Stories & experiences


Seven Years Lucky

Posted in Reasons to quit 12 Jul 2019

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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  • Hann@ July 13, 2019 | 4:01
    Thanks for your words of wisdom and for sharing your story TheOldPhart. Congratulations on your 7 years smoke free! It is an amazing achievement.
  • BethP July 13, 2019 | 6:52
    Yes. Thanks so much for sharing. God Bless and good luck.
  • Safe2017 July 13, 2019 | 9:42
    Congrats and thanks for reminding everyone that a successful long term quit is possible. I liked one of your past grains of wisdom - when a craving strikes it will go away whether you light up or not. Cheers.
  • Nuts July 13, 2019 | 10:33
    My mother had a large framed picture of the marlboro man in our lounge room when i was growing up. Smoking was the in thing to do. You could smoke every where. Even in hospitals. It has taken a lot of us many years to quit, but we cant change the past. By quitting now, we have changed our future. Be proud of yourself. Well done mate on 7 years smoke free. I have only made 6 months so far, but i will never light up again.
  • Happiness July 13, 2019 | 12:05
    An awesome feat, and i intend to take the time to read all of your stories. It is great that you take the time to mentor others after all this time. Congrats on an inspiring journey to freedom and better health. Cheers.
  • Lia July 13, 2019 | 22:57
    Hi OldPhart. You are a true trail blazer. Always good to hear from those who have lasted the distance and 7 years quit is something for the rest of us to aspire to achieve. Can't believe it - only 11 stories. Obviously you have served up and shared quality and not just quantity. More the reason to hang off every word you utter. You have certainly lived through some serious obstacles. Good to know you are able to enjoy your life and have avoided imminent doom and gloom. May you continue to see the light at the end of the tunnel and enjoy life to da max.
  • Happiness July 14, 2019 | 0:51
    Wonderful writings and sentiments from TheOldPhart. You are so right that quitting smoking is far easier than other things like a heart attack and diminished heart function and its limitations. Losing loved ones or even watching loved ones suffer over our health issues is so sad and heart wretching. We have choices , why not make them proud of us instead. Enlist their help in kicking this horrible addiction. Stop letting it govern your life and choices in it.

    Persevere and a positive attitude will help you to reach your goal. Taking pleasures in the senses returning , to enjoy the little things we take for granted. Waking up to smell the roses and re-evaluating what is important in life. What we have been given and what we have thrown away. Taking a deep breathe and actually amazing ourselves that we can do that, and how good it feels.

    I really enjoyed your wonderful stories and commend you on your writing skills. I hope others will read them, and that you will write again for us soon. All the best to you. Enjoy your freedom and the best things in life, love, health and family.
  • BethP July 14, 2019 | 2:50
    You truly are a blessed man, TheOldPhart! I don't know if you have read my story, but I had major abdominal surgery in December. Quitting then is the best decision I ever made. I still have cravings once in a while, but only have to look at my scar to know I don't want to ever go there again.
  • TheOldPhart September 15, 2019 | 7:17
    I did read your entries Beth. You have certainly run into some tough spots. I am proud of you for toughing it out. Never let a current problem shove you back into an old problem. You are better than that Beth.

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