Stopping Smoking

Dear people of AS3, this is a long post. If you need a distraction then this is for you. This is a story about my life as I deal with the effects of smoking. Quit smoking. Stay quit if you are on the journey now

reference to AS3 = https://www.facebook.com/groups/AS3onFB/

I can remember when distractions were essential to my quit; it was this group and those distractions. Many of them were simple games. others were sites that held my attention for a while. Others were interesting posts. All of the posts gave me the encouragement that I needed to continue my quit.

I quit smoking eleven years ago. I smoked for more than 60 years. Now I am paying the consequences of all of those nasty cigarettes, more than eighty thousand of them. My lungs have processed a Kilo of tar (2.2 pounds). That is about a liter (slightly more than quart) of pure tar. It’s actually more. That’s a conservative estimate for one pack a day.

My day begins with a prayer, mostly thanksgiving.. Next I disconnect the oxygen hose from my ventilator and connect it to the nasal hose. This hose is 40 feet long and comes from my oxygen concentrator that is running in the hallway. You can imagine how often that hose gets snagged by something or tangled. My home has been rearranged to minimize those problems. My ventilator is sort of like a CPAP machine, but it has variable pressure that is controlled by volume. Long ago, this used to require an iron lung, and later it became a tube down one’s throat. I can get by with this machine and a mask because I only need it when I am sleeping.

In the morning there is the usual personal care. Next I exercise my lungs with a spirometer. I do at least ten, sometimes more. Then I do two breathing treatments with a nebulizer. Now I can make a cup of coffee and surf The Internet. I still cook and do my laundry, but I cannot clean. Somebody comes and does that at no small expense. Shutting down at the end of the day is similar. Home Health comes to check me and my vitals weekly. This is done to keep me out of the hospital. Previously I was in the hospital because my capillary oxygen saturation was in the 60 percent range. Now, with the oxygen and other treatments, it stays in the 90 percent range.

If I am going for groceries I make sure that I have my small portable oxygen tank with the pulse mode regulator and the larger tank with the continuous flow regulator. I make sure I have spare tanks in the car, just in case. I put on the small device, go to the car, switch to the larger tank and begin the 30 minute journey to the grocery store. I won’t bore you with all of the steps required to get into the store, get a cart, shop, get stuff into my car and then out of the car and into my house. I have a grocery shopping day. That’s all for that day. Did I mention that smoking has robbed me of stamina.

I have a friend my age who continues to smoke, He is confined to a power wheelchair and has a long list of medical problems. I have another friend my age who hikes and bikes and swims. He never smoked.

Unbelievably, except for the breathing issues, my health is good. I feel good. I eat well. I have wonderful friends.

I have not been posting on AS3. I care about anyone trying to quit or keep a quit, but I could not keep up with you folks. My friend said for me to post when I can and not to worry about missed posts. I am now a “drive by” poster with a tremendous amount of respect for those who are consistently here.

Quit smoking. Stay quit if you are on the journey now. Smoking is a strong and horrible addiction. You can beat it only if you are totally committed. I do not believe that you can try to quit, You have to just quit. Use whatever method that works for you. If you fail, get up and continue but don’t give up.

NDE

Once upon a time . . .

Don’t you love stories that start like this?

Once upon a time . . .

You’ve got to be really old to start a true story like this.

OK, here is my true story:

Once upon a time I lived in a small apartment in a large, 3 story, old, brick house. The house sat behind a tall, grey, stone wall. I had to drive through an opening in the wall and follow the winding drive around the house to the back where I parked. Then I walked back to the house and entered my apartment from a side door. At night it was pitch dark. The place was surrounded by large trees and mature shrubbery.

The lady who owned the house lived in the main house with her son. He was in his thirties and severely retarded. He had the mind of a 3 year old, but he was over six feet tall and he shaved. A local group worked with this man. He could dress himself and he had a job. He worked only a few days a week for a few hours only. His job was provided by a local, downtown grocer.  He walked to the corner, caught a bus downtown to his job and rode the bus back home. He was proud and his mother was proud. He was actually a pretty cool person.

He was paid in cash. He was allowed to do whatever he wanted with his money. He even got robbed once by some really mean kids. They were caught and got a lecture from the grocer’s wife. They did not want any more of that. Billy’s mother said, “Whatever happens he has a life. He has a chance to be happy, sad, excited, afraid, whatever.” Wow, what a great mom.

Every weekday afternoon, after work, I would drive in and around to the back, park my car and walk to my apartment door. This guy, let’s call him Billy, would meet me in the driveway. We exchanged smiles and hellos, then went our own way.

One day I stayed out late drinking with friends. I am not proud of that, but it was what it was. I came in very late that evening. I walked quietly back up the drive, through the trees and shrubberies. Billy was hiding in the shrubbery. He jumped out and grabbed me really hard. He was sort of jumping up and down and making some very weird noises.

OK, that was my Near Death Experience (NDE). I nearly died from fright right there, in the dark, in the shrubs, in the grip of a wild man. There was no out of body experience, just plain old Alfred Hitchcock fear.

Once I figured out that I did not die I realized that Billy was excited and wanted me to follow him. He led me back to the garage, went into the garage, and emerged holding a rooster. He was loving and petting this chicken. He gave it to me to hold. I petted it too. Chickens, apparently, aren’t really fond of being petted, but I managed not to let it get away.

Now Billy wanted to tell me something. It was like charades. He was very good at it. He pointed to his eyes, crouched down and moved his head around like he was searching for something, Then he appeared to see something and grab it. Then he pointed to his chicken and smiled. He took his chicken back. I said, “So, Billy. You caught this chicken?” He smiled, beamed actually, and shook his head up and down.

I congratulated him on his chicken. Petted it on the head and we each went our own way.

The next day his mother came to me and thanked me for the way I handled the situation. She was secretly watching. She said that he waited for me to come home every day. She said that exchanging greetings with me was one of the high points of his day. He had waited all afternoon and evening for me to come home.

I was too stupid to know that on my own. This experience is like a magic flashlight in my memory. Whenever I think about this I am reminded of every hurtful thing I have done to people who loved me. I was so unbelievably stupid most of my life. I probably still am, but I am better.

POLITICS

POLITICS

It is silly season. These windbag, do nothing, know nothing politicians try to divide us and put us against one another. The problem with these idiots is: They are us and we are them. We the people are those guys and gals.

Yes I have a political view, but I will not share that here. This Blog is for everyone, everywhere. I love you all. I have a religious view also. I am not selling that here either. It may show up in my words and phrases, but that is because my beliefs determine who I am to some degree.

A man of great faith, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said Continue reading

Be Strong

Be strong. Old age is not for sissies

Bug picture

Be Strong

I saw this bug while walking to the drugstore. I nudged him with my foot. He turned around and came after me. I moved off to the side. He turned and kept coming. This guy wanted to take me on. I stepped over him and continued on my way. I could almost hear him behind me, “Hey, come here you, I want to fight.”

We need to be like that sometimes. Never give up.
Enjoy.
Fred

Fracking

Fracking

The pros and cons of fracking:

Pros: there’s money in it.

Cons: everything else.

Fracking contaminates vast areas with millions of gallons of toxic liquids.
These liquids can migrate over time to contaminate even larger and unpredictable areas of the earth.It cannot be called back or withdrawn. The toxic contamination is forever.

Here are some facts about fracking. This is not opinion or conjecture, but just some facts. Continue reading

Sleep

Ahhh! Peaceful, beautiful sleep. A blessing if you have it, a curse if you do not.

I was not sleeping well and waking up tired. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, endured a sleep study and got a CPAP machine. Scary at first, but now I love the thing. I sleep so well with it . . . BUT!

Always a but, huh? Well, here’s mine. I shed all of my cares and worries and got to a place where I can do as I please, almost. I started waking up after about four hours, give or take. Continue reading

Diet

Healing Diet

I was near death and could not walk more than a few steps, even with a walker. After some serious surgeries I am recovering. Proper diet and exercise continue to be the doctor recommended approach to wellness. There are other things to consider, but here is some information about my diet. I have benefited from this beyond my expectations. In the past six months I have lost 41 pounds. I can rapidly walk 1/2  mile (under ten minutes) before I stop to rest or catch my breath. Before I could not walk 100 feet. I continue to improve and I feel good.

This article is about a part of my diet and how to make it happen. I read and researched for Continue reading

I Caused Flood Damage

Last month I wrote a check to my landlord for $760.00.
It was for cleanup of flood/water damage.
Replace your washing machine hoses every three to five years.
It costs way less than $760.00.

Check your homeowners/rental insurance policy. If you call your insurance company and ask a question about coverage they will probably count that as a claim. They might even cancel your policy just because you inquired about the coverage.

I had driven to Raleigh to have lunch with a friend. It is a one hour drive.
I had not seen this man for forty years. We went to college together.
He married my cousin. He came to the U.S. from Chile to bury her.
May she rest in peace. We talked and ate and drank. I was gone about four hours. Continue reading