Ask Gabby Gayle
Dear Gabby: I’m writing because I remember a while back, an article you had written about people that don’t want to continue to seek invasive and ridiculous health tests anymore. I agreed with you 100 percent, and have felt that way for some time. The problem I am having is with my insurance company. I am 67 years old and a single woman, without any family and friends, except my dog, and she is the last of my pets. I am not fond of doctors, but like the security of having health insurance in case of emergency. Twelve years ago I was almost wiped out financially by a serious bicycle accident that shattered my elbow. My insurance company kept calling me to make wellness checks. I don’t want them or need them. Please help, I don’t know who to contact, or who to tell. I feel I am being harassed and bullied into having things I do not want or need! Thank you so much, I feel better telling you. Signed, Medicare Rebel
Dear Rebel: First of all, any health care is a personal choice. So, you have the right to refuse any treatment you desire. However, I may have led you astray with my column. I was talking about the medical merry-go-round of propping people up to live another day without consideration for the quality of life. Quality of life in my opinion may differ from what you see as quality. In my life I want to live to the best of my ability…I exercise, try to eat healthy, I volunteer, I have a part time job, I listen to my doctors, who are excellent, and I have a good social life. They understand how I feel about certain treatments and support me in my decisions. You are only 67 years old and I hope you will do all preventive treatments such as wellness checks to avoid chronic or debilitating diseases. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!” Then when that doesn’t work anymore, you begin refusing treatments. And why not get another dog? You are young! And get a living will and durable power of attorney, so well-meaning medical folks don’t prop you up just to live another day. Good luck, GG
Dear Gabby: My husband and I are 55 years old and very close. My husband has been diagnosed with ALS and he doesn’t want to have any treatments. We have no children. He wants to go on hospice and die as fast as he can. I am sick thinking about life without him, but at the same time, I might make the same choice if it were me. I know you have discussed these things in your column. Any advice would be appreciated. By the way, his priest seems to think what he is doing is akin to suicide. What do you think? Signed, GL
Dear GL: I do not believe that dying by the natural course of a disease is akin to suicide, although I am aware that some people feel that way. I believe this is your husband’s choice and it should be honored. Hospice staff can help you both with information and support. Hospice is also a choice. My heart goes out to both of you, and I commend you for supporting the love of your life with his choice, even though it may be the most difficult thing you have ever done. GG
Dear Gabby: Last year I wrote to you distraught about my granddaughter who was getting married to her lesbian girlfriend. You advised me to get over it or I would lose my granddaughter whom I loved very much. I took your advice and a year later I want to tell you that I now have two granddaughters that I love very much. They are happy and they visit me and take me out to dinner. I thank my lucky stars that I straightened up. And thank you. To you grandmas out there that are disturbed about their grandchildren’s gay life, I say “Get over it!” Signed, Smart
If you have questions for Gabby, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.