Bob is my husband of 13+ years. When Bob and I met we were both smokers. I quit about 12 years ago because I was having too many bouts of bronchitis and couldn't kick the allergies. Bob was very supportive of my quit but never bothered to try to quit with me. He did start smoking outside soon after.
Bob is a long-time-2-pk-a-day, cigarette smoker. And his arteries are fit for an anti smoking poster. When Bob and I first met, we used to take long walks together. Bob had to quit taking long walks with me and the dogs several years ago because his legs hurt after a block or so. He thought it was my fault and that I started walking too fast. I didn't think I'd changed my pace but guessed I could have without really knowing it.
A few weeks ago Bob's little pinkie started hurting him. Around Christmas Day he decided he had an ingrown toenail so I bought him some Epsom salts and a soaking pan. He didn't want me to touch it so I left him to his own with it. New Years Day he finally asked me to look at it for him. His toe was black. We decided he needed to see a doctor ASAP. So on the 2nd he called a podiatrist and got an immediate appointment. The podiatrist took one look at his toe and made him an appointment with radiologist. Then came back in the exam room and explained what was going on.
You see, smoking it the main cause of peripheral artery disease. PAD is a disease that builds up plaque in your arteries and blocks blood flow to, well, everything. When a part of your body does not get blood, it dies. Bob's toe was not getting blood. It was dying! It is still dying.
Bob had an angioplasty and 2 stints in his artery on his right leg and when that heals they will do the other leg. Angioplasty is best described as a roto-rooter in the artery. Not a fun procedure. And more than just a little painful.
He might still lose the toe. It's a wait and see thing for now. But when both legs are done they will then look at his heart and lungs and upper body functions. Oh, did I mention that these procedures are very painful?
Bob is on the heal and hopefully going to quit smoking. Because if he doesn't, he will lose that toe. And then another toe. And then the foot. And then a leg. And then the other leg. And then...
I know it's hard. Nicotine is always telling you that you don't need to quit yet. Nicotine says "You can always quit later". But please remember this - every time you puff a cigarette you are putting poison in your body. Each puff is another piece of plaque in your arteries.
And here we were all just thinking all we had to worry about was lung cancer and/or emphysema.
Quit now! If you can't do it alone, join a quit group or see a doctor.
Here are a few links to help you out:
There are tons more out there. I used QuitNet and Lung.org.
Do it now!