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Repinking my toes and snuffing smoking

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By RUDY D. LIPORADA
www.nordis.net

Yes, this is about how my toes became pink again and a reminder of how I stopped smoking. This is also to further wish that I could live much longer than I already have beyond both my parents who both have died at 63. My only brother also died at 64. I am now 68.

Warning: I am not a doctor nor a nutritionist. The closest shade of me in the medical field is my wife being a nurse. This article is my opinion and if you have similar symptoms, it is best for you to seek an expert opinion.

So, now on the repinking of my toes.

It had happened gradually that I did not notice that my feet up to my calves have become dark and did not bother about this. Besides, my primary doctor said that I am not diabetic, at least not yet. I also thought (stupid me) that I could be immune from the disease because my mother ran a canteen from way back when I was a kid and growing up where every meal I had was internally soaked with any of these soft drinks: Coca-Cola, Royal Tru-Orange, Pepsi-Cola, Lem-O-Lime, Seven-Up, or Sarsi. Even here in the US, I gulfed refill after refill of soda every time we ate in restaurants. No amount of my wife warning me, to her consternation, that I might become diabetic if I don’t stop drowning myself in soda. My retort was always “I should be diabetic by now because I had been drinking soda since I was a kid. My body must be used to it.”

Then two months ago, I woke up with an inch-long open wound on the top side of my right foot. I don’t remember having bumped on anything and the tongue of my shoe did not show any sharpness that could cause any abrasions. The wound was just there, gaping at me. When I showed it to my wife, she tried to be calm, but I could feel the horror she was having. I got scared.

Thoughts came rushing to my mind. I remember an uncle who had dark feet and calves which were similar to what I just really noticed with that wound. He was diagnosed with diabetes and had to undergo dialysis until he died. I knew of friends whose toes, feet and legs amputated because of the disease. The thought of being in crutches or wheelchairs was a dreadful feeling.

One thing that calmed me a bit was when I googled the disease, wound symptoms were usually at the bottom of the feet or around the toes. Nonetheless, my wound being on the top side is not a guarantee that I was not afflicted. So, we cleaned the wound and applied a gigantic band-aid.

I also, cold turkey, stopped drinking soda and avoided anything with sweet or sugary. I was hoping against hope that I did not and do not contract the dreadful disease.

It took a week for the wound to close completely and dry up. By then I also noticed that my toes  and heels started to be pinkish and gradually, dramatically creep higher to my ankles. I also noticed that my weight went down everyday until it reached what is ideal for my age height and body mass.

It was a euphoric feeling to think that I may have evaded the disease and I just got healthier.

It was not as euphoric, but I also am very thankful that I stopped smoking, cold turkey.

I was in my mid-30’s when I had the symptoms of a lung disorder where I hear cricking sound on my chest whenever I get up from sleep. I was then at middle management and was a freelance writer. In my mind, I was ready to die as was the case for most middle management at that time between 40 and 50. It was the case for many of my peers in the journalistic world because of our smoking habits.

It was normal for me when writing then, that I would light another stick when a cigarette was still lit halfway on the ashtray. I could not start my lead sentence without me first puffing halfway a stick. Then, cigarette smoking on my mouth, I would go on to pound on the typewriter and puff for every pause.

Somehow, I survived but with a hoarse cough and intermittent chest pains which I ignored. My parents did not. My father was a heavy smoker and died at 63. My mother succumbed to second-hand smoking and died a 63. I believe my brother death was also aggravated by his smoking and died at 64.

It was then getting bad and I decided to stop but I couldn’t or would not like to.

Until…

It was the birthday of one of my four boys. After the throng of other kids sang ‘Happy Birthday’ and he blew the candles, I vividly saw the smoke from the extinguished flame curl up the air. Right then and there I thought these kids might also be smoking one day. I know that it has deadly effects. But how could I tell them not to if I was still smoking.

Cold turkey it was.

That must have been some 30 years ago. They say that it takes years for the lungs to clear up from the accumulated tars embedded in them.

I can only imagine that, perhaps, my lungs were already repinked years ago like my toes are being repinked now. And I am 68. My average blood pressure is 120 over 70 (with my maintenance medicine of course).

I also now understand deeper why pink is the branded color for the anti-cancer movement.

But then, again, as I have cautioned. I am not an expert on medical issues but then, again, you might also want to avoid the grain of salt you might take on this matter. # nordis.net

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