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TomW5.15.17's Blog

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Great information on this NPR program today:

 

Just How Hard Is It To Quit Vaping? | On Point 

TomW5.15.17

Day 825

Posted by TomW5.15.17 Aug 18, 2019

I can't remember the last time I thought about how many days I've been quit, or when I last even thought about my smoking.  But I had a reminder today that felt so good, I wanted to share.  We just got back from a 175 mile weekend road trip to see our son.  So two long car rides, several meals out, attended an NFL preseason game, and stayed at my son's cool new apartment and met our new grand kittens!  When we woke up this morning, my wife said she was surprised at how well she slept in an unfamiliar bed.  And then, out of the blue, told me how glad she was I quit smoking since she could never sleep with all my snoring, raling, rattling lung sounds all night long.  Apparently all that stopped within a couple weeks of my quitting.

 

That got me to thinking about my smoking for the first time in months, and I realized what a different weekend this could have been.  Instead of having a blast with our son and his kittens, if I was still a smoker, I would have been miserable all weekend trying to figure out when I could sneak a smoke.  I'm pretty glad I quit too .

No, not for me, for a friend.  Hope I didn't scare you!

 

I was on my way to a friends house to return a book I had borrowed.  He called and asked if I could pick up a pack of cigarettes for him because he was broke until tomorrow.  I said no problem.  And it wasn't.  Didn't bother me buying them.  Didn't bother me having them in my car for 20 minutes.  Didn't bother me him coming out to meet me and immediately lighting one up.  I didn't really think it would bother me, but wasn't totally sure until it was all over.

 

I did get a little bit of a shock though.  He asked me how much he owed me, and I realized I didn't get a receipt.  I asked him how much he usually paid, and he answered $7!  That's almost $1.50 more than when I quit 2 years ago!  I'm so glad I quit.  I really can't afford it anymore.

TomW5.15.17

Smoking and Alzheimer’s

Posted by TomW5.15.17 Jul 14, 2019

Just had my 3rd annual screening since I quit.  Once again will get a $400 discount off the annual premium for being a non-smoker.  I have to admit, all the scare tactics of dire health consequences that were thrown at me over the years never phased me one bit.  Even as I could feel my health deteriorating.  But money definitely talks. 

 

I know, poor prioritizing on my part, money over health. But glad the results help in both departments.  Here's to our health (and wealth)!

TomW5.15.17

Nicotine Abuse

Posted by TomW5.15.17 Jun 10, 2019

Why don’t we call smokers “Nicotine Abusers”?  Why do we reserve the term “Abuser” for only those addicted to drugs or alcohol?  I was definitely a nicotine abuser.  If you look at my profile, you will see that I smoked 15 cigarettes a day.  That doesn’t tell the whole story though.  I kept trying to quit over and over again, and started using nicotine lozenges in greater and greater quantities.  By the time I finally quit, I was smoking 15 cigarettes a day and taking 15-18 lozenges a day.  When I look back, my stupidity never ceases to amaze me.

 

Anyway, even though I was a nearly pack a day smoker, I didn’t get many craves for a cigarette after I quit.  What I really wanted was to suck and chew on a couple lozenges when the craves came.  They finally subsided, and I rarely get an urge anymore.  I can be with smoking friends and have no desire to bum one.  I can go to my old convenience store to buy something and those racks of cigarettes have no effect on me.  But one thing continues to get to me.

 

OK, fair warning, a little TMI coming up.  I have IBS with really bad hemorrhoids.  Not complaining.  I’ve had it for 35 years, and it is just my normal now.  So, again, apologies for TMI but I go through boxes of Tucks Medicated Pads every month.  There is a Target store down the street from my house that sells them cheaper than anywhere else, so I always go there when I’m running low.  When you are in the aisle that has the Tucks, just to the right of them are creams like Preparation H, then there are the Fleet enemas, then antacids and gas relief.  I’m not in marketing, but all of that seems to make sense for product placement.  However, just to the left of the Tucks are all the nicotine lozenges and gum.  I literally brush up against them reaching for a box of Tucks.  I’m never tempted anymore to have “just one cigarette”.  But every da*n time I buy my Tucks, my mind says, “Why don’t you buy a box of lozenges?  Surely one wouldn’t hurt”.

 

I may have to start going to CVS and just pay more for my "butt" relief .

TomW5.15.17

Low Dose CT Scan

Posted by TomW5.15.17 May 23, 2019

I'm having my 3rd one in a year this evening.  They found a nodule the first time and had me come back in 3 months.  That scan was inconclusive as to whether the nodule changed any, so they scheduled this one 6 months later.  Some positive vibes aimed towards central Ohio at 6:30pm would be appreciated .

TomW5.15.17

2 Years

Posted by TomW5.15.17 May 15, 2019

2 years ago this very minute my wife went to run errands, so I took the opportunity to go out to the garage to smoke.  I was about 4 days into a pretty bad cold, and as hard as I might try, I could not inhale even the smallest drag off my cigarette without going into a major coughing fit.  But by God, I kept trying.  I went through 4 cigarettes because they would burn down before I could take another drag.  After 44 years, I finally realized how pathetic I had become.  I crumbled the rest of my pack, dowsed them with water, and haven't looked back since.

TomW5.15.17

Day 709

Posted by TomW5.15.17 Apr 24, 2019

I had to look up that 709 number.  I haven't thought about how many days of freedom I have since maybe last April.  I can't remember the last crave or urge to smoke I had.  That was probably a year ago as well.  And yet...

 

I've been super busy at work doing several projects at once.  It's finally winding down, and I just completed several of the last tasks to do.  I get up to use the restroom, and as I'm walking out I think, "I'm halfway outside anyway, might as well go have a smoke to celebrate my accomplishments".  I started patting my pockets for my pack and lighter, and then immediately starting laughing out loud.  Luckily, no one was around.

 

Not looking for advice.  I don't have any urge to smoke.  I liken it more to a brain f*rt.  Like walking out without my car keys, or walking into a room and forgetting why I came in.  Just an old habitual thought that got muddled in with all the others in my over-worked brain today.  Happy Wednesday everyone!

TomW5.15.17

Great news!

Posted by TomW5.15.17 Mar 19, 2019

Seems like so much sorrow going around lately, I’m hesitant to bring up good news.  I definitely have a savior complex (a strong 9 on the Enneagram) and just want to make it better for everyone.  But this is the best news I’ve had in 4 years, I just have to share.  The lab tests from my last 4 annual physicals showed “trace blood” amounts in my urine.  So for 3 years, I was referred to a urologist for an exam called a cystoscopy.  A rather innocent sounding name for a test, that I didn’t bother researching the details of before going to my first appointment.  I won’t go into the details here, but let me assure you that it is the most unbearable pain I have ever endured, in a part of the male anatomy that males really hate having pain in, and lasting 2-3 days.  This year my urinalysis results came back negative for any blood!  No cystoscopy for me!  If doctors would give young men who smoke this test, and tell them they would have one every year until they quit smoking, we could wipe out cigarette addiction from half the population in a week .

TomW5.15.17

Games?

Posted by TomW5.15.17 Dec 26, 2018

Wow.  What's with all the games on the Recent Activity part of my computer screen?  I posted a question for discussion, and within seconds, it was so far down the list of activity, no one will ever see it.  And yes, I know, this should not be a Blog post, but rather a Discussion post.  But no one will see it if I do that .

TomW5.15.17

Happy National Cat Day!

Posted by TomW5.15.17 Oct 29, 2018

I can't believe I used to dump her off my lap so I could go out to the garage and smoke.  Now she can stay as long as she likes

Image may contain: cat and indoor

TomW5.15.17

Speaking of spouses...

Posted by TomW5.15.17 Oct 27, 2018

Mine had her annual physical yesterday.  Our Doc asked her if I was still an ex-smoker.  My wife said yes, and our Doc told her to pass along how proud she was!  I’m way past the point of needing frequent encouragement, but I have to say it felt nice.  I haven’t seen her since my physical last January.  In fact, with the exception of a mild cold a few weeks ago, I have not been sick since I quit in May 2017!  I’m feeling a little “Ex”tra grateful to be an “Ex”er today !

I’ve only had a handful of smokemares since I quit a year and a half ago.  But until last night, they all had similarities:

  1. I was aware that I had relapsed, but thought I could hide it.
  2. I felt terribly guilty for relapsing.
  3. I woke up in a panic, feeling extreme shame for what I had done.
  4. Even though I could tell I was in my bed, and I had only been dreaming, I still immediately smelled my fingers just to be sure.

Last night’s was different:

  1. I didn’t consider my smoking a relapse, because I was only bumming menthol cigarettes from a friend. And since I never smoked menthol before, and would never go buy a pack of menthol in the future, somehow, this didn’t count.
  2. Then, another friend pointed out the flaw in my logic, and I woke up just as I realized he was right.
  3. This time when I woke up, I immediately knew it was a dream and laughed instead of panicking and smelling my fingers. Why? Because I really never would smoke a menthol no matter how bad a withdrawal urge I was having.  Ick!  No offense, but I don’t know how you previous menthol smokers did it. I would (and did) drive more than a mile to buy a pack of regular cigarettes before bumming a menthol.