Photo Challenges

My World… Sort Of

My friend P.J. is hosting a photo challenge that entails taking 5 pictures per month based on a theme he announces at the beginning of each month. For example, March’s theme was “My World”.

I wanted to participate in his challenge. I really did. But somehow, March got away from me and I barely took any pictures. Not even with my cell phone.

There is a picture that was taken this March, though not by me, that has had a huge impact in my world. Before I post it here, I’d like to share a bit of the back story about this photo.

Last September, I went to Las Vegas for work. While there, I met a doctor who demonstrated a piece of diagnostic equipment that takes pictures of the retina. He took a picture of my eyeball and quickly pulled me aside for a discussion. Seems I had some unhealthy stress accumulated. He did an informal medical history and let me know that what he saw indicated dangerously high stress levels. He made some recommendations about how I could improve the situation, starting with the obvious – quit smoking.

When I got back home from Vegas, I started making a few changes in my life based on the doctor’s suggestions. And shortly afterwards, on December 22nd, 2012 – a noteworthy day for so many reasons – I had a cigarette for the very last time. After more than 30 years as a smoker, I quit.

Two weeks ago, I was in New York for work. I saw the good doctor again and he offered to take another picture of my eye.

xray behind your eye

Pretty cool in a totally disgusting kind of way, right?

There are still some signs of stress, if you know where to look, but the doctor was pretty freakin’ amazed at how vastly I’ve improved in only 6 months time. At this rate, I may outlive Jepeto – and not because I’ve murdered him in his sleep, either!

Oh, there was one other really major event that happened in March! I got my “I survived 30M2DoW t-shirt!!

WWFC cheese shirt

The fact that my hand looks freakishly out of proportion with the rest of me and I seem to have a spare tire growing out of my back doesn’t stress me out at all.

You can still get your own t-shirt by visiting my pal Indigo HERE. Indigo has agreed to donate the profits from t-shirt sales to the charity of our choice and I opted for the Make A Wish foundation because there isn’t a charity for cheese (and believe me, I tried to find one).

Now check out the other folks who really did participate in this challenge over at P.J.’s blog. I promise I’ll try to do better for April’s theme.

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  • That is so good to hear you quit smoking. Your lungs will thank you. Way too cool.

    And wait, you were in New York?

  • KZ

    Looking good, Nicky! And that picture of your eye is not disgusting to me. It’s cool in an awesome kind of way.

  • KZ

    Sorry, PJ. I crashed and burned in March, and I totally didn’t participate. Maybe April?

  • I think that picture is cool in a “I would of never known that was an eye” sort of way. Congrats on the “giving up smoking”. I don’t judge people that smoke….really I don’t ….but I am an advocate of people not destroying their lungs if they can help it. I am super happy that you made this change.

  • Great going on giving up the cigarettes! You may not be smokin’ but judging from that picture you’re still smokin’. At least that’s what Ziva says.

  • I saw the back of my eye in real close up and it looked like something not of this world!

    Well done for quitting smoking! You will really feel the benefit soon, if you aren’t already πŸ™‚

  • I am actually quite choked up!!! Seriously!! YEAAAA YOU!!! I am so proud I you!!!! What a hard thing to do… And you have DONE IT!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

  • Nicky, you are amazing! I’m so proud of you! Good Good Good!!!!

  • Yup, that’s totally what I say.

  • This is awesome on so many levels. Firstly, I am SO proud of you for giving up smoking! Secondly, every time I see a photo of you I get that wonderful tingly feeling, even with your freakishly out of proportion hand. And thirdly, yay, you’re participating in the challenge!

  • Congratulations on quitting smoking. Good for you! I may have to get me one of those T-shirts.

  • Thanks P.J. and yes, NYC for 3 days for work. It was crazy busy and I ran my ass off so much I never even had a chance to window shop! πŸ™‚

  • Thank you KZ, but it’s all because of the awesome t-shirt, of course. πŸ™‚

  • Thanks, Cheryl. Like way too many people, I started when I was young and stupid and then continued as I got old and stupid. πŸ™‚ It was time to quit.

  • Congratulations on quitting smoking. I know how hard that is. My husband also smoked. He used to hang out in the smoking lounge in high school. Yes, that long ago. He’s been off tobacco for years now. I’d like to have a picture of my eyeball. I already have several shots of my brain. It would be a nice companion set of organs.

  • And you should always believe whatever Ziva says. πŸ™‚

  • Thank you, Babs! I do feel the difference already and even better, I could see the improvement in the photo. πŸ™‚

  • Awww, thanks Katherine.

  • Thanks, hon! It ain’t easy but I keep going πŸ™‚

  • Ah, Lemmikki, I live for that wonderful tingly feeling you get. It keeps me going despite my freakish physical deformities.

  • Oh, Linda thank you and that would be wonderful if you did get a shirt! Cheese shirts are going to set the fashion world on fire, just you wait and see! πŸ™‚

  • There was no smoking in high school by the time I got there, but the girls bathroom apparently never got the memo πŸ™‚

    See, now I don’t have any shots of my brain. I need to get me some of those.

  • And if you say it, it’s true.

  • Slacker! πŸ™‚

  • pinklea

    Good for you to quit smoking! That’s a tough habit to break, what with the physical and psychological dependencies going on, but if a photo of their eyeball can motivates someone to do it – well, I guess all smokers need such a photo!

  • Thanks Pinklea! I’m not sure it was just the photo, but a combination of timing, the photo and the right doctor.

  • I’m soooooooooo happy to hear that, my dear friend. I want you around for a long time. Big hugs!

  • “on December 22nd, 2012 – a noteworthy day for so many reasons – I had a
    cigarette for the very last time. After more than 30 years as a smoker, I

    Holy shit! Good for you, woman!
    Also, that picture of your retina is gross AND super cool!

  • It’s the beauty of this challenge… it resets each month!

  • Congratulations on being smoke-free for lo, these many months! I wish I could get frightened enough to quit, but no one’s said the magic words to instill enough fear to get me moving in the right direction. Hell, it’s my last vice. If I quit smoking, I’d probably start drinking again, and honey, that ain’t pretty.

  • High stress levels? I hate to think what my personal retinal display might indicate! Congrats of quitting smoking! A wonderful accomplishment!

  • Congratulations to you on quitting smoking! Brian works in the optical industry and it’s pretty amazing what they can tell just from those eyeball photos. Glad you’re doing well. Oh, and have you considered that the stress may come from all the photo/writing challenges! πŸ˜‰

  • MikewWJ

    Well, fuck.


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