GopherCentral.com Powered By PulseTV.com

January 20, 2012

Greetings...


How do you try to condense a whole year into one column? Heck if I know, but I guess I'll give it my best shot!

2010 ended with a divorce in the family. Nope, settle down, not me! Flypup and his wife split and divorced. The pressures of marriage, constant moving, and various other "things" led to the breakdown of the marriage. I suppose, not having daughters, I didn't realize how emotionally devastating the ending of a marriage can be on males, and it was for my son. He put on a brave front through it, but you could tell he was a lot more devastated than he let on. He gets that from me I guess. He became one of the "statistics". Divorce and of course, pilots that, more times than not, have a marriage, (or two), dissolve due to some of the pressures of the profession itself...

He did his best to get over it and move on until he got furloughed (laid off) in March. Needless to say, this didn't help his overall "mood" and because flying jobs, like many other types of jobs, aren't overabundant, he moved back home to deal with it all. Empty nest syndrome sure didn't last long!

Luckily for him, he has kept up all of his teaching certificates and has been able to work off and on until something more permanent comes up...

2011 entered with the death of a dear, dear, friend of mine. His wife and I have been best friends for over 20 years. He was only 56 years old and a full time member of the Air National guard. He served many tours of duty through the years in all of the "hot spots" of the world and there is speculation that the cancer he died of was a direct result of "something" he was exposed to while in the Middle East. We were lucky enough to visit with them a year before when they came here to visit and go see the Cubs play during Spring training. Not a day goes by that he doesn't pop into my mind and the world certainly lost a man that I consider second only to my husband as a wonderful man, husband, father, and human being...

2012 also handed my mother a few challenges that gave us cause for concern, but she managed to get through them all. Each time "something" came or comes up, you find yourself filled with not only worry, but the "gloom and doom" mood and wonder and worry how on Earth you actually WILL handle the inevitability, no matter when that day is...

I guess that leaves the last thing that consumed 2011 for me. My own stupidity and...addiction. For those who don't understand, no, it's not an addiction to booze, pills, drugs, etc. To those who immediately understood, you know I'm talking about cigarettes. After kicking it in 2010, 2011 handed me every excuse in the book to go back to killing myself...

The "funny" thing about tobacco addiction is that it's the least likely addiction to be forgiven for. In Hollywood, any actor or actress can confess to doing Heroin, crack, booze, or pills and the world forgives them and cheers them on in their recovery. Not so with smoking. Smokers are the pariahs of the world, and people are less tolerant of the struggle of kicking it...

I smoked because of stress and stressed because I was smoking. The COPD I was diagnosed with took its toll and the quality of my life started to erode because of it. I would love to tell you I was intelligent enough to see it all, but it became second nature to the addiction of tobacco. I tried the anti-smoking drugs available again and had the same bad side effects I had the first time I took them. Does anyone recall the crazy online shopping of the Seafood I purchased after seeing it on TV. That bucket of slop arrived and I swear I had lost my mind when I tasted it and then threw it away!

The electronic cigarettes that were so helpful to me a year before just didn't "cut it" for me anymore and I continued to further damage my health and quality of life. It became harder and harder for me to walk without getting out of breath and I ended up having to stay home more days than not because it was too much of an effort to go out. God bless Flyboy, he went above and beyond helping me with things I couldn't do and never judged or harped on me. This, of course, only made me feel guilty because I'm not one who EVER needs help or lets anyone do things for me!

I wasn't able to see my mom as often as I wanted because the trip to Chicago would bring on a panic attack because of the amount of walking I would have to do in an airport. Of course, this brought on MORE guilt. I found out that if I quit smoking for 4 full days, I was able to breath great and do everything I couldn't do when I was smoking. Good incentive right? I would quit four days before I wanted to go see my mom, make it there with no problem, and literally within 10 minutes of being in her house, grab one of her cigarettes and start the nightmare all over until four days before I had to go home!

I realize this is literally INSANITY as I'm telling you this, but you all know I call them as I see it and while I AM ashamed at my stupidity, I know there are some that understand and it's really those people I am telling this to because as I said, no one but a smoker understands this powerful addiction. You can judge us, you can berate us, you can believe we deserve anything we get, but nothing you say can really hit us until we have had enough...

What is enough? It's different for each addict. Health scares usually do it...for a while...

I ended up in the hospital while I was in Chicago. A COPD attack that I would have ingored had I been home, but my mother and sister, having never seen one, forced me to go to the hospital. My mother packed a bag that I swear had enough clothes in it for a week long stay! Bless her heart, she put booties in the bag so my feet wouldn't get cold, toiletries, etc. I explained I would probably be released and she told me I needed to stay there a few days. Uh...no thanks!

My sister strong armed me into getting in the car and off we went. Oxygen levels as expected, pretty low and out came the oxygen, medications, and heart monitors. Sighhhhhh...

The one "gift" my family possesses is the ability to heal quickly and rebound. Levels went up quickly and the doctor said I had a 50-50 chance of being admitted if my levels didn't come upon their own. After two hours, they removed the Oxygen tube from my nose to monitor how quickly the levels would fall. They "hung in there" and it appeared I would get to go home. My sister decided to open her yap up to the doctor and mention the levels would go way down once I started moving around so the doctor told me I had to walk the corridor of the ER twice, check the levels afterwards and then decide if I could go home...

I was able to "do the walk" and although I was slightly winded, I was able to hop back into the bed and while everyone in the ER was running around because of a Code Blue, I was able to calm my breathing down and watch the Oxygen monitor go up to the needed levels. OK, so I'm sneaky!!!

I felt great when they released me because of all the Oxygen I received, but unfortunately, I had forgotten about the severe allergy I have to Prednisone! I received two injections of the stuff and a prescription for it. I started itching like crazy and the IV injection site swelled and rashed up. It wasn't until I had taken a few of the Prednisone pills that I remembered the bad reaction I had a few years ago. I stopped the pills and even though it has been over a week, I still have the welts, itch, and bump on the injection area...

I knew I had to cool the smoking if I was going to be able to go home and did what I had to do and got home safe and sound. I know what I have to do and I've certainly had enough warnings through it all. It's hard to go from a 2 pack a day smoker to nothing without some kind of anguish. I've been home almost a week and although I haven't given up the "death sticks" completely, I've smoked less than a pack the whole week. I'm trying to consciously be aware of my smoking, how much I smoke, and when I smoke. Maybe this approach will work, who knows...

So...This is and has been my tale of woes. I realize the craziness of it all as I actually write it!

To those who are battling the same thing I am, keep trying. To those who have beaten it, I applaud you, to those who think smokers are idiots who deserve what they get?

Maybe so, but no one ever got a DUI for smashing into a carfull of people while smoking a cigarette, No one ever got arrested for possesion of a pack of cigarettes after knocking over a pharmacy or liquor store, and as far as I know, no one ever spent years in prison for selling cigarettes on the corner...

As I said, people have more compassion for a drug addict or alcoholic...

As long as they don't smoke...

I do hope that 2012 is gentler and kinder to the majority of people that have gone through a multitude of struggles the past year. No one can be that self-absorbed not to realize how many people suffered greatly and continue to suffer due to various situations that have impacted their lives or the lives of their loved ones. Let's hope and pray that this changes for the better this year. The one thing that is certain...

Neither political party really cares about "us" and neither party will have an impact on your lives no matter how much they promise = LIE! What a bunch of...( Insert applicable description or descriptions here )

And last, but not least, American Idol is back. I half-watch it in the beginning because the craziness is overdone and I don't really enjoy it until the actual singing competition begins. It drags on way too long and I spend more time fast forwarding my DVR to hurry through it the first few weeks. I did zip past some promising talent, but if there's anything we have learned from watching this show for 10 seasons, it's that goofballs often get sent through for ratings, leaving good singers in a heap of dust...

Have a great weekend everyone!

:-)

Jamie


----------------------

Missed an Issue? Visit the Anything Goes Archives

Top Viewed Issues