Friday, July 20, 2007

As the smoke clears . . .

My father-in-law has had his share of health problems lately. I had long noticed that his fingers and hands were getting purple. It turned out that he had Raynaud's syndrome, and he was advised under the strongest terms to stop smoking because of the lack of blood and oxygen getting to his extremities. This cost him part of one of his fingers, which was certainly a wake-up call.

Considering that he had smoked up to 2 1/2 packs a day for over 50 years, quitting was going to be no easy feat; I know how powerful a drug nicotine can be. But by the time we saw him, he was starting to taper off and going to a smoking cessation support group.

He had his last cigarette just over a few weeks ago. I called him to congratulate him, but he replied, "Thank you, and the subject is over." He also apologized in advance if he became cranky over the next few weeks or months. My FIL has never been the sort to attract attention to his accomplishments, but I'll gladly do it for him.

He still visits the casinos, but not as often because of the presence of the smoke which may entice him. He's gotten into volunteering at the local hospital where my MIL has been active for quite some time. BRAVO ZULU for my FIL!

While I still have a problem with the government telling its citizens where and when they can smoke for however much a "sin tax" it throws atop cigarette prices for the supposed purpose of anti-smoking programs instead of just banning the stuff altogether, I'm the first to cheer on someone who gives up smoking. I remember getting cartons of Lark for my mom in the PX as a kid; she's been smoke free for nearly 35 years. And smoking may have had something to do with my uncle's untimely death in 1991 at age 47.

Me, I have one or two cigars a year. I just wish they didn't leave a bad taste in my mouth, which neither LC nor I enjoy. That's a good part of the reason why I don't even think about smoking more.


big bro said...

I smoked to get the beer smell off my breath once. I tried a cigar once and the way my throat felt the next morning was enough to not want a second. I'm sure that I've smoked plenty of second hand smoke. I always hated the smell that assaulted you when you pulled you shirt off over your head after going to bars/clubs. (Well maybe you shouldn't have hung out in bars/clubs) But I met the wife in a club and that's worked out for coming up on 19 years.

Cygnus said...

Recall too that our parents met in a bar in Ocean City, or I wouldn't be writing this, nor you reading it!

I was going to say I never did the "bar thing," but that's not completely true. I would head to Chi-Chi's bar to watch Monday Night Football, and LC and I made the rounds of many a Karaoke joint. Some of those places were more smoky than others; the Chi-Chi's wasn't too bad.

I hear you as far as the smoke. When I called Bingo for our parish in Glen Burnie, I would head straight for the laundry room and disrobe there because of the smoke. Eventually, it became a smoke-free Bingo, but the attendance declined; Bingo players like their smoke.

4HisChurch said...

LOL. I think the bingo at St. Benedict's in Baltimore was rather smoke filled. Don't know if it still is, though.