Hi everyone, here is my story. Started at 14, now 33. I went to the doc about 3 weeks ago for something unrelated and when she listened to my lungs she knew I smoked without asking- the first time that's ever happened. That freaked me out which is odd since I've been told since I was 5 it's horrible for you. But when your doc for years says your lungs sound fine but you still need to quit before it catches up with you or you get cancer, I guess it doesn't really sink in even though you know it's true. I guess it's like eating sugary, fatty food you know is bad for you until you have a heart attack. And then there's the invincibility of youth and being addicted. Not surprisingly I've tried to quit who knows how many times before but now that I have this kick in the butt from my doc (along with one grandmother on constant oxygen and the other with emphysema after decades of smoking).
I'm already pretty good with other lifestyle choices. I eat pretty well and exercise almost every day because it makes me feel better but I could never ditch the smokes for good. I think I'm allowed to say I'm taking Chantix (based on the Chantix sticky it sounds like there was some product endoresement going beyond "This worked for me"). If it works it might have more to do with what my doc told me than the drug itself because all my other attempts were sort of half hearted "I feel ok but it's bad for me so I should probably quit" attempts. I tried welbutrin once which seemed to reduce cravings but the problem I think was my committment. I'm finding it easier to resist temptation now that I'm more committed, but it's just the first day although my drive to work this morning was awfuly lonely.
How long until I start hacking up tar? I happened to get a cold or sinus infection the same day I stated the drugs that is now also upper respiratory so I'm afraid I'll go from the illness cough to smoker's cough with no break. Whatever I have is lasting over a week- another quit incentive right there.
Any habit changing advice would be appreciated. I have some sugar free candies and some Kashi granola bars on hand if needed. If you're still reading I thank you.
Whoo-hooo, Liz!!!! WTG on taking these so important first steps
OT: We need a dancing smiley, one that like makes the little circle with its arms in front of its chest/rib cage.
Just to reinforce your reason(s) to quit, as someone who had smoked as long as you and has now been smoke-free for six weeks, you can tell someone who smokes very quickly, and you don't have to listen to their chest. She probably noticed how yellow your fingernails and teeth were. She also probably took note of your chart and past illnesses, such as upper respiratory infections constantly needing a doctor's attention and not going away on their own. No offense, but you stunk as a smoker. I know, I did, too. Your purse stunk, your wallet, anything you had in your purse with your cigarettes stink. (You will really notice this after being quit for about three weeks, especially your purse). And no amount of showers, lotions, mints or brushing your teeth gets rid of it. You need at least a week smoke-free to get that smell off of you. If you've regularly smoked for so long, you have a dead-giveaway cough. I think as smokers, we become so used to hearing it, we don't even notice it anymore, but you will notice it as a nonsmoker. You will hear it in a grocery store or restaurant and realize you don't make that sound anymore.
I, too, quit for health reasons. Whatever your motivation is for quitting, I give you a standing ovation for and applaud -- and I'm sure your physician is thrilled for your decision, too!!!
I never hacked up any tar. I coughed up about a half of a pint of the stuff daily as a smoker, but I never coughed it up once I quit. And my sputum is clear now, too, so I don't think it's still down there. I was a heavy smoker, 20 years, up to 2 1/2 packs per day for the last five years; 1 - 1/2 packs per day in the 15 years before that.
I slept a lot the first week. I still have all my gums (Orbitz Mint Mojito here). Lots of deep breathing, too, when those cravings/urges hit. A craving lasts three minutes. You can handle three minutes. Remember to give yourself lots of positive reinforcement. You probably smoked when something made you happy, stressed and sad. Your brain will be expecting a cigarette during those times. You need to give it something else. The Chantix helps, but it does only get you so far. What will be your rewards to yourself? You will want to think about these things both in the big picture, as well as the little picture.
Take it one day at a time. Just get through today without a cigarette (once you quit, that is). Try not to think about tomorrow. Just get through this day. Tell yourself that every day and every time you want a smoke.
The benefits are out of this world. You're about to get two of your five senses back. That's right! For the last 20 years, you haven't been tasting or smelling things.
Please keep us posted & let us know how you're progressing! These boards are enormously helpful, even just to go back and read your own journey and how far you've come.
I hope I'm like you and don't cough a lot. My dad said he coughed so much when he quit in the 70's that he wondered if it really was better for him. But if that happens to me I know it will get better just like he did. Hopefully I won't annoy my coworkers much.
With regards to senses- I've noticed I've been putting a LOT of salt on my food because it tastes so bland and that's certainly not good for you though I've never had high blood pressure yet.
I also in hindsight remembered that I've been on antibiotics twice in the last couple years for bronchitis but never before that. Another thing I didn't mention is that I've noticed my endurance has decreased in the last couple months.
I'm also worried about weight gain because I'm already overweight (PCOS and high testosterone) and it's nearly impossible for me to lose. I know that you have to gain quite a bit of weight (I think it was like 100 lbs) to equal the overall health/cardiovascular risk equivalent to smoking but I enjoy jogging and can't afford to gain much while still being able to jog. I know that my lungs function will improve but too much jiggling just HURTS.
Thanks Bob! I will have a challenge tomorrow going to fireworks with two friends of mine and one of their mothers who smokes. I hope she smokes menthols since I always hated them and won't try to bum one. One friend knows I'm quitting so maybe if I lose it and try to bum they can beat me to the ground.
I'm glad you didn't cough a lot either, that's making me more optimistic about it.
Congrats,I went to a cook out last night and everyone there was a smoker,not me(on chantix) and beleive it or not it didn't phase me.I have been smoke free for 5 days and I have realized that I have started weezing,could just be the humidity.
Just stay strong and remember why you chose not to smoke,and to be become a non-smoker.
Liz don't worry about the weight gain right now,they say the average person gains 22 pounds when they quit smoking.Just snack on healthy items.Try taking some short walks and so forth.
Luckily I didn't see friend's mom smoking. She was outside for about 10 minutes but the rest of us were having conversation so I didn't notice until later. Her step dad is on chantix too and is on his 4th month. Is that common? I think he smoked for 35 years, so maybe that's why he had problems when he tried to stop it.
As for candies I actually already had bought some sugar free jolly ranchers and werther's. I'm really tired today since I got home late after fireworks but at least I'm not smoking. I will have to keep busy on the weekend to keep from smoking. I'm going to a festival on Saturday and I'll have to do something on Sunday. I like cooking, I can make a complicated dessert. I need to sleep a lot too so my darn cold/cough will go away completely!
Awsome Liz- Glad you made it through. Another day under your belt. I'm on month 4 of chantix too- just because my doctor said to, but Ihave been weaning myself off. Keep it up! We are roothing for you!
Be careful with the sugar free candies, the sweetener can have a laxative effect. I had to quit cold turkey due to back surgery. I gained 16 pounds in the first 7 weeks, but have already started to head back down (lost 2 so far). I am not constantly looking for something to put in my mouth anymore. I am at 67 days quit.
One thing you may try is a set-aside jar. Each day place the amount of money you would have spent on cigarettes into that jar. You will be amazed at how quickly it builds and you will have a nice little reward fund.
Yes, I've had the isomalt before but I've never ingested enough for that effect luckily. I had to stop eating them yesterday because I was afraid I would get to that point!
Weight gain is a bigger concern for me since I already exercise a lot and rarely ever lose, I guess due to high testosterone levels. So when I hear "you can lose it later" I think, "You don't know my history!" (I only lost once on one kind of BCPs but the side effects were too much to keep taking it.) But if my endurance increases maybe I can avoid it. I'm not hungrier yet, in fact I'm much less hungry and am eating less but those candies still have calories, they just don't affect glucose or insulin levels I think.
I already calculated I'll save almost $1200 a year, Maryland has a high cigarette tax.
I'm glad you were aware BEFORE you ate too many! LOL
I like to chew on baby carrots also, but after you eat about a 2 lb bag, they will have the same effect. If I am watching a good movie with a bag of carrots on my lap, pretty soon they will be gone.
I too have too much testosterone. I have the balding, mustache, beard and chest hair to prove it (sucks). But then too, I gain muscle mass like a man also, that is an up side.
Montana also has a nasty tax. A pack of cigarettes here are between $4 and $5 depending on brand. The state also has an advertising blitz on the legal issues of buying online or out of state to avoid the tax. A few times ATF has set up roadblocks to catch people that were going onto the reservations buying hundreds of cartins. I'm in Glendive, 30 miles from North Dakota.
May I ask if you gained a lot when you quit (specific numbers aren't necessary, that might be too personal)? Of course we're all different so I could gain less or more. They say to exercise to take your mind off craving but I already do. I did notice my endurance was better when I did cardio on Friday so I'm hoping that continues. I'm lucky that I don't have a lot of the problems other women have with the testosterone, so I know it could be worse for me.
I can't believe I made it through the whole weekend without cheating! I was sure I was going to. How long until the smoker's cough starts for those who had it? I was coughing a bit today (6 days after quitting) so I was wondering if it was starting. It seems like it would be too soon but I have no idea.