I can't believe I won the Listserve lottery...I've never won anything! (Other than a basketball hoop from Sprite, which was actually pretty exciting).
I've had a hard time figuring out what to write, as my mind has been utterly consumed with the study of medicine lately. With that being said, I've decided to just stick to what I know best right now.
I'm therefore going to use my one chance to speak to 21k+ people to urge you to heavily consider quitting smoking, if that's something you do. I've held the lungs of a [dead] smoker, and have operated on smokers, and the effects of tobacco on the body are not pretty. We all know the dangers and how tobacco destroys the living tissues in our body.
Understand this: quitting will not be easy. It won't happen right away. Talk with your health care provider to learn your options. Get support from friends and family who understand the battle that you'll be undertaking.
Reasons to quit:
-your risk of a heart attack halves after the first year
-your risk of cancer decreases by 50% after five years
-after 15 years, your risk of a heart attack/stroke is equal to a non-smoker's
-it's ~$200/month back in your pocket (enough to fund a decent vacation!)
-your teeth will be whiter
-food will taste better
-you and your possessions will smell nicer
-sex will be better
I encourage ALL my patients, including the 90 y/os, to quit smoking, as it's that beneficial. Check out cancerdotgov for more info.
PS-vacation in Maine. It's beautiful!