• Last modified 2064 days ago (July 31, 2013)


Don't do stupid

I am a former smoker. Stupidest thing I ever did in my life was pick up that first cigarette, stick a match to it, and draw smoke into my lungs. Second stupidest thing was to just keep firing them up for the next three decades. Stupid, I admit it.

I also admit that I really loved smoking. I did. From time to time, I still miss it even though it has been years since I quit. Sometimes I dream about having a smoke, and get this: in my dream I am sneaking the cigarette, pretending like I am not the one smoking or palming it so that no one will know I have it in my hand. How weird is that? I mean, it is my dream. Who would care?

However, I am always thankful that I quit when I did. Recently I was in line at a grocery store behind a woman who was buying several packs of cigarettes and I was astounded by the amount of cash she turned over for her purchase, and they were not even name-brand cigarettes, which I expect would have cost a good deal more.

I am not sure how many thousands of dollars The Mister and I burned when we bought carton after carton for decades. As I said, stupid!

During the past week I had an annual checkup with my cardiologist. He has taken care of my heart since 2004 when I caught him on call, by the luck of the draw, after a heart attack sent me to the emergency room. I had bypass surgery several days later.

Most of us who have had this procedure have gained years we likely would not have had without it. We are lucky. I have some issues that have altered my activities and I admit my stamina is not what it has been or even what it should be at my age. Then again, I usually get a fairly clean bill of health from the guy who knows my heart just about as well as I do.

I recently had an appointment with him, and the waiting room was full. As bad as I often think my health is as a result of the smoking, I felt fairly lucky looking at my fellow patients. I don’t use a cane, walker, or wheelchair, I do not need oxygen 24/7, and I got across the clinic parking lot under my own steam. My tests and lab results indicate I am sort of a boring patient with no glaring issues.

I could go on for three or four more paragraphs, but here is what you need to know. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you smoke, quit. I swear to you, if I could quit, you can quit. Remember, I confessed that I loved that awful addiction. I never thought I could kick it, but I did.

I got lucky, but not as lucky as I could have been if I had never started or if I had quit years earlier. There you have it. Don’t be like me and most of those three dozen people in the doctor’s waiting room. Don’t do stupid.


Last modified July 31, 2013