or having my dad say he can't drive me to the mall because he hasn't had eight hours of sleep could bring my mom back, I'd forfeit my "freedoms" in a heartbeat! These things are a small price to pay compared to living without my mother and stepbrother because of someone's carelessness.
Tom -- get a life! -- CHRISTY GRIFFITH, PALM HARBOR, FLA.
DEAR CHRISTY: For one so young, you have written a powerful letter. Please accept my deepest sympathy on the tragic loss of your beloved mother and stepbrother. Although nothing will bring them back, perhaps your letter will remind motorists that their cars are powerful machines, capable of inflicting the most severe damage if they are not used with care and consideration for others.
DEAR ABBY: If you're not up to here with responses to "Dad, the Morning Rooster," please consider my comments for publication.
"Dad's" son could have been me when I was young. Alarm clocks never had the desired effect on me. I was called lazy, and my guidance counselor said I lacked motivation. My teachers branded me a slacker. I slept on the bus, slept in class, etc., although I tested off the charts for aptitude and intelligence. Because of my sleep problems, I barely graduated from high school and had an extremely difficult time in college. My employers were even less understanding of my difficulty than my teachers.
Abby, when my wife complained about my sleepiness and difficulty in waking up, I finally consulted a doctor. Guess what, folks! I do not get restorative sleep. I have a condition called sleep apnea that prevents the sleep state from rejuvenating me.
I am scheduled for a surgical procedure that may relieve me of this affliction, and I'm excited beyond words. "Dad" should have his son evaluated at a sleep disorder clinic, before the relationship is strained beyond repair. -- WAITING FOR A GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP IN GALENA, OHIO
DEAR WAITING: Sleep apnea can, indeed, interfere with restorative sleep, leaving one still in need of rest when the sun comes up in the morning. Perhaps the young man does suffer from this disorder and would benefit from being evaluated by a sleep disorder specialist. Thanks for suggesting it.
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