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constanceclum Blog

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No I haven't smoked and I am feeling somewhat better today but I am looking back at the past yr. and my difficulty with smoking craves over the past couple of weeks. Over a yr. ago I started suffering with severe dry eye symptoms especially in my right eye. I would have never imagined how dry eyes could really ruin quality of life but spending most of the day feeling like you have sand in your eye and have been swimming for 12 hours in a pool with way too much chlorine in it can become very frustrating. About the same time, I started dealing with severe daily nausea and shortly after, constipation. Of course the ongoing visits with my pulmonologist for copd and twice/yr. ct scans for my nodule and a Psychiatrist too boot. I have insurance but I do not have money for the ongoing co-pays and I am very much financial debt. So than I had the 3 pneumonia's over the summer with the diagnosis of immune deficiency with, as far as I can tell at this point, the treatment costing $10,000/mo.. So, yes we all have everyday stressers as part of our everyday life but I have felt like my anxiety has been through the roof for a long time now and I believe that is what is causing my body and brain to have been screaming for nicotine.

 

Well things are starting to finally work out. My Dr. finally prescribed a medication for IBS that has greatly helped with nausea and, with some diet changes, the constipation has been relieved too. I mean is there anything worse?

 

My eye Dr. had inserted plugs which helped for a few weeks but after I had the cataract removed from my 1 eye in March, that eye got 20 times worse with dry eye symptoms. She told me about another procedure using amniotic membrane tissue which is very expensive. I did not believe I could afford it before my trip but I called her on Mon. to see if there was anything else. She had the desk set up an appt. for me and I went yesterday and she did the procedure telling me they would absorb the co-pay. 

 

I think once I know more about the immunodeficiency and if that treatment worked or whatever plan B is and finances for it and I feel like I'm back to just dealing with normal life issues, I'll have a better grip on this quitting not seeming so dang hard. After all, I'm already feeling a little better.

 

Sorry this is so long and for all the misspellings. I use to be a great speller but I'm spoiled now and sometimes too lazy to worry about correcting.

 

I wrote all this to see how other's experience being under extreme stress/discomfort/sickness/ pain during their early quits got through it. I mean my 1st mo. was fine but this 2nd mo.? Not so much.

 

Connie

constanceclum

I am losing it!!!

Posted by constanceclum Aug 30, 2017

I am at 51 DOF and 16 of the past 20 days have been like the 1st 3 days over and over. I had 2 comfortable days but the past 2 days have been horrible being fuzzy-headed, irritability off the chain and hands shaking so bad I can barely hold a fork. My mind and body is screaming for a cigarette. I went down to step 2 (14 or 15mg) patches I think about 10 days ago so I should be adjusted by now. Has anyone else gone through this experience of the 2nd mo. being harder than the 1st? This is why I relapsed at 8 weeks when I quit in the Spring and I know I don't want to do that but this is becoming unbearable.

 

Connie

So my 1st 2 weeks in NML were horrible. I was really afraid I wouldn't make it. Plus, at the same time, I cut down to the 2nd step with patches. Plus my anxiety level through the roof. Then the miracle! Yesterday and today I'm not craving.

 

Oh I know it isn't over. I'm only 6 weeks in so I'm still on 24 hour guard. But it's the easier days that gets us through the hard ones.

 

Don't stop short of the miracle!!!

 

Connie

I haven't learned what is causing this. This order is from my lung Dr. and when I asked she said she had no idea. I'm thinking that will come from my primary Dr. The infusion I had was ivig but will not know if it was beneficial until after labs are drawn on Mon. The only thing I am aware of is we need protein for our immune system and I think I've been lacking for a long time. I have never been a big meat eater and now most meats have become difficult to chew due to major dental problems which I can't afford to fix.

 

Thanks for all the encouraging comments on my last blog. Especially Thomas for changing my perception. This is my forever quit. I've got through a tough time without reaching for a cigarette and that has built my confidence. I also have to realize that I have dropped down to the 14 mg patch. I am doing better now (craves) than I have in several days.

 

And the best part? We are having beautiful weather in NC! That's a great attitude adjuster.

 

Love,

Connie

Who know that venting could save a life? My past relapses with alcohol and cigarettes were always about not having adequate coping mechanisms and when things would get tough, I would smoke (and drink). But I've never reached out when things did get tough-not even to my husband. He doesn't deal well with mental or physical issues when it comes to me. I learned very young not to bare your troubles. Well this time I did. Not only here but to my husband and anyone else willing to listen.I call what I went through last week my mini nervous breakdown. But guess what? I didn't smoke or drink. I read all of your comments and they got me through! I went for my antibody infusion and I'm feeling a little stronger but I won't know for sure how much it helped until after I have labs drawn on Mon.

 

What I'm not so thrilled about? NML.These chest feelings like I need nicotine because it really is my oxygen just won't go away. It's been 2 weeks now and until 2 more weeks is a very vulnerable time for me because I usually relapse between 6 and 8 weeks. I'v bound determined not to this time because I'm telling myself over and over to not stop just short of the miracle.

 

I'm hoping this blog makes sense because I got up at 4:30 and I'm tired!!!

 

Wishing you all a happy smoke-free day. Also hoping for good outcomes to all our Texas friends and family!

 

Connie

constanceclum

Update

Posted by constanceclum Aug 23, 2017

Just want to let ya'll know I haven't smoked. I'm still highly anxious, I feel like I have been shaking inside from my head to toes with a horrific headache but I know smoking won't help. I think I'll feel better once tomorrow is over. I'm not nervous about the IV but I have to take a cab. My phone is still not working so I downloaded uber and I'm just nervous that something will mess up. We only have 1 car and Scott takes it to Charlotte to work every morning at 4a.m. It's almost impossible for him to get a day off without a 2 week notice. Usually I make it work because he gets home at 1:30 but they do not do these infusions in the afternoon.

 

I really appreciate all the support. I know it has kept me from smoking!

 

Love,

 

Connie

constanceclum

More to vent about

Posted by constanceclum Aug 22, 2017

I just want to get it all out. It's still extremely hot here in NC. I have a 200 foot gravel drive which is very difficult to walk on due to my weakness and balance issues. That is where my mailbox is and I do walk to it when I'm feeling up to it. Than I am at a hilly, curvy highway with no sidewalk and hardly any shoulder. The speed limit there is 45 so most people go 55. That is why I'm so looking forwar to pulm. rehab. I have done it before and it works well for me as far as strengthening and endurance go. I have never needed O2 while there or in the day time but I do use it at night.

 

My phone stopped working yesterday. If someone calls me, they can hear me. When I call out, they can't. I'm trying to figure out the best way to go because I'm saving pennies like crazy for my trip and all these co-pays for Drs are killing me. AND I'm getting zero support from my husband. He's never been good around illness but I've tried telling him that I'm at my breaking point now. I'm scared to wake up for fear of what new will go wrong. He is not helping me with this phone decision. I have wanted a new server anyway. AND my housemate is drinking again and he's the sloppy, falling-down kind of drunk that gets on my last nerve. Scott at least told him to stay away from both of us when he's drinking so we'll see how long that lasts.

 

Thanks so much for letting me vent some more. My anxiety level is off the chain but hopefully I'll be better tomorrow.

 

Connie

constanceclum

Not a good day

Posted by constanceclum Aug 22, 2017

Well I guess it's not that bad as I'm not smoking but I sure feel like I want to!. Yesterday I stepped down to 14mg patches. I also found out the reason for all these pneumonia's. My immune system is weak. I asked her how that could happen. I have always bragged that I have the immune system from HE double hockey sticks. From my earliest memories I had 1 fever 31 yrs. ago. That's all it was. A fever with aches/pains, chills and extremely tired. I didn't even go to a Dr. and it left as quickly as it came. My Dr. said she didn't know why it happened. I am going Thurs. for IV treatment and if it helps, (we'll do lab work after) I will continue with this IV therapy monthly. It's hard to stay motivated when it's 1 thing after another and that's how it's been since I quit drinking 15 mo. ago. Has anyone else experience a weak immune system or know anything about it like how I can help myself? I would greatly appreciate any help.

 

Thanks for letting me vent. I am very proud to have 43 DOF and don't plan on giving in. I have God and who needs cigs when you have him.

 

Love to all,

Connie

constanceclum

6 weeks ago today-

Posted by constanceclum Aug 20, 2017

I put out my last cigarette. I feel very good about that. This NML is for the birds but, still, some days are better than others. And it's not really bad for whole days-just portions. I know every week I get behind me, it will get better. I am actually really learning to live in today and not so much in past or future. Sometimes I can actually grasp that living in the moment.

 

My Dr. left a vm. last Thurs. My left lung still shows "pneumonia" but they don't think that's what it is. As soon as 1 area heals, another one starts. She did an immunoglobulin blood test last Tues. and her vm stated it was abnormal and she was ordering a new medication but she needed to talk to me. I tried to call on Fri. but she was busy and didn't call back so I've had to go all w/e worrying about this. All I know is I'm so weak and shaky as well as tired, I haven't left the house. I need to be well for this big trip I have coming up.

 

One thing I will say, all of this has put too much fear in me to smoke.

 

Connie

Is the word butt allowed? I guess I will soon see. The 1st couple of days into my 2nd month went very well but the last few days have loudly screamed at me that I am in NML. I have been having cravings on and off throughout the days. I keep doing what has always helped, distracted and busy as well as deep breathing. It is usually between 6 and 8 weeks that I give in but not this time. Too much is at steak.

 

My 1st diagnosis of pneumonia was on May 31. I had chest xrays every 2 weeks and it was still showing the infection. 2 weeks ago I had a chest CT scan which showed the original infection had healed but I had a new one. My Dr. put me on a new course of antibiotics and Mon. I went for chest x ray and went to see the Dr. yesterday. She said the last pneumonia had healed but now I have another one. I asked her what was going on and she pretty much said she didn't know but, since I'm not having symptoms, her and the other pulmonary Dr. are thinking it is not pneumonia but maybe atelectasis so she isn't putting me on another antibiotic but I should use my incentive spirometer, get a repeat x-ray in a month and go back to see them. She knows it's not cancer because each area is healing.

 

And then there's my eyes. I get on here as much as I can to take the pledge, read blogs, but not blogging myself very often. I have had severe dry eyes for about a yr. that regular drops don't help at all. She did a procedure which blocked my drainage ducts and I am buying expensive (not prescription) drops and I still am very uncomfortable. I am also having a lot of eye strain and she says I need computer glass (I also get terrible headaches after being on the computer) but I can't afford them until after I get back from my trip at the beginning of Oct.

 

And there's my stomach issues, severe nausea after eating and bathroom issues. He has not referred me to a GI specialist but has prescribed IBS meds. For the most part they help, but still have some nausea in the afternoon.

 

The only thing I know is smoking won't help a thing.

 

The good news is my lung nodule is staying stable.

 

Just want everyone to know where I'm at with my 37 DOF. Not meaning to bum anyone out.

 

Also have blurry vision after being on the computer too long so please excuse typo's and misspellings.

 

Connie

I am having trouble with this and, last I hears, Tommy wasn't doing well. I think my problem is with providing the link. I did it as shown but when I hit submit, it takes me too a page to edit. There is nothing that needs to be edited so I hit submit again and It just takes me back to the register page. I've never joined before but I'd like to now so please, if you can, help.

 

Connie

constanceclum

My Happy Place

Posted by constanceclum Aug 8, 2017

1st off, is everyone having problems with comments? I have gone back twice to log in (usually I don't have to log in, but there is no "add comment" option on the blogs I'm reading.

 

Yesterday I had 4 weeks of freedom and in reflecting, I'm amazed at how much easier this quit has been so far. I know I have a long time to go in NML. 1 thing that has been working well is distraction. I have been staying busy all day. I don't even know how I had the time to go outside and smoke 30-40 cigs/day. It seems like, as soon as a craving enters my brain, something else I want or need to do over rides it. Also, when I have looked a little deeper into the crave, I realize I don't want to smoke. It's becoming an aversion.

 

It just amazes me how ever quit can be do different.

 

Hope y'all are having fantastic smoke free days!

 

Connie

constanceclum

So weird!

Posted by constanceclum Aug 1, 2017

So I had my CT scan yesterday and just talked to the Dr. I don't have the same pneumonia as 2 mo. ago, I have a new one in the same area. I've never had pneumonia in my life and now they're back to back. I really think God is trying to tell me something. So back on antibiotics but at least I don't have to be hospitalized with this one. The last one was looking like sepsis so I was in the hospital for 4 days on IV antibiotics.

 

Anyway, pulmonary rehab has been ordered and hopefully I'll be able to get county transportation which is a pain in the butt but will be well worth it if I can gain some strength back.

 

Nothing to smoke over though.

 

Connie 22 DOF

constanceclum

3rd week

Posted by constanceclum Jul 30, 2017

I am on day 21!!! YAY. I still make my daily pledge here as well as to God. I really believe I have to stay accountable to him!! The mornings are still the hardest for a few hours but I stay distracted on the computer. After that passes my days are pretty good. The other day I got a huge craving getting into my car. I always lit a cig. 1st thing when I got in my car. It passed within a couple of minutes as I started driving. I've been pretty sick. I've had severe nausea after eating and the prescription the Doc gave me caused dry eye which I already had so I went back to the primary and eye Dr. last week and I think we've finally got it straighteded out. The pneumonia I got 2 mo. ago is still showing on my x-rays so I'm having a CAT scan tomorrow to see if it's still infection or scar tissue. They will also check my nodule which normally wouldn't be due until Oct. I'm going to upstate NY for 10 days to visit my boys, their other halves and meet my granddaughter (due 9/10) so I don't dare smoke for fear of getting sick again. I think I'll be okay if I keep doing what I'm doing and dealing with the mornings knowing they'll get easier and the occasional harsh craving lasting just a couple of minutes. I have never had an infection before and the Dr. told me that even though it was community aquired,it was probably due to smoking. He also said with my level of copd, I simply don't have room for pneumonia. I have a lot more fear about smoking now than in the past so hopefully that will also keep me from relapsing.

 

Connie

constanceclum

2 weeks of freedom!!

Posted by constanceclum Jul 24, 2017

This addiction is so weird!!! Last week was much harder than the first which is backward. The only thing I am doing different, besides making a daily commitment here, is making the same commitment to God and asking for his help and strength. Otherwise it's all about distraction and deep breathing. My hardest times are mornings and getting into the car. Once I'm on the road, that eases up. I've decided to use the patches longer-I've always been in such a rush to get off them so I'm going to be more patient this time.

 

So hoping everyone is having a great day!

Connie