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
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