My Top 10 Aids in Quitting Smoking

I am in month 15 now in my Quitting Smoking Journey and can’t believe that I’ve Gone this Long!

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According to Quitnet.com, these are my stats:

Days Quit:  466

Money saved:  $4,893.00

Life Saved:  3 months 2 weeks

Unsmoked: 13,980

So, those are the stats for my smoking journal with quitnett. (I can not recommend this site enough. They really keep you on track and it’s nice hearing other people trying to do the same.)

The other day I was walking past this restaurant where a party of about 10 were saying good-bye to each other. One couple was hanging back, smoking. Usually, if I see someone smoking (especially outdoors), I’d approach fairly closely  just to get a whiff of the smell.

This time, though, the couple looked to be about 65 years old and they looked really unhealthy. They were nice and let me just get my couple of whiffs of the cigarettes and, as I looked at them, I wondered if I’ll look like that also.

When I look at my sisters who have never smoked, I can tell that I’ve definitely aged worse than them. There was, however, no way I was going to quit smoking. I needed a real incentive to quit.

So,.,,how did I make it after smoking 30 cigarettes a day?

1.  I know I’ve written this before, however, the book  Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking had an unbelievable impact on me. It explains the merry-go-round that we get with desiring to smoke. Many, many people recommend this book. It’s really the quit smoking bible.

2. It’s good if the person you live with is also quitting with you. My husband had a stroke and I could not or would I smoke in front of him.  I know that if I didn’t quit, I would be going on lots of walks and going out on the balcony where I could smoke.

3.  You have to find the way that works best for you.

A couple of things I’ve tried:

I tried Nicorette and I got really addicted to it  and that stuff just really messes up your teeth and is expensive. Some people, however, have had great success using the stop-smoking aids

I would get a rash from the patch.

4. The only way that would work for ME is cold turkey.  You may be the type that needs a smoking aid.

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5. Go onto Quitnet.

6. Beware that you are going to vacillate between getting chores done at an alarming rate and just plain sleeping and closing off the world.

7.  I am more aware of people I come in contact with that are smokers. They stink! I mean, it doesn’t really bother me because it validates my quit. However, I can see why people dining out did not want to smell someone else’s cigarettes. (I’ve always had that problem with people wearing strong fragrances)

8. When I had a doctor appointment, I took a long shower, shampoo 5 times (practically) found clothes that didn’t stink of cigarettes and they would still say they could smell it on me. It’s nice now to go around not stinking.

9. I know that everyone says sunflower seeds work to help them quit. I’ve got to admit they do help. I don’t know why; they just do. (In all honesty, I was eating sunflower seeds with the shell on and got the shell lodged in my throat. That was another ER visit I could have done without.)

10. Ice Water – I drank a lot of it and really helped.

Here are some other great quit-smoking resources:

Helpguide.org – How to Quit Smoking

American Lung Association How to Quit Smoking

How’s that Al? 

Tovah

5 Months Since My Husband and I Have Quit Smoking After His Stroke

So, it’s been 5 months since My Husband and I have quit smoking and here are my stats from quitnet (A great resource for quitting smoking and keeps a calendar of how much we have saved and what our bodies have gained each day by not smoking):

womansmoking

  • Quit Date:  3/20/14
  • Time Smoke Free:  157 days
  • Cigarettes Not Smoked: 4717
  • Lifetime saved:  1 month, 6 days
  • Money saved:  $1,573.75

May I just say that I honestly do not know how I have gone this long without a cigarette.

Continue reading “5 Months Since My Husband and I Have Quit Smoking After His Stroke”

12 Weeks of Quitting Smoking after My Husband’s Stroke and Taking it One Day at a Time

I’m on Week 12 of Quitting Smoking after My Husband Had His Stroke and it’s still Day by Day!

smoking2So, you’re probably wondering how it is to be a non-smoker for 3 months.

I would say that, at this point, I’m only thinking about cigarettes about 3-4 times a day which is amazing considering I was smoking well over a pack a day. OK; maybe 2 packs.

When my husband said he was quitting smoking forever when he got out of the hospital, I saw how awful it would be for him if I continued to smoke:

  1.  Trying not to smell like smoke around him;
  2.  Always looking for a place to smoke;
  3.  Running out of a restaurant to smoke;
  4.  My smoking would probably make it more difficult for him to quit;
  5.  Feeling guilty every time I lit up around him.

old-woman-smoking-sandy-powers

Believe it or not, people who have accomplished so much in their life find themselves unable to quit smoking. Cigarettes have the feeling of a “reward” when we feel happy; a  “peace’ when we’ve screwed up. It’s a ‘friend’ who is always there for us. All for the price of about $8.00 a pack.

I believe there is always that ‘Perfect’ time to quit smoking; maybe after being ill when you couldn’t smoke (although ‘hard core’ smokers like me would smoke right through it). Hopefully you’d quit when you are pregnant. Perhaps when you can’t smoke anywhere near your office anymore and you’re forced to go out to the alley.

The Right time for me was driving my husband home from the hospital after his stroke.  We decided right then that we would never smoke again.

I was the most  hardcore smoker of any of my friends.  I would light up a cigarette only to find I had one burning in the ashtray already.

The benefits of quitting smoking

The benefits of quitting smoking
The benefits of quitting smoking

 

The best advice I can give you right now:

1.  Read Allen Carr’s Book on How to Quit Smoking. When you actually are thinking of quitting, there is no other book that spells out how and why we continue to smoke. (I have absolutely NO affiliate with Allen Carr or his book. It is just simply a wonderful book and I got it at the library and I owe a lot of my success thus far to him.) I see that he now has a book for women also.

I NEVER read those ‘feel good’ books and this one spoke to me and to at least 535 people who have read his book and given an almost straight 5.0 stars on more than 500 reviews.

2.  Join Quitnet. This is a helpful community with a great  forum whereby people can really see their progress:

Here are my stats from quitnet:

  • Time Smoke-Free:  91 days
  • Cigarettes not smoked:  2,290
  • Lifetime Saved:  20 days, 24 hours
  • Money Saved:  $887.25

Everyday, it is still a bit of a fight within myself not to have that cigarette.

stopsmokingnails

We went out with friends yesterday and they smoke and I begged them to light up afterwards outside just so I could smell the smoke and I’ve gotta tell you, it still smells good to me. Although I have to say that the smell of old cigarettes on a person smells really bad.

So, here’s the big question:  Have I gained weight? I would say maybe 1 or 2 pounds. Probably because I’ve always eaten a lot. (update: I’ve now gained about 7 pounds.

I am shopping a bit more on the internet as an incentive to ‘stay quit’ although it comes to much less than what I would have spent in smoking and it’s really a lot of fun at night when I’m up and really wanting that cigarette.

I believe that all these advantages with smoking do not occur within the 3 days that the ‘pros’ say that it takes the nicotine comes out of your body. I think it takes longer psychologically to get used to life without smoking.

In all honesty, at this point, I can’t say I see or feel any different from when I smoked.

I thought my skin would just suddenly clear up. It hasn’t yet.

I thought my teeth would really look great. Actually they still look the same.

 

Like I said, ‘I’m taking one Day at a Time”.

Hopefully, all those benefits will kick in one of these days.

Hoping you’re all doing well with your quitting if you are doing so.

This is for you, Al.

All my best,

Tovah

 

 

7 DAYS SINCE WE QUIT SMOKING AFTER MY HUSBAND’S STROKE

I Cannot Believe that My Husband and I Have Quit Smoking For 1 Week Since His Stroke!

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It has by no means been easy, however, my husband and I are really trying not to irritate each other. We both need this to work.

We did a grocery shopping together today and we’re trying to veer more toward healthy choices since we’ve not been eating all that well. Too many carbs and sweets.

We’ve also been eating much more fast food than we’ve ever eaten before. I really haven’t felt much like cooking lately.

fastfood

So, during this week I can say that other than feeling more calm, I am not feeling any of the great benefits yet,

We are definitely not in the best mood and we’ve been sleeping alot.

We’ll try to do some swimming tomorrow since we’ve both got arthritis issues and this will be a great starting point.  UPDATE:  No Swimming.

I looked in my husband’s closet and couldn’t find his swimming suit, so we’ll probably have to buy one in the morning, not find one he likes and say ‘screw it’ about the swim.

Some of the acne is going away, but I gotta admit: I never thought I would get acne by quitting smoking.

I have to remember that it’s going to be quite awhile before I start really feeling good.

Which is why I believe that people go back to smoking. I don’t believe that, all of a sudden, you just feel great.

Sitting here chewing maniacally on gum will probably cost me a fortune in dentist bills.

THE BREAKDOWN:

THE GOOD  It’s so nice not worrying about being down to my last pack of cigarettes; the house smells better; I’m sleeping better; Realized that out of 20 cigarettes I probably really missed smoking only about 5 times a day.  I’ve only gained 1 pound.

THE BAD:  I really miss that first cigarette in the morning with coffee; after meals and while on the computer and reading. Wow! That’s alot, now that I think about it.

THE UGLY:  No great changes yet in my prison pallor ; Eating more sweets at night; Nicorette is really expensive. So it’s kind of a wash at this point with the Nicorette and cigarettes.

So….that’s the first week and we’re still hanging in there!

Everyone has THAT TIME when it’s perfect to quit smoking and I hope this is OUR TIME!

UPDATE:

i’m getting canker sores again (much like the last time I tried to quit smoking). I’m not sure if it’s due to the Nicorette or just not smoking. Last time, it was so bad that I ended up smoking and the sores went away.  I’m really not looking for a way to start smoking but I was particularly interested in this site:  http://www.mouthulcers.org/messages.php?thread=249.  So about 2:00 p.m., I stopped taking Nicorette and started washing my mouth out with salt water and taking B12. (Just a couple of ideas I’ve gotten from the above site.)

It’s obviously a big problem for smokers.  I am still very much in in favor of quitting and I possibly may just have to see how it goes.

Have any of you previous smokers had anything like this? What worked?

Tovah

 

 

 

DAY 6 OF QUITTING SMOKING SINCE MY HUSBAND’S STROKE

Day 6 of Quitting Smoking and Went Out to Eat to Celebrate!

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So….after a day of doing nothing, we made plans to go out to P.F. Chang’s, which is one of the only good restaurants in this town.

We actually got up, showered, put on some clean clothes and went out.

At P.F. Chang’s, we shared the lettuce wraps, which I know EVERYBODY in the world eats except for the really cool people who order some esoteric food.

We moved on to my husband ordering some sweet and sour thing and me ordering a meat dish that I couldn’t read the description because I’m too vain to wear glasses. I just hoped it didn’t have cilantro because that stuff really makes me sick.

Anyhoo, we started with the lettuce wraps and my husband used the lettuce like a little bowl. I tried doing it THE RIGHT WAY but then just gave up. Same thing with the chopsticks.

pfchangs Lettuce Wraps

Then we asked the waitress how hard her job is because I was fired from a waitress job the first day. Actually, it was like the first 3 hours. So, she agreed that it was a tough job and we really liked her.

Our entrees came and I was eating in a way that, I believe, my husband found repulsive.  I gave up on the chopsticks and just ate and ate and ate. When I caught his eye, he seemed fairly disgusted because he left food on his plate. After I’d gotten my fill, I made them box my leftovers up to eat while watching Survivor tonight.  For some reason, watching that show while eating is just so much fun.

Anyway, my husband (very wisely) did not talk about the massive  amount of food I ate.

EVERYTHING TASTED SO GOOD.

Your taste buds really do taste things differently after you quit smoking and so that is definitely a check in the PRO Section ot Not Smoking,

Once we got home, I realized that I was running out of Nicorette. Do I run to Walgreens at night or try to make my 3 pieces last? It reminded me of when I’d run out of cigarettes.

I didn’t want to go back out, so I was very careful with the 3 pieces of gum I had and the 3 pieces I found in the cabinet.  DANGER AVERTED.

So, what can I say?  Not much more has happened. However, after tomorrow, my weeklong anniversary, I will start doing some mild exercise. Perhaps walking Lulu.

In the meantime, I continue to sleep a lot and drink lots of water.

Thanks,

Tovah

Resources:

10 Overlooked Reasons to Quit Smoking by WebMD.

 

DAY 5 OF QUITTING SMOKING AFTER MY HUSBAND SUFFERED A STROKE

Day 5 of Not Smoking and This is the Worst Day of All!

smoking2

It is now 5:00 p.m.  I haven’t showered, brushed my teeth or washed my face.

I woke up, had my coffee and my nicorettes and, outside of cooking dinner (A really strange tortilla dish that I found online and will never make again), I have done nothing.

Well…not quite nothing as I started reading a new book which is really pretty good.

My husband thought we should test out our new taste buds at a great restaurant, but the thought of getting washed up and getting dressed seemed like it  would just take too much energy.

I’m not having that ‘getting well’ feeling yet, nor is my skin suddenly flawless (Come to think of it, my skin actually looks worse) and my non-existent hair shiny.

I hope that tomorrow I’ll feel more like moving, but I don’t know.  The last couple of days I’ve just been getting up, having some coffee and going back to the bedroom to read.

I hope tomorrow is a better day.

Tovah

Additional Resources:

smokefree.gov 

 

 

 

Day 4 of My Quitting Smoking After My Husband Had a Stroke

Day 4 of My Quitting Smoking is Like Being on Tightrope

smoking2

I feel on a tightrope because at this point it would take very little for me to get that pack of cigarettes.

I know that to rid yourself of bad vices, you’re supposed to follow the HALT rule:  Never let yourself get HUNGRY, ANGRY, LONELY, or TIRED.

HUNGRY: I’m really not any more hungry than when I smoked. However,  happily I really am getting a lot less hypoglycemia by not smoking, whereas, before, the hypoglycemia would come on so quickly that I’d have to get some sugar into myself right away.

ANGRY:  My anger level is definitely down. I think I’m just too tired to fight, actually.

LONELY: i HAVE MY HUSBAND WITH ME FIGHTING THE FIGHT.

TIRED:  I am very, very tired. I inevitably have to take a nap in the afternoon. I’m just not getting that jolt that I used to get from a cigarette (though it was short-lived like eating a candy bar.)

I am so associated with my cigarettes and found so many ways of sneaking in cigarettes during the day that I seem no better than the addict (fill in your own drug addiction) always on the hunt for the drug.

I do realize that this is just so important. My husband gave away all his cigars and special lighters that lit even in a blizzard,.

All I DO know at this point is that I will not be the one to break down.

I can’t say that I’m being the giving one, because the fact is:  I have high blood pressure, I have high cholesterol, I’m very overweight.

I don’t know how I will face the inevitable health crisis, but maybe I’ll get some of these problems under control.

TOVAH

 

DAY 3 OF NON-SMOKING SINCE MY HUSBAND’S STROKE

This is Day 3 of Non-smoking Since My Husband’s Stroke

smoking2

There really isn’t any more to tell from yesterday.  I still think of cigarettes every half hour or so.  The end of meal cigarette is missed the most, along with the 3 cigarettes with coffee in the morning. I still don’t feel any great difference in my mood…still on edge, basically.

I’m not really sure I can do this, but I know I have to for my husband’s sake.

I thoroughly believe in the dangers of Second Hand Smoking, which is something I really never believed in before.

Food is starting to taste good and we’re talking about going to a good restaurant and seeing how much our taste buds have come back.

It’s late at night now and this is when I want my cigarettes the most.

Hopefully, tomorrow will be better.

Tovah

DAY 2 OF QUITTING SMOKING AFTER HUSBAND’S STROKE

My Husband and I Are On Day 2 of Quitting Smoking After My Husband Had a Stroke

 

smoking2

A couple of things:

1)  I’m not thinking of smoking as much as I thought I would.

2) Strangely enough I’m actually much more calm without smoking.

3) I’m not as irritable as I expected.

4) I am, however, more tired. I’m not getting that jolt from nicotine. I’ve been drinking more coffee which I guess you’re not supposed to do while quitting smoking.

5) I would say that I have thought about a cigarette about once every 30 minutes.

It helps that I know that I cannot start again.  Ny husband absolutely must quit smoking and I don’t want to make it any harder on him by going back to smoking.

I’m not feeling the depression which I thought would come with not smoking, however, I do feel like I’ve lost a good friend. The cigarette that I smoked when I felt bad, felt good, had after good meals and bad, had with morning coffee, talked on the phone, had after a chore; had when I couldn’t make a decision; had when I came up with the decision; sat outside enjoying my cigarette and possibly making new friends with the other banned  group of smokers.

peoplesmoking

This is not going easily at all yet I feel it’s not as bad as it could be. We haven’t gone out to eat or put ourselves in a position that would encourage smoking.

I don’t know how long I’ll be on Nicorette, but I have a feeling that it will be awhile. Right now I’m on 4 mg and my next step is the 2 mg gum.

My husband is just going cold-turkey. He seems to be having no difficulty at all.

So, other than that, I haven’t really seen any immediate benefits from not smoking, although I don’t have to leave a room carrying my ashtray, cigarettes and lighter.

Perhaps this is ‘my time’ to quit.

Tovah

Additional Resources:

NCI: Harms of Smoking and Health Benefits of Quitting

Healthline.com – What Happens When You Quit Smoking

Day 1 of Quitting Smoking After My Husband’s Stroke

My Husband Had a Stroke and We are Both Quitting Smoking!

stroke

We were very lucky that it wasn’t debilitating. However, during all of the tests, we found out that this was his third stroke.

My husband was in the hospital for 4 days and we were told that he would possibly need a Carotid Artery surgery as there was a blockage on both sides of his neck.

Basically, this was a warning and we were going to take it seriously.

My husband smoked cigars and I was a very heavy cigarrete smoker.

We decided to quit together and today was my first day not smoking in several years.

smoking2

It was really difficult not to have that 1st cigarette of the day with coffee.

My husband  is not  using any non-smoking devices and I am on Nicorette 4mg gum.

So…how did this first day go? It was rough – especially after meals and when I’m writing where I would normally just chain smoke.

I’m sure a lot of damage has already been done for both of us and we both knew the risks.

I know  that it is very important to trade unhealthy vices with healthy ones. Right now I’m just taking it hour by hour.

This first day is not as bad as I thought it would be, but we’ll see a week from now.

So….onto day 2!

Do you have any particularly great tips on quitting? I’d love to hear them.

Tovah

Additional Resources:

Wikihow.com – How to Quit Smoking

CDC.Gov – Tips to Quit Smoking