on 14:49

Alistair Findlay (The Fox) from AWOP
 is on the mend after spending the best part of a week in the High Dependency Unit at The Blackpool Victoria Hospital. He is ready to go down to the ward but is still on the HDU due to a shortage of beds down on the ward.

A world of poker members having been leaving messages of support on the forum and Chris (The Cub) has been keeping everyone updated on Alistair’s progress in one of his last post he say’s

“I arrived at the hospital at about 12.30 to find him sat in his chair reading his new book. What a difference a day makes is all i can say. Today has been his best day so far, so much so that he has had his catheter removed, he has had all his IVs' removed except for the one in his neck and was getting his last load of drugs via IV. They were giving him Phosphates which as far as I’m aware are vitamins then the IV in his neck was being taken out.”

This is from Al (The Fox)....." I feel a lot better and thank you all for your well wishes. The Doctors and Nurses have done a tremendous job and have now got all 3 things under control, that being my temperature, blood count and my blood pressure. I doubt I will be out for Christmas but i won't be going anywhere until these people tell me it's safe to do so. I was very worried when all this started and I will never touch another cigarette in my life, I'm going to take up cooking and might even write a little book about everything that’s happened."

You can leave a comment/message of support for Foxy here --- click this link.

I know from my own experiences how hard it is to knock the fags on the head. I used to drive over 1000 miles each and every week when I was on the road as a salesman, so spent far too much time behind the wheel and no time in the gym, I would quite easily get through 60 fags a day and regularly topped up my supply with a monthly trip over to the Calais supermarkets which was also a good excuse to top up with some fine wines and cheese’s at the same time.

Early 1996 I started coughing up blood on a regular basis and not being one to bother the doctors went through the self-diagnosis route and determined that the fags had to go, so I started cutting down and buying all these medicines and miracle cures that I believed would change my life forever.

I stopped for about 4 weeks the first time by using patches and although the coughing up of blood seemed to go away I mistakenly believed in my head that I had cracked it so stopped using the patches, I was also getting an inflammation from the patches so couldn't wait to kick them into touch. I survived for about a further two weeks without the patches but found that being around my friends in pubs and clubs and with the intense smell of smoke around me it wasn’t long before I lapsed and had a “quick one” believing that “one” wouldn’t hurt today and I’ll go back to being a no-smoker tomorrow, anyways – tomorrow never comes and 4 months later the blood situation is worse than before when Claire my eldest daughter that was living with me kept telling me to go to the doctors or have some time off work and get it sorted.

Not wanting to take time off for fear of losing my job at the time I decided to go and have some acupuncture therapy as several people had described to me how this remedy had worked for them. A few hundred pounds later and after weaning myself off normal fags onto menthol fags and then onto fresh air, I had done it – I was again a NON-smoker, I continued with the therapy for another 4 weeks, the blood went away to be followed by loads of phlegm and I thought that I was cured--- NOT

After 12 weeks of not having a fag I’d starting dating and she was a smoker, it wasn’t long before I lapsed again and it was only a matter of weeks before I was back up to my 60 fags a day and you guessed it, not long before the blood came back again from the constant strain of coughing.

Around December 1996 my doctor told me that if I didn’t stop smoking I was unlikely to see Christmas 97 and that’s how serious it was in a nutshell so I tried by cutting down over the next two months or so but I could not find the motivation to stop completely.

In April 97, Claire who was 12 at the time took me to one side at home and gave me a dammed good talking to, How the house stunk of fags, how my clothes smelt, how I was constantly coughing and doing nothing about it as I was still smoking – so that obviously meant that she (Claire) meant nothing to me and that the fags meant more to me than having Claire around, how if I didn’t stop she would go and live back at her moms as she couldn't bear to see me ill and I was doing jack sh it about it. This was the turning point in my life – the kick up the rear that I needed.

I loaded up the glove compartment with sweets and mints and went cold turkey, 60 to ZERO– twice I even stopped the car and went to buy some fags, as I got to the fag counter I could hear Claire in my head saying “you really want them fags more than me?”, I ended up leaving the shop with a bigger supply of mints for the glove compartment.

It took about 8 months for the “urge” to resend but in that time I learnt to appreciate food and drink (moderately of course) and started to actually “taste” my food something I had never experienced before given that I had been a smoker since the age of 13 or so – I found it difficult to go into a pub / club for about the next twelve months or so given that smoking was still allowed in public places at the time.

April 2010 will be 13 years without a smoke, although a couple of sizes bigger in my waist I feel so much better for it, I am a completely reformed smoker, I cant stand being around smoke now, I am so glad that public places are “smoke free” as this makes it easier for people wanting to quit as they can still have a social life without the smell of fags around them.

I really do appreciate good food now and taste so many things that I never thought possible, I have my life, my health, I no longer cough up blood and most importantly I have the love and respect of Claire, someone that I would have lost if I continued to smoke.

Good Luck Foxy, I know your journey will not be easy but there will be so many people pulling for you.


Yvonne from Blackpool said...

I found this site via your post on A World Of Poker (The Fox) thread.

Your post truly moved me to tears and brought back so many memories of my own dilemma when I was discovered with the dreaded “C”.

Sometimes it is hard to admit to the truth never mind write down your personal feelings, I admire you and your daughter.

Colin from Newcastle said...

Nice post mate,
Reminds us how important the family are.

Best wishes for alistair.

Happy Christmas steve.

Phillipia said...

Wow...I cried reading this post. Aren't daughters awesome? So glad you saved your life...

Good luck and best wishes for your friend as well.

Happy Holidays to you and yours, Steve.

Mark - KISMET said...

I see on the awop forun that foxy will be home for christmas - Well done that man.

I also see in the news that Heskey will be fit and available for selection for your game with the Arsenal - is that good or bad news mate?

Merry Christamas buddy