Be Prepared!

Blog Post created by Thomas3.20.2010 on Sep 26, 2014

Growing up in Kansas, we basically had 2 options 4-H and/or Boy Scouts. I picked Boy Scouts. There was something about collecting all those badges and getting my Mom to sew them onto my uniform! Well, if you know anything about Boy Scouts then you’ve probably heard of their slogan “Be Prepared!”

To this day that’s how I am! At work they call me Inspector Gadget! Need a flashlight, pair of scissors, bandaid, needle and thread? Ask Thomas! He has them all in his backpack! Coworkers often ask why I bring so much stuff with me and my answer, “I always come prepared!”

Although this may be an annoying habit of mine, there’s one place where it came in handy – my Quit Journey! I didn’t just jump off a cliff from smoking to nonsmoking! OH NO! Thomas had to be prepared!

I was diagnosed with COPD March 14 and gave myself until Spring Day, March 20 to quit cold turkey. Only 6 days because I knew that waiting too long would make my interest and motivation fall off! Going Cold Turkey that same day would set myself up for failure! I wasn’t prepared! But I was determined to become prepared!

That same day I was diagnosed I enrolled in BecomeanEX! I also prepared to quit by noting triggers, practicing delay for each smoke, investigating ways to distract myself through the craves, buying healthy snacks and drinks like cranberry juice, making lists of what I might like about becoming an EX as well as what I presumed were smoking advantages, reading about Nicotine Addiction, and even telling Family and Friends that I was quitting smoking! I was one busy person!

When Quit Day came I had read 1 and knew what to expect. I drank gallons of water and bottles of cranberry juice. I ate 6 small healthy meals a day and gave myself lots of time to rest and sleep whenever I could. I threw out all of my smoking paraphernalia – ashtrays, lighters, anything that reminded me of smoking – even my old coffee cup I used to drink my first cup with my first sickerette of the day! I cleaned out my car, stayed away from my old smoking areas, avoided gas stations, even skipped my breaks at work!

I apologized to my Wife for any grumpiness I might have in the week to come. I told my smoking Friends that I wouldn’t be around for awhile until I was sure of my Quit. I told all of my Friends and Family what I thought would be most helpful for me  - some it was, “don’t ask!” others it was “don’t scold!”

Every day I came to BecomeanEX and read through all of the Blogs. I didn’t write a whole lot but I lurked – and listened! You see, I had never read or written a Blog before! I had no idea what it would be like!

As my Doctor’s appointments came up (I had just been diagnosed with lung infection and COPD) I talked to my Health Care Professionals about my Quit Journey and how it would affect my Body and Mind. I asked about how medications might be changed and what to expect in the future. Most of the responses had a sort of vague skeptical  reassurance about them even though I knew that this was it! I had touched my last sickerette! I guess Doctors are used to being disappointed by smokers’ promises to quit….

Anyway to make a long story short, I took each day minute by minute, counted my blessings and stayed disciplined and focused! 4 ½ Years later, I know it was all worth it! My only regret is that I didn’t quit sooner! But life is what it is and I’ve learned to live it by Life’s terms – one day at a time knowing that I’m Exactly where I need to be!

Somehow I imagine that I will always Be Prepared!

You can take the Boy Scout out of Kansas but you can never take the Man out of Boy Scouts!