It feels like both yesterday and 2500 years ago that I had my last cigarette. It is neither. Today was my 22nd day.
Today was a little rougher than the last few days have been. Understandably so, I have been stuck inside my house all day. As is the annual summer... tradition? Southern California is currently on fire. Nothing close enough for me to actually worry about, but the air quality is terrible. No outdoor walks or exercise today. The closest fire is 20 minutes or so away (Side note, do not ever get directions from me. Distance is not my strong suit), but I can smell it from here. And it is bothering my lungs. Could I always smell fire from that far away? I am not sure. I did not expect to smell it.
Last fall, fire came to my neighborhood. The evacuation zone was only 2 blocks away from my home. At 3 a.m. on the morning of Halloween, we were put on notice. Packed the most confused suitcases ever and just stood in the middle of the street. Watching, waiting. My street was full of smoke, my yard full of ash, could not breathe without some kind of face covering to filter the air. And yet, I uncovered my face to smoke. How? As much as I am bothered by the smoke coming miles and miles away right now, how could I possibly inhale smoke from a fire 2 inches from my face while ash fell like snow around me?
[Interrupted writing this post. An opossum walked along our back wall. My dog decided the best way to protect our house was to stand on his hind legs on the top of the couch and bite the curtain. I suppose I am not THAT shocked by a high energy, easily excitable terrier tearing a curtain... I AM kind of surprised by the 15-20 pound dog making a hand sized hole and leaving teeth marks that are above my eye level. At least those curtains were cheap.]
Went out to get take out yesterday. A man walked past me inside the restaurant, and the smell of cigarettes slapped me across the face, even with a mask on. It was almost like, stale, burnt, dirt? I don't know. Last time I tried to quit, the smell of smokers seemed both disgusting and delicious at the same time. This time, that only smelled disgusting. I am encouraged.
I wear a fitbit on my wrist every day. I don't much look at it except for the time. The change was probably more gradual than it seemed. My heart rate has always been in the normal range, but on the higher end. Because it was "normal" I never thought about it. I noticed a couple days ago, my heart rate is now holding steady at a lower number, 10 beats per minute lower. Initially this startled me. Made me worried I might be dying, always the "go to" thought when I notice anything different about my body. (Am I dying? No, that's just a burp. What about now? No, no, that's allergies.) But upon tearing through the internet, apparently that is normal/good and not me dying. Seeing measurable change is encouraging. Even if the air quality today has left me with almost a full day of that tight lung feeling again.