Why Kerryanne Quit.

Discussion created by kerryanne on Jun 8, 2008
Latest reply on Jun 12, 2008 by lynn5
This is a good topic. 2.5 years after my final smoke it's good to remind myself exactly why I did this. I simply couldn't stand myself first of all. I woke up every morning with such trouble breathing. My first breath in the morning ended up a coughing jag. I hated waking up. The whole process was getting harder and harder to do each morning. I was in dreadful shape. I didn't want to do any physical activity because it made my lungs burn.

I had a back injury in 2004 where I herniated a couple discs. One day while sitting in the chiropractor's office I smelled smoke. It was on me. I tried to not smoke on my way there in the car because the office was small enough where people could smell it and I was starting to realize it wasn't cool to stink. I was embarrassed when I started going to physical therapy and I was doing simple exercises in the gym and gasping for air.

It was around this time that I found a smoking support group on the internet and began to investigate the idea of quitting. I had all the reasons in the world to quit, but somehow I just wasn't doing it. I "tried" a couple times that year to do it, but my heart wasn't in it no matter how much I tried to kid myself... and my friends on that board. I knew I was going to smoke again eventually. And so I kept slipping up.

After almost two years of rehab for my back and nothing being successful, it was time to look at surgery. I am a court reporter and I knew what the doctor was about to tell me when we spoke of my options. He told me straight out I needed a spinal fusion and there was basically no chance of it being sucessful if I was still smoking and sucking the oxygen out of my bones. (I'm going to insert a little trivia here.... in case anyone ever wonders. I heard a doctor say that he can tell a smoker when they go in for surgery by the color of their bones.) If that's not enough to scare someone into quitting, I don't know what is.

Anyway, since this wasn't the first time I had heard this story about unsuccessful fusions, I decided there was no way I was going to allow a doctor to go in there, put my life at risk in surgery in the first place just to have it not be successful. And so I had my final smoke a week before surgery or so and I have never looked back. And I have never been so happy with anything I ever did in my life. I feel like such a fool for letting cigarettes mess with my health, my welbeing and my life for so long. I am no longer a prisoner to my addiction and I can happily say that my fusion was a complete success. I healed quicker than we expected and I am back to all activities I want to do. Waking up is a pleasure these days.

To further boost my position on this matter, I would like to tell you about my cousin who I love dearly and wish she would quit. She had a car accident and basically had the same fusion surgery I had, only on a different part of her spine. She has had three - yes, three - surgeries since because her spine refuses to fuse. She still smokes. This is no coincidence and it makes me cringe every time I see her light a smoke because I know that she will never ever be free from pain as long as she continues to disregard the doctors. I know she wants to quit. I even know she's cut down. But it's not enough. The only way she will get her life back is to never have another smoke again. And yet, seeing how well I healed and being an addict, she will not recognize the truth. Unfortunately, until that happens, I will watch my cousin suffer.

So that's why I quit in a nutshell.