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Friday, July 14, 2006
I could kill my father... but the smoking will get him first.
Last night I drove 2 hours from work in Harrisburg down to Baltimore to be with my dad in an emergency room. He was taken there when he experienced chest pains at work. My dad is not even 52 yet, but he suffered his first heart attack at 40. He has a bad history of heart disease in his family, and has 2 stents keeping his arteries open.

Oh, yes, and he still smokes.

I adore my father, but in this area, he is the stupidest person I know. (Although I just typed the word "stupidest" which probably qualifies me as being stupid too.)

Dad has been warned by his doctors. He's been diagnosed with pre-emphysema. He sometimes wheezes when he breathes. And he's been begged by his children. But he still continues to smoke.

The good news is that he did not have a heart attack yesterday. The doctors say he just suffered some cramping due to stress and working outside in the heat, combined with dehydration. Oddly enough, this is almost bad news to me. I keep hoping that something will happen that makes a lightbulb pop on in his head. "Holy shit. If I keep up this smoking, I WILL DIE." This little reprieve will just support his opinion that he can still smoke and medical science will keep him going.

Last night I took his cigs and ripped them into little pieces right in front of him. But I'm no fool. I know he can go right back out and buy a new pack. He says he knows he needs to quit, but I fear this addiction will prove too strong.

And if he never beats this demon... what happens then? Best case: My daddy will still be around to meet his future grandkids, but he'll probably be toting around an oxygen tank. Worst case: I'll have to tell my children all about the granddad they never knew. The man who loved his daughters more than life itself, but couldn't do the one thing that would mean the most to them.

Please stop, Daddy. Please.


Blogger janet said...

I understand what you are going through, as FI's parents are both heavy smokers. We keep thinking that things will get them to stop (leg surgeries to replace arteries, etc) but nothing does. It's awful. I do hope more than anything that they know their grandkids, but it's hard to truly feel confident about it.

Blogger Silly Hily said...

I'm so sorry. I wish I could say something to help but I fear that he probably feels that the damage has already been done so why stop now.
He's going to have to make up his mind that he WANTS to quit. Until he does that, he won't.
I'm glad he's okay though....for now.

Blogger AnnaBana said...

That must be SO hard for you. I know quitting is something that he will just have to decide for himself, even though it's effecting not just him but everyone who loves him too. I have a friend whose mom just quit 2 years ago at age 55, and she'd been smoking since she was 12! So there's still a chance, don't give up on encouraging him to quit!

Blogger Erika said...

I am so sorry. I hope he comes to his senses. I'm glad he's okay for now, at least.

Blogger Deb said...

Im glad your dad is okay. Quitting smoking is hard. Some say it is harder to quit than heroine. I am a trying to be ex smoker, it is the hardest thing in the world for me to not do. I watched it kill family members, I know the risks, but that addiction...

Please understand it doesn't mean he loves you less, just he is weak to that evil demon.

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