How Almost Losing My Sight Helped Me To Quit Smoking

Today marks my 2 year anniversary of when I decided to quit smoking!

Many people have asked me how I quit smoking cigarette / cloves / black & milds. On January 26th 2018, I finally decided to go to the eye doctor due to my right eye becoming extremely blurry. So blurry, that at night I couldn’t see anything, or anyone until they got right in front of me and my left eye could view them. Thinking that maybe my contact lens prescription needed to be changed, my wife and I headed to America’s Best for me to get a new prescription. As the optometrist checked my eyes she noticed that my right eye visually hasn’t changed, but could see that fluid was building in the back of my eye. At that point, she gives me a number to go see an Ophthalmologist that very same day.

Getting to the ophthalmologists, I’m thinking they just gonna give me a few eye x-rays, do some test and at the most, probably tell me I need some special drops, dilate my eyes and I’ll be good as new. Nope! After doing a couple eye x-rays, the ophthalmologist comes back into the room with the results. Shows me a scan of my left eye, which is completely green (meaning good) within my retina.

Afterwards he proceeds to show me a scan of my right eye which is almost completely red. At this point, the ophthalmologist looks at me and say, “Ight Mr. White, I’m gonna be very blunt with you. Whatever you are doing needs to stop, TODAY!” I’m like, ok?… He proceeds to ask me about my blood pressure, which had been up more than usual and then asks me. “Do I smoke?” Telling him yes he looks at me and tells me. “You needed to quit that like yesterday” and begins to tell me that smoking cigarettes thins out your blood vessels, so as blood begins to pump harder through them, your vessels may not be able to sustain the amount of pressure coming through them.

We all have heard the story that smoking is bad, but for me, it didn’t hit home until it dealt with me personally. At this point he tells me, “Mr. White what basically happened is that your blood vessels in your right eye have thinned out to the point it isn’t able to take the amount of blood that is coming through. So like a pipe bursting, your vessels are spewing blood out into your eye.” To put it plan and simple, he stated to me I basically had a stroke in my eye. At that point, reality kicked in. My wife looks at me and the ophthalmologist begins to state that luckily it was my eye, because it could have been in my brain. Which could have lead to an actual stroke, or an aneurysm, or death.

Oh we are not finished!!!! As reality has already kicked in and I got the rude awakening that I need to quit smoking, PLUS get my blood pressure under control, the ophthalmologist hits me with, “the good thing is I can save your eye”. Well thank God!!! Even though it might be cool to look like Thor Ragnarok with a few more pounds for the rest of my life, I prefer to see with both of my eyes. But then he hits me again, “But the bad news, we are going to have to inject your eye with a fluid to help stop the bleeding and to help restore your vision.” WTF!!!!!! I have been faced with a lot of things, but the thought of having to be AWAKE all while staring at a needle going into my eye made me want to go ahead and get use to wearing an eye patch for the rest of my life.

At this point, he walks out and my wife is sitting in the corner trying to hold back her tears and I’m LITERALLY giving myself a mental ‘Remember The Titans’ type of pep talk to stop me from going back to the car. Sitting in this dim lit room for about 20 mins as the assistant continued to come in to numb my eye, I knew I needed this to be over with and I didn’t want to be in this situation again. The ophthalmologist walks into the room and takes a clamp that held my eye wide open, tells me to look up and be still and begins to take the needle and injects my eye. Going completely blind in my right eye (which lasted for only about 2 mins) he tells me “You will be good, but we may have to inject your eye again to make sure we can get it as clear as possible”.

Walking out of there and my wife driving my car. I tell her, I’m about to quit smoking and change some eating habits. But to finish off smoking, I had one clove cigarette left in my box that I figured I would finish off. I kid you not, I literally took 2 puffs of it. Felt disgusted and threw it out the window.

My eye sight cleared up, but to do it. I had to get 3 shots in my eye. I did have video of the third one, but me trying to clear space on my phone accidentally erased it.

Even though at this point, I’m becoming to understand to eat healthier and how to better take care of myself, to quit smoking was something I thought I would NEVER be able to do. One thing I know about myself. I’ve honestly never been afraid of death, but I will ALWAYS fight to LIVE. Even if the opponent is myself.


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