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A Christmas Gift

Posted by Giulia Champion Dec 24, 2016

Give yourself a gift for Christmas - stop smoking.  And once you open that commitment package - don't put it high  on some forgotten shelf - honor it, polish it, admire it, and most of all pay attention to it.  Quitting, like a child, needs attention and love and nourishment.  And too, patience and fortitude.  Stay true to the best of you and you cannot fail. 

May you have a Merry Smoke-free Christmas.



Cataract surgery story

Posted by Giulia Champion Dec 21, 2016

First of all I cannot tell you all how much your responses, prayers and good vibes meant to me.  And I wrote down all your names on a piece of paper and, yup, put in my pocket and read them all to myself before heading into the little room.
Quite an interesting experience it was.  For anyone who wants the distraction and details - keep reading.  For those who don’t - stop now.  For those of you who have gone through it, you’re familiar with how it goes.  For those who haven’t but may have to in the future, here’s how it went for me.  We can never have too much knowledge, can we?!!
First they put a magic marker dot above the eye to be operated on (so there’s no possibility of confusion)  I said (with a slight Indian accent), "ah, now I am a worshiper of Vishnu."   She said, "No it's above the eye."  (So much for THAT joke.  Not much of a sense of humor there!  lol  (But I'll give her credit for the santa hat she had on.)  Then they ply you with many different eye drops.  Numbing ones and ones to dilate and who knows what others.  Then they let you sit in the little darkened room the size of a closet  while all that stuff takes effect.  10 min?  Felt longer.  Meanwhile you’re doing your best to think of nothing in particular.  Which is not easy but which I pretty much managed, except for thinking about all of YOU in my pocket.
Then you go over and lie a gurny, they take your BP and stick a small need in a vein at top of your hand and tape it down for the sedative to come.   She was a pro - one stick only.  They said they do about 25 of these operations a day.  And there were 3?  4? of us in the big room behind sliding curtains on our gurneys.  Doc eventually came over and put on a weird looking set of plexiglass magic glasses to look in my eye and “mark it.”  I was looking straight ahead.  Not sure how he marked it but he must have pressed something up against the eyeball because the light refracted.  Didn’t hurt.  Similar to when they do the pen-against-the-eyeball pressure test (for glaucoma), only this was held a bit longer.  He had on a bright red scrubs.  I mean cherry red.  I said, "I like the red outfit!"  He said, "Well I've been wearing red and green, but forgot the green today."  I like this man.   Then more waiting while I looked at all the lovely Christmas stockings placed along the wall for the doctors and nurses, etc who work there with their names glittered on.   Then the anesthesiologist dropped by, cute guy by the name of Kip.  Said, “Are you ready to see some bright colored lights?”  I said, yup.  I don’t exactly remember what he said other than that, but he more or less gave me a clue as to what I was going to be in for.  Which was nice of him to do!  I’m convinced that all anesthetists are crazy.   Just really “out there.”  They have the weirdest senses of humor and all wear those crazy kerchiefs tied backwards over their heads.  No scrub caps for them!  Lol Anyway he injected Versed into the needle in my arm (great drug - I’ve had it on several occasions for colonoscopies, etc.)  Makes you feel quite calm and wears off quickly, but not TOO quickly!  Lol.  
Then it’s my turn and I’m wheeled off to the laser.  I opted for laser surgery which, though a large out-of-pocket expense, I felt this is my eye we’re talkin’ about here and lasers are more accurate (according to what I’ve heard and read.)  I was a little fuzzy at this point but they put some kind of clear  plastic sheet over my head and upper torso? (I think) and taped it to my face.  I suspect it was sticky on the underside and all they did was press it down on my face.    I couldn’t see clearly any more because of the plastic, but I think they cut a hole in the plastic over the eye to be operated on.  
Then I saw lots of red and green lights, then a bunch of black and white squares, then more red and green lights (hey, it’s Christmas, quite appropriate), then just a red light, then it was over and they wheeled me back to my curtained abode.  (I told the doc what I was seeing as it was happening.)  No pain.  At some point they removed the needle from my arm.  Don’t remember.  The only thing I remember feeling uncomfortable with was what I suppose was the clamp holding my eye open and when they ripped the plastic sheeting off my face.  No gentle inch by inch here, just rrrrriiiiiiiiiip!  Wonder what they do for guys with facial hair?  Hmmmmm.   
After about 5 minutes (or so it seemed,) they told me to swing my legs over the gurney and gave me my choice of OJ, water or coffee.  I opted for the OJ.  Then I was up and headed out with a pair of dark DARK sunglasses.  From the time I got there to the time I left it was 2 hours, I think, but the procedure itself only took something like 15 minutes, if that.  Noticed that there was a big spider in my eye.  They mention that you might see “spider webs.”  HA!  I know about floaters and spider webs (I have them), this was the whole spider.  With thick black legs.  Or it might have been a heavy duty false eyelash fringe that was dangling down and wafting back and forth insdie my eye as it moved left to right.  Very strange.  But didn’t hurt.
Got home and went to bed for four hours.  No pain, but couldn’t see much out of that eye - very blurry.  Had to sleep with a plastic eye shield that night only.
Yesterday it was a grey day, but today the sun was out nice and bright and oh my, never knew sunlight could be painful.  I wonder if that’s how Dracula feels all over his body when caught out of the crypt at dawn?  Lol Spider is still there, vision still blurry and the light really hurts.  Sharp shooting pains.  Of to today’s appointment.  You have to return within 24 hours for them to check because anything that goes wrong probably will within the first 24 hours.  Dear husband by my side both times.
Doc said everything looks fine.  Spider is normal and is due to the medication they use.  It’s not FDA approved but apparently lots of them use it (this outfit has for 6 years).  Called Trimox, it’s an antibiotic which makes it so that you don’t have to spend the next week or two putting in eye drops several times a day  (which are VERY expensive apparently.)  Oh yeah, I forgot that bit.  They inject it into your eye at the very end of procedure.  Hurts not a whit.  And fortunately you can’t see the needle coming at you!  
Did some minor Christmas shopping on the way home.  The light really bothered me.   But then I was re-dilated at the visit today.  Vision is slowly improving.  It’s only been a little over 24 hours.  Will be interesting to see what happens next!  
Oh, and the best part of the day was right before I left the office.  I was at the front desk and they gave me a card with my next follow up appointment in a week  and as I turned to leave, one of the girls said, “Just a second, there’s something else you need to have.”  I turned back and she said, “your plant” and handed me a lovely  little Kalanchoe plant.  I took it and burst into tears.  I mean it just touched me to pieces.  I said, “That’s so, (drip drip, sniffle), thoughtful, that’s just (drip), so sweet.  (Drip)  Have other’s cried like me?  (Kinda laughing through the tears.)  “Well, maybe one....  But they’re happy tears.”  And indeed they were.  I saw one of the girls at a the back desk loving my reaction.  What an amazing thing to do.  Whomever came up with THAT idea sure has my heart.  And the thank you note will be in the mail tomorrow.
And thank all you beautiful people for being in my back pocket and for your prayers.  I felt mighty safe and at ease.  Though it is kind of a big deal emotionally.  I suspect the next one (if and when) will be even easier.  And I'll be looking forward to my next plant!    ♥

Heading in for cataract surgery tomorrow.  Wouldn't mind a thought or two for a happy outcome.  I know these procedures are pretty common, but I know the power of this place and just wanted you all in my back pocket.  i wonder if I hadn't smoked all those years whether I'd need the surgery this soon.  Something to think about all you quitter's who are still on the fence. 


12/20  Just got home.  Seems to have gone well.  Won't know 'til I can see.  Everything's a blur at the moment.  Gonna crash.  A little woozy.  Talk later.  Had you in my pocket on a piece of paper and read your names to myself while in the little room.  Felt the love!  Later ♥


Eye Disease and Smoking:

Studies show smoking increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy and Dry Eye Syndrome.

  • Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)   
    • One way to reduce the risk of developing AMD is by NOT smoking. Smokers are three to four times more likely to develop AMD than nonsmokers. Nonsmokers living with smokers almost double their risk of developing AMD.
  • Cataract   
    • Heavy smokers (15 cigarettes/day or more) have up to three times the risk of cataract as nonsmokers.
  • Glaucoma   
    • There is a strong link between smoking and high blood pressure, cataracts and diabetes all of which are risk factors for glaucoma.
  • Diabetic Retinopathy   
    • Smoking can increase your chances of getting diabetes. It can also make managing diabetes more difficult for those who already have it. Complications of diabetes made worse by smoking include retinopathy, heart disease, stroke, vascular disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, foot problems and many others.
  • Dry Eye Syndrome   
    • Dry Eye Syndrome is more than twice as likely to impact smokers as non-smokers.


Posted by Giulia Champion Dec 7, 2016

Everybody cool off, calm down, and just digest and be silent for a while.  Obviously the community has been rattled.  Let's all take deep breaths and let our emotions settle and re-vist it all tomorrow.  IF we still need to.  I think everything that needs to have been said at the moment has been said: comments, questions, suggestions, blogs, PM's ...whatever.  Let's all just breathe, relax and re-focus on the task at hand.  Which is our journeys to Freedom.

MOO (My Opinion Only)  And what's great is - we have the choice to not allow any comments!  Well, at least on THIS current Elgg platform!  LOL

Don't forget your sense of hewmer kids!


Is this your quit?

Posted by Giulia Champion Dec 7, 2016



Then clean it up and begin again!

I have no idea how I glommed onto this particular video, but it's...actually one of the best examples I've seen of why one shouldn't use E-cigs to quit smoking. Inhalling for Beginners  (Check out how many times he clears his throat.  AND how many times he touches his face.  )  I mean the man is obviously in love with himself to begin with - "don't forget to subscribe, guys"... like everybody who puts up a video on youtube seems to be - self aggrandizing.  I mean - THIS is a guy we gotta listen to right?  Because of the great wealth of experience and wisdom  he's passing on.

"....had a go at this vaping and it wiped the throat out of me..." 

Ah yes, a happy e-cig user two years off smoking.  Can't wait to get to Pete's Place.  Can you?  Interesting wallpaper, though. 

Opening music by "epidemic sound" (hmmm, appropriate band name, perhaps)

And also note: 

This channel is sponsored by

Anything more I need add?

A couple of cool vapers pictures perhaps...

Cool Pirate

Cool, uh, bald-headed guy with glasses?

Sexy model with steam coming out of her mouth?  Gee, that's HOT!  NOT.


Another cool guy that looks like a dragon-snorting creature with a handlebar mustache.

And a happy e-cig couple bathed in smoke...from..THIS cenntury?

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