I've suffered drug, alcohol and gambling addiction over the years but smoking was and is by far the worst of them all. The hardest to kick, yet so easy to do. I've smoked since I was 13. I'm 53. One month ago I stopped. Why? Because I knew it would kill me eventually. I still have headaches, bad dreams and breathing problems but I know they'll improve over time.
I was in the army for 30 years. They taught me to survive in all sorts of inhospitable places and in all conditions but there was one enemy that I did not see. Smoking was a part of life in the army, it slowly creeped up on me and got me. I have had three strokes. I never heard or saw it, and it didn’t kill me but worse, it destroyed me. I can never work again. I was once more active than a bull but now I just sit here in wonder how did that little bugger get me? I’m still fighting it today - the invisible enemy.
I smoked for 30 years and enjoyed it until 2016 when I decided I had enough so I quit cold turkey. One year later I had a head scan because I had high blood pressure and they discovered 3 brain aneurysms. I had one coiled* and was met with some clotting in the brain, lucky doctors got to it in time. All results from smoking.
*Coiling is a common procedure for treating aneurysms that involves steering a catheter from the groin up to the brain.
I had my first cigarette at age 6. At age 10 I was smoking 5 a day and by age 14 a pack of 20 a day. A carton of 200 B&H cost $2. At age 38 I was told I had emphysema but still didn’t quit. When I first started smoking there were no warnings on the packs. At age 62 I was smoking 90 cigarettes a day. I coughed all day and night and was always unwell. I was slowly killing myself. It was either give up or die a slow and painful death. I’ve not had a cigarette now for over two years and although I still have emphysema my quality of life has improved, I don’t stink from cigarettes smoke anymore and I no longer cough. I also save over $300 a week.
I was a heavy smoker until one day I got food poisoning which set off an unknown an aneurysm to burst in my brainstem. High blood pressure, stress, and the smoking added to it. I didn't know I had one until it ruptured. I have severe balance issues with vertigo and eyesight problems. Lucky I am still alive and very grateful too. I haven't smoked since that day.