DEAR ABBY: My husband chose to be a nurse because he truly loves to care for sick people, and no health professionals spend more time with the people they care for than do nurses.
He anticipated some kidding and even some possible discrimination from the female nurses he works with, but we never expected what we've heard from complete strangers.Someone said, "Oh, what a sissy job for a man." Another person had the nerve to ask if he had flunked medical school!
He is very good at his job. The patients and co-workers rave about his competence and caring.
Nursing has come a long way since Florence Nightingale. And, because of dedicated men like my husband, it will progress even further. - PROUD NURSE'S WIFE
DEAR WIFE: Male nurses are not as rare as most people might assume. According to Dr. P. Rosenfeld of the National League for Nursing, there are currently more than 67,000 male nurses in the nation, and the number is growing each year.
This year, at Columbia University's School of Nursing, one-third of the students are male.
DEAR ABBY: I read with interest the letter from "Baffled in Vancouver," whose 49-year-old husband began acting peculiarly. She said he went outside to turn on the lawn sprinkler in full view of the neighbors wearing only his boxer shorts. Then she came home from work to find him preparing supper in nothing but a T-shirt. She said such conduct was totally out of character for him.
Thank God you advised her to get her husband to a doctor for a complete examination from the neck both ways.
My 47-year-old husband also began acting peculiarly. I wasted a year being angry at him because he refused to see a doctor.
When his judgment became visibly impaired, I practially dragged him to our family physician. (I had told the doctor in advance about the alarming changes in my husband's behavior.)
We were referred to a neurologist, and after extensive testing, it was discovered that my husband had a rare form of dementia called "Pick's disease," which is similar to Alzheimer's but strikes people at a much younger age - between 40 and 60. Inappropriate behavior and poor judgment are early symptoms, and like Alzheimer's, there is no known cure.
Abby, I don't want to frighten "Baffled," but if her husband has either Alzheimer's or Pick's disease, the sooner she gets involved in a support group, the easier it will be for all concerned. - BEEN THERE
DEAR ABBY: I had to laugh when I read the letter from Dan in Chula Vista. He told how he had made a tape recording of his neighbor's barking dog, then played it for the neighbor the next day.
A friend of mine did the same thing. Only he recorded his neighbor's shouting and cursing with his wife in the wee hours of the morning. Then he played it back under their bedroom window at 6 a.m.!
That was the end of those late-night noisy shouting matches. - DONNA FROM ALBUQUERQUE
1990 Universal Press Syndicate