Jan 14 • 29M

Smoking Diaries #4: Awkward Doctor's Visit

Sarah gets (politely) confronted about her smoking and muses on the mixed bargain of accountability, the delight of doing a very stupid thing, and why it's good to bear witness to each other's lives

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Journalistas Nancy Rommelmann and Sarah Hepola on what's burning through the culture right now. Flirtatious banter for serious times.
Episode details
The author’s smoking couch at 2:30am. The schmutz on the couch is fallen leaves, and yes, that’s a velvet wall hanging of dogs playing poker.

by Sarah Hepola

It’s 2:30am, and nobody is up to talk, so I’m putting my thoughts in a smoking diary.

Annual physicals are new for me. I avoided them most of my life, part youthful arrogance, part binge-drinking recklessness, part lack of insurance. It can be painful to step on that doctor’s scale each year, by which I mean both the actual scale and a real-live medical professional keeping tabs on what you’re doing wrong. Eating, drinking, smoking, I’ve been wrestling with the shadows for much of my life. (Read the book.) Listeners know that about a year and a half ago, I picked up smoking after ten years of not even missing it, and this questionable decision has led to a few fraught conversations. (Love you, mom.) I had one at the doctor’s office last week, though my nurse practitioner was as nice as she could be. That visit led to some middle-of-the-night philosophizing on the importance/discomfort of accountability, the strange moment when you know a habit is stupid but you’re not ready to quit it, why nurses are more fun than doctors, and how we bear witness to each other’s lives.

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