Smokers who claim to be fit as a fiddle

A few months ago I was reading something that a smoker had written (not on here) about being in his mid fifties, smoking 20+ a day and being fit as a fiddle.

My dad was 40 when I was born and when I was 15 he was fit as a fiddle, I've just come back from visiting him and in the last few months he has gone down hill markedly. He's 83 now and although that's a ripe old age he's been paying the price for a lifetime of smoking since he was in his mid 60's. His 1st heart attack was before I was married (which was 1997) in the following years his heart problems got worse and worse and he eventually stopped smoking, he wasn't expected to last more than a couple of years so he moved to be closer to the family, in a managed flat, as he was worried that he would collapse at home and nobody would know for a few days.

That move bought him under the care of a different health authority who decided that he could have a heart bypass, valve replacement and a defibrillator fitted which gave him a new lease of life albeit, restricted in what he can do.

The surgery was about a decade ago, his decline is now faster than I've seen since before the OP. He has COPD, the defibrillator is kicking in more than it used and his kidneys are failing (apparently also smoking related) so this is over 15 years of hugely restricted quality of life. He's in good spirits, he's certainly not knocking on death's door just jet and may well go on for several more years. However he's slowly becoming housebound, despite lifts and a mobility scooter, with Sky sports as his primary companion.

I know that irrespective of the smoking his health might have been bad but all of the symptoms that he's been dealing with since his late 60's have links to smoking, his quality of life has been much worse than many people his age. We all hope that we are going to be the one who dodges the bullet and I can see that someone who's not feeling ill effects has an easy time denying that they are doing harm to themselves. My message is that smoking is like a destructive pension scheme the more you pay into it the more you'll get out of it, the likelihood is its not going to pay out until you retire but what it pays out is what you have to live with.

StuartH once said something like "You can be a fit smoker but you can never be a healthy one". Couldn't have put it better.

My dad wouldn't ever want anyone to pity him, he knows that he's reaping what he sowed. He is so pleased that I quit when I did and hates seeing young people smoke now that its well known how damaging it is.

So those who are teetering on the brink of a quit, remember that every cigarette, cigar or pipe is a down payment towards a future of suffering.

30 Replies

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  • That is a brilliant post Nic, thank you.

    It serves as a stark reminder of what we would be letting ourselves in for if we ever go back, assuming we are lucky enough to have stopped in time.

    My father had to have his right leg removed because of smoking and all I have to do is look at him to know I will never go back to the self destruction that is smoking.

    Again, thank you for posting. As Una says, this forum needs people like you.

    Molly x

  • A few months ago I was reading something that a smoker had written (not on here) about being in his mid fifties, smoking 20+ a day and being fit as a fiddle.

    My dad was 40 when I was born and when I was 15 he was fit as a fiddle, I've just come back from visiting him and in the last few months he has gone down hill markedly. He's 83 now and although that's a ripe old age he's been paying the price for a lifetime of smoking since he was in his mid 60's. His 1st heart attack was before I was married (which was 1997) in the following years his heart problems got worse and worse and he eventually stopped smoking, he wasn't expected to last more than a couple of years so he moved to be closer to the family, in a managed flat, as he was worried that he would collapse at home and nobody would know for a few days.

    That move bought him under the care of a different health authority who decided that he could have a heart bypass, valve replacement and a defibrillator fitted which gave him a new lease of life albeit, restricted in what he can do.

    The surgery was about a decade ago, his decline is now faster than I've seen since before the OP. He has COPD, the defibrillator is kicking in more than it used and his kidneys are failing (apparently also smoking related) so this is over 15 years of hugely restricted quality of life. He's in good spirits, he's certainly not knocking on death's door just jet and may well go on for several more years. However he's slowly becoming housebound, despite lifts and a mobility scooter, with Sky sports as his primary companion.

    I know that irrespective of the smoking his health might have been bad but all of the symptoms that he's been dealing with since his late 60's have links to smoking, his quality of life has been much worse than many people his age. We all hope that we are going to be the one who dodges the bullet and I can see that someone who's not feeling ill effects has an easy time denying that they are doing harm to themselves. My message is that smoking is like a destructive pension scheme the more you pay into it the more you'll get out of it, the likelihood is its not going to pay out until you retire but what it pays out is what you have to live with.

    StuartH once said something like "You can be a fit smoker but you can never be a healthy one". Couldn't have put it better.

    My dad wouldn't ever want anyone to pity him, he knows that he's reaping what he sowed. He is so pleased that I quit when I did and hates seeing young people smoke now that its well known how damaging it is.

    So those who are teetering on the brink of a quit, remember that every cigarette, cigar or pipe is a down payment towards a future of suffering.

    Thanks Nic. It's posts like this that hit home and keep us on the straight and narrow.

    I've only ever smoked a maximum of ten a day except for a Friday night, when you can probably up that to 15. I'm only 24, so I have found it tough at times to keep going with this quit. I haven't felt a benefit to my breathing, the smell in my house or car (never smoked in either), I never suffered aching limbs etc. It's important to remember that these things WILL effect me sooner or later, otherwise I'll just carry on (and possibly increase the number of cigarettes) until it's too late to reverse the effects.

    I am at a perfect age to change any damage I may have already caused, so I'm holding onto this for dear life! Lol.

    On the plus side, I can smell and taste better, my skin feels better, and I have some extra spending money for things that I want :)

  • Thanks Nic!

    Thanks for sharing that Nic, it really does make you think doesn't it. We all, as you said, hope we can dodge the bullets but I am not taking that chance anymore, I am staying quit, to give myself half a chance of a healthier old age.

    I hope you have your dad for many more years too!

  • Well said, Nic. And I hope your father doesn't go the same way as mine due to smoking for a while yet. I lost him 26 years ago today.

    As far as my contibution goes... God, I say some clever things don't I? ;)

  • Just the medicine I need - thanks for keeping me mentally focused on my end game... No more cigs ever!!!

    Thank you for sharing.

  • Thanks all, yeah Dad's not given up yet he still pops to the pub when he can summon the energy but can't manage the single step to the side so is now having to park his scooter out front, and be helped in. Alas he hasn't a lot of breath to do anything; I suspect that if he ever does admit defeat that will be that.

    Smoking has stripped him the retirement that he worked hard for and taken away much of his dignity.

    As far as my contibution goes... God, I say some clever things don't I? ;)

    Not a shabby dancer either IIRC :p

  • Well dad has been in hospital since last Wednesday after he fell at home. Last night he was transferred to the coronary care unit as his blood pressure keeps dropping, his heart rhythm keeps going out which is causing his defibrillator to keep kicking in. In the end the put him to sleep and shocked him externally which seemed to have more of an effect. Today I'm going in to see him and have been told that I can bring him some whisky in for him. Maybe I'm reading that wrong but that seems like a bad sign. :(

  • Here's hoping for the best Nic, thoughts are with you....

    H

  • Sending you all my best wishes Nic :) xx

  • Well dad has been in hospital since last Wednesday after he fell at home. Last night he was transferred to the coronary care unit as his blood pressure keeps dropping, his heart rhythm keeps going out which is causing his defibrillator to keep kicking in. In the end the put him to sleep and shocked him externally which seemed to have more of an effect. Today I'm going in to see him and have been told that I can bring him some whisky in for him. Maybe I'm reading that wrong but that seems like a bad sign. :(

    Sending you lots of love and best wishes Nic xxx

  • My thoughts are with you and your family x

  • Thanks all, I took him his whisky in earlier :)

    I think that the coming days will be critical, they described him as "very poorly", said his heart is very weak and that it is a definite possibility that he's not going to survive this, but in my book that is a lot different from prepare yourself for the worst!

    He certainly appeared stronger than I was expecting and has declined the option of signing a DNR so clearly he's not given in just yet.

    I'm resigned to the fact that its all in the lap of the gods now, we'll just have to see what happens. It doesn't help that he's contracted the norovirus while in there, but maybe the whisky will gave that the heave ho and the consultant has said he can have as much as he wants!

  • My thoughts are with you at this really difficult time!

  • Well dad has been in hospital since last Wednesday after he fell at home. Last night he was transferred to the coronary care unit as his blood pressure keeps dropping, his heart rhythm keeps going out which is causing his defibrillator to keep kicking in. In the end the put him to sleep and shocked him externally which seemed to have more of an effect. Today I'm going in to see him and have been told that I can bring him some whisky in for him. Maybe I'm reading that wrong but that seems like a bad sign. :(

    I hope all goes well for you and your dad Nic.xxx Keep us posted and remember he is in the best place to get the care he needs for a recovery.xx

  • Hiya, sorry to seem so 'late' just saw your original thread. Wow thank you so much for sharing that. I and others will probably keep that with them in their fight against smoking.

    You really hit the nail on the head and what you have explained about 'paying into a pension' with regards to health is exactly what i keep thinking about when i think about taking up smoking again. I do not want that to happen to me.

    It must've taken you a lot to write that and i send all my love and best wishes for you, your family and your dad, God Bless Him.

    🙏

  • Well he lost the fight this evening.

    The end was peaceful and not drawn out.

    Rest in peace Dad.

  • I'm sorry to hear your news Nic, thankfully he passed peacefully.

    My thoughts are with you x

  • I'm so sorry to hear this. My thoughts are with you.

  • Nic

    So, so, sorry to read this. It's very painful losing a parent, you and yours are in my thoughts and prayers tonight.

    Fi x

  • so pleased it was a peaceful end for your Dad, keep strong, love Trea xxx

  • Hello Nic .

    I am so very sorry to read this sad news about your dad.

    Your inspirational posts about your dad are going to help all of us stay strong and I hope in some small way this helps to comfort you, if only a little.

    It's very hard to lose a parent, one of our first carers and so significant in our lives - it doesn't not matter how old they are, or how much we expected it.

    Please accept my sincere condolences.

  • Oh I'm so sorry Nic, my condolences.

    May he rest in peace.

  • So sorry

    So sorry to hear that Nic, please accept my condolences, but glad it was peaceful at the end for him.x

  • Thoughts are with you Nic, take care.....

  • Thanks all for your kind words, they are much appreciated.

    Earlier my sister brought round what was left of the bottle of Black Grouse that I took in for him so I shall be raising a glass or four of that tonight :)

    Cheers

  • So sorry to hear the news, Nic. Take heart that it was peaceful, and I wish you and yours all the best.

  • I'm so sorry Nic, my thoughts, prayers and condolences are with you and yours love.

    Molly x

  • Oh Nic, so sorry about your dad... thinking of you... so hard to lose a parent. My condolences, Nic, truly, take very good care, okay... Xxo

  • i was so sorry to read about your dad Nic :(

    he is at peace now and not in anymore pain

    sending my condolences to you and your family

    Carol

    x

  • My thoughts and prayers with you and yours Nic. Very sad news.

    H x

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