DEAR ABBY: For years, I suffered from high blood pressure and diabetes. I never had a clue that they are the two leading causes of kidney failure. After reading in your column about National Kidney Month, I decided to take your suggestion and go to the National Kidney Foundation website at kidney.org.
When I attended their free screening through the Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP), I found out that high blood pressure can damage the kidney's filtering units, that diabetes is the No. 1 risk factor for kidney disease and how important it is to keep them both under control.
That screening was a wake-up call for me. I now take insulin for my diabetes and medication for my blood pressure. I have cut out salt and starch, added lots of vegetables to my diet, and 30 minutes on the stationary bike to my daily routine. My efforts have paid off. Last year when I was screened again at the KEEP, I learned that my kidney function has increased.
Tens of millions of Americans are at risk for kidney disease. Won't you please remind your readers again how important it is to be screened? For me it was a lifesaver. -- JERRYDEAN QUEEN, NEW ORLEANS
DEAR JERRYDEAN: I'm pleased that my column alerted you to your risk for kidney disease, and that you caught it in time.
Readers, March 8 is World Kidney Day. The National Kidney Foundation is again urging Americans to learn the risk factors for kidney disease and be screened so you can prevent damage to these vital organs. For advice on how to stay healthy and a schedule of free screenings -- not only during March but also throughout the year -- visit the National Kidney Foundation online at kidney.org.
DEAR ABBY: Someone gave a very inappropriate eulogy for someone my family cares about dearly. Is it worth it to say something to him? "Alton" lost his mother, a really good person who was loved by many, and he attacked her during his eulogy.
Alton shared quite a few details about his mother's life that no one needed to know. But the bottom line is, she was a good person who made some mistakes toward the end of her life. Alton is arrogant and mean and has a long history of verbally attacking family members.
People are still talking about the eulogy. There were individuals at the service who called him names, and a few walked out in tears. Word spread to people in other states within minutes after the service ended.
Is it worth pointing out to an arrogant jerk that his eulogy was appalling and has caused a lot of anger? Should one of us step forward and say something to him, or just chalk it up to "once a jerk, always a jerk"? -- COULDN'T BELIEVE MY EARS IN ARIZONA
DEAR COULDN'T BELIEVE YOUR EARS: I vote no, because I seriously doubt that anything you could say would shame an arrogant, mean jerk into admitting he made a mistake by speaking disrespectfully of his mother at her funeral. A better way to handle it would be for those who were offended to avoid him. A deafening silence may convey the message more loudly than words.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)