to quit smoking ---- AND to get to the pool today! I have already listed the health effects from waiting too long to quit. Today, I didn't feel like sitting with the negative woman at the pool in 96+ degree heat, so decided I would wait until 4:00 to go. Got all packed up, stepped out of the back door - and what do I hear? THUNDER!
I smoked for my entire adult life. My addictive brain had me believing that if I ate a healthy diet and exercised EVERY day, I could negate the bad effects of smoking.
My smoking and the resulting arterial blockages caused the first domino to fall.
In 2012 - arterial blockages going to both legs.....vascular surgery
In 2013 I was not quite recovered from above, went for a walk after swimming laps, was not picking up my feet, tripped , fell and broke my shoulder
In 2014 I had bowel blockages in two places, caused by scar tissue created by the vascular surgery
In 2014 a clot formed from the above surgery, requiring vascular surgery to correct. I could not even STAND unassisted when I got out of rehab
In 2015 I had not recovered from the surgery above, got up too quickly and was dizzy, fell and broke my hip
In 2017 I was diagnosed with osteoporosis
In 2017 I sprained my ankle, created a hairline fracture of my femur in opposite leg (probably from osteoporosis)
In 2017 the latest MRI showed I am developing AVN (Avascular necrosis, also called osteonecrosis, a condition that occurs when there is loss of blood to the bone. Because bone is living tissue that requires blood, an interruption to the blood supply causes bone to die.) Probably the result of the blood clot developed after the bowel blockage surgery
Smoking has taken its toll on me. PLEASE hear my cautionary tale and quit now, for once, for all, and forever. I wouldn't wish this history on my worst enemy.
Just got back from the orthopedist. For now, he is going to put me in a different brace that will take all the pressure off of the bad area ( put the weight on the outer portion of the knee and create space between the injured femur and the tibia) and see where it is in 6 weeks. He is not convinced it is osteonecrosis and thinks it might have more to do with the hairline fracture and osteoporosis. He said I can swim A LITTLE and water walk A LITTLE....but that I need to quit if it hurts - period (because I am doing harm if it hurts). With the brace, I might find I can get away with using just one crutch to support that knee and, eventually, just a cane. Better news than I expected, I guess. At least he isn't talking drastic action until at least the Fall. I will keep the second opinion appointment for 8/31. He also said a knee replacement would not fix this because the part of the knee that is injured would not be replaced by it.
whether you are quitting smoking or going to your pool on crutches!
Last week I ventured to my summer pool for the first time, and just automatically grabbed my pool bag. It was in the 90's, and by the time I lugged that heavy thing with one handle of my crutch through the parking lot, up the stairs, and across the pool deck to a chair, I thought I was going to DIE. I was only allowed to float anyway – which, for me, lasted barely 5 minutes before I was bored to tears (I usually swim laps) – but I dreaded trying to get that bag back to the car. I made it – but was hot and tired when I got home, and was not looking forward to my next trip – even though this week I could water walk.
This morning,though, I had an “AHA” moment. I decided to go through that bag to see what was essential. Did I really need a cover-up that only served me when I was traveling there? Nope! Since I couldn't swim laps, did I REALLY need a cap, goggles and ear plugs? Nope! Did I REALLY need to moisturize after my shower AT the pool, or could I change it up and wait until I was home? Yep! If I did my visit differently and stayed in the shade, did I really need sunscreen and a hat? Nope! I reduced the amount I carried to a small backpack, hung my towel around my neck and made it to the pool with no hassle, wear OR tear.....and thoroughly enjoyed two sessions of water walking.
And your quit? Think about how you can change things up! Can you get up from the table and start the dishes right away? Can you get out of bed, put on your tennis shoes and hit the sidewalk BEFORE your shower and coffee? Can you find a different way to work or the store to change up the scenery?
Some forethought and planning can go a long way! (and I hope you never have to go to YOUR pool on crutches!!!)