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Thursday, February 28, 2008

congratulations Kelly

I am so glad you finely made it, I know you wanted to stop smoking very much, and I agree for some reason it isn't hard for me either not to give in to the cravings and the longer you go with out smoking the easier it is to not even think about cigarettes, but I do still think a smoke would sure go good about now but I put that out of my mind right away and that is all there is to it for a while.
I am still having some breathing problems I am wondering if it has much to do with my stopping smoking or caused by something else, it is very annoying to have that little wheezing , whistling sound at night,, kind of like I swallowed a duck call or something.. lol
But I am like you, I don't intend to go back to smoking for one thing the money I save is already showing up to the good and since I don't smoke now I realize how stinky smoking is to others. but, I am not going to tell anyone they can't smoke when they come to my house since I smoked so long I am not going to become one of those ex smoker radicals.
I hope the rest of the folks on here are having good progress as well ,I know if they just keep at it they will succeed..
Keep up the good work Kelly.

I Am A Non Smoker!

Hey everyone. I wanted to tell you what has been going on since I posted last. I tried to quit on February 21st. I did great most of the day and then broke shortly after my husband came home with his handy little pack of Marlboro Lights. That was that and I smoked the rest of the eveninng and the next day.

I woke up Saturday morning and the first thing I thought of was that I had bronchitis! My son had been sick the week before and I must have caught it. I ended up feeling really rotten and my chest hurt horribly. I had a fever and slugged around all weekend. I had two cigarettes on Saturday. The last one I had Saturday hurt and I threw it out before I even smoked half of it. I went the rest of the day without smoking.

When I woke up Sunday, I figured I might as well not smoke because it hurt too darned much. I went all day Sunday without smoking. I woke up Monday and thought, I am this far into a quit so I had better not smoke today either. It was really very easy compared to other times probably because I was sick so I went with it.

Today is Thursday and I am on my fifth smoke-free day!! I have absolutely no desire whatsoever to smoke. Sure, I have felt withdrawl and have heard "that voice" a time or two. The difference is that I truly do not want to smoke this time. My chest is still in an uproar from the bronchitis and now from not smoking.

I am so excited because I know that this is it! I never want to go back to the smoking lifestyle. I do not want to go outside in the freezing cold to get my fix. I don't want to go out on a warm summer day and ruin the fresh air by smoking. I refuse to harm my lungs any further. From now on, I will let my body heal and hope I did not do too much damage.

After I stopped smoking, I came across a website called WhyQuit. If you have not been there, go now. It scared the living crap out of me! Sure, I have heard it all before but for some reason this site really made it sink in. It helped to diminish the feelings of withdrawl. Maybe it was my recent birthday that helped me this time. I am not getting any younger...... the time to quit for me is now. I did it and I will never go back. Not one puff, not ever!

How is everyone else doing? Mandy? Vernon, you still doing great? Dru, where is Dru??? Gigi? And you?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

New to blog

I found this blog by accident,but since I stopped smoking late last December, I got very interested in reading the posts, I check it sometimes more than once a day.. I emailed Kelly to try to encourage her success in stopping smoking and she emailed back from time to time to let me know how she was doing, but I didn't know how to get into the blog so she invited me and that is how I happened to be here.
I don't know how it seemed so easy for me to stop smoking I have smoked for over 45 years and at least two packs a day but one night I just decided that I have been a slave to cigarettes and decided to not use them anymore, or maybe I should say,let them use me. So the next morning as usual, I grabbed the cigarettes, but instead of lighting up, I took them all in the kitchen and put them on the frig. I didn't completely throw them out just in case I couldn't stand to not have them.
Anyway it has been a while now and I haven't had one because I pretty much know, one leads to another and soon back to my old smoky self.
And I am having some problems that I didn't have before , like the coughing and the wheezing I don't know if the night sweats are because of not smoking or not but I have them some now I don't think I am any more irritable that before but there are some effects of stopping , I am guessing those things will go away in time, I hope so anyway.
the main thing anyone that really wants to stop,, I would just say be stubborn and not give in to those triggers and I know there are lots of them ,they pass fairly quickly and as time goes on they get a lot less difficult to over come.
Of course I have times I would love to have a smoke but when I get those feelings I just say to myself, "you don't smoke any more" and I immediately think of something else and ..LOL... one thing that always helps is the though of $6.00 per day I am saving that is over $2100 per year. that makes something very easy to think of when that urge hits.
Well, I have blabbed on long enough and said very little I am afraid , but I know for those of you that really want to stop , you will be able to accomplish it, I know everyone says this.. but if I can stop anyone can.. even my kids are amazed as they though I would never stop..
Good luck.

Who Wants To Quit Smoking February 21st?

Tomorrow is February 21st. According to the almanac, that is one of the days in February that is a good day to quit smoking. A supportive friend suggested checking the almanac because a lot of people swear by it.

So far, Mandy and I are quitting tomorrow. I thought I would throw it out there to anyone else that wants to quit smoking. Sometimes it is easier to quit when you know other people are doing it at the same time. As they say, misery loves company!

If you would like to join us tomorrow on our quest for better health, let us know by commenting here. Actually, why not become part of the community too? There can be up to 100 writers on this blog. I would love to see this become somewhat of a quit smoking forum. We could all talk about our experiences and be in it together. You don't have to be a "writer" to post here. Heck, I am not a writer, I just play one on the internet! Let me know if you want to write on the "forum" too and I will get you in.

Thank you Deanne for your well wishes. You sound like you are doing great! Your attitude and sense of humor will get you through it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Roses Remedies and Realities

Well here I am day whatever and still not smoking, yipee for me! I'm going to the gym, not having my evening cocktail, eating healthy, blah blah blah. I should be doing jumping jacks.
I quite frankly don't feel like it. No Roses here, I miss whatever I thought I enjoyed, although everyone in the world spent millions telling me I didn't enjoy it. My mother who quit over 25 years ago to this day occasionally wants a cigarette! But by damned I made the decision to quit and this time, I'm going to stick to it. Resolve - WOW!

Remedies - The bottom line is there isn't any one remedy that will make quitting any easier. I like to skim the blogs at night to read about others trials and tribulations or quit smoking schemes as I call them. They read like an old traveling salesman selling snake oil!

I am using Chantix, it's worked for me. Cold Turkey works for others, cutting back works for some, smelling old butts, smoking 3 or 4 packs at a sitting, the list goes on and on. No one miracle cure for a disgusting habit.

Reality check - You the quitter has to decide that you WANT to quit. ARM yourself with what you think will work for you. Make up your mind and just go for it.

Give up your triggers, talk to yourself - have pep rallies by the minute if you have to better yet by the second.

Prepare yourself for Bitchiness (yeah I'm using that word, not "crabby"), Short Tempered, the worst type of PMS you've ever suffered in your life. Be prepared to eat more food. (food actually does taste better).

Saving Money now that's a reality I kind of like. I've decided that for every week I do not smoke, I'm going to reward myself with $30.00, that's approximately what I spent each week on my nasty little habit.

When I get off the $75.00 worth of medicine I'm taking monthly for HBP and Low Cholesterol medicine - there's another savings.

BUT wait, I'm spending $50.00/month on Chantix and $35/month on going to the gym.

I should still come out to the good by about $100/month give or take.

Post Quitting Reality Check - I'm tired most of the time, I'm suffering from insomnia and I feel like I could hack up a lung. But I'm hoping this too shall pass with time.

Roses it aint but by quitting they sure do smell better!
Remedies that work for you the individuals,
Realities - it's hard as hell to quit!

Kelly/Mandy I'm rooting for you :)


Monday, February 18, 2008

Wagons, Bottles, Smoke Signals and Turning 50!

I admire everyone that's is trying to quit smoking. What an endeavor. Gather the wagons up in a circle, pass the bottle of vodka around (no wait, don't I'll want to smoke), send up the smoke signals and hang on!

I officially quit on February 7, 2008 for the umpteenth time, after threats and warnings from my doctors and friends. What really turned the table for me was my brother who was 39 years old, DIDN'T SMOKE dropped dead of a heartattack on August 25th, 2 days before my 21st wedding anniversary. I had been doing great up until that day, only occasionally smoking AFTER work on the porch with my husband. I broke all my rules that day and smoked like a freight train. What an excuse for me, my brother died so I wallow in cigarettes, knowing full well I'm 30 lbs, no let's be honest 40 lbs overweight, on 2 kinds of blood pressure medicine and to add insult to my injury now cholesterol medicine. Not a med in the world until I turned 47. I'm digressing, sorry.

Anyway, watching my parents bury their only son, is something I wouldn't wish on anyone, especially since he was the "healthy" one and of course the baby in the family.

So I came home, and plodded along bitching about smoking, being fat, being on medicine and drinking too much. Doctors still hounding me........all the while.

I sat down with myself in late late December and took a real hard look at my health, my life, my family, you know blah blah blah.......bottom line i was going into my 50th year of life and my health SUCKED. No one could fix it but little 'ole me (no wait that's big 'ole me).

I laid a plan. Not on New Years Eve, I'll blow it. SO, i started back on Chantix (GREAT MEDICINE by the way - I'll digress here somewhat, I have some really shall we say VIVID dreams, and believe me my body knows when those little receptors are starting to act up and man is it time to take a little blue pill (Chantix is blue - amazing huh?) and I do take that pill FAITHFULLY.

Back to the Wagons, Bottles and Smoke Signals. I was circling the Smoke Signals with my wagon slowly - no smoking from the time I left the house until I returned in the evening. I hated that ride home. Now I've gotton used to it.

Then I started back at the GYM oh hell yeah, I've done the gym thing before......but this time it was different, it wasn't about being skinny or svelte (I have never been svelte but I love that word), it was about getting off these damned old cigarettes and all this medicine. I was a picture now imagine, me huffing and puffing trying to get through an hour of exercising. 5 minutes on the treadmill did me in at first! Everything ached, popped and cracked. Still Circling in my wagon.

On February 7th I said no more, I smoked my last after 5 cigarette that night at 8:15 pm and held on..........Amazingly I did ok, (of course I went to bed at 8:25!) The next day was tough, it was Friday! My husband & I always meet all of our friends at the local bar for you guessed it Bottles and Smoke Signals (most of our friends smoke). Add alcohol and we can entertain ourselves for hours!

Friday night, So, here we are pulling up the watering hole (I had worked out for 30 minutes after getting off work went home cleaned up, loaded my husband up in the wagon and off we went) I decided ok, Deann you're not drinking tonight, you can't you'll screw up and smoke. SO I DRANK WATER!!!!!!!!!!!!! hey I felt great the next day and my husband didn't have to be the Designated Driver.

And so it goes, some days are better than others. Chantix does really curb your cravings, you don't come across as a total A$$hole because of mood swings, etc.

I know my triggers, as most of us do, I've learned to avoid them or change my habits
(man that's the hardest part). I finally drank last Friday night and never smoked a cigarette or wanted one. My friends have been very supportive. My husband has even cut back some, I guess he's getting ready for March 1st - when the house becomes a non smoking facility. But hey since I had left the bottles near the smoke signals, I have felt better and lost weight - not much but some!

I've rambled on long enough for one evening. I'll leave everyone with this thought I truly believe our government outlawed the wrong drug!

gigi50 (not quite yet)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Write About Quitting Smoking

Hello. Do you want to quit smoking? Have you tried many times only to go right back to the addiction?

Have you already quit smoking? Do you have valuable advice to share with others still struggling with the habit?

If you answered yes to either of these questions and enjoy writing, then we want you! All of us here either smoke and want to quit, or used to smoke but have already quit. We write about the struggles and the nicotine addicition. We share different methods to stop smoking. We support and commiserate with each other's stories.

If you would like to write for this blog and be a part of this effort, please contact me at kb@kellfinder.com. Please put "quit smoking" in the subject line. Thank you!

Named In Ten Health Blogs to Watch in 2008

Here is what he had to say about us:
"Kelly wants to quit smoking, and she wants you to join her. She's smoked for 21 years, and she's only 33. She started blogging at the beginning of the year, and became a quitter a few days later. Anyone who's tried to quit knows how difficult it is, and if they're trying again, they don't have to be alone. Kelly's already coping with the familiar triggers, and is undergoing some hypnosis for assistance. She's sharing the bumpy ride with others in hopes that it helps them too, let's hope the road gets smoother along the way. We wish her
good luck."
Thank you for the good wishes and the inclusion in your article. I would also like to thank my Quit Smoking Together partner Mandy for all of the time and effort she has put in here.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Quit Smoking By The Almanac

Okay, I all but disappeared for awhile there. So has my focus on quitting. Lately I have not been putting forth any effort into quitting smoking.

I have stopped the hypnosis sessions. They were having absolutely no effect on me at all. I think hypnosis could be very useful to quit smoking if you find the right hypnostist. Apparently I did not find someone who could help me. I cannont justify spending more money to find another hypnotist so I am giving up that idea.

Now, none of what I said above changes the fact that I want to quit smoking. I do plan on quitting and just need to find the right time. Someone who reads this blog has periodically emailed me with support and advice. He has suggested to look at the almanac for a good day to quit.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Two Non-Smokers Walk Into A Bar

On February 1st, Maryland banned smoking inside bars, restaurants and private clubs statewide. For those of us who do not smoke but enjoy the imbibing of alcoholic beverages in tavern settings, or at the very least like to have a meal out without hacking on the pollution wafting over from the smoking section of the restaurant, this is a great day for ex- and non-smokers in the state.

With that piece of joyous news, allow me to relate the events of a week before, as several very intoxicated friends and I traversed the still smoke-filled pubs of Fells Point in our quest to keep Bass Ale in business and attain new highs (lows) at table shuffleboard.

Here we all were: my boss, several co-workers, the spousal accomplices of some of those workers, and myself, all quite drunk and behaving rather, well, like silly drunks. The bar was Alexanders, a nice little establishment with an upstairs bar that offers such things as a Wii, a table shuffleboard, darts - and no windows. The air was thick with cigarette smoke, and after a couple of hours in this environment my urges for having a smoke were about to overcome my common sense.

I asked my boss for a smoke. Knowing I had just hit the eight month mark since quitting, he flatly refused. I asked one of my buds, and he also declined. They both told me I was stupid for picking it up again, and I knew they were right; I also knew I had been breathing their second-hand poison for a couple of hours, and was dead drunk to boot. I turned and asked a stranger, and got my cancer stick.

Oh, dear. Since I quit smoking, I have no reason to carry a lighter. My boss would not light me up. Neither would the bud. Again, I turned to a stranger, and got my light.

Mistake. I took that first drag and nearly threw up on the spot. The pain in my lungs was excruciating. However, being stone cold blitzed, I took another drag - and it hurt even worse than the first one. I threw the cigarette into the ash tray, happily proclaiming smoking as something that will firmly stay in my past.

There was nothing refreshing about it. It didn't taste good. It hurt my chest. It smelled like I was sucking on an ash pit. There was not one redeeming factor in those two drags, and they damn near put me off drinking for the rest of the evening. In a word - yuck!

Last night I returned to that same bar with a friend. Same upstairs, same shuffleboard, same crappy scores - but no smoke. How nice to be able to enjoy a few beers and not exit the bar smelling like a trash fire, or spend my evening wishing there were more oxygen available so I could differentiate my beer buzz from asphyxiation. My friend and I happily consumed large quantities of beer, secure in the knowledge that we won't come out at the end smelling of ash trays, or acquiring lung cancer to accompany the cirrhosis in our livers.

Good show, Maryland!

Friday, February 1, 2008

I Have Officially Fallen Off Of The Wagon

I admit it; I have officially fallen off of the wagon. Since my last post, I have gone back up to a pack a day. I recovered from the mechanic’s bill but…my dogs are driving me crazy! I think that stress must be my trigger.
As my Texas Medical Freak readers know, I have a nurse named Odie who is a miniature American Eskimo. But, Zuzu has never made an appearance on the web. Zuzu is a 13 month old, Jack Russell Terrier and is not much of a nurse. As any JRT owners know, they can be a hand full. But, she has been really getting into trouble lately. I am starting two wonder two things…she either has retractable thumbs and/or she is really a ferret? The other day, I went to the store and I was not gone 15 minutes. When I got home, I discovered that she had got the lid off of my Excedrin Back & Body that I take for my fibromyalgia. She is fine I don’t think that she ate any of them but I still can’t find the lid! She always gets into my closet if I forget to shut the door and hides one of my shoes, not both. Then the other day we came home and she had got the lid off of a can of mixed nuts. She is driving me NUTS!
I need to get back on track with this, I really do want to quit smoking.
Wagon photo thanks to Flikr