KK, I can relate to the weight gain but mine is not from meds, it is from forced smoking cessation. I have not had a smoke since surgery 52 days ago and I really want one! With not being able to be active and take my mind off them, I have been eating instead. I have already gained 26 lbs (10 was prior to surgery though) of the 45 I had lost.
I have also posted on the smoking cessation board, but I am hoping someone on this board will have some suggestions that are more specific to a spiney.
I had "intended" to quit "soon" anyway, or else a fusion would not be enough to make me quit. I would try an Rx, but my general physician just left town and I checked when the soonest I can get in to get established with another --- August! Will not do me much good. And that date was with requesting antidepressants. Good thing I am not suicidal I am stuck doing this on my own.
When i find out i need a surgery my Doctor told me if i don't stop smoking he will not do it since fusion will may not take and no reason for me to go thru all this pain if i still will be smoking. So practically it was like: smoking or surgery. It was hard to quit, but i wanted to go back to a normal life after surgery (i hoped) and sigaretts were not that important even though we smoked for years; not too much, but still.
4 month before surgery my husband and I had our last puffs and quit cold turkey. Was hard, no question, but we did it and i am so proud of it.
Weight gain i did not experience- i used to be very active and thin... i gained though during my recovery: in one year 15 pd! I believe from not able to be active and all steroids i have been on.
I can relate to quitting smoking. I quit two weeks before my fusion, that was six months ago. I am still not smoking. I still want one once and a while. It is not easy, but it really does get easier with time. I did do the chantix for about six weeks, the rest of the time I just think of the fusion pain everytime I want one. Congrats bwitht on going 52 days!!! You are doing really good! it really does get easier ( I smoked for 13 years ). Good luck to you.
Hi, definitely try the Chantix if you can afford it. If not, have you tried the lozenges at all? Or maybe even the lozenges plus puffing on a fake cigarette. It's called EZ-Quit or something. It's plastic with some sort of filter in it that has vanilla and/or menthol flavor in it. Maybe trying this along with a lozenge might help a bit.
Hello , I know how you feel !! I used to smoke cigarettes for 20 years but quit in a moment when my surgeon told me about how tobacco kills the spine and would jeopardize my discectomy. Why not try cigars or a pipe ?
It is hard , no doubt about it but its something you just have to do. After 5 days the anxiety will be 50% less. After 5 weeks you will not have strong cravings, after 5 months the smell of a cigarette will make you ill ... My wife still smokes and it smells gross now .. Just think of the pain and think of which is worse , the pain of quitting or the pain of your back + legs killing you ?
Good luck and remember ...You don't need medication . You can do this on your own ..even right now if you really want to ..
Think about the connection of how many of us here smoke and fail with our surgeries !!
GOOD LUCK !!!!!
I just had to add to this. I had spinal fusion in 2000. My surgeon also said I MUST quit smoking or NO surgery. I quit for 2 weeks before surgery and my anxiety level was so high my primary doctor said for me to go ahead and smoke until the surgery. While in the hospital they started me on Zyban. From the first Zyban it was like I never smoked before ..NO CRAVINGS AT ALL !! I hadn't had a cig in 3 months and THOUGHT I was totaly over it. You can not drink any alcohol what so ever for risk of seizures on Zyban and I wanted to have a toast at my nieces wedding so I got off of the Zyban thinking I no longer needed them. You are suppose to take Zyban for 4 months and my cost at the time was like $150.00 per month (cheaper then cigs however I didnt' think about that) Welllllllll within 2 weeks I was back to smoking....... Now here I am 7 years later with more spine problems than before and when I went back to my surgeon he said had he known I went back to smoking he would never had seen me. My spine can take no more operations so I am left with pain 24/7 however if I could have had surgery he would not do it unless I completely quit smoking again. I no longer can work because of the pain(I worked the same job for 20 yrs), or do much of anything else, everything makes me hurt. Now I am starting to rattle on,lol ... I just had to add that I did quit smoking long enough for my fusion to fuse so I quess at the time as hard as it was it was worth it. The Zyban was my best friend !! ... take - care, Sandy
52 days on your own...congratulations. I begged my primary Dr. for Chantix...begged. He went on and on about commitment etc. Well, why did I ask him if I wasn't interested. Went to my cardiac Dr., and here he is offering the stuff...I didn't even ask...well, I took the prescription...and last Mon. I started...you can smoke for the first week...as of Mon. I will have to stop that, but I have been cutting down each day.... It is weird...kind of takes the desire away... I am so fortunate, our ins. pays for most of this med., but, it is normally about $118..a month...which is cheaper than smoking usually. I went to the pharmacy ready to pay, and was surprised when the ins. paid for most of it. This is a crutch...you still have to stop smoking. Cold turkey didn't work for me...I became a horrible person...anxiety, nasty etc. My husband used the patches 10 years ago...and that was hard. I guess it is a mind set., but when I think of the health I hopefully will be gaining, I am going to try...and give it my best. You are so far ahead of me...I admire your strength..keep up the great work..and be proud of you...
When I first had my fusion done it was on an emergency basis - I had fallen from a window and ended up with spinal fractures - I was a 2 1/2 - 3 pack a day smoker and had been since 1970! Well, I was very, very lucky because I did fuse, but went on to need many, many more surgeries because of further compression fractures. My orthopedic surgeon at the time also insisted that I quit smoking and when I was in the hospital they would give me the nicoderm patches when they were still prescription medicine. I really do think that smoking made my bones weaker - although in the end it was severe osteoporosis which was the cause of my continued fractures. I tried everything to quit....I mean EVERYTHING!! Smoking cessation programs that cost mucho bucks, "artificial" cigarettes, patches, gums, bio-feedback, yoga...you get the idea!! Most of the problem was that I really ENJOYED smoking. It was my way of relaxing, my way of keeping my weight under control, my way of soothing myself when upset, ect. I was diagnosed with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) in 1999, then with pulmonary hypertension that could have been a death sentence. But, I STILL didn't quit!! That cigarette was my very best friend. Then in 2000 my daughter was getting married. She said, "Mom, the only thing I've ever really wanted from you was for you to quit smoking. Won't you please quit and that can be my wedding gift from you...?!" That did it..I guess I was just ready. I put on one more Nicoderm patch and made an appointment with a hypnotist. After the first session I walked out and said to myself, "Well, I can see that this is another crock of ****!" I lit up a cigarette and took a few puffs. Then I threw it away and crumpled up my pack. I've NEVER had a cigarette since!! And that was 7 years ago. As a matter of fact, I never changed the Nicoderm patch that I had put on before going to my first hypnotist appointment. I totally forgot that it was on and for some inexplicable reason I never had a withdrawal symptom. I did follow up with my last 2 sessions that I had already paid for. So my advise to anyone who wants to quit smoking is try a hypnotist. You never know...it may just be the thing that does the trick. I have to admit, however, that I still love the smell of smoke. I've been known to cozy up next to someone who is enjoying a cigarette and take a whiff of second hand smoke!! I know....I'm sick...but what can I do? I just want to be honest about it!! Good luck- KathyMac
I think quitting smoking is the hardest thing a person will ever encounter in their lives. Unless you have been a smoker, you will never know how hard it is to quit. I have smoked for 31 years (since age 16). I enjoyed smoking. It became such a habit I did it in the car, after meals, after sex, etc... certain events triggered a cigarette. I now have 2 failed fusions and am going on 7-2 for a 5 level fusion with hardware. This is a new younger surgeon than the one who did my first 2 surgeries. He told me his success rate is 90-95% in non smokers and that the numbers drop to 35% in smokers. I about fell out of my chair. The first surgeon encouraged me to stop smoking but never gave me these kind of numbers. So because I already had the prescription for Chantix on my refrigerator (given to me by my cardiologist after having 3 stents in my right coronary artery last July), I decided it was now or never for me. I started taking it in May and stopped smoking for good on June 1st. I have had no withdrawal effects at all. I still think about cigarettes, but I do not crave them at all. People still smoke around me but that doesn't bother me either. I hope it stays this easy. Now I look back and am astounded at how smoking a cigarette dictated my life. It told me where I could sit in the restaurant, when I could take a break at work, it interrupted intimacy with my husband after making love, it told me I had to go outside to partake in the habit, it disallowed my entrance in certain public buildings, it made me smell like a dirty ashtray and gave me bad breath. I will NEVER be one to put down those who smoke since I believe it is a personal choice, but I feel freer than I have in years.
Stick with your decision. It is the right one. You are doing yourself a great service by giving up this costly habit. Pick up some hobby to keep your hands occupied. I am constantly doing something even while watching T.V. Don't worry about the weight gain right now. I weigh the most I have ever weighed in my life, but I feel most of it is attributed 5 years of back problems. Before I began having back problems & surgeries, I was much more active and able to do many activities that I'll probably never do again.
You have made the right decision. Hang in there. It will get easier every day. Signed: Another non smoker! Syndee
Sorry for the delay in responding to everyone. You guys/gals have no idea how much your words of encouragement have helped. I have really had a good week (for smoking cessation not so good for back pain) and I feel stronger than my cravings.
I wish I could quit smoking. I started Chantix and it didn't work for me. I have smoked since I was 14 yrs old. My doctor thinks I am fused. 21 months post-op. The odds are better for fusion for a smoker that quits just prior to surgery than a non-smoker. (according to my surgeon). I gained weight prior to my surgery and had to drop 40 lbs before I was down enough to do the surgery, then came the quitting of the cigs and no way could I completely quit. Now I need another surgery and I will try again before surgery. I am told everyday that my opiate meds would work better if I didn't smoke. Proven fact on Vicodin and Norco.(Check drug interaction with tobacco). I think if you have gone that long without, just keep going without them. The weight gain will taper off. Good Luck
I used to smoke a pack a week, but chewed skoal and big leaf stuff almost 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
That was 7 years ago, How did I do it? I had rotor cuff surgery while in the Army and was on convelesant leave and it was a painfull recovery and thepary. I decided at that point it was time to quit both of them cold turkey. I was away from the enviroment and the people that all smoked or chewed. I never smoked around my wife or our 2 daughters / it was put the uniform on at zero dark early in the morning get in the pick up light up a cigarette and wake up on the way to work and have a cup of coffee as well.
It was tradition or so it seemed to me one went with the other. In the social setting it was beer and tobacco. I at times feel the urge for a chew / I very seldom have the desire for a cigarette. When I do I tell myself and others that that phase of my life is over and it is time to move on. At the price these days it would be very easy for me to quit. I do not see how people can afford to keep this habit...
Best of luck / it is mind over matter - you dont mind and smoking really does not matter. You have to do it for you or it will never work. That is what I did and it happened to work. I am such a lucky person. Some people that I know went and get hipnotized and it worked for them as well. For some it did not work... I have not seen many people that worked well for the patches. I think that they did not want to really quit all that badly. Just my experiences. I am sure that it has worked for many many people.
Just a little up date on my experience with Chantix...so far....I started taking it a week ago Mon. I smoked...and bought more ciggies...well on Mon. I had to increase the dose to 1 mg. 2 times a day....was supposed to give up ciggies on Mon...but didn't...wasn't ready....yesterday...well....duh...realization came over me...if I stopped buying the ciggies...maybe I would quit. Had my last one about 2 p.m. yesterday...going good so far...Amazing. Really don't have the severe cravings I had in the past when I gave them up. Not to say, I don't want one every now and then...but I just do something else. The only side effect I have experienced is that a few times my stomach gets really upset especially after breakfast.. don't know why then. Bu I am trying. I told my husband, that I am still a smoker. But not smoking right now. Don't want to build up my expecations too much, failure is a bad word. But I am not a smoker this morning, and hopefully won't be one later. Don't have any ciggies, so it's much easier to say that.