Smoking Quit I Have (said in best Yoda voice)
Quit Smoking Workshop. Saturday, June 16th. 10:00 a.m. South Building. 2nd floor. Adult Medicine Waiting Room. That is what the appointment confirmation card said. And there I was, on the second floor of the South Building with a huge problem. There were actually three waiting rooms, they all looked alike, not one of them set up (or at least I thought so) for a workshop. So, ask someone right? Wrong. The place was a ghost town. You could hear crickets chirping and coyotes howling, not a soul around. Great. It took major effort on my part to get there. Not that it is a far way to drive, but that it was my quit day and it wouldn’t take much to change my mind about that. Finally, the elevator opened, Yay! Maybe someone who would know.
Out walks a short, solidly built woman. Scary, looking actually. The kind of gal I would not want to piss off when drunk. Awesome. Maybe she was another participant in this workshop. I decided to watch and see where she went. Damn if she didn’t just go to the check in counter and look through some papers. So I waited. I could not be the only one participating could I? Finally, the gal turned around and lo and behold, she had a badge on, the kind the doctors wear. I asked her if she knew where this workshop was. I was kinda hoping she didn’t so I could go home, buy a pack of cigarettes on the way and quit smoking another day. No such luck. She was the facilitator. Dammit.
I had another chance to quit quitting smoking when I found out that the workshop was actually for those who want to stop smoking. It would be going over how to plan you quit date, the medicines and tobacco replacements, how to get ready. What? I had chosen the day to quit because I thought it was for those who had quit or were about to. I figured it would be a good day to do so because it was a long day; you were surrounded by folks who understood and maybe learn something too. Not so. As I said, it was how to get ready to quit. It was also not 8 to 5 like I thought. I have no idea where I got that information from but I was wrong. It was a 3-hour workshop. I truly, almost convinced myself that I could go through the workshop, buy cigarettes and plan on quitting in two weeks. Such good clear thinking there. I did not buy a pack. In fact, I have not smoked in 48 hours. So I stayed.
I did learn some things. For sure. One of the more surprising things I learned is that among the thousands of chemicals present in cigarettes (some natural and some added) that one of them was ammonia. The manufacturers add ammonia because it opens the lungs up, therefore enhancing your smoking pleasure. (Hey now it isn’t my idea). As bad as that sounds, with my emphysema and with taking all the inhalers, my lungs are artificially open with the corticosteroids and the ammonia. With not smoking I will not get the effect from the ammonia and I was warned that my chest would feel tight and to keep a rescue inhaler with me. Told not to be surprised that I would need to use it more often for about two weeks. Go figure.
I learned so much. There were only five of us there. An older lady whom was obviously there cause her doctor told her to be. She was one of those that were already convince it would not work. There was a younger gal whose kids were getting on her every last nerve about smoking. Her kids being typical saw it in black and white. You smoke you die, tomorrow. They had no concept that it takes a while and that it is a slow death, so they were stressed about mommy dropping dead when she lit up. (A distinct possibility I might add). The last one was a gentleman, middle aged, who had pneumonia recently. Now honestly, I thought “what a wussy, I have had pneumonia lots of times. “ I did catch myself and changed it to, I would not have gotten emphysema if I had quit the first time I caught pneumonia.” See I am learning.
Again, it has been a little over 48 hours since my last cigarette. It has been difficult. The cravings come fast and furious. I have been eating string cheese, carrot sticks, sucking on a cinnamon stick as well as taking the nicotine lozenges. One of the things I learned at the workshop is that they no longer tell you that you cannot take more the one nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). It is perfectly acceptable for me to take the lozenge, wear the patch, and if I choose, take the Wellbutrin. I do not do well on the Wellbutrin so no drugs for me.
I am grouchy, irritable, having a hard time concentrating, restless, having vivid dreams, but I am not smoking. On the plus side, my sense of smell is already coming back. I never understand why folks thought a cat litter box smelled. I keep it clean but never smell it before. It stinks. Getting coffee at Starbucks this morning was a new experience, boy that coffee smell is super strong as well as the stinky man behind me who smelled like, yup you guessed it, smoke. I am looking forward to these damn cravings to simmer damn. It is a struggle to get through each one. They have been last between 10 to 30 minutes and each one is special. I will not smoke, I refuse to do so. I figured because I think something doesn’t mean I have to act on it and right now my brain is punishing me for not doing as asked.
My last cigarette was at 10 pm June 15, 2012
DISCLAIMER: These posts are nothing more than chronicling my efforts to quit smoking. Anything I write is nothing more than my way of doing so and my feelings associated with those efforts. If you are inspired to quit smoking by anything, you read here, please see a doctor and follow their instructions. I, in no way, am suggesting or recommending anything as means of smoke cessation.