Here I am, on Day 24 now. Some days are good, some days are better, a couple of days have almost completely sucked. And I got to thinking...(uh oh, here we go again...)
Here's what some of the sources say: Just 20 minutes after my last cigarette, my blood pressure started to go back to normal and my pulse rate began to go down to normal levels. The temperature of my hands and feet began to increase. (Really? Were my feet and hands cold? I didn't know that. But I've been in a perpetual hot flash for over seven years now and I don't think any part of my body has been cold that entire time. But I'll take the experts' word on it, I guess.)
Eight hours after my last cigarette, the carbon monoxide levels in my blood dropped to normal levels and my oxygen blood levels are increasing. Sounds GREAT! (The whole idea of carbon monoxide in my bloodstream makes me envision myself kneeling at my car's exhaust pipe, inhaling. That's not too far from the truth,is it?)
24 hours after my last cigarette, my chance of having a heart attack started to go down. Not by much yet, but the risk goes down more and more with each and every day I don't smoke. Wow. I'm liking THAT, since my mom died of a heart attack. (She wasn't a smoker, her heart disease was actually a result of rheumatic fever as a child in the 1920's, but still...the idea of a heart attack terrifies me so I like this particular benefit.)
48 hours after my last cigarette, my damaged nerve endings are starting to regrow. (Wait. Damaged nerve endings? Where?) And my senses of taste and smell are starting to return to normal, although that will take some time, too. I haven't actually noticed that yet, but I do find myself in the line at Subway a lot lately.
72 hours after my last cigarette, my body would test 100% free of nicotine!. Woo-hoo! (Where does one go to actually get this test?) My bronchial tubes are starting to relax (I wish my neck muscles would, too!) and my lung capacity is starting to increase already although I don't notice it yet, especially when lugging suitcases up flights of stairs and heaving them into overhead bins...
Ten days after I quit smoking, my daily cravings are seriously reduced, usually to only 2-3 per day. And the blood circulation in my gums and teeth is the same as a non-smoker. (Blood circulation in my TEETH? I know it's true, but that just sounds weird, doesn't it?)
Two weeks after my last cigarette, walking is becoming easier. Hmm. Perhaps I should try taking a walk? Coughing and wheezing is reduced. (I do notice THAT. Big improvement and that feels wonderful!) Phlegm production decreases. Ewww...'nuff said.
Three weeks after my last cigarette,"Brain acetylcholine receptor counts that were up-regulated in response to nicotine's presence have now down-regulated and receptor binding has now returned to levels seen in the brains of non-smokers." Um, yeah. What he said.
Okay, so here's my issue: I'm loving all these improvements. I am SO happy that my brain acetylcholine receptor counts are all good again. But I'm remembering how everyone told me that it was going to be a whole new life without smoking and that everything in my life was going to improve. Now, don't get me wrong; I'm very happy about the blood circulation in my TEETH.
But, if my "whole life" is getting better, how come I'm still getting runs in my nylons? Why won't my hair curl the way I want it to? Why do I still hate beets? How come nobody else takes out the garbage? Why haven't I gotten a raise yet? AND...now I have a hangnail. Sheesh.
C'mon, you guys! You said my whole life would improve, right?? I'm still waiting for proof of that in the form of a bathroom that magically cleans itself. Harrrumph.
I guess you all expect me to just SETTLE for being healthier, living longer and having more self-respect??
Yes. Yes. YES. I will be extremely happy to "settle" for that. Thank you. I love each and every single one of you who takes the time to encourage me in my Quit. xxxooo ;-)