Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Support from Beyond

Deborah, Like I have mentioned in the past my mother's twin sister died of cancer of the throat due to smoking. I like to remember my Aunt as being healthy and full of life. Not having a care of what other people thought of her. For instance when she lost her hair through chemo she had on a wig. One day we were out and it was really hot so for her to cool off she took off her wig. People were staring as if they never saw someone who was battling cancer and I remember telling one person, "take a picture it'll last longer". I have great memories of my Aunt even though she died in a horrific way due to smoking. She passed in July of 1997 and I will forever have memories of her cancer battle from smoking. So what did I do to honor her memory but start to smoke! It's just so stupid that after seeing what she went through that I would pick up a cigarette! But shamefully I did. I don't know if my dream that I had of her the other night was due to my patch or was it a sign from beyond the grave but I have to share it. I like to think of it as a sign. In the dream I was with my cousin, her daughter who smokes when she drinks. In the dream my cousin had a cigarette and offered me one and I declined saying I quit. Then suddenly my Aunt appeared, healthy the way I like to remember her without the hole in her throat. My Aunt turned to my cousin and said, "dear daughter have you learned from me at all? Your cousin (meaning me) has and that's why I support her as she's quitting". I woke up from the dream very happy and full of even more willpower than I previously had. Every time I'm tempted I just think of the dream and how I don't want to let her down by smoking again. Every time I want to light up the painful memory of her horrible death of the cancer eating away at her comes back and I refrain from lighting up. I think that dream was meant to remind me of what awaits for me if I continue to smoke. Like I said I don't know if it's from the patch giving me vivid dreams or if it was a message from beyond. All I know is that I have a renewed sense of quitting since that dream and it's given me even more strength to quit and keep on the quitting path. Angie

Monday, August 13, 2012

Angie's whiter teeth - and fresher breath!

I'm getting my taste buds back. Now this is something that every smoker dreads, getting taste buds back and having food taste so much better and putting on weight. So far I haven't gained any weight and I've been monitoring my portions so my weight doesn't increase drastically. However I am getting simple pleasure out of other things I can taste, like my toothpaste. No, I do not eat my toothpaste but I am enjoying the simple pleasure of having a clean mouth longer than if I were smoking. Think about it you brush your teeth then smoke not so much of a fresh mouth any more. But I am enjoying having a fresh clean tasting sensation in my mouth since I've quit. It's only been a little over a week but it's good. I was grateful that my husband was off from work all last week because it prevented me from sneaking a smoke. Now that he's back to work I have to exert extra will power to stay away from the nicodemon. Both the patch and fresh tasting lozenge are helping me! It's simple things that I've been enjoying like the ability to breathe better. Although I still have to do a nebulizer treatment every once in a while I realized how yucky the medicine in the nebulizer tastes and it's yet another deterrant away from smoking. I have it in my head keep smoking and the nebulizer will be part of daily living. Quit for good and I'll need it less and less. My goal is only to need it for allergy season, which is a good goal. In the meantime I'm just going to enjoy the simple tasting pleasures of having a clean mouth lasting longer! Angie

Friday, August 10, 2012

August 10, 2012 - Angie's 1 Week Milemark!

Deborah, So it's been one week since my last smoke and I'm feeling better and better everyday. I had to increase my support network so I've been posting on my facebook my quitting saga. Today I posted the link to the blog so people can read not only my story but other's as well. It's great for both ex smokers and smokers alike. Who knows maybe the smokers that read it may think about quitting. My biggest trigger is still driving. Before getting into the car I used to think how many cigarrettes is this drive. I would think about some landmarks I would pass that would trigger me to have a smoke. Then caluclate how many cigarrettes I needed in the car to do this trip and factoring in an extra smoke in case of traffic! Now I think of it as every trip is a one lozenge trip, maybe two for traffic! I'm just proud that I made the one week milemarker. This time, my one hundredth time trying to quit, may be it. I have a gut feeling that I can lick my tobacco addiction for good. I keep thinking it's all about self respect. There's few things we as humans can control in this world and I can control my tobacco use, despite being in a traffic jam! Angie

Monday, August 6, 2012

Editor's note re: Angie's letters

Friends- As you see, Angie is back and blogging for additional motivation and support. She speaks about deodorant in these next 2 letters. In order for this to make sense, you may need a little background. In a recent counseling session, we acknowledged the added difficulty of having her husband's tobacco in the house. We likened his tobacco to his deodorant. She might like the smell, but she wouldn't use it cause it's his. With that, Angie took things a few steps farther. Read below, and lend your support.~Deborah

Angie - Day 5

Deborah, I'm doing really well now. I have had thoughts of having a smoke but then I keep thinking deodorant and the stickers on the bag of tobacco help. My husband even put another deodorant label on the tube machine so it's more of a deterrent. I just went to the laundry mat and got annoyed with the attendant. She's a smoker and saw the patch on my arm. She asked what was it and I said it's a patch I'm trying to quit. Then she said, if you're ready you don't need anything. It got me thinking that eventually I won't need it but for the first few weeks someone does need the extra help. It's like if you broke a leg and needed crutches. I mean yeah eventually you won't need the crutches but as the leg heals you need the crutches to help you walk. That's what nicotine replacement therapy is like a temporary crutch. I know I'll face urges but for now when the urges are strongest I need the crutch to help stay away from the cigarette demon. My support buddy, my mom called this morning and asked how I was doing. The biggest hurdle is over, the want of a smoke when I first wake up. My sense of smell is coming back and I can smell the smoke on my husband. It gets me to think that I smelled like that. Thanks for all the help and support and I'll see you Thursday night. Angie

Angie's Day 4 - Not So Bad

First I have to share a milestone in Day 4. I woke up this morning and I had no desire for a smoke. I felt great about that and rewarded myself with a chocolate chip cookie. I baked a whole bunch yesterday to get my mind off of smoking! So in my craziness I have to share this with you. Remember our discussion about deodorant and relating it to smoking. That I like the smell of my husband's deodorant but I would never use it and making that line with his cigarettes that even though I like it I shouldn't use it because it's his. I took it a step further today. As a deterrent I peeled the label from his deodorant and put it on his tobacco bag so I won't make a cigarette. It's my way of drawing the line that the smokes are his not mine and I shouldn't come near them. I showed my husband and he just laughed and said, "whatever works go for it". I know it's a bit extreme but sometimes you just have to take that step to stay away from the temptation. As a side note I've been coughing up the yuckyness that comes along with smoking. I began wheezing badly before and did a nebulizer treatment more as a precaution if anything. It was good to do the nebulizer without the urge to smoke afterwards. I like breathing, breathing is good and kinda necessary :)

Friday, August 3, 2012

8/3/12 - Remember Angie? She's Back!

Deborah, Day 2 sucks just as much as Day 1. Thank you for the group last night. Hearing other people's stories especially someone with COPD really opened my eyes. I'm 31 and on the road to COPD by the time I'm 40. Not good to have something like that at such a young age. Hearing how tobacco companies increased the amount of additives to keep you addicted and harder to quit really pissed me off. It just gave me the extra kick I needed. I told my husband this when I got home and it didn't phase him. When I got home he had his leftover cigarrettes on the kitchen table and he was off to bed. I asked him to hide it and got some resistance by him saying I should be on the honor system. But I'm not ready for the honor system just yet. He thankfully hid the remaining smokes and also the tobacco to make the cigarrettes with. Even though he's not quitting that shows me he's supportive in my efforts. Now onto the fun part about quitting. As you know I have to take the patch off like 4 horus before bed because I'm that sensitive. So I did last night and woke up in the middle of the night screaming my husband's name asking why he's standing over me and began jumping in bed. Of course my husband woke up and said I'm sleeping right next to you I'm not standing over you now go back to bed. Gotta love being sensitive to the patch. I'll be calling my insurance company later to see if they cover the non prescription replacements. I'll let you know how I make out. Right now we are down to one car so when my husband gets back from work I'll give you a call to stop by, I don't have as many patches as I thought I had. Thank you for the lozenges, it's making quitting suck less. I'll leave you with this final thought. Going back to smoking with asthma like I have is like going back to an abusive partner. Yeah it might give you a high but at what cost? Thanks for your help. Angie