Fair Warning: This is a rant from a frustrated family member

I talk to my mother in law every day to find out how Lillian's doing. But there isn't a lot of change from one day to the next at this point. It looks like Lillian will be in the hospital through the weekend at least. Her surgery was one week ago today.

In order to do her surgery (which was extensive), they had to break her jaw in two places. That alone is causing considerable pain. Add to that a very large incision that begins in the middle of her lower lip, travels down her neck, over her shoulder and up to her ear lobe. Marian says she has had a lot of swelling and redness. She ran a fever of almost 103, which indicated infection. The surgeon had to insert another drainage tube yesterday and wrap her whole head like a mummy. Today he removed the tube and again wrapped her head. None of this is comfortable, of course. And I think they have now taken her off of morphine and given her something else, which is probably not quite as potent. Marian said she has quite a bit of pain and this is really a tough recovery. It just breaks my heart.

If you're reading this and you're a smoker, PLEASE STOP!!! Why is it that people never think these things will happen to THEM?

I guess I just can't understand. I never had any interest in cigarettes, even as a teenager. I just never understood why smoking appealed to anyone. I wasn't interested in trying it. I didn't think it made any of my friends look cool. I remember in seventh grade when some friends tried to talk me into taking a puff. I was as susceptible to peer pressure as any other 13 year old, but not when it came to that. I just wasn't interested. So I'm sure I can't imagine what it's like to suffer from this addiction.

Marian said three significant people in Lillian's life were smoking last night, in spite of seeing her in this horrible condition. Please know that I don't say any of this as judgment. I realize I don't understand the power of this addiction. But I would think seeing someone suffering so horrifically would be a strong motivator. I can't stand to think of this happening again to someone I love or someone Lillian loves. I'm sure Lillian never expected this to happen to her. Please don't think it can't happen to you!

When you're young, you think you're invincible. You think 50 is SO far in the distant future. It's hard to imagine ever being there. When I was in sixth grade, I remember talking in class one day about the year 2000. I remember thinking I would be so OLD when the century changed. I would be FORTY! Do you know how old and far away that seemed to me at 12? But the turn of the century came and went in what seems like the blink of an eye and here I am 50 years old. One of the things I am most thankful for today is that I have been taking care of my health and exercising regularly for almost twenty years now. My initial motivation for working out was simply so I could eat what I wanted. But it was an investment in my overall health and so far I am not suffering from a lot of age related health issues that so many other people my age are bumping up against. I have no guarantees that I won't receive an unwanted diagnosis tomorrow. But I'm not going to increase my chances willingly.

Life happens. Sometimes you do everything right and you still get cancer or suffer from chronic health problems. But when you know that certain habits take years off of most people's lives or result in terrible illnesses and suffering, why indulge in those unhealthy choices?

I guess you can tell I feel frustrated. I HATE knowing my sister in law is suffering this kind of pain and has so many more painful adjustments ahead of her. Her life is never going to be the same. I can't imagine what she is going through right now. And knowing that someone reading this may be a smoker (as well as someone I love) just makes me want to scream sense into your head. Even though I know you probably won't listen to me.

I'm sorry for the rant. I'm just feeling so torn up about this. :*(

Oh, and if you're still reading, would you please say a little prayer for John? The doctor thinks he has a kidney stone. The pain comes on strong. He becomes nauseous, throws up, and then it subsides for a little while. This could drag out or it could pass quickly. It hit him in the car today and he almost couldn't get home fast enough. I could tell by his eyes that the pain had been severe. And he admitted it was pretty bad. He never complains or draws attention to himself (unlike wimpy me who needs sympathy for the slightest discomfort). So when HE says it's bad, I know it's bad. (And I've heard plenty of stories about kidney stones.)


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