Sometimes You Get to Think That You Have Accomplished Something!

Smoking is Bad, M’kay?

Several times a week I get the opportunity to “cheerlead” one soul or another along the path that ends with not smoking. Some folks are receptive, and they get the full orchestration. Others, not so much, and they get the admonition, “So, smoking is not health promoting behavior, is it? There, I’m done yelling at you about smoking!”

Those who appear receptive get told, among other things, that The Plaintiff smokes, She is a nurse, so it cannot be that she does not know the effects of smoking. And, if you ignore the fact that she married ME, and divorced me, well, ignoring those two errors of judgment, she is pretty smart. Finally, she has never been any sort of shrinking violet. As a mother, I enthusiastically applaud that sort of strength of character.

As The Plaintiff, well, not so much.

I move on to observe that this set of facts (see previous paragraph) tells me that stopping smoking is a monumental task, complex and demanding much of those who would make that journey.

Then, I observe that I worked, full time, in my Nursing school years. Spent two years on around 2 hours sleep a day, in my AD program.

Pretty worthwhile. Mighty difficult.

I conclude by observing that worthwhile things are seldom easy (cf. Raising children), and that easy things are seldom worthwhile (see: video games).

Occasionally, I will see some soul who was on the receiving end of that spiel, several months later, and some of those folks will tell me”I have really cut down, and am trying to finally quit, because of what you told me!”

Sometimes, you get to think that you have, indeed, made a difference!


3 thoughts on “Smoking is Bad, M’kay?

  1. Yes, smoking is bad. I would like to quit again. I was able to remain smoke-free in my last 6 months in Australia, thanks to my Lord Jesus Christ, and my boss who let me eat my fill of gratis fruit and veg’ on the job at the produce wholesaler. As a freshly minted Christian at the time it was a crash course in resisting temptation.

    When I came to Teutonia I immediately began a course in Geriatric Nursing. My duty station was the closed dementia ward. Think of toddlers regressing in mental acuity with all the ailments of age and a caboose full of the repressed terrors people of the WW2 generation are wont to suffer from, especially those in Central Europe who got to enjoy the after-party as well. Cram them in a soulless prison and feed them pills and potions while they drive each other further out of their minds. It is at least highly lucrative, even more so when you squeeze hard on logistics and personnel.

    Within the first week on the ward, one fine afternoon a co-worker noticed how well I was coping looking after those poor fragile folks in the fee farm. “Stef, you look a little pale, come outside and have a smoke”. I had never imagined what the seamier side of old age looked like. So, hooked back on the nicotine, a teat of distraction and diversion.

    Several weeks later the Kommandant wrote us a saccharine group c.c. email wishing us a happy new year. My reply to her majesty’s missive was a double-shotted broadside detailing what I thought of her hypocritical police state pharma battery-cage farm and how it was administered in direct conflict with the professed ethos of the institution and its parent “church”, the standards of the profession, and the laws of God and man. Examples and suggested remedies were plentiful; it was polite but candid, and an atomic litmus test.

    A posse of flying monkeys was swiftly dispatched and I was treated to a half hour session of hate in a dingy cellar storeroom by the apparatchiks, including the union rep’ that was theoretically on my side. Around the time I was seriously contemplating propping a chair under the doorknob and bringing the conversation to a brutally frank exchange of views, and a kinetic downsizing of superfluous staff positions, the psychoterror squad prudently turned me loose to a private haranguing from my ward boss. A five foot long atheistic viper from the former East Germany, and thus likely ex-Stasi informant and psikuschka goon. Reunification has had its disadvantages, one of them being the sudden flood of irredeemably indoctrinated statists yearning for a return to the good old days where everyone knew their place, especially the ones in re-education behind barbed wire or in an unmarked grave.

    A loophole was found in the documentation and my position was regrettably terminated surplus to requirement soon after; perhaps expedited by questions I was asking about the circumstances of the sudden decease of a certain wealthy ALS patient, about the recent marked increase in visits by her grasping relatives, and about a mysterious new private doctor’s lightning visit and the concurrent discovery of discarded packaging of an astonishing quantity of i.v. opiates supplemental to the ward accounting system and not part of the regular prescription of the decedent.

    There are coincidences; there are worse things than smoking; and just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean there are no evil unscrupulous people brazenly offending because they are now so numerous and powerful that they think they are unaccountable.

    I hope that soon I may once again slay the nicotine dragon, but meanwhile I am also thankful for God’s creation of tobacco and the small relief it brings as I struggle through these evil days without beating the living snot out of people who would benefit from the experience, whether punitive or corrective. Now if we could just make terbaccy without factory enhanced chemicals to boost sales…..but that’s a whole other lobby, or is it? Go in peace, dear Medic McFee, and may we have an update on the shenanigans of your cat horde?


  2. Congratulations on your successful impulse control. (It *was* successful, wasn’t it?)

    The Plaintiff, formerly TDW-Mark I, worked on a nursing home pre divorce.

    That, and my experience as a medic getting occasional calls to nursing homes, convinced me that I would rather landscape, than work in a nursing home.

    And, I loathe landscaping.

    Thank you for reading.


  3. Yes, my impulses are well under control, though sometimes my thoughts escape through my eyes and cause varlets to flee. In the right setting* I might make judicious use of my parade ground voice, perhaps even some salty sea phrases that Stevenson wisely left out of Treasure Island, but cool and calm is the best way to go. Just telling the plain truth seems to get me in more trouble than anything else though.

    About the smoking: which are the most successful quitting methods you’ve heard from your patients? My success back then was quitting cold turkey (sudden stop, not the bird), earnest prayer, and something healthy to munch when the cravings got too intense. Avoiding stress would have been a good idea too, I suppose. Any suggestions?

    *(e.g. lumberyard, metal workshop, garage, warehouse, rifle range, boxing gym, beer sanctuary; really any place of exclusively male displays of cultural refinement like grunting in tongues, higher sweating, odours, competitive hairiness, body scratching, anatomical appreciation charts of the rib creatures, territorial scent marking, political and technical discourse etc.)


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