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Hi: I am a 61 year old lady who smoked for 46 years and thought everything was good. I worked out at the gym 5 days a week, took care of our youngest grandson 5 days a week and worked 3 to 5 midnight shifts a week. I did not drink or do drugs because I knew they were bad for me and could cause my brain problems. The one thing I did not know was SMOKING could do the same thing.
January 14, 2008 while working out at the gym, I got the worst headache I had ever had. Headaches I had been having for 42 years. This one was like no other. The gal at the gym was a smart lady and she knew something was wrong. After kicking my feet out from under me to take me to the floor, she called 911 and I was on my way to the ER. I do not remember going, only telling her something was wrong. The next thing I remember was February 26, 2008. I was leaving the Hospital and going to a rehab hospital.
I had an aneurysm rupture and bleed through my brain. The Doctors were great and saved my life which I later found out was something in its self. Only 5% of us make it through. Smoking has a real hold on your brain and I found out just how much . Although I did not remember any of the 7 weeks in the hospital, I did remember I was a smoker.
The Doctor who took care of me and my brain, said I could not smoke again. In fact his words were, smoke and you can find yourself another Doctor. Brain Doctors as good as him are not easy to find and living meant more to me than smoking so I have not smoked since.
I tell people if I had known I could loose brain use by smoking, I would have quit a long time ago. Some say no, you would not have but I know different. I did not drink or do drugs because of the reaction they have on your brain so I know I would not have smoked.
It has been 2 1/2 years now and I am still recovering but alive. Let people know about brain aneurysms and smoking and it might help kick the habit. Not to mention the money you have not smoking. Heck, I am rich now. When I started smoking a pack cost 37cents , now they are close to 10$
Thanks for reading.
Firstly - thank you. Its difficult to describe just how much finding your site has/is helped/helping me.
I'm a 37yr old male from Liverpool, England who had his third heart attack last week. I've been addicted to nicotine since the age of 13. I had my first heart attack just under 10 years ago at 28 years old. My latest event has resulted in my 6th stent insertion. OK, I had a high cholesterol level up until my first attack 10 yrs ago (10.9 on the uk bad cholesterol scale) but it has been down to 3.5 since. (safe(ish) is said to be 5).
I did quit for over two years in 2000 but became ensnared again from smoking just one while drunk on holiday in 2002 and have been smoking 10 to 20 per day since. I knew what I was doing but couldn't understand why really. I knew that I'd probably have another event or probably die but couldn't either stop it or found it easy to convince myself that I would get away with it. Until now, after finding your site. Everything makes sense.
Basically you have given me hope by giving me knowledge. I feel that I can fight this now. It wasn't the stopping that I found difficult (Being in a cardio ward hooked up to a wharfrin drip and ECG physically helped with that!), it was the months and years later that seemed to be the issue. I felt deprived. I don't feel or think of it like that now. I believe that now I have a hope. I didn't understand the nature of the addiction and couldn't figure out why I couldn't get away with the odd one here and there.
I just had to write to you and your team. If I can ever help with the crusade I will. I promise to promote your site at every opportunity.
Just wanted you to know. Your making a difference to many people globally. God bless you.
----- Original Message -----
[color=]From: Chris Coahran [/color]
Sent: Friday, November 11, 2011 1:36 PM
Subject: You may want to use my story to help others, coming from a humbled perspective
My name is Chris Coahran. First, please feel free to use any part of my story for others’ benefit.
I was an athlete in school. I could run 440 yards in 48 seconds. I pole vaulted. I always did 4 events, every track meet, from 6th grade to 12th. I played football, basketball, baseball, and ran track for those years. I had scholarship contact. I was in the best shape. And I smoked during those years. I started in 2nd grade, and started seriously inhaling in 5th, age 11. I never stopped.
I had my first heart attack in 1997. I was life-lined to Methodist hospital in Indianapolis, dying twice en route. Angioplasty and two stents inserted then. After I got out of intensive care, I convinced a family member to leave a pack of cigarettes and a lighter with me. I then would go on my “recoup” walks. I would get out of the hospital bed, walk down the hallway, get on the elevator, and walk 100 yards to the front entrance to the hospital. I was wired up with a mobile EKG monitor, and wore a hospital gown. I stood in front of the hospital and smoked, 2 days after being life-lined. In the pouring rain and sleet. To smoke. This was in April, 1997. Again, 3 months later, I went camping for the 4th of July. I smoked, and drank beer. Back to the hospital for 3 days.
I continued smoking. For the next 14 years. I am now on the 3rd internal defibrillator inserted in my chest. I accrued close to $200,000 in debt from hospital bills. And still smoked. My Dad had smoked for 55 years. He had a quintuple bypass, and then he stopped. I didn’t. My Mom had pneumonia twice, nearly dying. I still smoked. My brother had medical problems from smoking. I still smoked. My other brother and sister still smoke. I worked for the next 10 years, finally having enough trouble health-wise that I had to file for disability in October of 2009. The normal waiting period for that is 2-4 years. SSA did NOT fight me whatsoever, and I received benefits in 6 months following, an almost unheard of short waiting period, especially these days. Not good, and at the same time, I was thankful to be able to pay rent/bills again.
I stopped smoking today, a week before my 49th birthday. I would like to see my 50th. I tried to wait and give myself a birthday present, or stop on National Stop Smoking day. My health told me otherwise. To wait another week is just making another weak excuse.
I am not looking for ANY recognition or fame. I do this in all humility. I want to spare others the pains, stresses, and struggles that I have miraculously lived through.
My name is Chris Coahran. I live in Lafayette, IN.
Thank you for your website. No-nonsense, straightforward, to the point, and honest. I look forward to hearing from you.
p.s. I used to collect track ribbons and trophies. Now I collect used up defibs.