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2015
constanceclum

addendum

Posted by constanceclum Jul 31, 2015

I forgot to mention, when I was at the lung Drs. the other day while he was looking at my Cat scat, he said my lungs looked like a couple of moth eaten sweaters. I have been dealing with this for too long to be offended. I actually thought it was kind of funny.

Connie

constanceclum

Hi all you nonsmokers

Posted by constanceclum Jul 31, 2015

I had the worst day as far as cravings go. It was like being back in the 1st week. Maybe someday there will be an understanding of this addiction that absolutely makes no sense. I am on day 40 and I expect the urges, the void and even sometimes "missing" smoking but to still have days with these strong cravings? I think there is more to nicodemon than we are aware of now.

The home nurse stopped by today for her final visit. My oxygen saturation was 98% without oxygen. That's pretty much as good as it gets even for most middle-aged nonsmokers. God has really blessed me while I continued to play with fire over and over. I think that means there are others I can help with my experience. I just wish he would make it a little easier with these cravings. lol

I hope everyone has a great weekend. I know I plan too.

Connie

Went to the lung Dr. today for several things. I had my CT scan yesterday on my lung nodule, no change and I will repeat it in 6 mo. Normally I would have mentioned it on here so those of you that wanted to would pray for me but I really don't think much about the nodule or scans anymore. I did a 6 minute walk without oxygen and my levels stayed up so I do not need the oxygen in the day time anymore. My blood pressure is still good without medication and my pulse stays in the 80's. While I smoked it was always over 100. He is also referring me to pulm. rehab again.

Quitting smoking improves our lives in so many ways. I went to an AA meeting last evening and saw some old friends that welcomed me back (non-judgemental like you guys) and met some new people. It is so good to be getting out and being around people. I continue to have that persistant feeling of a void in my chest, but once in awhile I will find a long but and I just get this very neutral feeling toward it. Absolutely no attraction or risk of smoking. I've never felt like that toward a cigarette before. I'm not really explaining it well. It's like i see this inaminate object that has nothing to do with me.

I am so grateful to all of you. I hope you are having as good a day as I am.

Connie

constanceclum

Day 35

Posted by constanceclum Jul 26, 2015

5 weeks of nope. I had stronger than usual urges this morning. I certainly still expect them but that doesn't make me hate them any less. Today was pretty uneventful and I was tired. Didn't sleep well last night. I believe in halt, hungry, angry, lonely and tired-big pit falls when trying to quit an addiction. So I took a nap.

I've read all blogs and comments which I do most days. This site is a true blessing from God. I would love to see the history of EX. Who started it and when. How did it grow and who were the original members. Does anyone know how to access that info?

I remember reading a blog about relapsing and people leaving the site. I wonder if people who have left have done so, not because of relapse, but because they have passed. I know a lot of elders have each others numbers but I'm thinking a lot of newbies and tweeners don't. I asked my husband, if anything happened to me, to get on here and let you all know. It's important to me that my friends here know I didn't relapse.

I spent a long time on the phone this a.m. with my 3rd son. He is in AA, thank God and doing so well. He lives way upstate NY and I haven't seen him for awhile, but he is planning a vacation in the fall. I can't wait to see him and go to some meetings with him.

I hope everyone is enjoying the final hours of the w/e. "See" ya tomorrow.

Connie

constanceclum

Back to the living

Posted by constanceclum Jul 25, 2015

I am doing really well on the 14mg patch. I have that "empty" feeling for a couple of hours in the morning. It is getting easy to just ignore it by getting, 1st thing with my coffee, on this site

I called a girlfriend and have made plans to go to church and an AA meeting with her. I have about 3 other friends that I haven't seen in a long time to call and make plans to go to meetings with. I expect to be back in pulm. rehab in a few weeks. In the mean time, I am walking around my apt. complex and doing my home exercizes diligently.

Where have I been for so long, isolating, chain smoking while my copd rapidly progresses,drinking? Get ready life, here I come. And it's all because of 1 decision to quit drinking so I could quit smoking due to reading all your blogs and comments, getting motivated and inspired and, of course, the grace of our Lord!

I forgot to mention in my previous blog that my Dr. discontinued my blood pressure meds. I have been taking them for years and give all the credit to not smoking. My blood pressure yesterday at her office was 101/60. The home health nurse stopped by today. I told her that I wanted to discontinue the service but she thought it was a good idea to come 1 time next week to check it again. In 2 weeks I'll go to the HTN clinic and have it checked and I'm hoping I'll be able to stay off the meds. Today it was 104/60 something with no medication. Couldn't be happier.

Connie

constanceclum

Good morning all!

Posted by constanceclum Jul 24, 2015

I have been on here briefly to read blogs the past day or 2 but not to blog. I've been so busy. I saw my primary Dr. yesterday and asked her to discontue the home health. I said they were cramping my style. I still need to spend time here everyday, I could do all my physical therappy exercizes all day long and not get through all of them 2x/day, and I spend a lot of time on meal planning as getting all the nutrition in in 7 small meals takes a bit of getting use too. I got up at 3:30 yesterday am to take my husband to work (with the big oxygen tank, I still do not have the small ones) Left for the Dr. at 9:00, walked quite a bit from the parking garage to the office, came home, left about an hour later to pick up husband, did a huge grocery shopping and came home and put groceries. I'll admit I was exhausted but does this sound like someone who needs home care? I think I am wasting medicare resources. Hopefully I'll be back in pulmonary rehab in a few weeks and in a few months I will be able to look for a part-time job. I've had suggestions of Goodwill and Salvation Army as they are good about hiring people on disability.

I am so happy about how well I'm doing with the 14mg patches. I still have urges and thoughts here and there, but I haven't had a real crave in awhile. I'm giving the glory to God with that.

Hoping everyone has a wonderful smoke-free w/e!

Connie

And it has been a long 4 weeks. The only time it feels like my life is going is slow motion is when I'm quitting smoking.

The main reason this is such a milestone for me is this morning I put on a 14mg. patch. It's now late in the afternoon and my cravings (mostly urges at this point) are not any stronger. I'm glad I took the advice of several people on this site and followed the recommendations.

I wanted to address something in my last blog about watching my weight. I am entering this journey 30# overweight. I never had a wt. problem until I got into my 50's and also because of the psychiatric meds I am on. All of this wt. is in my middle which is the most dangerous place for it to be. I am only 5'3" so I don't carry this wt. well and it's impossible to find clothes that fit me. It drives me crazy because I very rarely eat junk food, very little sugary foods, no soda's or juices. I eat lot's of fruits and veggies (cooked). My only problem with food is the carbs. I am trying to cut back with them but I'm not a big meat eater so the carbs are what gives me the full feeling. I do eat small portions several times a day. I will say that the day I felt like I was starving all day long did not last.

Trust me I will not smoke over weight but I will continue to be concerned about it.

Connie

constanceclum

Hey everyone

Posted by constanceclum Jul 18, 2015

I was able to get on here to read blogs and comments yesterday but then the computer had issues so I wasn't able to blog. I'm doing wonderful. Short of breath with any exertion and even sometimes at rest but for the most part it's mild.

Got out to the grocery store to pick up a few things and handled it like a champ. I'm getting in the shower for the 1st time. The home health occupational therapist wants me to get a shower chair but those dang things are so expensive for me to buy when I don't intend on needing for long. The aide has been coming to assist me with bed baths and yesterday we tried some no rinse shampoo. Horrible stuff! My hair is so greasy with a heavy residue that I have to get in and wash it so. For the most part, I feel up to it. I hope I don't get halfway through and get to weak to continue. If it works, I can discontinue the OT and aide service.

The week I was really sick, I lost 7#. Now I'm starving all the time. Not so much starving but never feeling full or satisfied. I wonder if this is emotional eating. I never had a problem with that before but I always had alcohol and smoking. I definitely can't go on like this. It has to be from giving up smoking so I would appreciate any advice. I eat nonstop and a lot of it is healthy foods but still way too many calories for me. I am not able to eat raw veggies because of dental problems.

Scott is cranky and I' sure it's from not drinking. He absolutely refuses to go to AA. No matter, I feel good and I hope all of you are feeling good too.

Connie

constanceclum

A better day

Posted by constanceclum Jul 16, 2015

Health is improving daily. I went out and walked, with my oxygen tank, for 5 min or so last evening. Around the sm. apartment complex I live in anyway. That is what the physical therapist wants me to do 2x/day. She also increased my exercizes. So watch out world, here comes nonsmoking Connie.

I talked to Scott last night about me moving out. He was so upset he stayed home from work. He said he would do anything he has to do so I won't leave. I've heard this from alcoholics before (including him) but I am very sincere with this now. I have been dealing with alcoholics since the day I was born (I admit I am one) but I'm not living my last yrs.. with alcohol. I also told him that as soon as I am able to, I will go back to AA meetings. I'm so sick of this lonliness and isolation.

Cigarettes almost seem a thing of the past. Almost. I know not to let my guard up. Stay prepared at all times. I am aware though that for me, to smoke is to die rapidly.

Love to all,

Connie

constanceclum

busy day

Posted by constanceclum Jul 15, 2015

Thanks to everyone for the wonderful, endouraging comments to my blog yesterday. I'm not feeling as desperate today.

I have 4 visits from various disciplines of the home health agency today. That is good because I am so anxious to get my health back and get on with my life.

I am having an easy day as far as not smoking today. It seemed like the past few days were harder. I think because of some of the stress I've been going through I've been getting through the days by white knuckeling it. There is nothing I can do at this point but "Let go and let God" so that is what I'm going to do. I am going to talk to Scott today about my plan to move out when I can. 

He thinks because he doesn't drink in front of me or keep alcohol in the house, that he is doing his part but all afternoon and evening I have to deal with his drunk butt which gets on my last nerve and I can't escape from it. Bear with my venting on this, I know it's not an alanon site but I need to get it off my chest.

I hope all my dear EX friends have a wonderful smoke free day!

Connie

constanceclum

3 weeks

Posted by constanceclum Jul 14, 2015

Yay! I think my biggest problem at this point is depression that comes naturally with quitting smoking and then can be a real problem for people that already have clinical depression. I am finding myself lonely and bored too much but I will not smoke over it.

My husband started drinking again. That's fine, it's his choice and what he chooses is none of my business. I, however, do not and will not live with it. I have a social worker coming over today and I am going to ask her about housing opportunities in Charlotte.

I can't do anything right now while I finish recovering and housing opportunities are pretty slow to come by anyway. I am putting this in God's hands.

I want to do a special shout out to the anniversaries today. Marily at 1yr. and Terrie at 1 weekend. Both milestones to be congratulated.

Love to you all,

Connie

constanceclum

feeling better today

Posted by constanceclum Jul 12, 2015

I have slept pretty good the past 2 nights and the stomache issues seem to be gone. The physical therapist is coming today. She will be working on chest exercizes, I guess mini pulmonary rehab until I can get back to the real deal and general strengthening.

Day 20 and I have to admit with all that's gone on it feels like 3 mo. instead of 3 weeks. However, outside of a few "really" hard days the 1st week and some "sort of" hard days the 2nd week, this is very doable. I really think if I had become this ill while smoking, I would not be here.

In other words, I would not be here if not for my friends and all the support of EX. I am so grateful to all of you.

Connie

constanceclum

hangin in there!

Posted by constanceclum Jul 11, 2015

Scott took me out to run some errands this morning. CVS for some patches. 2 more weeks of 21mg and 2 wks of 14 mg. Yay!!!. It wore me out but oh so worth it.

The home health nurse came out yesterday to do her assessment. I will be getting so much help. I told her my goal is to get back to where I was before this illness even if I have to wear oxygen full-time. I will have the R.N., an assistant to help with showering, physical therapy, occupational therapy, resporatory therapy, and a social worker as well as daily monitoring (via technology) of vital signs and I will weigh myself daily. I feel like I've been in a world of medical incompetence over the past week and now I feel like I will be getting some real help. Then on to pulmonary rehab again hopefully.

And, of course, still no smoking. I will admit to some urges the past couple of weeks. Just goes to show you what a devil this addiction is. Today is day 19 and it's definitely a lot easier. I think I'm just missing being a healthier smoker.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Connie

constanceclum

recovering slowly

Posted by constanceclum Jul 9, 2015

I felt pretty good yesterday and I think I over did it a little, though certainly not my norm. Scott is putting me on a guilt trip about how much he is taking on since I've been sick. What is wrong with some men? I was for a long time a single mother of 4, worked full-time and took care of everything else. I was breathing better yesterday so I did some things around here but you never realized how much you have to bend over in the course of the day. This is too irritating to my upper chest causing me to have a dry cough which got worse and worse throughout the day. I am nauseated from the antibiotic and my sleep is off from the steroids. I'm also losing fluids and back on the BRAT diet. I think because my blood pressure and potassium were so low when I got to the ER that if I would have waited too much longer to call 911, I wouldn't be here today.

Day 18 of not smoking. The only thoughts I have on it is I can't imagine putting 1 more puff of that poison in my body.

Connie

constanceclum

Back now

Posted by constanceclum Jul 7, 2015

This will be short. I got very sick Sat. night and continued to get worse. Early Sun. morning I was having such a hard time breathing I called the ambulance. My blood pressure was 80/46. In the ER they said I was severely dehydrated and had pneumonia. I just got home a little while. I'm on oxygen all the time and still get short of breath whenever I try to do anything so I'm going to have a home-health nurse and nusing assistant for a while. I have to believe that after my course of antibiotics and steriods that I will be back to where I was. I refuse to believe anything else and I will not smoke.

I am utterly exhausted. You can not get any rest in the hospital!

I'm sorry I didn't get to throw in my unsmoked cigarettes. It was 390 cigs. I hope I find out how many were thrown in.

Talk to you all soon

Connie

constanceclum

newcomers

Posted by constanceclum Jul 4, 2015

Where are the newbies posting their profiles or maybe they're not. I liked when it was on their page and you could just click on their pic.

Connie

constanceclum

I'm ecstatic!

Posted by constanceclum Jul 4, 2015

My son expressed an interest in quitting smoking. He's saying now, at this point, he would like to quit on or by his 30th birthday. I told him about this site. I got the best birthday present in the world when I just read a f/b message from him saying he already registered using the name quickdraw1230. His name is Brandon. I know you will all give him a very warm welcome and educate him and tell him about the readings.

Proud mom

Connie

constanceclum

the good and bad

Posted by constanceclum Jul 4, 2015

I didn't get to walk yesterday. I tried in the morning and evening and both times it was raining. I did go up the incline twice and that, for me, is the important thing right now. Good exercise for the lungs and hips.

This has always been my favorite holidays ( along with Thanksgiving) partly because it's also my birthday. My 1st holiday and birthday as a nonsmoker.

In my somewhat delusional brain, I have known that everyday will not be goo just because you are a nonsmoker. I am proud to say that I have got through a couple and didn't smoke. I am having a huge challenge right now, one that might cause my husband and I to separate. I will not smoke over it, it will not help anything. I can virtually hear all of you saying that.

He did surprize me by going out early this morning, while I was still sleeping, and bought me a huge box o chocolate covered, cream or custard filled (I haven't ate one yet, still on coffee) that between the 2 of us, we will not be able to finish.

Enough of my woes. I plan on having a good day in spite of the tension.

Happy 4th to all of me nonsmoking EX friends. Love you all

Connie

constanceclum

feeling great!

Posted by constanceclum Jul 3, 2015

This morning I woke up with absolutely no desire to smoke and no fuzziness. God and all of you are good!

$66.00 saved and 330 cigs not smoked. I told my husband that on payday, I'm paying myself 1st.

Connie

constanceclum

have to blog

Posted by constanceclum Jul 2, 2015

I just found 1/2 cig. in my apt. My husband has been smoking outside but usually smokes 1/2 cig at a time. He probably put the short on the desk, right by the door, and it rolled off, ending up under the desk. He has been so careful to not leave any cigs when he is at work but I think it was an accident. I didn't give it a second thought. Tore it up and threw it away. I didn't have 1 part of me that wanted to smoke it.

I only walked for about 20 minutes. I have to go slow,not so much because of my lungs but my hips. I went to physical therapy for my hip pain and found out that 1 of my legs is 1/2 inch shorter than the other. This ocurred because of knee pain causing me to change my walk without me even noticing. The thing I did notice, it seemed all of a sudden, was when I go downstairs, I have to lead with my left leg on every step.

Anyway, the important thing is I have quite a big incline to get to the street/sidewalk. It has been a year since I have tried. I made it, moderately short of breat which the lung people said is good. It's lung exercise. I am going to try to build up to 2 miles (what I was walking last year. My online dieting program (calorie count) said if you walk 20 minutes you lose 100 calories. I'm sure it depends on how fast you walk. I try to walk at a moderate pace. This same site said at my weight I can eat 1200cal/day to lose 3/4#/week, reaching my goal in Aug. 2016. Seriously? I have to be more active. I'm looking forward to getting back to pulmonary. I'm sure I will be able to increase my speen and resistance now that I'm not smoking. I am already breathing better at 10 days and barely have any cough. God is good.

Sorry I've been so chatty today but some days I don't feel like talking or blogging at all. Neurontin was raised from 400mg to 900mg/day and it's making me a little more energetic.

thanks to all for helping me reach this point, last week I would have smoked that cig is a NY minute.

Connie

constanceclum

apologies

Posted by constanceclum Jul 2, 2015

Yesterday was not my day 10. Today is. I guess I lied to myself and then to you. Like Donna, I have some cognitive proplems that can't be explained by age, and then the foggy headedness caused by withrawal, it's a wonder I can get through the day.

Anyway, the fogginess is much less today, but still there. Maybe it will be gone by tomorrow.

In my journey, I have found that winter green mints help dull cravings. At least for me.

My husband (Scott) Called me this morning and told me how proud he was of me and how great I was doing. What could be more motivating. He is still smoking but going outside so he is smoking a lot less. Cha-ching!

I love reading all the blogs and comments, especially the positive ones from the elders. Also so motivating. I actually feel good today. Better than anyday so far. I'm getting ready to go for a walk before it gets too hat.

Keep on keeping on my friends.

Connie

constanceclum

day 10

Posted by constanceclum Jul 1, 2015

Yes, double digits. I last 9 days have felt like a month but it is getting easier. I still have an urge to smoke with the mental fog for a couple of hours in the morning. I am always real groggy when I wake up in the morning and the seroquel that I take makes it worse. So my history is to wake up, drink coffee and smoke about 10 cigarettes the first 2 hrs. I was up. Yesterday, when that horrible crave went away, about 1:00, I had the best afternoon, evening yet.  Other than frequent short-lived thoughts of smoking I felt totally free.

I am a realist and I know this battle won't be over for about 4-6 months. But I am looking forward to it being easier.

To answer everyone that commented on yesterdays blog about patches. It's not that I can't afford them and I would rather leave the free one's for people that really needs them. The patches cost me about 1/3 of what I spent on smoking. I just hate nicotine so, of course, I don't want to spend money on it. I can't wait until I'm free of nicotine. For people that aren't aware though, nicotine is not the harmful element in cigarettes fo patches are relatively safe if used correctly.

Sat. is my birthday and I will be so happy to burn all the cigs I haven't smoked. I am going to take the $90.00 I will have saved to get my hair cut and cover up the chrome.

I certainly didn't do what i said as far as being a "happy quitter" the past week and 1/2 but I am becoming much happier now.

Connie