The war over veggies

Your column on getting kids to eat vegetables struck home [“Your kid hates veggies? You may be to blame,” March 18].

I am now 74 and — thanks to the total, all-out, scorched-earth policy of being forced (unsuccessfully) to eat vegetables right up until I left for college at age 17 — I have refused to eat vegetables of any kind throughout my adult life. I tell restaurants: “I don’t want any vegetables, and you must not put them on the table by mistake; it brings back all sorts of anger in me.” I can recall having my jaw held shut with vegetables that had been forced into my mouth. And I would have to sit looking at my plate of uneaten vegetables for maybe six hours, and then be given it again at breakfast instead of breakfast foods.

I would recommend that parents not adopt a “this is war, win at any cost” policy. Veggies: not now, not ever.

Thomas C. Lawford, Reston

Another mystery solution

Regarding “Why was her son so sick? A doctor searches for the cause” [March 18]:

A vegetables work bench is pictured in an open market. (Alessandro Garofalo/Reuters)

In former days, mystery cases like this one were sometimes solved by a procedure that was called exploratory laparotomy.

Basically, the surgeon, for lack of answers, operated on the patient, opened the abdomen, looked into the peritoneal cavity and felt around among the organs until he or she found something that might explain the issue. It was primitive, but it occurs to me — a retired physician — that it could have shortened the patient’s and his parents’ misery.

Ironically, the choledochal cyst might well have been identified earlier in this manner.

Leonard M. Rubin, Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Life with a donated kidney

In response to “Living with someone else’s heart in his chest, he reaches a 25-year milestone feeling good,” [March 4]:

I have been living with someone else’s kidney for almost 31 years. I have not heard of another kidney transplant lasting that long. I have been through several other health issues, but this kidney will not give up. My doctors have been amazed.

The last issue I faced was prostate cancer and how to treat it, because my transplant had lasted so long. A few doctors did not even want to treat me, but I was successfully treated using radioactive pellets. It’s been three years, and I am cancer-free.

Tuesday will be the actual 31st anniversary of my transplant. The possibility of still being alive after all these years seems to be quite amazing for both Thomas Cook, who was featured in your story about the heart transplant, and me.

Maybe we should start a long-term transplant survivors club.

Fred Graves, Eureka, Calif.