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2017

I feel like I'm in hell week. All I want to do is smoke or all I think I want to do is smoke. I'm really getting sick of it. I'm in the 2nd week of 7mg patches. I'll be off all patches as of Mon. As near as I can figure, 7mg is the equivalent of about 5 cigs. a day and I was a 2 pack/day smoker. I will have 8 weeks of freedom on Mon. I guess I'm in NML. (not really sure because of the patches) I had a few weeks where I was barely thinking of smoking and for the last week it's all I'm thinking of and my resolve is breaking down. My short term goal is to make it to 2 mo. and I know I'' do that but I sure hope I'm out of this by then.

 

Also, how do you post in conversations. I wanted to do that hoping for an immediate response but did not see how.

 

Connie

constanceclum

Feeling silly and empty

Posted by constanceclum Mar 29, 2017

First the silly part. I asked for help in my last blog because I could not figure out how to join and of course no one knew what I was talking about. I want to join the freedom train and it asks to provide a link to my profile. I do not know how to do this.

I have been feeling empty since my son left. While raising my kids, I never considered that they would grow up and move out of state. But I have figured out something. I have the same feeling in my chest that makes me think I am having a craving. I think I am associating any periods of feeling "out of sorts" with nicotine cravings. This is good to know so I don't relapse when I'm not even really want or need a cigarette. Wondering if others confuse this.

 

Hope everyone is having a great day!

 

Connie

constanceclum

Help

Posted by constanceclum Mar 28, 2017

I'm trying to join but have no idea how to provide a link to my profile.

 

Thanks,

Connie

constanceclum

Made it through

Posted by constanceclum Mar 28, 2017

My son and his friend just left to spend a little time in the Outer Banks before leaving for NY on Thurs. We use to live there so I don't blame him. I just wish I had planned better so I could have gone too!

 

I'll admit it was a hard 4 days as far as smoking goes. These young adults are in their 20's and not even thinking of quitting smoking even though she has lupus and has already had pulmonary embolism's and he know's how copd has affected my family. I didn't either at that age. But I wanted a cigarette most of the time they were here. They would go out on the porch with my husband and I could hear them talking and laughing-I was craving so I didn't dare go out-and I would feel a little jealous. Anyway I have 50 DOF and I feel that I made it through this so I feel confident that I can make it through about anything! I'm not trying to sound too cocky, I know better than that, but I also know that every time we're tested, we are stronger!

 

I wouldn't be here without you guys and, believe me, I heard all of you whispering in my ear with your motivation and encouragement!

 

Feeling appreciative,

 

Connie

constanceclum

Question about messages

Posted by constanceclum Mar 23, 2017

Can someone explain to me where to go for private messages received? Mark tried to explain it to me but I'm not sure I understand. When I go to inbox all I see is what everyone has commented on blogs which I already read when I read the blogs so it's pretty useless. When I go to messages all I see is how to send a message.

 

Thanks,

Connie

I just read a report on copd. net about chiropractic care for copd to reduce impairment and improve overall prognosis. It states "manipulation of the spine and soft tissue increases range of motion in joints to reduce muscle spasticity for easier breathing and less work for respiratory muscles causing less shortness of breath." This is controversial and should be discussed with your Dr. or pulmonologist. Another expert states that "some studies have shown improvement in forced vital capacity, walking and lovels of shortness of breath" I'm wondering if anyone here is working with a chiropractor and if it's been beneficial.

 

I've been thinking about something I learned yrs. ago when quitting drinking. "Run that tape all the way through" Our addiction likes to romance it. Back then my mind didn't go to the consequences but rather to the time when I was in my 20's and drinking was fun. We do this when we write out list of reasons why we want to quit smoking but do we always go back to it when those thoughts of "how nice a cigarette would be right now with my morning coffee. I've learned to run the tape all the way through every time those kinds of thoughts enter my head. I ask myself do I really want to have that tight chest and difficulty breathing with coughing? The increasing flare-ups I have every year? I actually have a savings account right now and bought myself a nice bag and shoes. Do I want to go back to being broke because it takes all my money to smoke? The answer, when I run that tape, is always NO. By the way, my O2 sats are now 98%-they are consistently 93% when I smoke and go into the 80's when I have a flare-up so I feel truly blessed.

 

It is taking me 3 days to clean my house for a partial spring clean and my son's visit. To think I use to do construction cleans! But, because of copd, my   energy level is very low. It's dispicable(sp?) how I let smoking do this to my body for so long!

Connie

constanceclum

43 days of freedom

Posted by constanceclum Mar 21, 2017

I stepped down to 3 (7mg.) with the patches yesterday and wasn't even aware of the difference. Today I'm having the emptiness in my chest so I'm doing what I usually do-stay busy and deep breathing. I stay prepared for these days but I will be glad when they get down to the random thought.

 

My son is visiting next week-he'll be here Fri. with a friend of his. I'm ecstatic as I haven't seen him in 3 yrs. but also wary as they smoke. They have to go outside of course but since we'll probably be having some nice weather, I'll probably want to be out there too. I'll appreciate any prayers for strength that I can get. The one thing I'm not going to do is set myself up for failure by telling myself I can't get through this.

 

Hope all of you are having a great day. Even though I love tarheels I'll be so glad when March madness is over!

 

Connie

For some reason this morning, I was really wanting a cigarette. I'm at 40 DOF so I know I have awhile to go but I'm still wearing patches. Anyway I'm so able to tell my addiction (the devil) whatever that he is such a punk and so worthless he should just go crawl under a rock somewhere! It's passed and I realize how doable this is. I know I'm not out of the woods and I may really not ever be truly out of the woods.

 

I think my eye is healing well. And yes those sunglasses really are a fashion statement! The worst part for me is the drops which cause me some irritation that lasts awhile and some itchiness. I wasn't able to get the lens implant that would give me perfect vision but the standard lens has given me good distance vision in that eye. So now I'm far-sighted in my right eye and near-sighted in my left. It makes me feel a little unbalanced but Scott says I should be use to that.

 

Changing the subject and I know everyone has a right to their own opinion. Every elder here helps people in their own way but I feel I have to say this. Being addicted to many things over the decades, studies have shown (also for decades) that tough love, harshness, arguing or belittling does not help anyone to quit. Just the opposite. It could push people away and back to their addiction. I have learned in AA that love, tolerance, kindness and understanding go so much further. So many addicts are already filled with self-loathing and low self-esteem as it is. Anyway, just wanted to throw this out there. Take it or leave it.

 

Love all of you,

Connie

constanceclum

Made it!!

Posted by constanceclum Mar 16, 2017

I had way more issues with starvation and coffee than nicotine and I did take off the patch as directed (at midnight). I always project and then worry more than needed, a habit that I wish I didn't have. Surgery went well but I think I over did it this morning. I was quite comfortable this morning but then spent some time in places with bright lights. Came home and my eye has been burning and irritated since. I did wear my sun glasses-those things make quite the fashion statement don't they? NOT- when outside but I didn't really think about bright lights so I'm not going to stay here long. Just wanted to give you guys an update and let you know I did not have to smoke over taking the patch off and not having my morning coffee!

 

Connie

constanceclum

Thanks

Posted by constanceclum Mar 14, 2017

Well everyone of you who commented on my blog yesterday says to follow Dr.s orders and take the patch off at midnight. Well these are not exactly his orders but outpatient surgeries policies. My surgery is at 12:30 and I'm just feeling too sorry for myself. No food, not even sips of water, no nicotine and, worst of all, no coffee! How is one to survive? But I'm going to take your advice, stay up as late as I can tonight, and try to stay in bed until it's time to leave. No matter what I will not smoke. However I will bring a lozenge for the ride home.

 

You guys are the best for keeping me on track. Since I was a nurse back when dinosaurs roamed, I tend to think I know more than them.

 

Connie

constanceclum

thoughts appreciated

Posted by constanceclum Mar 13, 2017

I'm hoping for input on this. I am having my right eye cataract removed on Wed. I will not know the time to be there util afternoon tomorrow. I let the outpatient surgery know how I felt about that about 3 different times. It doesn't matter so much to me but my friend who is driving me because my husband (Scott) couldn't get the 2 days off from work. 1 for the surgery and 1 for the post-op appointment. Anyway, my dilemma is they told me to take my nicotine patch off tomorrow night at midnight. Since I've had several relapses with previous quits because of not using the patch as directed, I've decided to just take it off prior to leaving my house. The way I understand it, this surgery is about as risky as having a tooth pulled. I told the nurse about the severity of my COPD and she said it was policy for all their surgeries so I'm throwing it out there-what do you guys think?

 

Connie

constanceclum

Getting so much better

Posted by constanceclum Mar 9, 2017

31 days of freedom and no real craves. Some occasional "urges" lasting no time at all and I am having longer periods of time without thinking of smoking. I know I'm not "through it" by no means but I feel like I've reached that point where I can think the struggle of the 1st couple of weeks were worth it. I hope the people that are struggling early in there quits get this. It might take months to get through NML but it doesn't take long at all to be able to feel comfortable and relaxed. We have to stay on guard but I'm enjoying my life most of the time at 31 days. It feels amazing and I couldn't be here without you!

Connie

constanceclum

Thanks everyone

Posted by constanceclum Mar 6, 2017

Just for being here-my go-to place to get through a craving or just keep up with friends. Today is 1 month for me because of Feb. having 28 days but I'll take what I can get. Thanks for the comments on my NML and patches blog. I am using patches pretty much as directed. I was a few days short of 21 mg. and I'll take an extra week of 14 mg. just because I have them. I'll decide if I'll take extra 7 mg. when the time comes but I do have 4 and 2 mg. lozenges for after patches just in case it gets really hairy. I don't really care for them so things would have to get pretty bad first but no matter what, I will not smoke.

Tomorrow is my pre-op visit for my cataract surgery next week. I can't wait until my vision improves. I guess I'll go through about 4 weeks of healing before I get my new glasses. The surgeon said I won't so much trouble with distance (I've always been nearstighted) but I'll definitely need reading glasses. So far whenever everyone else puts glasses on for close-up, I'm taking mine off so it will be a little different.

Anyway, that's where my life is at right now. I'm praying for our loved one's here that face so many more difficult challenges.

 

Connie

How does NML work with patches?

Connie

Just an update for those using or thinking of using patches. This is day 1 of 14 mg. patch. I have had 1 pretty noticable crave which lasted a bit but nothing like the 1st couple of weeks. I have stayed busy at home and am just determined to get through this and NML. During the craving, I realized that even though my addiction is saying I need a cigarette, my whole being is saying no I really don't. That's how it was the 1st couple of weeks too. Could it be that I just finally have had enough? I really think that's it. And I'm sure help and strength from God as I started praying hard 2 weeks before my quit date and continue to pray everyday, as I do with alcohol and it really seems that the desire has truly been taken away.

 

I'm not gonna question success though, hope you all are having a good weekent.

 

Connie

constanceclum

Step 2 on patches

Posted by constanceclum Mar 4, 2017

I was a little surprised when I woke up this morning and realized that I had used my last 21mg patch yesterday but no worries, I am ready to step down. I now have 26 days of freedom and, with Feb. being a short month, I will have a month on Mon. and I now have 530 cigarettes that I have not smoked.

 

I had such a good mental health day yesterday that I'm doing it again today. Added bonus that my husbands off and he's cooking baby backs. 

 

I am in such a good place mentally and physically now that it's worth the agony I went through during hell/heck week.

 

I just wish everyone that has gone through the quitting process could have good health. I know our health is always improved when we quit but reading what people go through here, smoking related and not, just breaks my heart. I can feel pretty good when I don't smoke and have minimal exertion but I know this COPD does not get better and I don't get nearly enough exercise.

 

Wishing everyone a day of peace,

 

Connie

constanceclum

Day 25

Posted by constanceclum Mar 3, 2017

I'm taking a chill day for myself today. The past 3&1/2 weeks have been very busy which has been good. My hard weeks seemed to fly right by. More in hindsight than going through it I will admit. 

 

I'm wondering if others with COPD sleep a lot. I don't take naps but I can easily sleep 10-11 hours at night. I hate wasting those hours on sleep but maybe it just comes with the territory. Of course other nights, I have horrible insomnia so I guess it balances out.

 

I saw a quote today I wanted to share:

 

"Let them tell you that you can't. Hear it. Smile. Nod. Let it marinate inside and light your fire. Be pissed, but don't show it. Then know better and do it. Damn it, do it".

Ashwin T Broadway

#quotesfrommymother.

 

Take care all and don't smoke,

 

Connie

constanceclum

days are flying by

Posted by constanceclum Mar 1, 2017

Today was the easiest day so far. It's either 22 or 23 days-I didn't check-and I have not had a craving nor have I thought about smoking very much. I just stay busy and the time is going fast. Not so much the 1st couple of weeks. Quitting smoking does teach us a lot about patience.

 

I for got to mention on my last blog that I had my tear procedure done. My eyes had been so dry for so long, everyday I felt that I had be swimming in a pool with too much chlorine in it. I had expected to get a prescription for restasis or whatever but they did this procedure that partially blocks off the drainage ducts. Completely painless and took a total of 2 minutes. My cost, after insurance was $40.00 and my eyes are so comfortable today. I am so glad I went this route rather than an expensive prescription. Next is my cataract removal in 2 weeks of my right eye only. I have a borderline one in my left eye which he will not remove. I'm thinking they want me to keep paying for glasses but the jokes on him because I'm going somewhere else for my glasses. lol.

 

Anyway, I hope to be on here a lot more now that I don't have so much eye irritation. And FYI smoking contributes to both dry eyes and cataracts. Is there any body part that it doesn't damage? I'm thinking not.

 

Take care all my smoke-free friends,

 

Connie