Healthy Anniversary

June 28th, 2018 § 0 comments

A few days back (June 25) marked the 26-year anniversary of HG being free of the pernicious nicotine addiction. Yes, it is an addiction, not a habit. And, an addiction that is very, very hard to end. Beloved SJ has tried, with varying degrees of success, to end his addiction. Very tough. Especially in Tokyo where SJ and family now live. From all reports, the city is filled with cigarette smokers. During HG’s half century smoking days (from age 13 to age 63), the ever puffing fellow smoked at least two packs of Marlboros daily interspersed with Punch maduro leaf cigars (which HG inhaled). There are few family photos of HG without cigarette in hand. First cigarette was upon awakening in the morning and last was before turning out the bedside lamp and going to sleep. Breakfast consisted of many cigarettes, black coffee and the New York Times. (Woe, woe, unfortunate BSK, the victim of omnipresent clouds of second hand smoke). Did the desperate addiction affect HG’s health. You betcha. Throat cancer in 1992. Saved by a miraculous 12 hour surgery by a team headed by a genius surgeon. Difficult one year recovery period. At present, HG has COPD. Finds walking at high altitudes (like Santa Fe) difficult. Also, has to sleep with a noisy oxygen tank at high altitudes. (HG and BSK possess many pairs of ear plugs). HG can’t credit will power and mental toughness with ending the nicotine addiction. It was the death drama of cancer that did it. HG has been asked (now that HG is moving on to age 89) if he would like to resume smoking at age 90. No. HG hates the smell of tobacco smoke. Finds the sight of smokers depressing. It all signifies death, not pleasure, to HG.

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