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I just can't seem to find the words to express what your outpouring of compassion
and prayers has meant to me and my family.. Thank you and God Bless you all... May you never ever take another puff.
Feb 8 04 9:25 PM
Feb 12 04 9:06 AM
Feb 16 04 8:41 AM
Hi Freedom Family,
Just a small update. This past five days found Mike in the hospital again. He
starting coughing up blood which means his primary tumor is bleeding. The doctors put him on bedrest and started radiation. He is on all kinds of meds
to help with inflamation and breathing. I have spent the past four days by his side to help in any way I can.
At the hospital, there is a designated, outdoor, area where the employees can smoke . I could look out of my husbands
hospital room window and see those folks getting their fixes and feeling so sorry for them. I wanted to go down there and bring them up to my husbands
room. I would like for them to just walk in my husbands shoes for about a week. An hour would probably be enough, but a week would most certainly be
convincing. It's hard to quit, but suffering the conseqences give "hard" a whole new meaning.....
writng because I care.... sue
Ps: Congratualtions to all who have made this decision to take back their lives and to all those celebrating milestones. I
hope to be able to post more soon.
Ten months, two weeks, four days, 5 hours, 47 minutes and 40 seconds. 12969 cigarettes not smoked, saving $1,874.11. Life saved: 6 weeks, 3 days, 45
Feb 16 04 7:00 PM
It must seem surreal to be gazing out of the window of Mike's hospital room and seeing health care professionals and support staff huddled in the
little designated alcoves delivering their drug before they have to get back in to treat their patients or provide other housekeeping and support services
for people who are too infirmed to do it for themselves. This must seem particularly ironic considering many of the patients they are serving are there
precisely because they used to huddle outside of their places of employment trying to deliver the exact same drug.
I know your gut instinct is that if they just could see Mike and recognize that the suffering and struggles he is going through was smoking induced that
these people would logically have to quit smoking. The problem is that many of these people know darned well that smoking causes these kind of diseases and
they see these people every day. That knowledge though doesn't change the fact that these people are drug addicts and simply understanding that smoking
will likely cause them to end up with the same kind of diseases is not enough to make these people quit.
The hospital workers may fully accept that smoking may one day end up killing them but they are working with the perception that the day they quit smoking
life as they know it will be over anyway and the resulting life will be totally unmanageable. The imagery of what they think their lives will be like without
smoking makes them think that the risks of future induced smoking induced diseases are worth facing.
It is the false perception of what their lives will be like that allows them to dismiss any common sense or gut feelings that they may get that they
should quit smoking. These people are controlled by drug addiction and they have built up elaborate defense mechanisms protecting the use of their drug at
all costs--even at the cost of their lives.
If you do encounter hospital staff who smoke and work with Mike you may want to try to help them. Pointing out that Mike's disease and his reason for
being here was from his years of smoking is just the opening comment to start a dialogue. The more important message to deliver is that both Mike and you
have stopped smoking and that even with all that is going on now, you are happy with that decision and that you realize that even under the extreme stress
that you are both facing, you are better able to cope because you have quit smoking.
As I said earlier, these people may know the danger of smoking but they are working with the false perception that they need to smoke because of their
high stress professions. That is just an excuse. If they can just see that you and Mike are able to sustain your quits under a whole more stress than they
are feeling, that understanding may be a revelation of greater value. People need to have two areas understood if they are going to have a good chance of
success. First that they should quit for all of the reasons that anyone should quit and second and equally important is that they can quit. They need to know
that quitting is possible and that life does indeed go on after quitting. If you can deliver the message that your ability of dealing with stress is as good
as it ever was if not even better--that message might be able to do more to help these people realize that there may be a way out for them too. You may have
a unique potential of reaching these people now, and these are people who may be able to go on to help others over their professional careers. Health care
workers are people who are dealing with patients and their patient's family members at times when they are in what may very well be teachable
Watching smoking health care providers can have two very different effects on people. It could leave the observer thinking that smoking must not be too
bad or too dangerous, or these people who should know the risks wouldn't be smoking or it could help the viewer recognize just how addictive cigarette
smoking is. The nicotine addiction is making these people who have to watch the destruction and devastation caused by smoking on a daily basis still
administer the deadly substance to themselves.
You are far enough beyond the control that nicotine once exerted on your mind to be able to see which of these two possible explanations is the real
reason that these people continue to smoke. Hopefully one day they will be able to get free from the kind of control that nicotine is exerting on them too
and be able to see the truth of the situation. The way that can happen is if these people make the same commitment and carry out the same action plan that
you and Mike did which was to finally decide once and for all that no matter what you have to face in life that you will never take another puff!
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