The Road to Reality: Smoking Has Consequences

Jim Christopher Health Guide
  • Another glaucoma specialist, not my regular eye doctor, asked, as she discovered evidence of swelling in the back of my right eye, "Do you have diabetes?" "No, not that I'm aware of," I answered a bit startled. "Have you been tested lately?" she continued. "Well, no, not specifically, I guess. I mean, I've had the usual fastng bloodwork from time to time and nothing was abnormal, as far as I know," I replied.

    My regular eye specialist was out of town and this doctor was seeing me for the first time. She said that if I had the time, the nurse could dilate my eyes - takes about 20 minutes - this would enable her to get a better view of my right eye's swelling. I thought to myself, "Hell, yes, I've got the time!" I said, "Yes, please."

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    Later the doctor returned to the small darkened examination room and took another look. She announced that there was indeed moderate swelling in the back of my right eye. Of course, this could be due to any one of several causes, including diabetes. Eye surgery, she said (and I'd had two separate surgeries over the years to help with my glaucoma) could cause swelling, even years after a surgery. Also, my eye drops may be the culprit. She gave me a prescription and a tiny eye-drop-sample bottle of anti-inflamatory eye medication with instructions to use it three times a day in my right eye along with my regular eye-drop meds.

    I've been complying and plan to ask my HMO doctor if past fasting blood work has specifically tested for diabetes.

    I was addicted to alcohol for about 15 years, stopped drinking over 30 years ago; was addicted to cigarettes for 30 years and stopped smoking over 15 years ago.
    We all do the best we can and hope for the best, at least that's my motto a/k/a mantra on a daily basis. I've enjoyed my years of freedom from booze and nicotine. I'd like more of the same but life is, after all, finite, yet I'm hopeful. I hope you, dear smoker, realize that nicotine (and heavy drinking, for that matter) can impact on one's health and life and longevity. I hope you'll address your nicotine addiction and reach out for help NOW. There is - as we know - no time save the present. It's up to us to individually take action in order to save our selves, individually.

    So if you've smoked for three years or thirty years, please make a decision to ask for help - and there's abundant help available - and stop smoking now. Cold turkey or taper-off, assisted with meds or not, support groups or not, please, please do this for yourself and your sparkling new life.

    I'm a bit scared about what the eye doctor asked a few days ago but I may well be OK. Whichever way it goes, I've had some fantastic real-life years post-booze and -nicotine. And I hope for more. Be well.


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Published On: November 06, 2008