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July 27, 2005

Happy Birthday Mom!

By: The Dude on the Right
Yesterday was my mom's birthday and she turned the excellent age of 79.  It's weird though, these days, because her health isn't nearly the state it used to be just five or six years ago, and for me, it has to do with three things, and she may or may not agree, but part of her decline was a result of a stress test she did a couple/five years ago, too much stress from dealing with my father, and her years of smoking.  Yup, mom was a smoker, and for the most part, other than my dad, you can attribute her health issues to that.  But when you are a woman approaching 75, with diagnosed emphysema, and sure, and you're having some heart issues, do you really give this woman a full-blown stress test and put her on a treadmill?  And that being said, as she's on that treadmill, and she is saying she can't keep going, do you force this woman to keep going, even to the point where you are holding her up?  Go figure, the stress test didn't detect anything. A little later she had an angiogram, and low and behold there was some blockage in one of her coronary arteries.  They fixed that, but a lot of her lung issues started to happen after that stress test, and my theory is simply this, and I'm no Doctor and I don't even play one on TV, but her years of smoking and emphysema left a lot of crap stuck in her lungs.  Being in her early seventies, mom wasn't one to get her heart rate nor heavy breathing up, although helping my dad, she really kept her strength, but with this running and unable to catch her breath on the treadmill, all of that crap blew out of its settled places and headed to the rest of her lungs.  Diagnosed now with what the call COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), she is tethered to an oxygenator 24 hours a day, and as days goes, some days are better, some not so much.  She will be the first to admit that smoking was a bad thing, and for the couple of stories we all hear about of people who have smoked all of their lives and live it long and healthy, for the most part, you will probably end up in your later years like my mom.  Make that choice today and quit smoking, as hard as it may be, because in seeing my mom, she would give up all of those years of smoking if she didn't have to live with this today.  And if you are a friend of a smoker, try to get them to quit.  If they give you crap, feel free to make them contact me and I'll give them a few other things they might get to look forward to as they get older.

With her health issues aside, I will always love my mom.  She probably never fully understands some of the decisions I have made in my life, but she has always been supportive.  She was a great singer, played an organ like nobody's business, but spent her years as a mom and housewife, and all she ever seems to really want for me and my brother and sister is to be happy.  She has her favorite saying now when people ask her how she is doing, and that is simply "Still breathing."  That's all I can hope for everyone dealing with the same things my mom is going through, is to be "Still breathing."

That's it for this one!  I'm The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Posted by Rightdude at July 27, 2005 7:03 PM


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