Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Husband Spills the Beans About Reader’s Health

DEAR HARRIETTE: I was recently hospitalized due to a health scare. I am now working with my doctor to figure out what’s going on. I’m on top of it, but I really want to keep my health status private.

I am a freelancer of a certain age, and I don’t need anybody questioning my abilities due to what I hope will be a momentary health challenge. I have chosen not to tell anybody outside my closest confidants, so I was shocked when I got a text from a distant friend offering me prayers for my health because she had heard I was unwell. While I appreciate her sentiments, I was surprised that she even knew. I talk to her a couple of times a year.

I later found out that my husband told a colleague who immediately told this woman. While it was nice to hear from her, I am not happy. My husband knows how private I am. Yet he said something anyway. I know I can’t put the genie back in the bottle, but how can I manage what is sure to be a buzz about my health? -- Not Your Business

DEAR NOT YOUR BUSINESS: Chances are, your husband didn’t mean to spill the beans. He is concerned about you, and since you were at the top of mind, his thoughts spilled out. Don’t beat him up too badly. Instead, remind him of the importance of keeping your health issues private for personal and professional reasons.

As for the person who reached out, it sounds like she hit the right note, in that she offered you blessings and did not ask you about health details. If others reach out to you, you can respond with gratitude for their good wishes and with assurances that you are OK.

DEAR HARRIETTE: It has been a few weeks since I have started the new semester. Many of the classes I have chosen have been challenging but satisfying due to the amazing professors I have.

However, I have one professor who does not seem to put an effort into the class. He is a nice gentleman in his 60s who has been teaching at the university for many years. I looked at his reviews, and they were all positive. Once classes started, it was a bit off. I thought it was understandable since it was the first day of class, and many professors work differently. It’s been several weeks, and we have barely learned anything. So far, the class has been doing discussions on topics we barely learned while the professor just sits back. This class has not taught me anything valuable, but it is required for my degree credits. What do I do in this situation? -- Confused Student

DEAR CONFUSED STUDENT: Ask your professor for more engagement on a personal level so that you can understand the material better. Also, speak to your adviser to find out if you can switch to another section of the class taught by someone else. It would be best if you can change. If you cannot, either work with this professor or drop the class and take it with someone else next semester.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)