BOSTON, MA – Joe Kamel, a 69-year-old veteran, has made his way into the Guinness Book of World Records. The Vietnam War veteran had not seen a doctor for 21 years before he presented to the primary care clinic at the local Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital.
When asked why he hadn’t seen a doctor in so long, Kamel responded, “Because I don’t need no damn doctor. I’m probably healthier than you!”
Dr. Ernest Goodman, the intern seeing him, then moved on to the social history, at which time the patient endorsed smoking 3 packs per day since he was 12 years old. Not one to give up easily, Goodman informed his patient that it takes an average of 7 attempts to successfully quit smoking, and asked how many times he had tried.
That’s when things got interesting. Kamel replied, “I can quit any time I want. In fact, I quit every day. Every morning I wake up and walk down the street to the gas station and buy 3 packs of Marlboros. I smoke half a pack on my way back home. Then I eat my breakfast: a slice of toast and two beers.
He continued: “After breakfast, I watch the news and smoke the other half of the first pack. I smoke another pack while I’m watching the afternoon game, and the third pack while I’m watching the evening news. At this point, I quit; not a single damn cigarette until the next morning on my way back from the gas station. Man, quitting smoking is the easiest thing ever. I been doing it once a day as long as I can remember. Only reason I didn’t quit yesterday is because I never started back up in the first place; was too busy coughing up blood to make it to the gas station. Anyway, can you write me for some Viagra?”
At press time, Dr. Goodman was still trying to think of a response.