Hi, my name is Tom. I use the screen name 5150sick on VULive and ‘other’ forums so I chose it for this wonderful place as well. I quit smoking analogs and started vaping August 20th 2012. I have a long story so I will start at the beginning. I started smoking when I was 15 like most of us it was because most of my friends were starting to smoke and it was a way to socialize with the other kids at school. I had a near fatal car accident in 1993 when I was 18 years old. I broke all 4 limbs, shattered my left hip and pelvis, broke my right wrist, ankle, femur, both bones in both forearms, and had a collapsed lung. Everything healed except my left hip/pelvis. Toward the end of 1994 I got a total hip fusion meaning my hip would no longer bend at the joint. It was so badly damaged, the science & technology of 1994 plus the fact that I was only 19 years old played the role in the doctors decision not to give me a (plastic was being used at the time) hip replacement. Fast forward 10 years to November 2004 I was 29 years old and my back was totally blown out from using it to walk for 10 years instead of the hip that was fused. I was maxed out on my pain medications, still in pain, and just getting worse. I lucked out when the girl at the pain management clinic’s desk told me about a doctor whose office happened to be directly across the street that could possibly help me with my problem. The doctor did a great job of breaking down my hip fusion and switching it to a hip replacement. The damage to my back was already done but at least it wasn’t getting worse at such a fast rate. I moved from Baltimore MD to Central Florida in 2009. Everything was well until January of 2011. I woke up in the middle of the night to go out and smoke and noticed my left leg hurt really badly when I put weight on it. I was hoping I had just pulled a muscle as I went back to bed. When I woke up that morning I could not put any weight on the left leg at all. All of my specialists were up north and I only had a family doctor and pain management doctor in Florida. My mother had heard good things about a doctor in Clermont Florida who worked out of South Lake Hospital. I couldn’t walk so this doctor was my only choice on such short notice. I went to see him and the x-rays showed that the titanium hip stem had broke right at the spot where the ball part ends and my real bone started at. It was hanging on by a thread so I had to go in and get my 2nd hip replacement surgery which is often called a hip revision surgery. I was 35 years old and within 6.5 years I was already on my 2nd ’20 to 30 year’ hip replacement. Everything seemed to go fine. I was on crutches 2 weeks later and the doctor shook my hand and said “enjoy your new hip, see you in 30 years or so”. It wasn’t even a week later I woke up one night and the side of my Adidas pants were soaked. I went to the bathroom to check to find the laceration opened up in a small spot and an orange/yellowish liquid leaking out. I went to the hip doctor the next day for an emergency visit and he ran a bunch of tests and took culture of the fluid and come to find out I had acquired a hospital born infection (a superbug) while at the hospital. This is where the nightmare began I will edit this at a later date to finish the long story that got me to vaping. Stay Tuned: Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel Part 2 of 4 (or 5) So starting at Easter weekend 2011 the doctor took me in for surgery. He reopened the 15” laceration down my left thigh and cleaned all the gunk out, packed it with a special antibiotic and put some kind of packing in there that looked like a pink sponge. I was then reawakened from surgery without the wound being sewed back up. The next day I had the same surgery but he sewed about 2 inches shut on each end. The 3rd and final day which was Easter Sunday I had the same surgery again this time the wound was sewed all the way back up. This was a very painful, border lining on torturous weekend long 3 part surgery. I was given a picc line with IV antibiotics. The round of daptomycin (the antibiotic used) was supposed to be administered for 6 weeks. During this time I acquired anemia, a known side effect. So I was given blood transfusions to keep my blood levels up. Also I had drainage leaking out of my thigh. By the time the 1st rounds of antibiotics were over I had cellulitis in my left thigh and I had 5 holes in it from a pencil sized hole all the way up to the size if a nickel. These holes constantly drained fluid. I also had a fever that dipped from 96.6 to 105.3 but that was once at the very highest. I took 5 ibuprofen, went back to sleep, and prayed that I woke up the next morning! That’s part 2 stay tuned for the rest of the story. Same vape time, same vape channel! The doctor kept trying to save the hip when the infectious disease doctor was telling me that the hip can only be saved 2 or 3% of the time and it would have already started healing by now so the hip needs to come out then they need to kill the infection and put another hip in after the infection is gone and hasn't returned for a few months. For some reason the hip doctor kept trying to treat an infection in a way that it couldn't be treated for a year and a half! During this year and a half I had seen things happen to my body that no human being should have to see. On three separate occasions my thigh swelled up to a softball sized lump, ripped open and all kinds of crazy looking stuff just gushed out of it and totally covered my bathroom. I was actually catching handfuls of dead flesh and sitting them on my bathroom counter. Pieces of dead bone, black blood clots, it was horrible. I managed to photograph these occurrences the last 2 times as proof that it happened how I said it did. I was truly dying and I knew it when my temperature would change by 6 or 7 degrees in a 5 minute time period. My fingertips and lips would get numb and I would start shivering. I live in Central Florida and remember during the hottest week in the summer of 2011 I was so cold I laid in the 100+ degree sun with a sweat suit on just shivering like it was 20 below and I forgot my jacket! I was thinking “this is bullshit and if I am going to die I want to go now because I can’t take this shit” Finally in August of 2012 (a year and 8 months after receiving the infected hip) the thigh area started swelling up again. I was sent by ambulance to a decent hospital to a real doctor that specializes in infected joint replacement. He told me if I do not quit smoking I will have a way higher chance of dying from this infection because the smoke lowers your resistance and lessens your chances of my body killing off the infection with IV antibiotics. The new infectious disease Doctor truthfully told me that I had about a 85 to 90% chance that the infection would leave. He said around 9 out of 10 patients make it. So I figured in order to not end up the 1 of 10 that didn't make it I would do everything exactly how this new team of Doctors told me to. I got the whole hip and pelvis removed and didn't have any left joint at all while they tried to kill the infection. I was told that the infection hides in the metal because metal is actually porous and the bacteria can hide in there and then the metal gets glazed over with a bodily fluid. The antibiotics kill the infection in the skin, bone, flesh, etc. Then a couple weeks after getting sewn back up the bacteria comes back out and attacks. Then the infection starts all over again. That is the reason the hip, pelvis, and everything metal have to come out before the infection can be properly treated. That’s part 3 stay tuned for the rest of the story. Same vape time, same vape channel! Finally returning for part 4 (Dec, 23rd, 2014. Here we go. I had bought a cheap no name gas station cigalike (it was 2012 and ecigs were just starting to become popular) I figured it would at least maybe take the edge off when I was at the hospital on the patch which barely keeps me from totally flipping out while being stuck there. At night after the night nurse left after taking my vitals around midnight they would let me rest until 5am unless I called them for some reason. The cigalike worked so well that by the second night I was on my netbook and ordered a kit from Totallywicked. It was called the "Tornado-t" which is a $70.00 ego-t kit. But when i got home from the hospital it was there waiting for me. I chose the 'titan range menthol' juice and I sometimes still use it in my tanks today to reminisce Last time I tried it I stuck the eliquid into my old protank 1 and vamo (which was a killer setup in 2012) and it felt like I was trying to suck vapor through a pin hole! I then noticed I WAS trying to suck vapor through a pin hole. So my last tobacco cigarette was on Aug 20th 2012. It was 5 minutes before I went in the hospital to get the 3rd and final hip replacement put in...... TBC Vaping has come a long way and I really want to be able to enjoy the advances in vaping technology and hope our government doesn't force us back underground. EDIT: This is supposed to last me forever???