Rode the bike the three blocks to the grocery store and thought I was going to die about a block from my destination, from shortness of breath. But I had two cigarette packs worth of money burning a hole in my pocket which I had to get rid of, so I soldiered on, through the wheezing and the cold.
Got inside the store and wheezed along, gulping air, picking out the veggies I needed for the beef stew I was making. The return trip was just as miserable, but I also noticed something. While passing a neighbor (who was also headed to the store,) I detected the stench of cigarette smoke, and he was easily 20 feet away. I thought: Wow! Is that how I use to smell? People could smell me coming and going? Yikes!
Got home and recovered. Beef stew turned out terrific and was a yummy Winter reward. The night was full of coughing and sitting upright, but it passed soon enough. I also read recently that as my lung cilia recover, the coughing could last up to nine months. Oh joy, that should make being around me an uplifting experience for anyone.
Me: How's your (cough-cough) day?(wheeze.)
Them: Are you okay?
Me: Never better. Just (cough...) quit smoking.
Them: You sound awful.
Me: I'm, (cough, cough...spit) Great. Thanks for noticing. See ya, (cough,) around. (Exists left, wheezing as he goes.)
Peace and gratitude,