Yep, that's right! Just over three years ago I was admitted to hospital with a massive deep-vein thrombosis and multiple blood clots down the length of my left leg. After some testing, it turned out the clots had also travelled to my lungs. I spent ten full days in hospital while they observed my condition, administered further tests, and calibrated the thickness of my blood using warfarin, which I had to continue to take for a year after my release. I also had to wear a surgical stocking to keep the blood flow going in my lower leg. Even today, things are not what they used to be and my left foot often swells to a point where I have trouble putting on my shoe.
I have no idea if the blood clots were directly related to me having smoked for over twenty years, but it was certainly a massive wake-up call. I was convinced nothing would ever happen to me health-wise, and it didn't, until it did! I still feel that the smoking was somehow responsible (thinning of the arteries and so forth).
It was perhaps easier for me to give up than most people, because I had been suddenly confronted with a health scare, and wanted to limit my chances of killing myself voluntarily. After all, smoking is a form of slow suicide, I have no doubt. However, I really wish I had the strength and courage to stop before it came to that.
Luckily, I survived the scare and have been smoke free for three years as of yesterday 8th November. I'm quite proud of that achievement, but I would have really preferred to have been in a position to stop well before something potentially life-threatening happened.
Sorry for the lecture!