What I Wrote about Quitting Smoking from 2004

What’s it going to take? What is your “bottom” with cigs? Cancer/death – you already have COPD Lung Disease-Pneumonia-Emphysema, Chronic bronchitis. If you can’t stop now you won’t be able to stop when you go lower – oxygen-chemotherapy-cancer. You think you control smoking just like alcohol – When I get that bad I’ll quit – Like I have a choice or control over when I will quit. Drinking bottom was when I looked at myself in the mirror with my unmanageable destructive-chaotic life in front of me and finally realized, “I can’t stop.” With cigs I’ve always said, I’ll quit – just right now.” When is a good time? Like alcohol how do you hit bottom? Some when they are spending too much money on it/ first dui/divorce/lose house/lose kids/skid row bum/dead. Smokers – First bronchitis attack/first pneumonia/ lung disease/oxygen/cancer/dead. What is my bottom for cigs? When I tried to quit it was like a dry drunk – miserable – more patches –inhalers etc. I deprive myself, force it. I’d always smoke again. Like I was in control. I think I always knew I couldn’t quit but I would never admit it. Step One. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol-our lives had become unmanageable.

  • 1.      Dr. Expenses
  • 2.       Missing work
  • 3.      Can’t breathe
  • 4.      Cough so hard it hurts
  • 5.      Have lung disease
  • 6.      Pay $3 a pack $6 a day $42 a week $168 a month. Wow, I could join the gym!
  • 7.      Burn holes in everything. Antique linen table cloth
  • 8.      My house, clothes, car, breath stink
  • 9.      My teeth are yellow and falling out, gum disease
  • 10.   Osteoporosis
  • 11.   Emphysema-lung disease-COPD
  • 12.   Adam’s Spontaneous Pneumothorax – Second hand smoke?
  • 13.   It controls me – Inconvenient – go outside, stop & get more, don’t run out.


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Smoke Free & Immune System Works!

Smoke Free 43 days!

Here we go! It’s incredible to be 43 days without a cigarette and not only that, NO NICOTINE in any shape or form. Wow!

The last couple of days I have been home sick with a horrible sharp cough that scared the crap out of me. I had a fever of 101.4 degrees, sore throat, stuffy head, and achy from head to toe. I thought I was going to die. All day Monday I slept, literally all day and night. I kept the Tylenol going and that was it. Yesterday I woke up at 6:00 a.m. felt the same and thought I was going to die. Took two Tylenol and went to bed. Then the strangest thing happened. I woke up at 10:00 a.m. and felt better, no aches and no fever. I actually got over it on my own. My body was able to fight it off. This was very strange, no Predisone, no antibiotic, no inhaler, just my healthy body. You know how wierd that is for me. Never in my adult life has this happened before. Yes, this is a great day to celebrate Life and being Smoke Free!

Back at Work, MacBook Air™ Released, and Gratitude for Quitting Smoking

Back at work today! Everyone is talking about the release of the MacBook Air™. Of course, I work in Information Technology so it seems to be all the buzz with the staff around here. Wow, it is the thinnest laptop ever and I am just amazed myself. I am a PC person and Macs are peaking my interest more these days. Hmmmm we’ll have to see where that takes me.

Enough about IT/work stuff. My mouth seems to be healing pretty well from having my teeth pulled last Thursday. Periodontal Disease is just one more thing I have to thank cigarettes for. I have been running around to all my smoker friends, (they hate me now, because I’m so happy being 14 days smoke free and I’m usually skipping off to the gym as I pass them by), telling them the good news about our Insurance Company covering the Chantix now. That was their last excuse to not quit. Oh, I can’t afford that much money every month. Actually, the Chantix cost about the same as my cigs did every month. Anyway, I just smile and say, “whenever you are ready!” It is wonderful being able to “skip” without getting winded. So many things I have to be grateful for. Oh no, I’m going to start gushing. Oh well, I haven’t done that for a while so here goes.

My Gratitude List

  1. The disgusting smoker’s cough is gone!! I don’t even have that little rattle anymore. My voice is almost melodic when I speak, not that “deep old lady voice” I used to have. When I do cough it is such a little wimpy cough, I can’t help but laugh at it.
  2. I’m not all full of that awful phlegm anymore.
  3. I drink a ton of water and only one 20 oz diet coke a day. Two 2-liters a day of diet coke was the norm. For some reason, the caffeine left me at the same time the nicotine did. There wasn’t any withdrawal symptoms, headaches, etc. and I am truly grateful for that. Think of the money I am saving on pop alone!!
  4. Speaking of money. I can tell something is not right when I still have $60 in my checking account and it is payday. Now that is very unusual, since I don’t make much money and live paycheck to paycheck. Oh my gosh…what if I can start saving money now! Woo Hoo!
  5. My breath smells nicer and my clothes and of course my car. Actually, I have noticed all kinds of smells since I quit smoking, especially walking downtown past some of the restaurants. 😉 I did buy some air fresheners this last weekend for my house. That is something I have always done but, I can actually smell them now. Some are too strong and I have to unplug them once in a while.
  6. More energy! That’s a big one. I go outside and do things like visit with my neighbor, walk Sonny and not get winded. I can’t wait until Spring so I can smell the fragrances of flowers; the fresh air and the smell of rain.
  7. I am so grateful for the friends I have made online during my quit. All of the support I have gotten just from blogging has been incredible.
  8. This might sound weird but, I am grateful for the little bit of weight I have gained since I quit. At least I don’t look like the walking dead, super skinny, and puffing on a cigarette. I don’t mind having a little extra pouch, (I’ve never had one before), the dog, Sonny, seems to really like it when I am sitting on the couch and he tries to lay in my lap. It will be more comfortable for my grand-kids, whenever I become a grandmother. That was my inspiration to quit smoking, by the way, “To live long enough to become a grandmother!” It’s kind of sad now when I think about it. (I am tearing up here at work, NOT GOOD.) I was so worried I would die before I got to be a grandmother, or see my children graduate college or get married. I want to be there when my daughter delivers her first baby. (Gushing now…) If I die now, even from lung cancer or a smoking related illness, at least I quit smoking.
  9. I am mostly grateful that I QUIT SMOKING!
  10. Last but not least, I am thankful that my Higher Power gave me the strength and grace to overcome this addiction for 14 days of this lifelong journey, one day at a time.Wow! I feel so much better after making this list. Maybe it’s time for you to make your gratitude list, ya think?? I know it sure helped me feel better. Take care of you!I am closing with a picture of my bud, Sonny Boy!

Sonny Boy

TTFN




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Quitting Smoking-FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about Quitting Smoking


Are you or someone you know trying to quit smoking? If so, the following information may help you. These 10 questions and answers are excerpted from a consumer brochure by the U.S. Surgeon General.


All responses in green are from me and are my own experiences since quitting smoking. Links are to my posts I have written on the subject.

Question: Why should I quit?

Answer: You will live longer and feel better. Quitting will lower your chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or cancer. The people you live with, especially children, will be healthier. If you are pregnant, you will improve your chances of having a healthy baby. And you will have extra money to spend on things other than cigarettes.

Question: What is the first thing I need to do once I’ve decided to quit?

Answer: You should set a quit date-the day when you will break free of your tobacco addiction. Then, consider visiting your doctor or other health care provider before the quit date. She or he can help by providing practical advice and information on the medication that is best for you. Of course I recommend Chantix because it has worked for me when none of the other medications did. Also, I recommend joining a quit smoking forum such as QuitNet.com.
There are several other sites that offer forums. Find one you like and post daily. It is fun because you can enter your quit date there and you immediately become accountable. Also it shows you the money you have saved and the days/weeks/months you have added to your life.

Question: What medication would work best for me?

Answer: Different people do better with different methods. You have five choices of medications that are currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:

  • A non-nicotine pill (bupropion SR).
  • Nicotine gum.
  • A nicotine inhaler.
  • A nicotine nasal spray.
  • Nicotine patch.
  • Chantix

The gum and patches are available at your local pharmacy, or you can ask your health care provider to write you a prescription for one of the other medications. The good news is that all five medications have been shown to be effective in helping smokers who are motivated to quit.

Question: How will I feel when I quit smoking? Will I gain weight?

Answer: Many smokers gain weight when they quit, but it is usually less than 10 pounds. Eat a healthy diet, stay active, and try not to let weight gain distract you from your main goal—quitting smoking. Some of the medications to help you quit may help delay weight gain.

Question: Some of my friends and family are smokers. What should I do when I’m with them?

Answer: Tell them that you are quitting, and ask them to assist you in this effort. Specifically, ask them not to smoke or leave cigarettes around you.

Question: What kinds of activities can I do when I feel the urge to smoke?

Answer: Talk with someone, go for a walk, drink water, or get busy with a task. Reduce your stress by taking a hot bath, exercising, or reading a book.

Question: How can I change my daily routine, which includes smoking a cigarette with my breakfast?

Answer: When you first try to quit, change your routine. Eat breakfast in a different place, and drink tea instead of coffee. Take a different route to work.

Question: I like to smoke when I have a drink. Do I have to give up both?

Answer: It’s best to avoid drinking alcohol for the first 3 months after quitting because drinking lowers your chances of success at quitting. It helps to drink a lot of water and other nonalcoholic drinks when you are trying to quit.

Question: I’ve tried to quit before and it didn’t work. What can I do?

Answer: Remember that most people have to try to quit at least 2 or 3 times before they are successful. Review your past attempts to quit. Think about what worked—and what didn’t—and try to use your most successful strategies again.

Question: What should I do if I need more help?

Answer: Get individual, group, or telephone counseling. The more counseling you get, the better your chances are of quitting for good. Programs are given at local hospitals and health centers. Call your local health department for information about programs in your area. Also, talk with your doctor or other health care provider.

Question: How fast will my body heal after I quit?

Answer: Click here to read my post .

Question: What if I slip up and smoke again?

Answer: Click here to read my post.

Please submit any questions or answers you have about quitting smoking in the comments box below. I will add them to this FAQ and find out the answer for you, if I can. Thanks for visiting my blog!


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Gum Disease and Smoking-It’s so Glamorous

Smoke Free for 9 days!

There is a couple of things I want to talk about today regarding not-smoking and this new life I have chosen for myself. First, for all of you young people that are smoking out there, one of the many disadvantages to smoking is Gum Disease. If I wasn’t so vain I would take a picture of my teeth and show you.

This picture from Oral Health Information is pretty close. It’s not pretty is it girls! Trust me, quit smoking now so this doesn’t happen to you. The Oral Health Information site has a lot of good information about quitting smoking. Check it out!

Gum Diseased Teeth

Today I am having six teeth pulled on my upper mouth. Having made the decision to get dentures, which I should have done a long time ago, this is the first step of many and it is painful and awful to go through. No, it’s not as horrible as Lung Cancer, but it is something a lot of us, especially us ladies, particularly single ladies, don’t want to have to do in our lifetime. They are pulling six today and the other six on top, (the front ones) in three weeks. Unfortunately, I have a big mouth and when I smile you can see all my teeth,even in the back. So…for the next three weeks I am going to have to not smile. Isn’t that just great. I have been trying not to smile to big for about two years now since my teeth got really bad, it doesn’t always work because basically I am a happy person and have always smiled at people, strangers and all, just about all my life. It would be interesting to see their reaction though! 🙂 Just kidding, maybe..

Please read the article below. I will write more when I can. The other topic I want to talk about is Yoga, and Pilates and how much I hate them because they make me sick, (like motion sickness) nauseated, dizzy and I’ve had to run out of class because I thought I was going to throw up!

TTFN

Here is what the American Academy of Periodontology.

In conjunction with the Great American Smokeout, the American Academy of Periodontology hopes to help educate the public about one specific threat to smokers – periodontal disease. Recent studies have shown that tobacco use may be one of the most significant risk factors in the development and progression of periodontal disease. In addition, following periodontal treatment or any type of oral surgery, the chemicals in tobacco can slow down the healing process and make the treatment results less predictable.

How does smoking increase your risk for periodontal disease? As a smoker, you are more likely than nonsmokers to have the following problems:

  • Calculus – plaque that hardens on your teeth and can only be removed during a professional cleaning
  • Deep pockets between your teeth and gums
  • Loss of the bone and tissue that support your teeth

If the calculus is not removed during a professional cleaning, and it remains below your gum line, the bacteria in the calculus can destroy your gum tissue and cause your gums to pull away from your teeth. When this happens, periodontal pockets form and fill with disease-causing bacteria.

If left untreated, periodontal disease will progress. The pockets between your teeth and gums can grow deeper, allowing in more bacteria that destroy tissue and supporting bone. As a result, the gums may shrink away from the teeth making them look longer. Without treatment, your teeth may become loose, painful and even fall out.

Save Your Smile

Research shows that smokers loose more teeth than nonsmokers do. In fact, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only about 20 percent of people over age 65 who have never smoked are toothless, while a whopping 41.3 percent of daily smokers over age 65 are toothless.In addition, research shows that current smokers don’t heal as well after periodontal treatment as former smokers or nonsmokers. But these effects are reversible if the smokers kick the habit before beginning treatment.

Not Just Cigarettes

Other tobacco products are also harmful to your periodontal health. Smokeless tobacco also can cause gums to recede and increase the chance of losing the bone and fibers that hold your teeth in place.And, a study of cigar and pipe smokers published in the January, 1999 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association revealed that cigar smokers experience tooth loss and alveolar bone loss at rates equivalent to those of cigarette smokers. Pipe smokers experience tooth loss at a rate similar to cigarette smokers.

Other Oral Problems

Researches also have found that the following problems occur more often in people who use tobacco products:

  • Oral cancer
  • Bad breath
  • Stained teeth
  • Tooth loss
  • Bone loss
  • Loss of taste
  • Less success with periodontal treatment
  • Less success with dental implants
  • Gum recession
  • Mouth sores
  • Facial wrinkling

Find Out More

If you are interested in more information about tobacco use and periodontal disease, here are some steps to take:

© The American Academy of Periodontology. All rights reserved



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