DEAR HARRIETTE: I was recently diagnosed with high blood pressure and pre-diabetes. I am upset and embarrassed by this. These diseases run in my family, and I vowed years ago not to let them happen to me. Yet here I am in my mid-50s in the same position as all my relatives. I am so upset with myself that I have not told any of my family members. I don’t want to admit that this is happening to me.
I want to take back my health and not succumb to a ton of meds every night. I have talked to my doctor about how I might get healthier with diet and exercise. Do you think it’s wrong of me to try these measures before I report to my family that I am like all of them -- getting sick? -- Battling Diabetes Plus, Washington, D.C.
DEAR BATTLING DIABETES PLUS: You have no obligation to report your health condition to your family -- at least not right now. What you must do is take control of your health. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Ask to see a nutritionist. This may help you to figure out new ways of eating that will support weight loss as well as reduce salt and sugar levels in your body.
Figure out something to do to move your body regularly. The easiest thing to do is walk. It doesn’t cost anything and can help you manage your health. The American Heart Association recommends that you walk a minimum of 10,000 steps per day, which is nearly 5 miles. You can do it. Set your mind to it. After you have your habits under control, consider telling your family what happened to you and how you are taking control of it.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I live in a densely populated apartment building. I keep my apartment clean, but I have noticed recently that there are signs of mice. I have talked to my husband about it and asked him to help me out more. I do all the housework. Even though I ask him to help me with the dishes after I cook, he rarely complies. I feel tired all the time from handling all household duties and working. How can I get my husband to help me? Mousetraps aren’t going to work without cleaning up, too. Oh, yeah, and he refuses to allow us to get a housekeeper, even though we can afford it. -- Mouse House, Detroit
DEAR MOUSE HOUSE: Remind your husband of how unhealthy it is for both of you to have a mouse in your house. Mice carry all kinds of germs, and you cannot control where they roam once they are in your home. Ask him if he will partner with you to make the house cleaner. Point out that right now you are saddled with all the responsibility, and it’s just too much for you to manage. Encourage him to come into the kitchen with you to help with cleanup. Start by cleaning together. That may be the way to get him to do anything at all.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)