After 20 some years of smoking I finally kicked the habit this past December. 2011 is the first year I haven't had a cigarette since 1988 - yup. That's a long time. (it wasn't a pack a day habit or anything - the first 3 and last 3 years were random cigarettes here and there - it was the middle 16 that I was dedicated to keeping Camel into business.)
When you quit you feel very accomplished. If you go to the doctor, they'll ask you if you smoke and you'll say no and everyone will smile and congratulate you. This is the same with friends and family members you don't see often.
"You finally quit! That's wonderful!"
And you feel great. People are happy. You are happy. Your bank account is happy. And then... 7 months later... it begins.
My attacks are normally at night, after laying in bed for a minute or two. If I'm lucky they take place before I'm asleep - if I'm not lucky I start having dreams that I'm suffocating and I'm woken up by my own hacking. Last night was the worst one yet. My chest still hurts.
Part of me wants to go to a doctor, but the other part of me doesn't. I'm sure you're like, "Jesus! Go to the doctor!" but the reality of the situation is I know they'll say it's my lungs detoxing and it'll just take time. Yes, maybe they'll give me something, like an inhaler, but I don't know. Sometimes there isn't a pill or a pump that can just 'fix' things and a big part of me feels like that.
Things like cough syrups just suppress the cough and all that does is stop what my body naturally feels it needs to do - break up crap so I can breath and my lungs can not hurt so much.
Now - this said - I'd like to add that this isn't just a smoker thing. I grew up in a town of iron ore factories - this is an issue. I'm also a fan of city living - exhaust from cars is also an issue. These are things that effect us all. So breathing, understanding that drinking plenty of water also good for our lungs and eating a healthy - none dairy (due to phlegm) and trying to spend time outdoors in an area that isn't overly polluted by factories, smokers, and cars - is important.
Mostly this is my reminding myself by tell you. I find when I share things it ups my changes of remember what I need to do in my life....
Last night is another hiccup. I'm so tired that I'm not sure how much I'll accomplish tonight. I'm hoping once I practice later I'll feel better and will be able to power though so I can finish up the attic tonight with my husband. Then try to write...
Ah! 7 months later, but I'll tell you this, I'm sure as hell never smoking again. I think its funny how quickly I can convince myself that I'm invincible and later I'm reminded just how human I am...