Saturday, 15 March 2008

An Important Confession – Please Read This

Photo: **ste**

Before I start, I just want to say that what I’m about to tell you isn’t easy but I think – hope – it’ll help me, so I’m going to do it regardless of how ashamed it makes me feel.

The reason I lost my bowel was because for many, many years I was a heavy smoker. We’re talking about 50 a day kind of heavy. The smoking caused my arteries to fur and eventually led to a blood clot forming the artery that feeds the bowel. My bowel literally rotted away inside me leaving just a putrid mass to be found by the surgeons who saved my life. Another 24 hours, they said, and I would have been sent to the mortuary rather than HDU.

Since that day, I no longer smoked. Until a few months ago.

Even though I know it will eventually kill me.

My legs have constant pains because of all three arteries in the right leg are blocked (completely furred up) and two are blocked in the left leg. I have ‘sticky blood’ which means I’m more prone to clotting anyway, and the smoking is just making matters worse. A LOT WORSE.

Even though I take huge doses of heparin to keep my blood thinner, a clot still formed in my shoulder last year, and that was before I started smoking again. So I know that a clot could easily form in any artery – feeding my heart, my lungs, my brain…. and that would be the end of it.

I’m trying hard to quit but with all the problems I have at the moment, I’m finding it much harder this time around. So I’m hoping that by ‘going public’ it’ll be kind of like going to group therapy – kind of like Alcoholics Anonymous – and saying “I smoke”.

I could make excuses but I won't. Ultimately it was my decision to smoke.

I’m not sure there’s anything else to say, except that if I could turn back time… but nobody can do that.

Sharon J xx


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Richard said...

Well done. That's the hard bit over with.

Chris said...

hi Sharon! How are you today?

As "Richard" said you have taken the hard step! Well done for that!

Do you want us to mention it ...ask you how you are getting on? Can an NHS quit type programme help ? I don't know as never smoked ..not even once to try it as my lungs were too bad so I have no idea how hard it must be for you right now esp knowing all the things you know etc.

Here for you every single step of the way.

Is sponsership an option or too much pressure atm?

thinking of you and waiting for some news as to how you are. Been worried since the post yesterday.

Take care


Danny said...

Hi Sharon,

Your post both totally touched me and scared the bejasus out of me.

I am a 40 a day smoker, not far behind your level. I am 51, don’t know your age, but we have a lot in common. Not in terms of health (I am OK AFAIK right now) but in terms of loving to smoke, having tried & failed to quit, have a stack of nicotine patches over our fireplace, bought on eBay, in readiness for the day when I determine to quit.

I have imagined being in your position or worse, rueing the day I started smoking.

But you mention “your current situation”. If it is stressful, then quitting is definitely on the back burner. This I know. A body loses concentration on the truly important things when stress piles in through the door.

Therefore anybody who has ever smoked and been hooked cannot criticise you. It’s well publicised, obvious to everybody, blaa blaa blaa, but there is absolutely no point in beating yourself up about “our” habit.

Many thanks for your honest and personal post. I just hope that your situation improves. And thank you very much for sharing it with us and with all smokers.

Best wishes,

happyhippychick said...

It is really hard to quit no matter how much you know the damage it causes - I quit a couple of years back with hypnotherapy and started again after a few months, then again last year... staying quitted (?) is never easy - when I start up again it is almost always down to stress

I reckon the main thing is not to quit quitting - I figure that any day I don't smoke is good or at least better than a day when I do smoke and I try not to beat up on myself when I smoke again as that only ends up with me smoking more

Good luck with quitting again - I'm going to try it again myself soon so if you ever fancy an email buddy for it let me know... I'll do my best

Hughes Cottage said...

Hey you!

We have never met and probably mever will, but you have become quite an important person in my day to day wander through cyber space :-)

I've never smoked, so I guess it would be easy to say 'just give up'
but I know that its not that easy, have a sister in law had a triple bye pass and still smokes 50 a day, the hosp are furious with her, but she says she cant stop.

Try try try, thats all I can suggest - you are an important person to your family and more so to yourself. The very very best of luck, we are all rooting for you in every way possible.

Big hugs Babs

qotd said...

Oh Sharon, I really feel for you. I quit around a year ago when my partner and I decided to try for a baby - until I found out that I was pregnant I still used to have quite a few secret smokes, but once I knew I had a little person inside me I found it so much easier not to smoke.

Having said that I poured myself a glass of wine last night and really REALLY fancied a smoke! It's the first time I've had that feeling for a long time - but fortunately I didn't sucumb.

Anyway, as everyone has said, the first step is knowing that you want to give up. I'm sure you will manage...

Sharon J said...

Richard. The hard bit's actually doing it. It isn't as easy this time around :(

Chris. By all means ask me how it's going. I promise I'll be honest. The problem with joining a 'quit programme' is actually getting there regularly. I never know from one day to the next how I'm going to feel.

Danny. Stress or not, I really can't afford to put quitting on the back burner or I'll just end up in a worse predicament than I'm already in. Thanks for the support, though.

Rae. I'm trying my hardest already. Wanna join in?

Babs. Thank you so much for your support. I really don't want to kill myself.

qotd. Well done you for quitting and for staying off them :)

Annie said...

Sharon - I wish you all the best with this!!! I hope that you can find your ideal distraction.

Chris said...


Is there a quit prgrammne which will allow for this situ? Might be worth challenging them to find a way around it as we both know they often don't think "of these things"!! Well done you sound like you are doing well already! Email me when you can because I didn'save your email address .......!! Ta

New Leaf said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. It can't be easy at all to admit your smoking again. I have never smoked,(OK I confess - I coughed and spluttered on one when I was a teenager, but it really wasn't for me) so I can't imagine just how hard it must be to give up for health reasons and then take it up again.

Debi said...

Oh. I've just found this and for once in my life really don't know what to say ... except that I send you loads of love, but you probably knew that anyway. xxx

Anonymous said...

Oh Sharon - my heart goes out to you. I think this might sound trite and I am only saying it because it got me off them. I never gave up smoking, I gave up buying tobacco. I sometimes literaly locked myself in the car outside the Spar for ten minutes until I could drive away. That I was able to do. Blagging only got me so far until I felt a complete heel. Now I very very occasionally (ie when drunk) blag a rollie. Good Luck, and remember that eating an Elephant can be done one bite at a time. Not that I would.... of course!

Bruce said...

Hi cousin,

So sorry to hear you have yet more to worry about.

I gave up on the 'weed' on several occasions, and for years at a time, but still came back to it in times of stress.

I have been 'clean' for 30 months now for health reasons, - but who knows - you have all the support may need if want to share it at any time.

Lots of Love,