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Old 12-18-2011, 09:58 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2011
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LittleMissPanic HB User
Exclamation Freaking Out!

Ok so here is a bit of my story....

My father was diagnosed with lung cancer in July 2011. He had a sore back that wasn't going away even after going to the family doctor and getting muscle relaxers. I told him he better go to the ER to get a scan because 1000's of thing could be wrong. He did...and turned out he had cancer in his lungs, his stomach and his bones.

July 31 2011 - I quit smoking used nicotine patches and some gum for 4 days, then nothing.


Sept 5 2011 - My father is rushed to the hospital he is unconscious, next 4 days he is fighting to stay alive and they bring him back to bright and shiny. I sleep in his room with him every night.

Sept 10 2011 - I start smoking again. I figure I can quit again later, and this gives me an excuse to "get out" of the hospital for a few minutes here and there to take a break. Hoping it will relax me.

Sept 18 2011 - My father passes away

Nov 9 2011 - I quit smoking for the second time...cold turkey.


NOW here is my PROBLEM. All was smooth sailing I quit, I felt fine. Now about 4 days ago my lungs start to BURN. Bottom of my throat/top of my chest area. I start thinking about my dad and go into FULL BLOWN panic attacks. I am thinking about my dad and I am terrified that something is wrong with me. It is really torturing me. I went to the dr who blew me off somewhat...said I am too young (I am 38 and have been smoking for like 25 years). He gave me an inhaler.

Long story - not so short.....I truly feel like I am about to lose my mind here. I have no cravings, I have no "desire" to smoke....however....I am about 5 minutes away from going to BUY cigarettes if it stops this constant panic. Why the burning 6 weeks after quitting?? Is that normal? I have no coughing at all, no fever no nothing...JUST burning. If it IS normal....how long will it last?
Maybe I quit too soon after my father's death, and everything is just too fresh? I don't know...but I am truly terrified all day every day and it is consuming my life here.
If someone could say to me...yes this happened to me, it lasted a week...then ok. I know what is happening and how long to wait...but every board I read about ex-smokers...no one says they had burning lungs 6 weeks AFTER quitting with no coughing or anything

In my mind now I am thinking omg...its not worth it. Smoke for now....quit in a year when your father's death isn't sitting so hard on your heart But if this is a stage that will be over in a week, then I can do what I can to TRY my best not to lose my mind and hang on for a week or 2....IF someone can tell me this is normal?

THANK YOU so much for listening to my craziness, lol. I know I sound like a maniac

 
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Old 12-19-2011, 03:46 AM   #2
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tryintosmile HB User
Re: Freaking Out!

My goodness, you are amazing! You have been through quite a lot AND have not smoked....you have done good!
I am only a few days into quitting......however I quit for 7 years and then went back to it so I do know what a quit is like. During the start of a quit all sorts of new symptoms may pop up. I tend to let them linger for a week or two and eventually they subside. The burning sensation could be anxiety, heart burn, or a number of minor things. Take a deep breath and try to relax. Do you exercise? If not try walking around the block a few times every day. It's a great stress buster! Keep us posted.....you are doing a great job!

 
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Old 12-19-2011, 03:48 AM   #3
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tryintosmile HB User
Re: Freaking Out!

My goodness, you are amazing! You have been through quite a lot AND have not smoked....you have done good!
I am only a few days into quitting......however I quit for 7 years and then went back to it so I do know what a quit is like. During the start of a quit all sorts of new symptoms may pop up. I tend to let them linger for a week or two and eventually they subside. The burning sensation could be anxiety, heart burn, or a number of minor things. Take a deep breath and try to relax. Do you exercise? If not try walking around the block a few times every day. It's a great stress buster! Keep us posted.....you are doing a great job!

 
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Old 12-20-2011, 04:18 AM   #4
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timpa HB User
Re: Freaking Out!

WOW, take it easy...........

Everyone that stops smoking is different, it's normal to have odd things happen after stopping to smoke, and in your case having to come to terms with your dad, would make it much harder I'm sure.

My dad was sure he was dieing from lung cancer, to the point of even giving in to it even, his DR did all the test and he don't have it, nothing but a few problems meds will help deal with.

Look at it like this your past the hardest part now, it should be getting easy once you start taking it easy, and deal with your dads passing the right way, make some thing good come from it.

And stopping smoking is making some thing good come from it, while it may not make it super easy, you can't give your dad a better honor then to stop smoking, stay with it and you'll be fine.

 
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Old 12-23-2011, 11:11 PM   #5
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BrienE HB UserBrienE HB UserBrienE HB UserBrienE HB User
Re: Freaking Out!

Hi LMP,

Sorry for your loss and I can also relate to the intensity of so much you are going through and putting yourself through.

I stopped smoking a little over three months ago. This was about two months after one of my very best friends ever died of lung cancer. So I think this is a similar kind of 'cue.' She and I were housemates for 13 years and total smokaholic enablers to each other.. It was a lot of fun to be addicts together. Amazing looking back that I lived in my basement room with the smoke and stale smoke hanging in the air constantly. (I moved several years ago to a new place where I could not smoke indoors)

I do wonder often about the worth of quitting considering that quality of life as opposed to simply quantity -- living longer -- the quality is so affected by the performance of all the hormones and neurotransmitters and their relationships moment to moment, that become so changed after nicotine and smoking. Of course, emphysema or cancer carry particular nasty features as either life illness or in end stages, but on the other hand death is usually messy one way or the other and death always gets its job done.

Your story also resonates because of the sensory overload symptoms....shortly before I stopped, I began to wake in the middle of the night feeling a blast of something -- adrenaline or cortisol... something shooting through my being and realized I was going insomniac. I had been going to the gym a lot and slowly training up, then eventually I realized I was starting to not recover well anymore and the disrupted sleep continued. I became more frightened, and somewhere in this period I felt that the two/three evening cigs were now too many, and I was feeling unwell.... stopped smoking, one week, two then three.... well I think looking back I was feeling a lot of things including the dawning of major grief.

Considered that the CPAP I was prescribed for apnea, really was for my own good and that I should go ahead and try to love my CPAP. So I had:

Death of my friend
Death of a cousin a few months prior, and more sad news of friends with cancer, and caregiver difficulties. More news of deaths and sickness
Making myself get used to a hose strapped to my face at night, when I am already having difficulties calming down enough to 'lose it' and sleep at any length.
Starting to 'go hypochondriac' after several years out of that kind of thinking pattern
Smoking cessation!
Some kind of reflux problem, newfound allergies....
Work difficulties, I am a freelance musician and have to create my own work w email, etc...

So anyway there's a list for you.... I'm sure that will resonate.

I guess what I want to say is, please go easy on yourself. Yes it is great that you are taking a cue to stop smoking and hanging on for now, and perhaps you should press on.

In my case, I think my hormonal reserves and balance have been really messed with with taking on a huge emotional workload... I now have an e-cigarette which I use every few nights. So note I did not say three months of nic free, but three months no smoking. (I did go for 6 weeks nothing, and at a peak of depression found in the e-cig a little bit of nicotine to take the edge off)

E-cigs do not give you that blast of dizzying chemicals and carbon monoxide that we call pleasurable after going without overnight or after losing resolve after say a week or so. They do not feel like cigarettes. But I find the nic delivery in them combined with the similarities of holding a tube and inhaling, etc does change the emotional atmosphere. If you take up e-cigs you sort of lose your nic-free bragging rights, my opinion though, is you are A) STILL not smoking, no combustion.... and B) the nic is probably a lot less than what you get from cigs, still mileage varies I guess....In terms of their affects on health there is no telling. Inhaling stage fog (prop glycol of veg glycerin) may be actually really hazardous to health long term, no one knows.

They also can cause dry mouth. SO many days I don't cause my mouth is already sore and dry, probably not because of the e-cig but other issues... but then I think, well having a real cigarette will not help this! So I remain 'smoke' free. anyway that's my story of a NRT approach, after 6 weeks off and finding myself in an inconsolable place of not so much craving but realizing depression and anxiety had been so well managed with nicotine.

I hope this is not so pronounced with you!!

But if you go back don't beat yourself up and realize you are taking on a lot. I've spent a great deal of time yacking on about myself, I wanted to share on a practical level, I think your throat burning and other symptoms are anxietal based and normal and fine in context of what you are going through and expecting of yourself. You are on high alert and everything gets amplified, then you wonder what you are feeling and the monitoring takes on its own life...These are very unlikely to be symptoms of bad disease of any kind, and I think you know that.... All best to you...

 
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Old 01-07-2012, 02:55 AM   #6
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gottaquit51 HB Usergottaquit51 HB User
Re: Freaking Out!

sorry for your loss..i think what your going thru is a number of things . you could be feeling anxiety..my sisters husband died of a heart attack..for weeks every little pain she had she thought was a heart attack..then she started having anxiety attacks, which she thought at that time she was dying of a heart attack..that was 5 yrs ago and she now takes meds for her anxiety..you have suffered a great loss ur body is trying to deal with..its all normal. if youve been to the dr and he says your ok, then u are..just go day by day and continue not smoking, im proud of you, you made it thru all that grief without smoking..hang in there..

 
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