Smoking and Dementia

I have a wonderful neighbor, Rita, and she has been my buddy for about ten years. She is “slightly” older than I am, but she has always been a source of fun and love for me. She makes the most wonderful cookies, loves a funny joke, and loves me! All those things come together to make me a happy person.

Recently Rita began experiencing dementia brought on by a calcification in an artery in her neck. She also suffers from sundowning. As a result, Rita moved to an assisted living near our home. She is doing very well, and I am happy for her. She is in the same community as my mother, and that allows me visit her several times a week. We spend appropriate amounts of time harassing each other. It is fun to visit her.

An important and BIG change has happened for Rita since she moved. She stopped smoking! Rita was a big time smoker before her move. While she was hospitalized before moving to the assisted living she said, “As soon as I get to place where I can, I’m gonna smoke!” Her family didn’t comment on this statement. When she moved to assisted living, she was not given the option to smoke. (Although, technically, she had the right to do so.) Her family told her no one on the campus smoked (which is true), and she took that to mean she could NOT smoke. So she has not smoked in over five weeks. Incredible! She feels better. She walks straighter and more quickly. She no longer has that awful smoker’s cough. She will live longer.

Why did this happen? I am sure there are a host of reasons one could pose as an answer to the question, but I believe Rita smoked because she was bored. She had nothing to do during the day, so she smoked. Some of us eat when we are bored, and I think Rita smoked when she was bored. Now she lives in a community that offers activities and tons of people to interact with.

I am so happy for Rita. I am happy for me, too. Rita moving to assisted living means she will live longer, and that means I get to harass her for many more years. Hope that gives you Something To Ponder!

Sometimes, You’ve Just Got To Laugh!

Bob had this problem of always oversleeping which resulted in his being late to work. After a few weeks, his boss was mad and threatened to fire him if he didn’t do something about the problem.

Bob made an appointment with the doctor who gave him a pill. He was told to take it before going to bed. Bob followed the instructions, and he had a wonderful night’s sleep and actually beat the alarm clock the next morning.

“Boss,” he said, “the pill my doctor prescribed actually worked.”

“That’s all fine,” said the boss, “but where were you yesterday?”

Sometimes, You’ve Just Got To Laugh!