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constanceclum Blog

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Quick check in

Posted by constanceclum Aug 6, 2019

Getting ready to walk out the door. Feeling like a nonsmoker this morning. Still have the patch on but have had no need for a lozenge. So excited about that!


Connie on day 9


Heck Week

Posted by constanceclum Aug 5, 2019

That's right, hell week is over. This morning was quite a bit better. I went to an AA meeting this afternoon, and I thought I was mentally prepared, afterwards, to walk out on the porch where we have after meeting fellowship and the smokers light up. I use to be 1 of them. Even still, it was a huge trigger that wet off  a huge craving that wouldn't go away for a couple of hours. I put a lozenge in my mouth and left rather quickly. I still (at 4:20) feel a little shaky from it. And cranky lol. Hopefully, next time, it will be easier.


My goal this week is to be completely done with the lozenges by the end of the week. I've only had 2 so far today and might not any more today. At most I will have 1.


I'll be glad when this feeling out of sorts goes away. I guess a fish out of water is a good analogy.



I love getting up and getting on here. I normally would have smoked a half pack of cigarettes by now. Instead, I've been here reading blogs from other newcomers who I most relate too, but also the elders and the fun times they are having without smoking.


I slept good last night so I'm expecting today to be a good day! When I go to sleep tonight, hell week will be over. I'm starting to space those lozenges as the cravings are getting weaker. I think I had 4 yesterday and I also am using regular mints. I don't really have a hand/mouth issues as I play a facebook game as much as I want, and that seems to take care of that.


I read a blog today where the writer mentioned she no longer had craves but now has urges, and I realized that I don't really know the difference. I would appreciate it if someone could explain that to me.


I'm off to enjoy my day, God bless each and everyone of you!




Hey Everyone

Posted by constanceclum Aug 3, 2019

lol. I've been sitting here for 5 minutes trying to think of a catchy title, and, then I thought, how ridiculous is this. This quit continues to progress and I'm now on day 6. Still tough periods during the day mixed with easier periods and then periods where I'm actually in a good, silly mood. And, as I said in my 1st blog, Each day has felt, at times, like a week long, but now, looking back, it feels as if it has flown by.


I was planning on going to the gym this morning. With helping my friend, I haven't gone all week. But, after getting up and having my coffee, I realized that I didn't feel like rushing this morning. The gym closes at noon and it's 1/2 hour away. I've been rushing in the mornings all week to get to my friends house and, even though I don't mind at all, it kind of reminds me of when I worked which has been 10 yrs. ago. So I've been slowly going through my morning routine. I am going to go get a haircut though.


I haven't been sleeping well, and I am tired. I can't necessarily blame it on withdrawals as I frequently have bouts of insomnia, and I'm not a nap taker. I don't care how tired I am, if I try to take a nap, I just toss and turn.


I'm feeling confident about getting through this week and next, but I have a history at relapsing during the 3rd month-NML so I need to be EXtra prepared. I would love to have a few women's phone # if those that are willing will message me their numbers. I don't have much face-to-face support so maybe that would make the difference this time.


When I write or type anymore, I realize I no longer have any knowledge about how to use punctuation, and I also don't feel like re-learning it so, please bear with me.


God Bless each and everyone of you!




Getting Better

Posted by constanceclum Aug 2, 2019

Aw, but you guys knew it would. The cravings are less intense and I have frequent periods of feeling absolutely fine. The 1st 2 & 1/2 days I would have rated a 10 in intensity. Now I would say between a 4 & 5 with occasional increases. I'm thinking it's mostly psychological though as I'm using the patch and lozenges. I limit the lozenges to about 6/day as I do want to deal with cravings to get past them. Does anyone know if psychological cravings can manifest as physical sensations? My cravings are feelings of having a hole in my chest and fuzzy headedness.


I thought I would have the most problems while driving. I smoked in my car but not in my house. This week as I've been helping my friend, I've been driving her around in her car. She doesn't smoke so in all these yrs., I have never smoked in her car. Now I'm driving my car and not even thinking of smoking.


I am having some sleep problems. Waking up several times with some difficulty falling back to sleep. The good news is though, I am sleeping.


I use to eat junk food at night and I was about 20# overweight. I quit doing that over the winter and lost 16# Now I'm allowing myself something after dinner as a reward for not smoking all day so I might gain some weight back but that's ok. It's a lot easier giving up junk food than it is


I still go to the gym. I'm not able to do a heavy duty workout because of copd but I spend about an hour there walking on the treadmill and the weight machines. I always feel better, and I'm hoping I'll be able to do more now that I'm an EX.


All in all, life is good!


God bless,




Felt like Sharing

Posted by constanceclum Jul 31, 2019

After I wrote the last blog, I actually had a period of time, maybe an hour, where I felt a sense of normalcy without craves. A great glimpse into my future as an EX.




Progress already

Posted by constanceclum Jul 31, 2019

I came home early from my friends house, the 1 that had back surgery last week. She doesn't really need much help and I'm not really sure why she wants me there. I think mostly for company and, I think, security because of my nursing background. It's been helpful for me though during these early days of my quit. She just wanted to go back to bed today so I came back home.


My breathing continues to get better though I'm still aware of it. My O2 sats have gone from 93 to between 97&98. I'm thrilled about that!


I found out the results of my CT scan online. The suspicious nodule and recommended further testing. I don't see my Dr. for 3 more weeks so I called his office and asked that they go ahead and order the Pet scan so he would have those results prior to my appt. The nurse said he's on vacation this week but had noted that we would just wait for my appt. before going on to the next step. I might be fine physically to wait, but mentally, I don't want to keep waiting. I refuse to live my life in fear, but why does dealing with healthcare always have to be so frustrating?


I'm still dealing with withdrawal but today is a little better than the past 2 days have been. The persistent feeling of having a hole in my chest and the brain fog. And the irritability. I'm using a 21mg patch with lozenges for when it's too horrible to bear. I'm really trying to limit the lozenges. I'm using about 6/day. I'm going to try to not use them next week.


I see that there are others here that are in their first week of EX. I am rooting for all of you! Let's do this together to make this our forever quits. Whenever my addiction tries to talk me into "just 1". I will make sure to "run the tape all the way through" to how bad every cigarette I smoked made me feel over the past 2 mo. And you can use my deteriorating health to motivate you. I have tried to quit so many times over the past 5-6 yrs. But I've never made that 100% commitment, and I've always failed. Learn from me. Smoking will affect your health, and it will continue to get worse.




feeling humble

Posted by constanceclum Jul 30, 2019

I've been spending my days with a friend who had back surgery last week. It's been helpful as she quit smoking some yrs. ago so it's comforting to be with someone that knows what I'm going through early in my quit even though I don't talk about it. I work at not even thinking about these withdrawal symptoms as much as I can. Her house, like mine, is very quiet and peaceful.


I'm not going to lie and say this isn't tough because it is. But I'm trying to keep it in perspective. This will be tough for about a week (the worst of it anyway). I am 61. I am at that age where a month goes by and it feels like a week lol. I know, in 5 days, I will look back on this week and it will seem like a blur.


The discomfort is pretty constant for me but again, perspective. It's not pain. How often in my life have I been uncomfortable or even in pain. To many times to count. And I survived all of them! And I have been so uncomfortable for the past 2 months from smoking with shortness of breath, constant chest tightness where I couldn't take a deep breath and the bronchial irritation from inflammation. My breathing is already better and, without the constant irritation from smoking, I can already take a deep breath. So the choice of which discomfort to deal with is an easy one. The withdrawal symptoms will go away. The symptoms from smoking will only get worse.


I got on here this morning before going over to my friends and when I read all of your comments to my blog, my eyes welled up with tears. I forgot how much like a family we really are here! The gratitude I have for this site and all of you well, there just aren't words for me to adequately express but I know that all you quitters know exactly what I feel.


God bless,


Today is day 1 (soon to be won) I'm in a lot worse shape than the last time I posted here. This summer has been brutal here in NC and I have been absolutely miserable for 2 mo. with having a hard time breathing. This is the first summer that I have experienced this and I have decided that life is not worth living feeling like this. I also just had my second low dose CT scan on a lung nodule that shows the nodule has grown so is possibly malignant. Recommends further testing.


I think of all my past attempts at quitting and get so mad at myself! If only I had truly committed, I wouldn't be having to go through these withdrawals again. My copd wouldn't have worsened to this point. I probably wouldn't be struggling to breath. Even my immune deficiency, that I have to go for infusions for every mo. They have no idea what causes it, but I wouldn't be a bit surprised if smoking contributed to it.


So I'm here again. I wouldn't think of quitting without EX. I don't know how I would get through hell week without you. Today has been hard, even with a patch and lozenges. I have that continuous feeling of a "hole" in my chest and fuzzy headedness. Also weak, anxious, shaky, and very tired. I believe though, that by typing this, it will lose some of it's power.


My friend quit 6 yrs. ago after she was diagnosed with lung cancer and had a lobectomy. Last yr. she had pneumonia 3 times and it's made her copd so much worse. She really struggles to breath. She's said a few times that she quit smoking too late. I told her "no, it's never too late". Now I'm telling myself that. Realistically, I probably will die of copd or maybe lung cancer but quitting has to improve quality of life which, right now, is very poor for me.




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!