I am not writing this to get sympathy but rather to be a warning to anyone who thinks they can beat the odds and continue smoking into their golden years. I've heard people say. "My grandpa smoked and chewed all his life and he didn't die until his late 90's" In the past I didn't know how to answer that. But things have changed. I suppose there is a possibility that I could jump off the Golden Gate bridge and survive, but what are the odds. Odds are that my guts would be hanging out my mouth after I hit. As far as tobacco the proven odds are that the vast majority of people will suffer from the effects of smoking and far too many will suffer to the point of hospitalization or even death.
We talk a lot about freedom here and rightly so. There is a loved one in my family (my father-in-law) that is in the hospital with accute emphysema and pnuemonis caused from years and years of smoking. He has a tube running out of his side so the infection can drain out of his lungs. Believe me it was a ghastly site to see a brown milky thick liquid coming out of the side of a person. He can not go more than a couple of feet from his bed. ALL his activities are restricted to that space including using the facilities. HE HAS LOST HIS FREEDOM! Unlike many of us his addiction has crippled him and may possibly take his life. He is scheduled for surgery on this Thursday to remove the infection that has spread to his chest cavity and the doctors can not guarantee anything. His heart is not in very good shape (due to smoking) and there is great risk involved. But if he doesn't have the surgery it is amost certain death. (Any prayers on his behalf are appreciated.)