Sunday, January 11, 2009

This Day in History

January 11, 1964 – In a landmark report, U.S. Surgeon General Luther Leonidas Terry issued the warning that smoking may be hazardous for one's health, concluding that it has a causative role in lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, emphysema and other illnesses.

I used to smoke. I used to smoke alot. Everyone in my family smoked. As soon as I opened my eyes in the morning to the minute before going to sleep at night, I smoked.

Yes, I tried all of the tricks to try to fool myself, thinking that I was cutting back. Only one an hour, then a half every 30 minutes. Yeah right. When I got pregnant the first time, smoking made me sick as a dog. I quit, for 6 months. Being young and stupid I started again even while I was with child. When I got pregnant a second time, it again made me sick. I did quit for good then. I remember the feeling of being truly free. No longer to realize that I didn't have a cig for first thing in the morning, putting clothes on and going out into the night to find an open store.

When my mother quit smoking, she joined a support group that met every night for weeks. I remember she would call me every day. In the beginning days of her quest to be rid of that addiction, we would talk for an hour, the only subject being cigarettes. As the weeks went by the conversations started including things like the weather, what she had done that day, and less and less about cigarettes. That was probably 25 years ago. Back then, too, I remember hearing that once you quit your lungs will start to repair themselves. Reassuring, right?

I bring it up because not only was it 45 years ago today that the surgeon general deemed smoking hazardous to our health, but because I spent all day yesterday trying to get my mother in to see a doctor. See, if she gets so much as a cold, she ends up in the hospital for a week with pneumonia. She has severe emphysema, COPD, on oxygen 24/7, and she is 86 years old. She started running a little fever and thought if she started on antibiotics right away she might avoid getting any worse. Long story short, after all the running around she never did get to see a doctor (urgent care with a closed sign on the door, doctor calling back but she couldn't remember what he said, a different urgent care where she realized she didn't have her medicare card). I'm keeping a good thought that her low grade fever was not necessarily indicative of a full blown illness.


Janice said...

I hope your sweet mama is ok! I'm here for you if you need anything.

shabby girl said...

You are a wonderful friend. I appreciate you!

Flora & Fauna

Books I have known & loved

  • Life of Pi
  • A Hundred Years of Solitude
  • Kite Runner
  • The Way the Crow Flies
  • Fall on Your Knees
  • Poisonwood Bible
  • East of Eden
  • Shantaram
  • I Know This Much is True

Illegal Immigration