Today marks seven years of being nicotine free for me. At 2:30am on July 12, 2012 I had what my cardiologist considered a massive heart attack. I was told at the time how lucky I was to survive such a heart attack. Having lived through it . . . I believe what I was told whole heartedly. Since 2:30am on July 12, 2012: I have had a stent inserted into one of the arteries in my heart. Three other arteries have been replaced via bypass surgery, using arteries borrowed from elsewhere in my body. I have been diagnosed with a slowly growing aortic aneurism that must, at some point, be addressed. I have also been diagnosed with COPD. I have lost a younger brother and a younger sister-in-law both to lung cancer. They were both heavy smokers.
I am now 72 years old and have 60% cardiac functionality remaining. I credit the loss of 40% of my cardiac functionality to 53 years of smoking starting at 13 years of age. When I started smoking there were no warnings on each pack of cigarettes. The argument that smoking was dangerous in so many ways was still in its youth. The Marlboro Man was still sitting tall in the saddle and had not yet hung the bottle of oxygen he would use until his smoking related death, over his saddle horn.
Despite all of the losses I have personally experienced, I consider myself to be an extremely lucky man. You see, not everyone can exercise the level of stupidity I exercised for 53 years of my life and still walk around, kiss his wife, laugh with his children and grandchildren, hold his great-grandchildren, sit and eat a meal, drive himself to the store, or enjoy life at any level. My younger brother and sister-in-law would both confirm that statement if they were alive to do so.
Here is the thing folks . . . at seven years after quitting nicotine, I no longer have withdrawal incidents at all. In truth, I no longer even think about smoking unless I do so for a specific reason such as writing this blog message. Why did I wait so long to kick the nicotine addiction? Well, that has a great deal to do with the 53 years of being hyper-stupid that I referenced in the last paragraph. I now know that the earlier you quit . . . the less harm nicotine has likely done to you! I am still here to write this message and I attribute that fact to dumb-luck. Don’t rely on dumb-luck folks. Read all of the messages I have written on this blog and use the knowledge gained to help you quit today. You will not regret quitting nicotine but you will certainly regret not quitting. The ten (10) messages I have written on this blog so far can help you kick nicotine’s butt. For your own sake and for the sake of those who love you, listen to someone who is seven years lucky!
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