I am handicapped, but one would never know it by looking at me. I have had two back operations and four knee surgeries. If I do any walking or standing, even for a few minutes, I get very tired and must sit and rest.
Recently, I parked in the handicapped spot at the supermarket. I have a handicapped tag hanging on my rearview mirror. Before I could get out of the car, a "gentleman" walked up and said, "You certainly don't look handicapped to me. You should not be parking in that space." I looked at him and said, "And you, sir, look intelligent, but I guess looks can be deceiving."
If more people realized that some handicapped folks have physical disabilities that are not visible, life would be easier for all of us.
Yes I Am in Palm Harbor, Fla.
Thanks for a letter that will be greatly appreciated by the physically challenged who look perfectly healthy -- and there are many of them.
Last May my husband and I took a trip to Maine to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. We went to a lovely restaurant in Boothbay Harbor. Suddenly, the most perfect rainbow appeared in the sky. I remarked how I wished we had a camera to capture the beauty of our "anniversary gift." A couple overheard, took a photo of the rainbow, asked for our address and promised to send us a copy. Sure enough, a beautiful picture came in the mail the following week.
Ann, we misplaced the envelope with their address. I very much want to thank this wonderful couple. Their names are Steve and Dodie Shapiro, and they live in Southern California. I tried the Internet and found 25 Steve Shapiros listed. Is there some way you can let them know how much we appreciated their thoughtfulness?
Peg and Dave in Pittsford, N.Y.
Here's your letter. Steve and Dodie sound like a wonderful, warm-hearted couple. I hope they see this column, and that you will hear from them. Please let me know if it happens.
I know you have printed several letters about prostate cancer in the past, but when I came across this information from the Prostate Health Council, I thought it might be helpful to your readers. I hope you will not consider it too clinical or indelicate to print.
Indelicate or not, the information can save lives, and I am pleased you sent it. Here it is, with no apologies:
The prostate is a gland of the male reproductive system. It is quite small, about the size and shape of a walnut. Approximately 80 percent of all men develop an enlarged prostate. Prostate cancer occurs in one out of 10 men, and each year, it kills more than 30,000 men in the United States.
Prostate diseases usually occur in men over age 40. Some symptoms include a weak urinary stream, difficulty starting urination, frequent urination, difficulty postponing urination, awakening frequently at night to urinate, interruption of the urinary stream, blood in the urine and pain or burning during urination.
The American Urological Association and the American Cancer Society agree that both a digital exam and a PSA should be offered annually for men beginning at age 50. For men at high risk, such as African Americans or those with a family history of prostate cancer, testing should begin at age 45. Men age 75 and older should consult their physician about early detection.
For more information on this subject, readers can call the Prostate Health Council of the American Foundation for Urologic Disease at 1-888-237-9004 (www.afud.org).