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Mixed Results

Posted by OldBones-Larry Jul 26, 2019

I got the results of my latest blood tests yesterday. 

Everything seems to be holding steady.

However, family history seems to be catching up to me again.

Heart problems took my Mother and my Brother at younger ages. Both passed in their 50's.

My brother developed insulin-dependant Diabetes in his 20's. My Mother's blood sugar was over 500 when she passed away.

I have been plagued with low blood sugar since I was 28.

My brother did this before he slipped into Diabetes. Doctors termed it Pancreatic Burnout.

A little over a month ago I began having blood sugar spikes. My fasting sugar level began hitting 124, 128. and even 133.

My latest tests by the doctor says my A1C is 5.8. This is a good result. My blood glucose at the same time was 99. Barely in normal range according to the standards posted for this test.

I will now be taking a fasting sugar each morning.

Will I light up over these results?


I learned that the hard way. Some of my medical problems can be tracked to my smoking for all those years.

I will continue watching my test results, following my doctors instructions, and going to any tests and procedures that are deemed needed.

One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.



The Journey

Posted by OldBones-Larry Jul 19, 2019

Five Years, Eight Months, Twenty eight Days ago I began my personal journey to where I am today.

It began with being laid out on an OR table while a surgeon tried to fix what had happened to my body. He bypassed three blockages in my Coronary Arteries.

For ten hours a machine kept me alive while the doctor worked. I was on that table for twelve hours.

I can’t remember the next three days as I was placed in a chemical coma. ICU is a haze of rousing up and being suctioned and then slipping back into blackness.

I was transferred to the cardiac floor to continue recovery on the fourth day. I was there for another week. That was a time of lung rehab, stretching to prevent strictures, and walking up and down the halls. They also included several trips into the stairwell as I was living in an upstairs apartment.

I went home and was back within a day as I had Pneumonia. That was another weeklong stay to treat that.

One and a half days home and back again as they thought I was having a coronary.

Three days later I was able to come home and stay.       

I spent the first 30 days of my quit working to stay away from smoking on my own. I then found this site and was welcomed with open arms.

I soon had to move to a downstairs apartment as weakness, very low blood pressure, and shortness of breath from COPD took their toll on my body.

I have since developed an Aortic Aneurysm, Hiatus Hernia, Barrett's Esophagus, and other vascular problems.

Many of the elders worked patiently with me and helped me through the rough spots.

I now spend my time here trying to encourage new travelers across the first part of their journey and then across NML.

Each person here has their own story of their quit journey. Stay on the trail and you can write your own quit journey.

It is my deepest wish that you new quitters have done so in time to bypass the terrible results of sickorette use.

Travel safely my friends and always be wary of traps that can ruin your quit.

I leave you with the following thought ….

One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.

Larry the Caravan Master


Heat Warning

Posted by OldBones-Larry Jul 18, 2019

This old Caravan Master suggests that everyone setup your tent and stay put for the day. 

A major heat wave is headed across the desert.Stay in your tent and drink lots of fluids.

Travel at night after the sun sets and, as soon as the heat rises each day, set up your tent and stay in for the day.

Be safe out there and travel wisely.

One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.

Larry the Caravan Master


Be Wary

Posted by OldBones-Larry Jul 14, 2019

After finishing the clearing at the oasis, we began the journey to the next one. 

I noticed a light off of the trail. 

We decided to check it out and discovered it to be a band of people.

I recognized Luck E Strike, Mar L Boro, Virginia Slim, Chesterfield Jones, Paul Mall, Kool Jamison, and several others.

They were talking low and seemed to disagree on some points.

I thought they were up to no good and the Sheik agreed.

After a quick consultation, we decided to capture them and try to find out what they were doing.

We surrounded them and quickly captured them.

The Sheik suggested we take them far into the desert to question them so we wouldn't be interrupted.

Several miles into the sands we stopped and began questioning them.

They refused to answer my questions, so the Sheik suggested that I walk away and let him and his men do the questioning.

After several hours the Sheik came back to inform me that Nic and his crew were planning a lot of trouble for the travelers.

We spoke at length about what we should do with this bunch. 

I left them to the tender mercies of the Bedoins and rode off finally.

I doubt if I will ever see these folks again.

Take this as a warning to keep your eyes open for traps and be very careful on the trail. There could be an ambush or trap anywhere out here on the trail.

I want to see everyone on the other side of the desert.

Remember .....

One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.

Larry the Caravan Master


Just A Game

Posted by OldBones-Larry Jul 12, 2019

How many brands of sickorettes can we name?

I know there are many brands around the world.

Cigarillos can be included and also cigars.

I will also accept pipe tobacco brands.

I'll start with my downfall.... Cheyenne Cigarillo.

Your turn ....


Good News

Posted by OldBones-Larry Jul 11, 2019

I talked to the Vascular Surgeon after the tests today.

He said that the arteries in my lower extremities have remained open and faired very well since the procedure 4 years ago.

The AAA however has grown. Not enough to need any action at this time, but it has enlarged a small bit.

Recheck in a year is the plan.

If it wasn't for the fact that I would probably fall over from Oxygen starvation, I would dance a fine Irish jigg.

I think I will just relax in my chair instead .

Next Doctor on the 23rd.

I want to thank everyone for keeping my in your thoughts today.

One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.



Busy Time

Posted by OldBones-Larry Jul 10, 2019

Just a short post today.

I will be in the medical building most of tomorrow. I will be undergoing multiple ultrasound tests and cat scans.

They want to check arteries to make sure they are open. They are also checking my AAA to determine if it has gotten larger.

There is the possibility that they will go ahead and fix anything they find.

I will let you know more when I do.


Today I want to post the other part of this thought. I left the Part 1 off on purpose when I wrote the other post.

Quitting smoking is much as I described in Part 1.

Smoking is much as a sandstorm in your body. There is a large buildup of tar and other substances in your lungs, muscles ( like your heart), and many other areas.

Your brain becomes polluted with Nicotine and is fooled into thinking it needs it to continue doing it's job.

Now you have decided to quit smoking.

It doesn't, and can't happen overnight. It took years to build all these toxins up. Now it will take time to clean things up and retrain your mind and body to live without Nicotine.

You begin and take it one minute at a time. After a time you are going a day without thinking of smoking, then a week.

I won't say that you will never think of smoking again, but when you do, it will just be a fleeting thought.

Are you willing to work to clean up your body (oasis)?

Without it being cleaned your life is shortened considerably.

I learned late, but I learned well that I would not be here long without cleaning my oasis up.

It takes time, but it can definately be done.

As you must first clean the sands away, so must you clean out your body.

You clean and repair the oasis one thing at a time, so you must clean your body one step at a time.

Be safe and best wishes on your journey and your cleaning.

One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.

Larry the Caravan Master

There was a large sandstorm here last night. I came out of the tent this morning to find the waterhole here at the oasis full of sand.

I sent word to the Sheik for assistance and have begun clearing the sand from the area around the water. 

I will begin clearing that when I am done with what I must do first.

Cairns are buried and must be located again and cleared of sand.

I hope to have at least a small pool of water soon for travelers.

I'm afraid work will be going on for several months though.

I heard of many new travelers beginning their trek across NML. To them I say follow the track of those that have been before you. Watch for traps set by Nic and his gang. They can be anywhere along the trail.

To the others already well along in their journey, Stay vigilant and continue traveling safely.

I must get back to clearing the oasis now.


One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.

Larry the Caravan Master


The Smithy

Posted by OldBones-Larry Jul 1, 2019

I would like to compare the trip across NML in the caravan with the making of a sharp tool by the blacksmith. Seems kind of strange to do so though this ran through my mind for hours last night.

The first 30 days are filled with preparing for the trip on the caravan.

The blacksmith would be gathering scrap metals during that time.

You begin the trip across NML with your supplies and slowly find your way along the trail.

The smith begins slow firing the metals to fuse them into an ingot that he can work, He might melt them to pour into a mold to achieve this also.

You adjust to the heat of the desert and travel along.

The smith begins working the metal and shaping it.

You rest at the oasis to recover until you feel you can continue.

The smith allows the metal to cool until tomorrow before he continues with his work.

Sometimes someone falls at Desolation point.

At times the metal breaks.

You return to the start to regroup and begin again.

The smith recasts the metal with some harder materials added for strength.

You finally reach the hottest part of your journey and have grown strong in your travel.

The smith has finished shaping the tool and plunges it into the tempering tank to harden it.

You can see the end of the desert and are honing your tools and skills to keep your quit going strong.

The smith sharpens the tool he is making to assure it will fulfill it's job.

You reach the end of your journey across NML and continue your journey.

The smith polishes the edge to finish his work.

As the blacksmith forges tools, we are forged in the desert of NML to enable us to stay away from sickorettes in the future. We must continue working on our skills to remain smokefree as the smith must sharpen the tools he creates so they can continue what they were designed for.

Travel safely my friends and fellow travelers.

One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.

Larry the Caravan Master



Posted by OldBones-Larry Jun 29, 2019

I learned from a party of Bedoins that someone had been attacked at an oasis along the trail. The Bedoins found them lying next to a tree and cared for them. After treating their wounds, they carried them back to the trailhead for treatment and rest.

This proves that Nic and his bunch are very upset by each person that escapes the bonds of nicotine addiction.

I sent a message to the Sheik asking him to hunt down these renegades and deal with them. 

I am going back to the trailhead to check on this person and make sure that they get proper care.

Please keep a sharp eye out for anything that looks out of place along the trail. It could be a trap left by Nic and his bunch.

Take the journey one step, one day at a time. You can make it across the desert and escape your addiction to those death sticks.

I will be watching for all of you along the trail my friends.

One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.

Larry the Caravan Master


Still Trekking Along

Posted by OldBones-Larry Jun 27, 2019

To begin, I want to welcome each and every new member to the site. You have made one of the first, and best, decisions of your life. Quitting smoking will save some problems later in your life possible.

Your health is so important and needs to be preserved at all costs.

I didn't listen to the warnings and now I am dealing with the results. We are all here to do our best to support you and help you quit those death sticks.

To those new to NML,just follow the trail left by those that have gone before. Trust your camel to keep you on the trail. They have made this trip many times. 

The packs are loaded with supplies and there are supply caches at every oasis along the trail. Take advantage of each of them to rest and resupply.

Keep a sharp eye out for traps set by Nic and his bunch. They could be anywhere along the train.

About halfway across the desert you will come to a very deep dropoff. This is Desolation Point. Many have fallen over the edge here and lost their quit. That is why this area surrounding the drop is called The Relapse Rocks.

This old traveler is still making the journey back and forth across the desert of NML. He has had to slow down and take more rest stops however.

When I stop, I stay in the tent where I am shaded from the heat and sun.

I wish you all safe travel along the trail. 

The journey is not easy, but, it can be done. Many have gone before you and are waiting on the other side of the desert to welcome you.

Take each day as it come and you will make the crossing safely.

One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.

Larry the Caravan Master.


Quick Note

Posted by OldBones-Larry Jun 10, 2019

I returned home a couple of hours ago.

I had another exacerbation late yesterday evening. 

4 hours in the ER and then overnight in the Acute Care for observation since the couldn't get the relief I needed in the ER.

Several IV infusions (1 a steroid and another of an antibiotic) and loads of bloodwork to make sure that I had not had a heart attack on top of everything else.

So, I have a script of antibiotic for the next 4 days and was advised to start a regimine of Zyrtec or something like it until the end of Fall. I was told I should do this at the beginning of Spring each year to possibly avoid this problem. 

No guarantee though.

I should have an separate AC in my room within a day or two to assure lower temps. That will help also. 

Other than that, I am doing fine and will try catch up on the time I lost being woke up for the poking and prodding. 

I won't hold my breath on that working though.

I am thinking of each and every one of you daily even though I cannot be online for any length of time anymore.

Continue to travel safely and keep watch for Nic and his followers. Watch for the traps them might have set along the trail.

I will continue to watch from the caves high on the mountain and send aid when it is needed.

The Sheik and his Bedoins are always riding the desert to try and keep all of you safe.

One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.



Update !!!!

I just got a message that the AC will be here tonight. Might have it up and going before time to go to bed.

I had someone ask me the other day how I kept going with the health and mental problems I have faced the last few months.

My reply was that others were, and are, facing worse and are still living life.

We must live to the best that is possible for us at the time.

I go back and read this story from someone that faced much and continued on.

These are her words ....

My Story 

I am sure she watches all of us and cheers us on in our journey.

May her words encourage someone that needs it today.




Posted by OldBones-Larry May 18, 2019

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an umbrella term used to describe progressive lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and refractory (non-reversible) asthma. This disease is characterized by increasing breathlessness. (COPD Foundation website


The stages and symptoms of COPD are:

Mild. Your airflow is somewhat limited, but you don’t notice it much. You cough and have mucus every once in a while.

Moderate. Your airflow is worse. You’re often short of breath after doing something active. This is the point where most people notice symptoms and get help.

Severe. Your airflow and shortness of breath are worse. You can't do normal exercise anymore. Your symptoms flare up frequently, also called an exacerbation.

Very severe: Your airflow is limited, your flares are more regular and intense, and your quality of life is poor.

(From: What Happens When You Have COPD? WebMD Medical Reference


Let me first state that this is not a post complaining about my present life or situation.

I brought this upon myself with the choices I made those many years ago.

That being said ......


I, like others here, live daily with COPD. 

I am now beginning to have more and more episodes that are diminishing my quality of life. 

I make more trips to the doctors office and the ER than I used to.

I have to use my nebulizer and inhaler more often than I used to.

These are the facts that all COPD sufferers live with.

We have good days and we have bad days.


To all of the new quitters out there, please stick with your quit.

Your life depends on you getting rid of those death sticks.

Your lungs will thank you so much for doing this.


I encourage you to read our past blogs. 

Learn from our experiences.

Most of our blogs give you the problems caused by smoking.

I won't list them here as they are all laid out in our blogs.


How do you quit?

Each quit is that persons journey. No two are alike. What worked for me might not work for you.

Find what does work for you and use it.

One second, one minute, one hour, one day.

It all adds up.

Like the journey of one thousand miles, it begins with that first step.

One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.