Today marks 200 days smoke-free for me. It also symbolizes the 3000 cigarettes I would have smoked had I not begun my final quit on January 6, 2020.
Good things do come from bad; had I not been on the brink of a stroke and needing surgery to clean out an artery to my brain, I never would have taken that first step toward quitting. I truly believe that... I loved smoking too much! Even so, I was able to quit smoking on August 25, 2019 for my August 30th surgery.
I sense that God has been with me along this journey, especially when I relapsed over the holidays. He led me back to the unfinished business at hand within two weeks.
I am not only thankful to God but also to all of you at the EX for your ongoing support, encouragement, and great suggestions slong the way.
Those of you that know my story are probably aware of my more than 60 year smoking history; I was truly a chain-smoker, with many years of at least two packs a day. A few years back, I switched to vaping for awhile then returned to cigarettes. My health became poor due to my smoking history, causing problems with my lungs, heart and circulation.
Over time, I was able to cut my intake to about 10 cigarettes per day and then to stop smoking with the aid of nicotine replacement products to include the patch, nicotine mints and nicotine gum. I have now been off the patch for about 6 weeks, the mints for a month, and am currently cutting down on the gum to soon become fully nicotine free.
Not smoking has improved my health. While I still have COPD, my breathing function tests have improved and I no longer need my inhalers. Also, I don't get short of breath like I used to.
The surgery on my carotid artery has allowed my brain to receive the blood it requires to function in a healthy manner. Follow-up images show no problems with build-up along the inner arterial wall (which had included cigarette tar, I was told). Also, I rarely get the frequent migraine headaches I did when I was smoking.
While I still have a pacemaker / defibrillator, my cardiac function tests have also improved since I threw away those dangerous cigarettes.
I would have never believed I'd become an ex-smoker. But, here I am, well on my way, taking it day by day and pledging to not take even one puff, no matter what!!
And, in 13 days I will be seven months free of cigarettes; I am one happy camper!