National Porphyria Awareness Week Day 2

20 04 2010

I’m very, very tired. Thanks to Babo. So this may be a bit cheeky and incoherent and come across as a not-very-thought-out juvenile rant, but it’s what I’ve got the energy for.

Quit your smokin.

At least around me.

Here’s the thing:

I used to smoke. My husband used to smoke. But I have to say: when I smoked, I like to believe I was a relatively considerate smoker. I didn’t smoke while standing in amusement park lines. I didn’t go to outdoor concerts and light up in the middle of the crowd. I didn’t sit on sidewalks outside of my place of employment and blow smoke on all who entered. And I certainly never even CONSIDERED lighting up when there were children around. Now, I’m positive that more than once, it’s awful likely that my smoke touched someone’s nose who didn’t want it touched. But I at least made huge efforts to avoid that.

And now, as the fates would have it, smoke can make me very,very sick. True, it can make you very, very sick, and everyone in the world. But it can make me FOR REAL, immediately, sick. Me and every other porphie, and asthmatic, and people with allergies, and cancer patients, and folks with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (which comes along with LOTS of conditions,)… And my message to all you smokers is that you never know who is or was or will be standing next to you, or who is or was or will be forced to pass through your stupid offensive smelly cloud.

You know it’s stupid. You know it’s offensive. And you know it’s smelly. I’m sorry you’re addicted, and I understand that you have the “right”, but puh-leeze. Use the part of your brain that is not yet rotted with tar and think about how you’re affecting all the people around you. (Of course, maybe you flat out don’t care, in which case, I, in turn, wish you many nights of insomniatic hacking.)

The other day, my friend Heather, the other porphie, met me at a playground so that the two year old little girl she babysits could play with my  Adelaide. The playground we chose is a Norfolk City Park playground, which happens to be located directly across the street from the campus of the hospital where she and I get our weekly infusions.

We arrived around 11:45 or 12, and it seemed like a busy little park. But then I realized that our two girls were the only children actually playing on the playground, which was odd, considering the amount of activity around the playground.

Then it dawned on me.

All of the benches were full of hospital employees. In scrubs. Wearing hospital badges. Smoking cigarettes.

Not fewer than ten of the shits.

The hospital campus, which is comprised of Sentara Norfolk General, Eastern Virginia Medical School, and Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters, banned smoking several months ago.  Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the property, including the farthest reaches of the most remote parking lots.

So instead, the employees are going across the street to the FREAKING PLAYGROUND so they can blow their nasty shit in our CHILDRENS’ faces.

They even set up a little coffee can ashtray for themselves. Which, later during the day, an 18 month old discovered and picked through before her pregnant mom could hobble over and stop her.

I’m so absolutely appalled by the absolute GAUL of these people. They’re medical professionals, and while I don’t expect them to be perfect in their personal lives, nor do I care if they are, I can’t believe they WANT to humiliate themselves in that way. Because that’s what they’re doing. I, and Heather, and the other moms, had no respect for these doctors and nurses, and if I’d recognized any of them as any of the nurses that treat me, I’d request another nurse. Wouldn’t skip a beat. And how would THAT look their superiors? All I could think was that some of them must work at CHKD, and treat dying children all day, and then use their lunch hour to contaminate the nearest playground with toxic air. Idiots.

I’ll be sending letters to the hospital and the city, asking them to work together to remedy the problem, and it probably won’t make a difference, because it is, after all, an outdoor public space, and I guess people have the “right” to light up there.

I just wish that I had the right to not get sick there.

So next time you’re about to step outside and partake of your nasty little habit in a public space, just please, for my sake, take a half a second to consider who you may be forcing that horrid stuff on. And don’t give me any lecture about your “rights” when I ask you to take your cancer-causing, attack-inducing air pollution elsewhere.

The end.




One response

13 05 2010

Absolutely sickening. I think playgrounds should be no smoking zones. I don’t see why that would be such hard law to pass. No smoking within whatever feet of a playground, punishable by a hefty fine. I’d definitely support that bill.

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