Reaching the Hall of Fame means a lot to me,because I’m still alive to write this speech. I was 14 years old , at the rodeo and a guy offered me a dip of skoal. I took my first chew and the next day I bought my own can…nobody cared about age limits back then. So I started chewin’ every day.
When I was 23 years old, I met my wife. I didn’t know how to tell her about my skoal habit, but she understood I liked to chew. Years later, the doctor said I should stop it. But, I didn’t pay attention to him. He came right out and said I was going to die sooner because of the tobacco. I still didn’t pay attention.
Fast forward to last year. Then I finally told my wife I was going to quit. I wasn’t able to and she cried. That bothered me and I began to think about this problem.A trip to the dentist here told me I have sleep apnea and TMJ. The dentist agreed with the doctor about the tobacco. The doctor sent me to a Wichita specialist who also agreed about my health issues. I went out of the room and asked him if they ever really cut out people’s tongues for what I have. He looked me right in the eye and said, “I do it all the time.” That made up my mind that it was time to stop….really stop ( I had done it once before for 2 years but started up again when some jerk put an open can under my nose and said it wouldn’t hurt to take a chew.) Some may be put off that I caved that time after 2 years quit on my own. But I actually believe I could have made it then if I knew about KTC at that time.
When I found KTC, it was my life saver, even though I caved at one month on the May group. Mark was great to help me past that. People let me have it for letting them down, the whole 9 yards. That was what I needed then. This group is excellent as they interact so well and let a person realize he is not alone …that others have gone this way and survived. I appreciate every single person on this site and thank them all ….I will always remember this experience. I also thank my family for tolerating my behavior during all of this. They really do love me…or they would have shown me the door. I don’t think I could ever pay them back…especially my wife. ..but I am going to try.