The Devastation Of Smoking

Topic 25502 | Page 1

Page 1 of 3 Next Page Go To Page:
Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

My best friend in my neighborhood is at home, under hospice care, given only a few more days to live. I spent some time with him last night and it was among the saddest experiences of my life. He was actually up and about but on morphine, so it was difficult to know what he was thinking. He can't talk anymore, just a slight whisper and my hearing is not great, so I couldn't understand what he was trying to say. He's younger than me and his wife is 10 years younger than he is, two children, three grandkids. He worked for over 30 years for the village as utility and street superintendent. He had a CDL and loved his Peterbilt snow plow. But he was looking forward to retirement. After 30 years of running the sewer treatment plant, who wouldn't be.

His name is Joe, the oldest of 13 children. Gonna be quite the funeral with all the family members. The sad thing is that Joe was a life long smoker, well almost. Two years ago he was in an excavation inspecting a water and sewer connection and got so winded climbing out that he quit smoking cold turkey. But it was too late. This March they thought he had pneumonia, and they caught the cancer on his chest x-ray. Stage 4 and then they discovered it had already metastasized to his brain. As much as cancer treatment has advanced, even the specialists said it was terminal. So now all his dreams are dashed and he's leaving behind a devastated family and many good friends who loved him despite his flaws.

I wasn't even supposed to be home this week. I guess Schneider did me a favor by putting me on medical leave so I now have the time to say goodbye and maybe comfort his family a little bit.

Another driver who I became friends with at Schneider is 38 years old, wife, three kids. Great guy, but he is a heavy smoker, overweight and on a CPAP machine. Cigarettes have him hooked by the you know what. There is a near certainty that a heart attack or cancer will cut him down before he can enjoy retirement.

I know this post is kind of a ramble, but if it helps anybody think seriously about quitting smoking, even one person, it would be a great comfort to me if I had an impact.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Sorry about your friend Bruce, unfortunately by the time people start to notice the negative impacts smoking has caused it's too late. My grandmother passed away almost 2 weeks ago. She says she began smoking at age 9 and smoked until a year ago when her senior living apartment became smoke free. She died at age 78. The last 20 years it's been hard to watch her, emphysema, asthma and high blood pressure likely caused by the years of smoking. She didnt feel right and had my sister take her to the ER. They wanted to do additional testing but she refused and went home. Sister found her the next day laying on the floor of her apartment, apparently laying there for 15 hours. She was rushed to the hospital and they discovered she had several strokes, plus several while hooked to equipment monitoring her in hospital. She wanted to have the machines disconnected and let her go. Thankfully we were all able to say our goodbyes. I smoked like 5 years and quit when my wife got pregnant with our first. I dont want to go through what grandma did. Plus cigarettes are so dang expensive!

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

Smoking since I'm 9 - quit a few times for a few years at a time. Been back on the gun over 4 months now.

Oldest friend has bad COPD & Emphysema - still a 2+ pack a day chainsmoker. He's "talking about quitting", but it's probably too late for him at this point.

I miss it LIKE CRAZY. Worst addiction EVER. And I smoked American Spirits Organics for the last few years, so I wasn't getting all the extra chemicals - but still. Started feeling like crap all the time, decided to try quitting again.

WORST ADDICTION OUT THERE. I've kicked crack, heroin, never looked back. 18+ years sober, and I still want a cig REAL BAD.

Then you see old these old folks in walkers, shuffling along with unfiltered camels hanging out of their mouths, and wonder how they beat the odds.

Ya never know.

Condolences on the impending loss of you friend...

Rick

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks guys for the kind words. I've never smoked, but I know how hard it is to quit just by observation. My dad smoked all his life. Retired at 62. Dead at 64. The Doctor listed his cause of death as "tobacco abuse". Good for that Doctor; he tried and failed to get dad to quit, just like all of his kids did. Mom quit smoking at the age of 50 and lived until 85 from a stroke. Substance abuse is a tragic thing no matter the substance.

NeeklODN's Comment
member avatar

ITS NEVER TOO LATE

Within 20 minutes, your heart rate and blood pressure drop. 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal. 2-12 weeks, your circulation improves and your lung function increases. 1-9 months, coughing and shortness of breath decrease. 1 year, your risk of coronary heart disease is about half that of a smoker's. 5 years, your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker 5 to 15 years after quitting. 10 years, your risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker and your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decreases. 15 years, the risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker's.

Army 's Comment
member avatar

I had a father n law die of copd complications. It’s a slow painful death. Very sad.

Rob D.'s Comment
member avatar

Bruce,

Sorry to hear about your friend. My father-in-law died from lung cancer. He retired, got diagnosed, and died all in the span of six months.

In addition to the serious reasons for quitting smoking, for every cigarette you smoke God takes one day off your life and gives it to Keith Richards.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Bruce,

Sorry to hear about your friend. My father-in-law died from lung cancer. He retired, got diagnosed, and died all in the span of six months.

In addition to the serious reasons for quitting smoking, for every cigarette you smoke God takes one day off your life and gives it to Keith Richards.

Rob, that's some classic dark humor about Keith Richards! When he does finally die, no embalming will be necessary.

Andrew J.'s Comment
member avatar

My dad started smoking at 16 years old and smoked all of his adult life. He would quit only to start up again after a few months. Labor Day 2016 we were over at a family outing and he was acting weird. Slurring his speech and not sounding really coherent. He also looked rather skinny, I just chalked it up to him getting older. After all he was 63 but I thought that he was starting to really age. Well he went to the doctor and he was diagnosed with lung cancer that metastised to the brain. Doctors couldn’t give him a timeline but said it was terminal. He didn’t even last till thanksgiving. Even almost 3 years later I have a hard time with it and now his brother my uncle is in hospice with liver cancer cause he was an alcoholic and he is 63. If you don’t take care of yourself you won’t live a long life. I still look at 63 being very young and I’m 37. I occasionally drink but don’t smoke. My problem is unhealthy eating which it’s tough to eat well as an OTR driver but I’m trying. Hug your family members cause you don’t know how long you have with them.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Andrew, sorry for your losses. Heartbreaking.

Page 1 of 3 Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More