Doug Meets Annette

July 14, 2017


DOUG: This morning I see the LOW FUEL warning on my dashboard. As my truck chugs up Monroe Heights from Groton Avenue, the little bit of gas that is left sloshes to the back of the tank and I feel the motor start skipping for lack of fuel.


I get to my Mom's, go in, and put out her pills for the day. I just bought her gas for the lawnmower, so I go grab the gas can and pour a few pints in my gas tank to be sure I make it to the gas station. Mom is doing well at the age of 97 and is looking forward to playing a little golf next Tuesday. Last summer she played every week, but she is slowing down a bit.


I stop at the Sunoco gas station on Port Watson Street, saving $0.70/gallon with my Advantage Card. As I pump the gas, I look over and see two women employees in front of the store having a smoke break. You know what's going through my mind. I approach and say, "Hi, I have to tell you about my tongue!" They listen with rapt attention. I get to the part about the leeches and Annette cringes at the thought of a live worm tied to my tongue. Her face gets contorted.


I put my hand on her arm.  "So, Annette, have you thought about quitting?" "Oh I do, all the time!" she says.  "Well, you have to do it," I said, "you have to figure out a way to stop."  She should not have to do this on her own.  I am ready to support her and encourage her if she will give this a try.  That may be all it takes.


The other woman had a customer and had to head back in the store.  I will get another crack at her.  I know where she works.  She smiled at me, so I know she was not put off by me sharing my story.  There is a free 'no commitment' cessation support group that meets once a month at Convenient Care.  My goal is to find a smoker willing to drop in on one of those meetings with me and get some good ideas about how to find their way to a smoke-free life.  This is a serious challenge.  It requires thoughtful planning and preparation to do it successfully.


Most of these people we see standing outside smoking are just waiting and hoping for someone to come and offer to lead them to a smoke-free life.  They need to hear my story.  The need to Think Again For a Change.


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