Day 13

Blog Post created by AlexColvin on Feb 16, 2019

I was going to post more work pics but I managed to leave my phone at work. So they will have to wait until later today.  


Yesterday was rough. The shortness of breath is starting to be very apparent and the coughing is very frequent. At one point, my bossed asked is I  had "caught" asthma. I then had to explain how removing 90+ chemicals from the cigarettes I'd been smoking for half a century left me a bit unmasked because all those "additives" had been suppressing a lot of things . I doubt she took the hint. She smokes, and on breaks she and another co-worker and I used to go to this one spot on the edge of school property and light up. So now our Smoker's Club is one less member.  . 


On the way home my BBF, (who likes to play taxi -- go figure,  ) suggested we go to Whole Foods tomorrow and get a "natural" inhaler, because I sounded terrible. So we're going to do that along with a trip to PetSmart to get Chester's crickets.


At home the workers, Bill and his apprentice, Gavin, were working on the laundry-room rebuild, which I was glad to see after their 3-day absence. (Bill was waiting on the new door from the supplier.) It will likely be done early next week, and I can do laundry at home again -- Yeah!  I had a few White Russians which helped the coughing a lot, and I had no cravings, but was glad to get little time off from feeling and sounding tubercular.  The guys left by 6:30 and I was in bed an hour later. Slept ok until about 4:30, when the "productive" coughing started up. Went to the study and arranged myself so I could sleep sitting upward which makes breathing a little easier. That worked for about 20 minutes, and I tried different configurations until about 6:00 when I finally said **** it, and got showered to start my day.


While I was in the shower, I gave some serious thought to why I quit smoking and more importantly, I asked myself: Would I have quit if I knew I would have to endure all this misery?




The last time I quit, I did it with medication and it was like laying back on a feather bed. There was no hard landing. There as only weight gain, (I gained thirty pounds in three weeks, which looked really bad, so I quit the program,) but this is Cold Turkey and it's much, much different.


But I can't give up now because that would defeat the entire purpose of suffering, and I happen to belive that some suffering has utility in that it is meaningful and edifying while other kinds of suffering (especially if inflicted by others to be mean, or to establish power,) is just sadistic cruelty. But this is meaningful suffering because it has a purpose and a goal in mind. And it would be mindlessly stupid to undermine it by quitting just because it feels "bad" -- especially since that feeling is expected to be temporary.


Still. Would I have quit had I known?  Good question. 


Besides, I thought about my reasons for quitting, and essentially there are three:

1. Economics. $5.73 just adds up to too much year after year. And I can find better uses for $2,000.00 dollars than burning it up in an ashtray. Seriously.

2. Inconvenience. There is nothing convenient about riding 3/4 mile to a convenient store in a downpour at 2:00 AM for a $6.00 pack of cigarettes. Those kinds of responses to cravings just get old.

3. The Smell. Really? Do I and my house and my cat need to smell like a dirty ash tray for some logical reason? I don't think so.  I asked my friend if I still smell like smoke and she said I never really did, but more importantly, the house doesn't anymore. So that's a plus.  


There's also more to this quitting thing than the physical hardship in the coughing, wheezing, and lack of air. There's also the weird memory lapses. I forget words that I should know; I try to describe something and the words vanish just when I need them and I have to use clumsy substitutes. Baseboards become, "those things around the bottom of the wall."  A common ground cover, Wedelia,  I installed outdoors a few years ago, suddenly has no name. You get the idea.


So it's a little frustrating. Still, in those moments when the air is still and the birds are chirping and I can manage to take a really deep breath everything feels "normal." And I sense this is as it should be and I get a glimpse of what is to come. Then it stops like a window slamming shut and I cough some more. And some more.


Peace and gratitude,