Friday, November 18, 2005

Just Breathe

Black coffee, an inhaler, cough syrup with codeine and occasionally steroids, can be on my table usually in the winter months. This time of year gives me anxiety. I usually find myself waking up with croup cough and an asthma attack in the middle of the night. Madelene then rushes me to the ER. On the way up to the hospital, it usually clears out due to the cold air. I’m not sure why this happens, but it’s typical of asthma patients and people who suffer from chronic bronchitis.
Forced air heating systems and smoke, usually cause me to have these attacks. Madelene and I both share a house with my parents. We live upstairs, in a separate apartment which is very spacious, and my parents reside downstairs… Both my mother and father smoke. My father is more like a chain smoker. Even though doors are closed and we are very separate from being near them, the smoke will flow through the air ducts and/or doors, making me cough my lungs out. On top of that, we have vents that shoot out hot air---which leaves my throat and lungs dry. Even though the house is quite large, I can detect anyone lighting up anywhere in my house.

When I was younger, my parents would smoke around me all the time. I remember every night while eating dinner with the family, my father would light up a cigarette—even before we were done. I never thought anything of it, because that was all I knew. Even when my mother was pregnant, she still smoked.

One night, I woke up coughing up a lung. I couldn’t even talk, and if I did, I sounded much like the exorcist. You could hear me breathing in and out—but through that croupy windpipe that was closing up each second. Madelene would turn the hot water on in the shower so I could get some steam. Moisture usually helps me. In this particular case, it wasn’t working. Mom would always hear the ruckus and come up to my pad and see what was going on. Mom would be making me black coffee, while Madelene would be rubbing my shoulders giving me my inhaler. This should definitely do it.


It got even worse--my throat was closing up…I couldn’t get air in or out almost. Madelene threw some sneakers on me, and rushed me off to the emergency room. It was cold, probably about twenty degrees outside. My breathing was calming down a tad, due to the cold air, but not much.

I sounded like a mule walking into the hospital as my coughs wailed throughout the corridors. We finally get into the emergency room, and Madelene flags down a nurse.

“Excuse me? Can you help us? She’s having an asthma attack!”
“Sure…just sit right at this desk, and someone will be with you to fill out your insurance information.”
“Maam!!! She’s having an attack now! Can we get to that after the doctor gives her something? This is an emergency!”
Madelene cries out to her.
“Well then—sit right here and we’ll be right with you.”

We sat down on a chair in the emergency room. To my surprise, there was only one person in the whole ER! An old lady who was sleeping. There weren’t ANY emergencies. People are walking around; doctors are strolling about, and nurses passing me by—hearing my croup cough, not saying one word. Not one person looked my way.

“Deb!!! Are you okay??? Deb!!! Help! Someone help us!” Madelene screams out.

I fell on the floor because my breathing was making me dizzy. My windpipes were closing and I had hardly any oxygen left. It was then, that the doctors thought it may be a good idea to take a look at me… Finally. Sorry to interrupt their coffee clutch.

They carried me on to a bed, and put an IV in me full of muscle relaxants. The doctor gave me a cup of cough syrup with codeine, and the other nurse filled the IV bag up with steroids. Between the codeine, steroids, muscle relaxants and the coffee I had prior, I didn’t know whether to relax, or bounce off the walls. The muscle relaxants took over, and my throat began to open up. The doctor also had me sucking on a nebulizer pump full of albuterol. Another stimulant--great...

I go through this almost every year. I don’t even have ‘the typical asthma’----it’s only smoke induced and it happens when the air is way too dry. My parents always say, “Oh you were brought up with smoke around you—this shouldn’t bother you…” HELLO? Maybe this is the reason why I’m having more and more ER trips? Naw…they don’t think so. It’s “all in my head”… I’m just crazy and I don’t know what I’m talking about.

Now---someone in my family may get upset over this next topic because I’m airing this out on my blog---but “I’m upset” over this.

Family members: Feel free to make a rebuttal if you wish, or debate me on my next topic.

My sister brings over her daughter---my little niece who I love & adore… My mother watches her, because my sister goes on business trips frequently. It’s nice having my niece over, and getting to see her in the middle of the week…but I have a major concern.

Both my mother and father smoke in front of her. She is only three years old. Her lungs are impressionable and shouldn’t be exposed to that kind of environment. They’ll sit in this one room where the TV is, smoking up a storm. I’ll walk in to say hello---and walk right back out coughing my lungs up.

How can my little niece sit there in that cloud full of smoke? The question is----how can my parents smoke that much around her----or at all for that matter?

“Oh you grew up on cigarettes…” My mother will always debate with me.

Now yesterday morning, I got really upset. My niece was up, I walked downstairs to say hello, get my coffee and head back upstairs… My niece was coughing so much. She had this croupy cough---the one that sounds way too familiar. My heart broke right there.

Then I hear my mother on the phone.

“I don’t know why she’s coughing so much…She doesn’t look sick…What can I do?”


I love my niece, and I don’t want her growing up to develop what I have. My other sister has two kids. A son and daughter who are adorable…same age range too. She doesn’t come over that much, because she knows that the smoke is bad. I don’t blame her. I find it extremely sad that my parents are letting their smoking habit interfere with their relationship with their grandchildren. Can’t you at least stop smoking during their visit- or just go outside if you need a cigarette? I don’t get it. It’s a blessing now that my sisters all have holiday dinners at their house. Smoke-free and you can actually breathe!

Please don’t get me wrong, I love my parents with all my heart, but I wish they would realize how much this can affect their grandkids…They should know by what I go through. Or is it ‘all in my head’?...
Here's a picture of my niece. She's already trying to grow up way too fast--wearing my high heels and drinking Bailey's on the rocks.

(It's chocolate milk in a huge sniftor glass)

As long as she doesn't play with candy cigarettes, I'm okay with it.


nosthegametoo said...

Quitting smoking sucks. I wouldn't recommend anyone start. I had a hard time with it.

Saur♥Kraut said...

It was then, that the doctors thought it may be a good idea to take a look at me… Finally. Sorry to interrupt their coffee clutch.

So very, very true. I almost died (bleeding to death) while a stupid woman was demanding that I give her my billing information. My then fiance finally told her to f*ck off and picked me up and carried me to a doctor there in the ER. It was touch and go, but he saved my life that night: twice. He insisted on taking me there in the first place, while I kept insisting I would 'get better'.

I'm a chronic asthmatic too. Hon, I can't say this in a nice way and still be truthful about it: people who smoke around asthmatics are being abusive. They need to be made aware of that, if they aren't already. If they won't (note: I didn't say can't) quit and won't go outside to smoke, then you must move out. Immediately. Take it from someone who's asthma is as bad as yours.

~Deb said...

nosthegame: I stopped smoking eight years ago- I know the is hard.

Saur: You're right... then again, my parents are older, stubborn, and really don't realize what they're doing. I have confronted them several times, and it's just useless. Right now it hasn't been bad "up where I live"---however, I still 'smell' it, but my main concern is my niece. I don't want her suffering like I did, and still do.

I can't believe that story you told. Wow---it's amazing that these ER rooms don't take anything as an 'emergency'---glad you're okay now...

Bert Ford said...

~deb - So much sympathy on this end. I also suffer from asthma, and my mother smokes. There is an apocryphal story that floats around my family of the day the doctor diagnosed me with asthma, and suggested that my mother quit smoking. She is said to have replied, “Eh, so he’ll cough.”
About a dozen years ago she & I were driving to New Orleans (about an hour & a half from here) in my new mustang. About ten mins. out of town she pulls out a cigarette & starts to light up. I told her, “Not in my car!” She says she’ll roll down the window. Smokers for some reason do not realize that rolling down the window does not do a damn thing! She lit up anyway. So I pulled over & told her I would wait while she smoked her cigarette outside. She did, but she didn’t speak another word to me the entire trip. Recently I loaned her my truck, with instructions that she not smoke in it. She did, but denied it. She doesn’t believe you can smell smoke after it’s gone. My truck Reeked for a week.
I think that if people want to smoke in public they should be able to. But, for the love of christmas, be considerate. Also, non-smokers should be considerate. If there are children present don’t smoke. If you’re not in a place where people smoke, ask first. As far as non-smokers if you’re someplace that people smoke (like a bar) don’t bitch. You chose to go to the bar. If it bothers you that much find a non smoking bar. We shouldn’t make smokers into pariahs, (this is still a free country) Lets just be civil to one another.

Sorry about the loooong comment. This is just a subject close to my heart.
Cute kid by the way.

What I hate most about asthma is not being able to smoke dope.

P.S. Have you tried Advair? Works wonders for me.

~Deb said...

Bert: Wow, that was really a touching story. You know, when my parents light up in front of me, I sort of feel like they don’t care about me. I feel like they don’t love me. Yet, if someone like my sister walks in the room, they won’t light up. Then again, I wonder if it’s because they don’t want my sister knowing how much and how frequent they light up in front of her daughter. It sometimes gets me depressed, because I know that they see things in a different view, and especially since I used to smoke when I was younger--- so they feel I’m being a hypocrite. The fact is, when I smoked, I always smoked outside when I lived with Madelene when we got our first place together….I did this out of respect, because I love Madelene, and I care about her lungs.

It hurts me so much, Bert---that my parents do this. They even make fun of me, “Oh she’s crazy….” They think that it’s no big deal. Just like “opening a window in a car”---no big deal, Bert can’t smell a thing… Wrong!

I one time brought my parents to this nice vacation in the Hamptons—right on the beach. I wanted to treat them nice, and give them a nice vacation as they needed one. Well on the ride there, in my suv, my father lights up. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”
“Oh we’ll open a window, he has to smoke…” It pissed me off so much…………. Then on vacation—the beach house was big enough ---so he smoked downstairs, …. Still--- I smelled it. No more trips with them. I hate that I can’t even hang out with my dad without coughing up a lung…he always lights up in front of me---as if he wants me to just go away.

My mother- she doesn’t smoke around me, …in fact, I have yelled at her several times for blowing smoke in my niece’s face. It’s so inconsiderate, and it bothers me. Why doesn’t this bother my sisters?

I’m probably going to be yelled at for even posting this, but I don’t care. They don’t respect their own grandchildren, and certainly not anyone else. But…I love them…

Kiwi Star said...

Hi, I thought I'd mosey on over here to check out your blog as well. I'm liking what I'm reading a lot--er, writing style-wise, I mean, not the smoking in front of a kid thing. And the pictures are snazzy.

~Deb said...

Thanks Kiwi...the picture of my niece was taken last week sometime, and the picture of that nasty ashtray, this morning...

Jillian said...

Deb: I hear ya on this one. My inhaler is my friend and I know that I really need to stop smoking. Go ahead yell at me! I can take it. I do not smoke around my kids or in my house or car. I pray for the will power to stop, because I know it will only help me.

Have a super weekend!

Saur♥Kraut said...

Deb honey (and Bert: I like your thoughts!),

As I said, if you smoke around your kids or grandkids, even if they don't have asthma, you are being abusive. Perhaps your parents need to see this blog as their wake-up call. Because, they're not taking you seriously so far...obviously. And yes, I think it does mean that they don't care about you as much as they should.

If they want to prove that wrong, let them change their horrid habits. Besides, smoking is hardly good for them either!

My stepdaughter (really my boyfriend's daughter) has a no good bum for a stepfather, who drinks himself into a stupor every night and passes out after several highballs of vodka with a splash of 7-Up. He smokes as much as he drinks, and she has allergies and asthma.

We have all tried to get her mom to see the problem. Finally, it took my stepdaughter (who's almost 11) to tell her mom that she wanted to move in with us to have her mom get a wake-up call.

"WHY do you HATE it so MUCH here?" her mom asked, exasperated.

"Because you don't CARE about me," said her daughter, patiently (this child is a saint).

"Whaddya MEAN I don't care?!" asked her classless mom.

"Everyone has asked you repeatedly to have him stop smoking around me. I have allergies and asthma, and he smokes in the house. It makes me miserable," she told her mom.

Her mom, to her credit, finally took it seriously and banned the smoking to the back porch.

Perhaps YOUR parents need that wake-up call for everyone's sake: yours, theirs, and the grandkids.

It's not that you don't love them, but they're still doing wrong.

~Deb said...

Jill: I know how hard it is to quit smoking--I hope that you have the willpower one day to stop---but like any addiction, it is hard...but I admire you for not smoking around your kids......

Saur: I may show my mother this blog, and then yet again, I'm afraid to show her... I may have to, because I get so upset when I feel that she doesn't care about the effects that it has on my little niece, or myself for that matter.

Thanks so much for your advice!

Saur♥Kraut said...

Deb, NP. ;o) This topic always gets me riled up...

art said...

When I was young and lived in NY my parents would put all four of us kids in the car, turn on the heat and chainsmoke. When we complained they would roll the window down part way which as you know will just blow hot ashes at you in the back seat. My mom died of bone cancer at 52. My dad of colon cancer at 79

~Deb said...

Thank Saur...

Art: I'm sorry that you lost your parents... {{hugs}}
I remember too, as a kid, my mother would smoke in the car---with the windows CLOSED!!!
It's frustrating...

SignGurl said...

Your niece is absolutely adorable!

My parents also smoked in the car with the windows closed. That's probably why my sister and I had pneumonia each and every year. Luckily, both my parents stopped smoking in the 80's.

~Deb said...

Thank you Jenn, I love that little girl!

Each year, well almost every year, I get pneumonia, and that's when I get rushed to the hospital. Thank God your parents decided to quit smoking--good for them!

Leesa said...

I had asthma when I was younger. I "grew out of it" when I left may parents' home. You see, they are both smokers. I actually still occasionally have to use an inhaler, but it is much better now.

Personally, I think the cigarette manufacturers should put less nicotine in the cigarettes. A minority of the population (about 20%) is somewhat sensitive to getting hooked. That is why some quit relatively easily and with some, it is like quitting heroin.

Lucis said...

I’ve been reading your blog since last summer. I wanted to comment at this time, to tell you how inspiring you are. You’re writing is incredible, and you’re creating a positive environment in this very forum. It’s evident you show love and respect for those in your life, and those in the cyber world. Not only are your topics brilliant, but your photographs are outstanding!

Thank you for your honesty and thank you for letting us feel a sense of acceptance within ourselves. You’re truly a blessing.

Tanisha said...

So deb my italian fantasy when I am redoing your blog?
if you go to my site you will see a post about what i have been up to and the links to the blogs i revamped. Good luck

green said...

My parents used to smoke, but they've been cigarete free for almost 30 years. I'd like to think because of us kids. My brother smokes. He's been a smoker for longer than he wasn't a smoker. I can't even be near him or anyone who is somking, because I can't breathe, or talk. Fortunately I don't have asthma.

Two semi-short quick stories:

#1: When my college roommate Paul and his wife bought their first house, it was one that an older couple lived in. They had probably lived there for over 40 years. They had one room which was the smoking room. The lighting was bad and the room looked fine - until you took the pictures off of the walls. The wallpaper behind the pictures was white and the rest of the walls were a sick yellow color. They had to Kilz and paint the room about 10 times before they got MOST of it.

#2: My ex and I were shopping for a minivan in the summer of 2000. We went to this one dealer we saw online and he had two minivans we liked. One was a 1996 with approx. 55,000 miles on it and the other one was a 1995 with approx. 63,000 miles on it. We liked the 1996 one better until the dealer opened the tailgate and out came the intense smell of cigarette smoke.
I told the dealer that he would only be able to sell that one to another smoker. Obviously we bought the 1995, which I still drive....

~Deb said...

Leesa: I agree with you that they should use less nicotine. Unfortunately, the tobacco company is huge. It would have an impact on the economy—sad to say. Also, did you know that a certain brand of cigarettes uses opium for a drug (small amounts) in order for the person to get hooked on that particular brand? There are so many chemicals in cigarettes that they put in it, to preserve and also to make it more addicting.

Lucis: Well thank you. I appreciate your kind words. I try to stay positive as I can, but sometimes I do get opposing views. I don’t want everyone to agree with me…what fun would that be?

Tanisha: Your Italian fantasy, huh? You’re my Jewish dream sweetie! Especially in those heels! Whoa! I read your blog- and commented. Love the new look. Anytime you want to help me out with mine, I’ll make you a big Italian dinner---deal?

Green: Let me tell you something….Smoke leaves stains that you would not believe. The ‘smoking room’ in the way end of my house, is unbearable. Not only that, the walls are wood, so when I help out my mother, and clean her area, I like to polish the wood…My towel that’s full of wood polish turns BRIGHT yellow. It’s horrible.

My girlfriend works at a car dealership, and she can tell right away when someone brings in their car for a trade, if they’re a smoker. In fact, she can’t even sit in the car. She’s almost allergic to it—she starts sneezing ten million times---but then again, she sneezes 24/7… I think it’s “me”.

Tanisha said...

I can make my own Italian deal woman. Remember I lived there for two years and that is not including the 6 weeks I was there this summer. You gotta come up with something better shugga.. (wink)

kathi said...

YUCK Down right nasty. Sorry, but the pic of the ashtray...just too many bad memories. Heavy duty smokers and alcoholics...nasty combo. No one ever emptied an ash tray (or anything else) in my house growing up. Ashtrays would flow over to the floor, the couch...had butts in my bathwater...just nasty, horrible memories. Thanks deb.

I always get so upset when I see parents smoking around their kids, especially in a car. And, just for the record, 'dad', opening that window doesn't the f*ck cut it!! It blows back, it stinks up the car, my clothes and my hair!!!

Selfish people. I don't understand why smokers feel their right to smoke is more important than my right to breath...and not STINK.

Oh yeah, cute kid. :)

Nikki Jo said...

Thanks for sharing this story, I agree with you. Why do people subject their children/grandchildren to the dangers of second hand smoking?!?! It's hard enough these days with everything else...have some common courtesy, take it outside!!

...and your neice is ADORABLE!!

coolbeans said...


Take the niece to see Chicken Little. It is cute and funny. Even my husband was happy to have spent the money to see it in the theater. That means it is GOOD.

KyuBall said...

It's amazing how ignorant some people can be about smoking and it's affects on other people. It's like some kind of miotic denial. You've got a tough fight on this one, but I think it's really up to your sister to confront your Mom and Dad about it and not you.

My brother and his wife have the same issue with her parents. They made her smoke outside when she's watching my was that or never see her grandson. Tough stance, but it worked.

Your sister is in a tough spot, because she relies on your parents to watch your neice, but if she's sincere in her approach to your parents I'm sure they'll cave in and make concessions.

Oh...and your neice is a cute little bug all "growed up" and all.

Good luck.

Jon said...

I am also asthmatic. My parents were both chain smokers. My oldest sister had been very sick all her life with asthma, allergies and pneumonia. I hated being around my parents house growing up. I could not tell how bad I smelled because of it, but I hated the smoke.

When I moved out and they came to visit they had to smoke outside. This offended my dad something fierce. I put up with the smoking at their house until I had my own kids. I told my parents that if they wanted to see my kids they would have to smoke outside even in their own house. They assumed I was NOT serious. I stopped bringing my kids by. My mom asked me once why I don't come by as much, so I told her that I can't stand them smoking around my kids. They started to cooperate (most of the time).

My dad passed away about 5 years ago at the age of 82. Mom just quit smoking a few months ago. Why, because she has emphysema and is on oxygen.

Hospital story...

I drove myself to the ER one night because of an asthma attack that was growing steadily worse over more than 24 hours. I went to the admissions desk. The lady asked me why I was there that night. I was struggling to breath and told her I was having an asthma attack. She stopped what she was doing, called a nurse over with a wheel chair and got me into a room right away. I was more than a bit surprised. I was loaded up with all the neb drugs and steroids. I was climbing the walls just like you described, but I could breath. Even on all the stimulants I was able to actually fall asleep in the exam room. I was resting so well they left me there for a while... snoring.

My advice to you... Get your sister to lay down the law. Either stop smoking around your neice or she won't be staying there. I know your sister needs to travel, so you may have to keep her upstairs , which although in the same house is not as directly polluted as in the same room. Not an easy call I know.

DZER said...

even when I was smoking, I would never smoke around my godkids, not indoors.

if you niece is having that kind of reaction to the smoke, then either your parents have to stop smoking entirely, or your sister has to stop sending her over there.

hell, if the smoke continues to hit YOU that bad every winter, they should stop ... or you and Madelene should strongly consider moving out. I'm sure that would mean more money on rent and all, but it's your health we're talking about here.

Geoffrey Hirschfeld said...

I feel you on this one Deb. As a recently reformed smoker(I haven't had a butt in about 3 years, TBTG!) and now as an asthmatic genitically prone to pneumonia, she needs to stay away from the cigarette smoke, period. My mom-same thing-She takes a load of meds to keep her lungs on the up and up.

What pisses me off the most is that I am now in training to do Mt Rainier this next summer, and I have my yearly bout with pneumonia. I have gone through a serious amount of albuterol, and I am miserable. I thought that smoking was supposed to free up some lungs-aparently not!(I say this in jest, by the way)

She's a pretty thing, like her auntie-but keep her lungs pretty too!

~Deb said...

Tanisha: That’s right. You’re more Italian that I am! I never been to Italy, however, I make a mean Italian dish—but now I have some competition I see.

Kathi: I took that picture when my mother wasn’t looking. I didn’t to make her think I was totally off my rocker. That was an actual photo of what their ashtray looks like in the bedroom. Blechhkkkk!

Nikki: I understand that it’s their home, and people come to ‘visit’ them, but I just don’t understand it myself…when I see my little ones come through the door screaming, “Poppy! Nanna!” ------and they have to walk through a cloud of smoke. It really gets to me.

Coolbeans: It’s funny, because I wanted to take her to see that movie, but I think she may be a little wrestles to sit in a theater, so I’m debating about that. My girlfriend wants to see it. She’s never even heard of Chicken Little! She’s like my ‘kid’! Always wanting to see cartoon movies in the theater.

Kyuball: My sister is a great person—I love her to death! The thing is, she knows that her daughter is being subject to the smoke. She had told me once that her daughter came home smelling like smoke. She had to wash all her ‘clean’ clothes when she got back home. Everything that comes back to her house, all smells like smoke. I am not sure where my sister stands with that. She is a firm believer that ‘everything is bad’----and that we grew up around it, so basically, ‘she’s okay’. It’s weird. So if she doesn’t say anything, how can I? It’s not my daughter, but she is my niece.

Jon: Wow. That was some story. I’m so sorry you went through the same exact thing that my ‘other sister’ is experiencing. She has stopped bringing her kids over that much. My father and my other sister---who does not like the smoke around her kids----got into a fight during the holidays last year. My father got really upset and said, “Well I might as well just STAY in the other room for the rest of the night!” The kids were there, and my father had his friends over---who smoke just like him. In fact, I don’t care if any of my family members get upset over this post, because it’s all true, and they don’t care about other people’s health in the family (or so it seems).

Yes, the upstairs is quite ‘air clean’ here. Thank God. Sometimes, though, through the vents, I can slightly smell it. My apartment upstairs is not ’child proof’, I have a lot of things here that are unstable, expensive musical equipment that she LOVES to fiddle with, delicate candle holders and other ‘breakable’ items that are just hard to find a hiding spot for. I would love to take her upstairs, but it would be a constant, “No! Not that! Oh, don’t touch that, it may break sweetie! Ahck! Not that!!!” Obviously, kids aren’t in my cards, but it’s always nice to visit them.

Dzer: I hear you-- the thing is they are so stubborn, but they have taken some conscious steps leaning towards not smoking as much. They don't smoke in a particular room that makes it go straight upstairs---so they just stick to the far end of the house- which is a ways away from where I stay. But yes, you are right.

Geoffrey: Wow, so you go through the same thing during the winter months too. It's awful. It literally drains the energy out of you when you have an attack like that-- or pneumonia. I hope that you'll be okay for Mt Rainer next summer. That sounds exhausting in itself!!! Thanks for sharing that. I'm glad you stopped smoking. And thank you for the nice compliment re: my niece. :)

Thank you all for sharing your stories. It meant a lot to me that I got feedback regarding this, and the stories you shared, --I now feel I’m not “crazy”….or it’s not “all in my head” as my parents tell me. I appreciate that very much!

green said...

It's amazing to me that people smoke even though everyone knows what the health risks are. I know it's hard to quit though. I've been trying to get my brother to quit for years.

KInd of makes me laugh when companies like Phillip Morris air commercials to brag about how much information there is on their web site on how important it is to quit smoking. All this when they know it will hurt their business if/when people quit smoking.


Another quick story:

When I was a teenager one of my first jobs was at a store called Paperama. More often than not, in the break room on the table was a pack of cigs and some matches. One day, having never smoked before, I lit one up, took one puff and nearly coughed up a lung. I quickly put it out and wondered how anyone could get addicted to such a nasty habit. That one puff was all I needed to never start.

BTW: I think you ought to make your parents read this post AND all of the comments and see what their reaction is.

~Deb said...

Green: Well, as being a former smoker myself, I can see the addiction, and the love for smoking. God, I used to love to smoke while I had a drink, after dinner, and even if I was bored. It’s also an oral fixation. (Shush Dzer)

The reason why big companies also advertise their product to be harmful, and ways to quit, is because it’s all politics. They want everyone to respect them. Smokers, will obviously love them, and nonsmokers will obviously have respect for them, trying not to take down their company. The tobacco industry is one of the biggest incomes we have in this country- as well as other countries. It goes way back, and it’s unfortunate that we’re subject to the smoke sometimes.

I’m glad that when you picked up that cigarette, you didn’t like it. That’s a blessing! I started smoking because I wanted to ‘fit in’. I was only 12 yrs old too. I quit when I was 23 yrs old. Thankfully, my girlfriend kicked my butt outside if I wanted to smoke. Night after night while being outside in below zero weather, I decided to quit---and I didn’t want Madelene to be with someone who smoked. She hated the smell.

I thought about having my parents read this—(well just my mother really) But she is in denial. She keeps saying, “We don’t smoke around them.” Mom! You do!!! It’s like she thinks my eyes are closed, I see it, I smell it, and I’ve witnessed this. She is going to just go into denial while reading this post…then get on the horn with all the hens of the family and say how I exploited her on the “intercom” –which is “internet” in her language. She also calls my laptop, ---my ‘blacktop’… She won’t be understanding. I know this. But thank you—you are right!

Mike said...

When I was smoking I never smoked indoors around little kids....I always went outside or refrained from smoking.

Sheen V said...

I've never smoked, and I do have asthma. I remember the days before a doctor prescribed an inhaler for me, Argh! Every summer I'd be stuck in the house to prevent exposure to all the bad stuff outside. When I did have an attack, I'd get sore from just trying to breathe.

~Deb said...

Mike: That's good that you didn't smoke around kids.

Sheen: The doctors used to tell me that being indoors too much was bad--due to the forced air heating systems. I always have a humidfier and a gadge to see how humid it is in the room. I totally hear ya on the body aches of just coughing and hacking up a lung. It really is painful afterwards. Hope you don't have to deal with that this winter. I'm off to get my flu shot this Tues. My asthma is also flu/cold induced.

Sasha said...

hi deb ~ thanks for the visit to my blog!

i am also asthmatic, and believe me, you are in a much better climate than here in my country, which is tropical and very, very hot, even during the christmas month. i understand how it feels like to have an inhaler with you 100% of the time, having to take steroids, salbutamol, and other medication just to keep breathing. it would've been tolerable if your family members and friends were supportive or at least were more sensitive about it, and thankfully mine are. i hope though, that yours would open their eyes soon... it's a shame if they do if it's already too late.

by the way, i love your blog, and i swear i will be SO back for more!

~Deb said...

Thanks Sasha. I would love to be in a climate where my lungs could breathe easier, but the truth is, I love the season change, especially winter. You'd think I'd love summer the best.

I don't have an inhaler or asthmatic medication on me at all times, because it really only strikes me in the cold months. I'm fortunate for that, because I know many who do carry that on them all the time. I do have one in my purse, "just in case"... You never know.

Thanks for the nice compliment on my blog, and I hope you do return!

Jon said...

BTW... I agree with Bert Ford on the Advair. I have been on it for a couple years and have had very little asthma problems since. Talk to your doctor about it.

Deadly Female said...

This is a bit of a flying visit so forgive me for not having read the other comments.

Smoking kills. Passive smoking kills. I know that you know that, Deb, don't think I'm preaching to the converted. A few years ago, a British celebrity by the name of Roy Castle died of lung cancer. Caused by passive smoking. I know, I really do know how hard it is for people to stop smoking. But you know, even if it is beyond someone to actually stop smoking then the very least they can do is not to smoke in a non-smokers presence. Especially when that it's a child who doesn't have the option to do anything about it.

Just as an aside, I heard something on the radio the other day about apple juice being beneficial to asthmatics. Supposedly it helps reduce the inflammation of the airways, keeps things flowing better. Not a miracle cure, not by any stretch. but even if it helps by 1%...?

Net's word said...

Hi Deb,

Sorry to hear about the asthma!! Also the indifferece at the hospital!! What a nightmare - thank God for Maddie - everyone needs an advocate in the'system'.

Smoking - I was addicted - I tried so often to quit and always went back. Then I read about giving oneself suggestions - sort of a self hypnoisis idea. I would plant the picture in my mind of myself in situations where I normally smoked - like after dinner and after sex -lol - on the phone etc. but I would see myself not smoking and feeling good - no withdrawals (I couldn't handle the withdrawals!) - I did this for weeks every time I thought of it - just before going to sleep - all the while still smoking. I didn't tell anyone - and I prayed, 'Please Lord take this desire from me' - I made a date on which I would quit - and that time (the 11th effort) - I was succesful - I also took a lot of showers - long walks and prayed - I took one day at a time. Finally after about 20 years of smoking I was free!!!! I have the greatest empathy for those making the effort and I hope some of my tips help someone.

Your neice has an advocate in you - it's hard to be in the middle saying things people don't want to hear. Bless you and your good intentions. I know you love your family but you righfully hate the habit. It is so harmful.

As always you generate a lot of interest and lively discussion on your site. Thanks and sorry about being so long winded this time -


Bill Jones, Jr said...

Wow, once again I can completely relate to you. My mom used to be a chain smoker, and fortunately, both my parents quit.

What folks don't want to hear is that the longer you are exposed to cigarettes THE WORSE IT GETS. That's why it's so hard for you. It'll get worse for your niece. Cigarettes will induce asthma in me as well. I didn't even have it as a kid.

My "doctor" told me the cold dry air induced my asthma. Now that I'm never around smokers, my asthma has mostly gone away again.

Bill Jones, Jr said...

Oh... that is just the cutest picture.

Tanisha said...

I still haven't heard from you on the blog. I have emailed you twice woman. ANSWER ME!!

Carla said...



I agree with you about your niece. That is so sad that people have no idea what the true consequences are for their behavior, especially when it comes to kids. I applaud you for speaking up in her behalf.

Great pic. She is a cutie!

Chloe' Gardner said...

Deb- I'm so sorry about your health! I wish your family had been more responsible and respectful towards you and your needs. I am a smoker, but I have the utmost respect for those who dislike and/or are allergic to smoke. Take care of yourself! :0)

becca said...

I hope you will get well soon and enjoy the holidays, despite being SAD!

RC said...

Deb, I hope you feel better soon, and it's great that you're looking out for your niece. She's so cute! Please tell her to take it easy on the Baileys chocolate milk, or she will turn into a big fat kid like me, with big feet!

None of us ever smoked before, but my Dad almost did one time when my baby sister was born. Right after she was born me and my brother carried my Dad outside so he could get some air, and when he was ok he said "This calls for a Cigar", so he asked me and my brother to go get it from his car. I couldn't find the cigars but my brother found one and gave it to me so I could give it to our Dad, so I did, and soon after he lit the cigar it exploded, and he chased me and my brother back into the hospital, and that was the first and last time my Dad smoked.

One of my friends just started to smoke because he said it's so cool, so I asked him how it tastes, and he said "tastes like crap, but everybody is doing it", but I wont because I don't want to smell like a toilet, because that stinks!

RC said...

Hey Deb!

I saw a picture of you, tried to comment on it, but then is disapeared like magic, which was so cool, like you blog!

I wonder where it went?

~Deb said...

Jon: My girlfriend’s sister takes Advair and swear by it. I may try it. Thank you!

Deadly Female: Passive smoking is dangerous to everyone. You can even get lung cancer from air pollution as well—and never smoked in your life. It’s all “poison”.
I never heard about the apple juice- and I drink that all the time. Thanks for the tips!

Net: Smoking after sex—ugh, I never did that, only because I was exasperated as it was! *ha (tmi) Anyway, as with any addiction of “mine”, I always pray ‘for that day’---and not look far into the future about quitting. Just take it one day at a time. I am so impressed that you quit for this long! Good for you!
You’re right, I had being in the middle and being the ‘cranky reformed smoker’, but I hate to see my niece playing with her toys in a thick fog. It kills me to see that.
Thank you, Net---and you are never long-winded—everything you say is very interesting to me. {{hugs))

Sable: I have heard about cold air being bad, but the thing is, when you first put yourself in the steam (or hot shower) and then come out into the cold air---then it opens up your lungs…this is what my doc told me. Everyone has different advice though—so I don’t know what to go by anymore! *sigh* And thank you for saying my niece is cute!

Tanisha: I emailed you back. Lost your e-mail, but you should have it now.

Carla: Yes, I am thankful I have Madelene. She has really helped me when I quit smoking. She’s helped me with every aspect of my life, including my eating habits and just living a healthier lifestyle. She’s truly a blessing.

Chloe: It’s hard when your parents are older, and set in their ways. I totally understand ‘why’ they feel the way they do, and then again, I don’t understand why they can’t just refrain when their grandchildren are around… they try once in a while, but I always catch them when they least expect it.

Becca: Thanks Becca----I hope you enjoy the holidays too!

Rockchild: Haha----no Bailey’s for her. Just chocolate milk. She wanted to be a ‘big girl’ and drink something in a fancy glass. We put it in a big plastic cup afterwards, because I didn’t want to see an accident happen. She’s still trying to walk in my high heels though…hmm…
Your cigar story is funny! It exploded? Was it one of those joke cigars? I actually do enjoy a Cuban cigar ONCE in a blue moon, but it has to be in the summer so I can puff on it outside. That’s rare though…

Oh and the picture I posted up before, was so I can change my profile pic---but it was too large, and I don’t know how to resize it to a smaller image. Can someone help me with this??? So bad with computer stuff. *sigh*

Chrissie said...

Deb... firstly.. send me the pic. LOL

I also have asthma (Advair! works) as do all three of my kids... Mine isnt as bad as it used to be... only bothers me now if i get sick and sometimes in the spring with allergies. I'm still able to smoke my meds ;)

When i was in the 8th grade my parents went on vacation and I had to stay with my grandparents, i went to a very small Christian school and was sent to the office for smoking. I was grilled for like an hour on where I had been smoking, what I had been smoking and where i had hidden the cigs... uhhh wasn’t me. Repeat I was staying with my GRANDPARENTS! Apparently I reeked of smoke. lol I didn’t notice cuz I was used to it. My parents both smoked when I was little and my mother did until I was about 17. I get that same cough as you... I was told when I was 20 that I had asthma... and the Dr actually said i prolly had always had it but it had gone undiagnosed... he said this looking at the sickness and the cough I had said I’d always had. I don’t have a sever case like i said it really only bothers me when I AM sick. My Mom was offended by that, said she didnt believe it! lol Like I was accusing her of not taking good care. *shrug* My Mom was an excellent Mom she just didn’t know. All three of my kids were born, got sick their first spring with that same cough and pneumonia and were dx as asthmatic! Amazing eh? lol

You could always try what my sister in law did to get my Mom to stop… When my nephew was about three… she taught him to say every time he saw Grandma light up…
“No spoking G’ma! I don’t want you to die!” *L* It worked! Of course… my Mom gave a shit… ;) You could also have a Dr. talk to your parents… because you obviously are crazy and don’t know much *piiiinch* Luv Ya

kathi said...

Meant to tell you I also like the shoes on your niece. What size do ya wear, we can be 'shoe pals'.

Chrissie said...

oh and btw... your niece is an absolute dolly! lol bring her over lets play!

~Deb said...

Chrissie: Wow...that's some story. I'm sorry you had to go through that as a child. You are absolutely right---they don't notice the smell themselves. I think it's an excellent idea to teach the kids to say, "Stop smoking grandma! I don't want you to die!" That's brilliant! I'm going to train my lil' one to say that. Thank you. ---And thank you for sharing that. Yes- she is adorable, but she can be a lil'devil sometimes. She was a devil for Halloween. :)

Kathi: Size 7. Baby needs a new pair of shoes---I'll be waiting for them under my Christmas tree! *hehe

Paula said...

Girlfriend, I can totally relate! I grew up with both parents smoking. I've been fortunate in that my mom aka grandma does tty to smoke in another room. I hate it though. It's easy to draw the line when it's a friend, but family makes it so difficult. I admire you for sticking up for your neice! You go girl!

Your Sister In Christ,

Paula said...

P.S. I'll be back to visit your site! I've got issues of my own. Don't we all!

Romeo Jensen said...

I can literally tell/smell the packages that come from smokers and non-smokers in my deliveries. Both my parents smoke and throughout my life people thought I did... because it was in my hair... my clothes... my skin... i hated it!!!
I am proud to say i have never even had a cig in my mouth... regular or those funny ones my dad sneaks out in the garage

cigs = gross
your niece = me checkin back in what... about 15 years LOL
must get her looks from her aunt


~Deb said...

Paula: Thank you so much for sharing that. Family does make it difficult to handle these certain situations with--but I love them regardless because I know 'they don't even realize' what they're doing kinda--you know? Very old fashioned, but they're my best them.
I saw your website, and I have to say how inspired I was by it! You're an amazing woman & we have a lot in common re: writing Christian music.

Romey: You can tell when a package smells like cigarettes? WoW! If you handled ANY of my parents'----ummmm----you would cough your lungs up boy! ha!
Anyway, my niece is three years old, you're what?---Errrrrr, 20????? I'll have her call you when she turns of age, so you don't have to do jail time...

BUT-----looking at her picture, with that snifter glass and the high heels, I think she'll be going "my route"... She is a mini-me... I swear! ;)

Thanks for your comment!
God bless! :)

Chrissie said...

Deb... lol ok.. that kids was taught a lot of things... they used to leae him there with us sometimes... overnight once in a while... and there was one weekend where he stayed with me... and i worked up a routine with him myself...
I would say.. who likes you Blake?
He would look sad...
he would shake his head...
i would say... nobody?... you dont you have any friends?
and he would look sadly at the audiance.. (grandamn, mom, whoever)
and shake his head again and say... "Noo priends"
He was a little player since birth... damn he was so cute.
Now he and his wife of a few months will be there on Thursday.
All grown up.

Danielle said...

gurli really need to quit smoking.....

i wake up coughing with all that flem!!

LisaBinDaCity said...

Lot of smoking in my house growing up as well. I don't go through the health issues you do but have very little tolerance for it.

What a cutie pie!

And dang look at all your comments girl ;-)

~Deb said...

Chrissie: Kids pull your chain all the time?? ;) Cute... Wow, so he's married now? Time goes by way too quickly.

Danielle: I don't smoke!!!
(A result of scanning blogs..hehe) Shhh, I won't tell. Becca did the same thing! lol

LisaB: You're lucky that you didn't have complications with your breathing while growing up and as an adult. I suffer so much usually in the winter- so it's really hard.

Yeah, she is a my little mini-me.