by Stewart B. Segal, MD
Last night I received one of those phone calls that are best described as “the icing on the cake.” I enjoy teaching and have gotten a great deal of satisfaction and pleasure from building this website and seeing the site’s ability to influence the health of my patients. Last night’s call came from a patient of 26 years. I cared for her parents when they were still alive; I care for her and her husband and for their children. Despite a long term relationship and multiple interventions, I had failed at getting her to quit smoking.
On November 22nd, my posting, entitled “Try” was all about “working” on problems. My patient called to say that she had quit “trying” to stop smoking and had gone to work at not smoking. She has not had a cigarette since last Thursday! She has not killed anyone. She is not even short tempered or nervous or agitated nor do any of the things people who quit smoking complain about. What she is, is a hard worker. She always has been. What she did is stop trying and went to work at not smoking. She will succeed. She has never failed at a job nor left a job undone.
My favorite blessing is “May you be so blessed as to never know what disease you prevented.” The act of not smoking will greatly lessen the odds of her developing lung, heart and gastric disease. May her work be rewarded with many decades of good health and happiness and may I have the pleasure of caring for her grandchildren with her.