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constanceclum Blog

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Hanging in there!

Posted by constanceclum Jul 31, 2018

Day won! I'll admit I'm struggling-not quite as bad as yesterday but the fatigue has set in. Unfortunately, I'm not a person that can nap. My minds too racey.


I've been really thinking about my history of relapse and why. Why some get it the 1st time and others don't. We see the same in AA. Some people stay sober for life after their 1st meeting while others, like me, have multiple relapses. In fact, alcohol has been a big reason why I couldn't quit smoking in the past. Now I've been sober for 2 yrs. but still haven't quit smoking. I think the reason is listening to the nicotine addiction lie and my tendency to over-analyze everything. Take the last quit. I was smoke-free for 5 weeks and loved every aspect of it. I was using chantix and, after the 1st couple of weeks, I had no desire to smoke. Well, I did have 1 issue. Severe bloating after eating causing nausea. Now, I am aware that quitting smoking causes stomach/digestive issues but my addiction insisted it was the chantix. So I cut my dose in half and immediately the cravings came back. My addiction tells me there is no way I can quit cold turkey so I immediately light a cigarette. I discover I'm in a position where I can't smoke (my lungs will no longer tolerate it) and I can't not smoke. Whew, what a dilemma! So I decide that better the stomach issues and be able to breath and start the chantix again. I remember how wonderful life was for 3 weeks of not smoking versus how miserable I was when I smoked. Well, guess what? I've been on the chantix for 8 days and I'm on day 2 of not smoking and my stomach is fine.


But this is how our addiction lies and manipulates. Even after 5 yrs. of trying to quit, it's still more powerful than I am. I don't fall for the "just 1 won't hurt", but the power of nicotine can be more subtle and sneaky. When I blog here, from now on, I will try and be more honest about the thoughts going around in my head so when they get too crazy, you guys can straighten me out!




I must love to suffer

Posted by constanceclum Jul 30, 2018

Day 1 again with everything that goes with it and, the worst thing is, I keep putting myself through it over and over again. I think I've learned this time that I can't smoke without being miserable. Before I quit in June I had 5 weeks of feeling like I was breathing through a straw and horrible coughing fits and that's exactly how it's been the last couple of weeks. On cooler days when the humidity isn't so high, it's better but it's not going to stop being hot in NC in the summer and I'm not moving so it just has to stop. Plus, I realize that it's still completely abnormal, that if I keep smoking, eventually that will be how I feel all the time. My lungs and bronchioles are just too damaged.


I appreciate all the support concerning my breast cancer. I'm not worried about my prognosis because it's good and we all know plenty of survivors-they're all over. I have some anxiety about the treatment plan, which I won't know until Thurs., and my 11 day trip I'm taking in Sept. for my son's wedding and granddaughter's 1st birthday. It will break my heart if I can't go!. I was really mad for a couple of days at God. It hasn't even been a yr. since I was diagnosed with immune deficiency which I have to go for very expensive infusions every month and in March I had lung surgery. For the past 4 mo. we've been working on my high ammonia level which I have to take lactulose, a laxative which causes me to have diarrhea and gas. Isn't dealing with copd enough. I asked God if this was his sense of humor or did he consider me Job and was just never gonna let up.


But I've reached a stage of acceptance. It could be a lot worse like terminal lung cancer or a host of other things. So, even though today's craves are rough, I'm still feeling blessed!




Day 1 tomorrow

Posted by constanceclum Jul 29, 2018

The 5 weeks I didn't smoke were probably the best weeks of my life. I could breath so much better (only so good though with copd), my cough was gone, I could do more at the gym. I was spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically so much better. The only problem was severe bloating and nausea which I blamed on the chantix. So I stopped the chantix and started smoking because I don't believe, with my anxiety and the ongoing, almost continual stress I deal with, that I can quit cold turkey. Well the 3 weeks I've been smoking have taught me that I can't smoke anymore. I feel like I'm breathing through a straw and I have several coughing fits a day. I'm embarrassed to leave the house. I've been so depressed that I haven't left the house or even showered for 3 days!


Well, I decided that the stomach issues were better than the respiratory ones so I started taking the chantix again in 4 divided doses instead of 2 and have had no stomach issues. I'm feeling so much better just knowing that I won't be smoking after today I finally got in the shower and will be going to the gym and an AA meeting tomorrow.


1 more reason-I found out last Mon. that I have breast cancer. I won't know my treatment plan until I see the 3 Drs. next week but I know that it's small and stage 1 so I'm real optimistic. I just know that not smoking will only help with the treatment.


I'm ecstatic about being back!



I've heard of people doing this and even stopping it early because of not being able to tolerate it and still having successful quits. The problem is I have been sick a good amount to time since I started it. The 1st couple of weeks, I blamed it on nicotine withdrawals but, it changed to no appetite, only being able to eat small (like 8 bites) amounts and still feeling very full with horrible nausea. Then, the very vivid dreams turned very disturbing. I was so impressed with how chantix was helping me that I assumed I would be on it for 6 mo. but enough is enough. I decided that others quit without aids. That it isn't chantix quitting, it's me quitting. Even with chantix, I still did the things we all do: deep breathing, staying busy, distraction, coming here-sometimes several times/day. I still have the Lord's strength and the EX community. I felt some stronger urges today but part of me wonders if it's psychological because of not taking chantix. I'm thinking of taking half-dose tomorrow and see how I feel.


What I'm really needing is advice from others who quit with chantix though I don't think there's a lot of you and EXtra encouragement from all my buds here that I still got this.




Thanks everyone

Posted by constanceclum Jul 5, 2018

I was so thrilled at all the birthday and congratulatory messages and pics yesterday that I went and looked at them again. Birthdays aren't much at home for me anymore with the boys all living out of state. Scott gave me a gift, of course, and I talked to all the boys but a lot of you know how it is when we get older. Most of the time, we don't even want to recognize it. But not this yr. I love entering a new decade free from smoking. So many new experiences and opportunities!


I hope all of you had a great 4th and thanks again for thinking of me!



1 Month of Freedom!!

Posted by constanceclum Jul 4, 2018

And that is totally nicotine free! That's a 1st for me as I've always used patches before so I feel like I have more invested.

And, today is my birthday so I have a lot to celebrate. I am 60 and not bothered by that at all. I look forward to each day. They're not all perfect and I'm dealing with a lot of stomach issues which means more Drs. and tests which I am very tired of but will not smoke over. Even when I don't feel well, my nonsmoking days are so much better than my past smoking days!

Happy 4th everyone!!! Enjoy!



Day 29

Posted by constanceclum Jul 2, 2018

For the most part, all is good. Still a little rough in the morning but not near as bad as the first couple of weeks. I just don't dwell on it and it gets better. For the most part, I don't even think about it much.

I went for my monthly infusion this morning, a process that takes about 3 hours. The infusion center is at our local hospital. Small rooms without doors, reclining chairs and t.v.'s. All in all not too bad but, for some reason, I had pretty bad cravings the whole time I was there. The same type cravings I would have when I was still smoking. It was funny though, the minute I walked out, they completely stopped. My husband picked me up. He came straight from work and it's a 25 minute drive home. I couldn't even tell you if he smoked or not. I think I'm getting pretty use to being a nonsmoker and, for now, I only dwell on it when I can't have 1.


Oh well, on to NML lol, we eat NML for breakfast!




YAY, All Better

Posted by constanceclum Jun 28, 2018

Just a 24 bug to remind me that I don't have to smoke no matter what. Today I'm 100% and EXtra grateful. I've never, not even once, regretted not smoking.





Posted by constanceclum Jun 27, 2018

I've been sick since last night. Some stomach bug that's kept me home and near the bathroom. And I've realized something, Used cigarettes as comfort when I've been sick too. It's been nagging at me more all day.


All the things I've relied on smoking to help get me through and it's a type of lonliness learning to get through things without them Most days I've been staying busy, busy and then busier. I haven't felt like doing anything today except read blogs.


I'm whining and I know it. Smoking won't really help me feel better but time will. I'll make it!


Thanks for listening,



Hi Friends

Posted by constanceclum Jun 25, 2018

For the most part I've been posting about positive things that are happening. That is because I am choosing to focus on the positive. But I don't want to fool anyone. This is not easy. I still have cravings, primarily in the morning. I just went through a 20 minute very strong crave with the lightheadedness and feeling like I just might die if I don't smoke. What I choose to focus on though is, how much better I feel most of the time. How much easier it is than 3 weeks ago and how much easier it will be in 3 weeks than it is now.


SINAO is what works best for me. Over 2 yrs. ago I had a pulmonologist tell me that I was looking at an early death if I kept smoking which I did. I used the same excuses that others use. I have bipolar depression with anxiety so it's impossible for me. I have too much financial stress. Well, it's 2 yrs. later and all that's happened is my copd has gotten worse and I've decided I want to live. I've learned to have joy in my life and enjoy every minute even when I'm going through withdrawal symptoms. Believe me, withdrawal symptoms are better than copd symptoms which I had for 6 weeks prior to my quit date. As soon as the heat and humidity hit NC I started with the wheezing and almost constant cough. Even prednisone and my nebulizer didn't help. Having to stay in on days with poor air quality. I don't choose to stay in now but I don't hang around outside either.


If your on the fence about quitting don't just choose life, choose quality of life.





Posted by constanceclum Jun 24, 2018

I joined Planet Fitness this past Fall when I couldn't go to pulmonary rehab because of the cost. I didn't expect much from this 46 yr. smoker with advanced copd but, I had previously had some pulm rehab and wanted to just start very lightly and continue as I saw fit. I did some wt machines for arms/chest and treadmill at 1 miles/hour. I worked up to 1.8miles/hour but when I had lung surgery in Mar. I started completely over. I got back to 1.8 mi/hr. but, after not smoking for 20 days, yesterday and today, I am walking at 2 miles and doing 20# of 3 reps of chest machines and tolerating that very well. I think I'll plan my 1st marathon lol. Just kidding but, I'm feeling really good about my life right now and wanted to share.




Life Changes

Posted by constanceclum Jun 22, 2018

I'm not blogging much because life has been pretty uneventful. Nothing to complain about and no excuses to smoke. Well, I do have 1. Scott left a long butt on the kitchen table (and no, he does not smoke in the house and I didn't either) so I moved it outside to the plant table. I don't know why I didn't think to tear it up but I'm gonna do that as soon as I get done here because, even though I don't want to smoke, I'm having stronger urges today and I have to protect my quit.


I'm making other changes too. For yrs. I have spent several hrs. in the morning watching politics. MSNBC. Later on in the day, I would watch several hours (not sit with my eyes glued to the tv but that's what would be on) I would watch the ID channel-1 true murder story after another. Then I wonder why I'm such a negative person. Well, I have taken that out of my life. I am watching happy shows and listening to Christian music. I also uninstalled the fb games I have been very addicted to and were taking up several hours of my day. I've not scrolled through fb in a very long time. When I do,it's mostly to see pics of my granddaughter in NY. I use to love reading but haven't read a book in a long time. This morning, before it got too hot, I sat out on my porch with a book and really enjoyed it. I just started with these changes this week but I have been feeling so much better mentally already!


I hope all of you are enjoying your day as much as I am! Now to go tear up that cig butt lol




Good morning everyone!

Posted by constanceclum Jun 20, 2018

I am feeling fantastic today. Both mentally and physically. I have 16 DOF and though I still have urges and trigger times, they're pretty mild and I know will go away eventually. 


I have been coming here a couple of times a day to read but haven't blogged because things are pretty uneventful thank you Jesus. I go to Planet Fitness with a nonsmoking friend and AAmeetings. I do have several dr. appts and my IVIG infusion next week.Exercise certainly helps even though, because of copd, I do activity rather than exercise. I wish I would have done it during previous quit attempts because it really does help with the dopamine.


Hope everyone is enjoying your smoke-free Wed.!




Day 14

Posted by constanceclum Jun 17, 2018

No craves. Just boredom. The digestive issues are not resolved and today I'm eating even less. I'm so miserable with this and I'm feeling like a prisoner. Thank God I see the Dr. tomorrow and I really hope she can help.


I did go for a short walk. It's very hot here and air quality is poor. I'm just watching tv and playing fb games. I have 2 that I can spend a lot of time with but, at 2 weeks, I want to feel better. I already take lactulose because I have a high ammonia level for whatever reason so I don't want to add meds without seeing the Dr. I did start taking a stool softener though but not helping! Ugghhh!


Anyway, I'm not really in a bad mood. I have a lot of joy over not smoking and not having craves and I fully intend to tolerate what I have to to stay smoke-free. I hope everyone here knows that, no matter what, it's not worth smoking over!





Posted by constanceclum Jun 16, 2018

Barely any craves today and digestive issues are resolving themselves. No gas nor excessive bloating. Just a full feeling which, I'm grateful to say, keeps me from over-eating. I'm finally feeling the freedom I went to an AA meeting after gym. On the front porch were a few people smoking-most don't-and, normally I would have joined them. Today, I thought, why would I want to be our in this heat when I don't have too. So many benefits to not smoking!