That Next Cigarette Can Cost You a Leg

Lung Cancer. High Blood Pressure. Addiction. Asthma. Still Birth. This is what most people talk about when discussing the health effects of smoking.

It’s not often they tell you that you can lose a leg. But it’s a risk we need to talk about.

Smoking cigarettes can result in your arteries being blocked.

Poor circulation can result in less oxygen getting to your tissues.

Without proper oxygen, your tissues can slowly die, resulting in gangrene.

What happens next? You can lose a toe, a leg or another part of your body.


Having low circulation is extremely painful physically and emotionally.

Recall that painful sensation when your leg fell asleep and it’s just starting to regain feeling– that horrible pain many associate with a million needles prickling your skin. Multiple that by ten. Now imagine that pain never going away. Each step feeling like you are stepping on shattered glass with a bare foot. Or a thousand small knives stabbing you.


Once you start to develop gangrene it’s even more painful. The pain never stops. No position makes you feel better. No over-the-counter pain killer will make sleeping easier. Some doctors say that once your vascular disease reaches a certain point, even the strongest prescription medication won’t lessen the miserable pain.

With gangrene, parts of your body decompose. It smells like it too. Showers don’t help. Changing the dressing covering your dying flesh is painful, but only helps with the smell for a few minutes, hours if you’re lucky. Smoking constricts blood vessels to the point of strangulation. Your body can’t breath, and if left untreated, a day will quickly arrive when you won’t breath either.


What’s next is an amputation. That’s if you’re lucky enough to have your cardiologist approve the anesthesia required for the surgery. If you have clogged arteries due to smoking, chances are you have heart issues as well. Chances are you won’t get approval for the surgery and you will need to resort to “making the patient as comfortable as possible” as you wait for your dead flesh to fall off on its own.

Please don’t smoke.

Do Long Distance Relationships Make Sense?

Now that I am finally married to my partner of nearly four years, I can honestly answer the question…


Relationships are always hard. They require compromise, understanding, patience, dedication and real, honest love. When you add separation due to physical distance to the mix, it only gets harder.


Just a few decades ago, long distance couples had to send letters or postcards to each other as their primary means of communication. Imagine waiting a month, or more, to hear from the person you love. I can’t imagine the patience that would require. I hated dealing with the seven hour time distance when it came to calling my significant other on the phone or Skype.

If I had do it again though– I would.

The Huffington Post published a post a couple years ago about the benefits of being in a long distance relationship. In it, the author Grace Buchele says that being in a long distance relationship actually strengthened her relationship. People laughed at her, and people laughed at me too when I said that.

Being separated by distance makes you rely on non-physical means of communication. You know when your boyfriend doesn’t text you back for an hour because he’s at the gym or running an errand? Well imagine how you’d feel if he was in another country. Imagine not being able to see him for months.

Every word you exchange by text or in conversation matters so much more in a long distance relationship. If you write something rude out of frustration or a bad day, it’s a lot harder to apologize or make it up to your significant other when he/she lives far away from you.


In a long distance relationship, you learn how to better communicate. There is no place for immature games in this type of relationship. You have to say what you want, need, think and feel in the most straightforward and thoughtful way possible. Your partner can’t read your body language over the phone or emails. If you are ever uncomfortable about something– you need to speak up! Throw your pride out the window and be honest.

The one great thing about a long distance relationship is that you both learn how to communicate with each other. Some couples are together for decades and have issues communicating. That needs to get resolved once you get separated by distance…or your relationship won’t last.

Watch the video below for some tips on effective communication.

Another great thing is that you actually get to know each other. So many relationships these days are purely physical. Or even worse– when in person, one person is constantly on his/her phone and not paying attention. Conversations on the phone or Skype tend to lead to getting to know more about your partner’s past, family, goals and hobbies.

So many people I know are frustrated with the dating scene in the States. I hear complaints about dating being too casual, people not knowing how to communicate or people simply not taking dating seriously.

Long distance relationships make sense when both partners take each other seriously, are willing to communicate and stay faithful to each other. Finding true love is hard. Dating in person or over a long distance is also hard. So when you find someone you love, fight for it.

The results are beautiful.