Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

It's Not Too Late for Friend to Reach Out

DEAR HARRIETTE: A good friend had a hip replaced this summer. She sent an email asking for her friends to buy groceries and otherwise help out while she recuperated. She included me on the outreach list, and I responded right away. But I did not follow up to ensure that I had duties to fulfill. Now, several weeks have passed, and I have done nothing. I got busy with my family and work, and I honestly forgot. I am so embarrassed. I want to reach out and see if she needs anything now, but I feel like such a loser for not calling earlier. What should I do? -- Late to the Party, Syracuse, N.Y.

DEAR LATE TO THE PARTY: It is never too late to express your love to one in need. By all means call your friend and check in to see how she is doing. Ask her about her recuperation. Be a good listener. Chances are she will be happy to hear from you and will be more than willing to give you an update.

Ask her if she needs anything now, if there is anything that you can do to support her during this leg of her healing process. Promise to call her again soon, and then remember to do so.

Resist the temptation to make the conversation about yourself by going through a litany of reasons why you have not called previously. Keep the focus on her and the moment. What can you do now to be of help?

DEAR HARRIETTE: I was told that I am prediabetic. My doctor wants me to go to a nutritionist and try to get a handle on my health. I am so upset. Diabetes runs in my family, and I have worked hard not to get it -- until a couple of years ago, that is. I was depressed about a lot of things, and I stopped exercising and started eating and drinking the wrong things. Now I am paying the price. I don't want to tell my family. I can already hear "I told you so." Honestly, I don't want to do anything. I just want it to go away. That's stupid, I know. But I feel stuck. How can I snap out of it? -- On the Verge, Salt Lake City, Iowa

DEAR ON THE VERGE: Take one step at a time. If your doctor gave you a number for a nutritionist, call and schedule an appointment. A professional can be enormously helpful in getting you on the right track toward a healthier life. Pay close attention to the recommendations you are given, and follow them to the best of your ability.

You need to decide that you deserve to be healthy. This includes acknowledging that it is possible NOT to walk in your family's footsteps if you take the proper measures now. It is likely that you will be given an eating and exercise regimen to follow. Give yourself the gift of doing these things, one day at a time. Each day that you choose your health, you are choosing life. Get psychological support if you can to help lift any lingering negative thoughts. You can do it!