Monday, December 31, 2007

Days 6 & 7: Not Too Shabby

I survived the weekend at my Grandparent's house. I did have a few fits, but each time I consolidated myself with the thought that even if I wanted to, I couldn't smoke. Saturday was the worst of the two days. Sunday wasn't too bad, but in church there were few smokers sitting in the pew in front of me. I kept smelling it them, and it threw me into mini-fits. At the same time, though, I was happy that it wasn't me. You could tell that one of the ladies smelled nice, and took care to, but there was the faint smoke odor that just can't be gotten rid of, no matter how hard you try. I'm so glad it wasn't me.

The meds treated me fine over the weekend. No major problems with the Chantix.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Day 5: It's a Good Day!

The best one yet! I haven't had a true craving today at all. Of course I "want" one, but that's not the same as craving one.

Yesterday was so bad. I came home, danced the hell out of my DDR pads, then laid down on my couch. I was on the couch from about 7:30 until 9:30, where I slept on and off. Then I went to bed and slept there. If I was asleep, I could avoid the cravings at least. I did manage to wake up long enough to yell at my husband for not talking to me about quitting, and not being supportive, and "DON'T YOU KNOW I NEED SUPPORT AND I'VE HAD A REALLY BAD DAY AND DON'T YOU CARE" before falling back asleep. Yeah. Good thing he loves me.

But today I feel pretty darn good. Which is a relief, because the past 4 days have really been weighing me down. You might or might not hear from me again today, but you can be pretty certain that after today you won't hear from me until Sunday. But this is a GOOD thing. Going off for the weekend to my Grandmother's house where I absolutely CANNOT smoke. I'm very excited about that.

Finally, about the QuitMeter thing, I'm not sure what's wrong. When I tried at home it works just fine, but when I try from work the site simply does not work. Now, if we're banned from something at work, it will get blocked, and we get a nice little "STOP" page, but that's not the case here. So I created one from home and placed on my page. The only problem is, I can't see it at work. Also, I visited the page at work before I quit. I don't know what the problem is now.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Day 4: It's Bad. Really Bad

Okay, let me start off by saying: I WANT A CIGARETTE!!!!! This is the worst that I've wanted one since I quit smoking. Almost bad enough to make me actually consider smoking. But not quite ... it would take a heck of a lot to do that (because I'm stubborn, of course). Most of today has been bad. Errgggg I want a smoke. I won't, but this is really bad over here :-(

So the rest of last night went okay. It was the first night back into our regular routine. I found myself hurrying to eat dinner to keep pace with my husband, who liked to smoke right after our meal. Then I'd stop, remember that I don't smoke anymore, and slow down to fight the craving.

I keep hearing people say that Chantix gives them the odd dreams. Well, I already have very odd, very vivid dreams. I have for as long as I can remember, but apparently it's climbing to a new level now. My husband had to wake me up last night because I was singing "Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer" in my sleep! The remarkable thing is, apparently I knew the names to all the reindeer -- which, if you ask me, I wouldn't be able to tell you.

Anyways, I'm ending this with REALLY needing a smoke. I want one, bad. I still appreciate the support -- I know that my husband is quitting too, but he doesn't like to talk about it, he keeps it in his head, because otherwise it makes him crave one. Or something like that. So thanks for being here for me.

One more thing, can someone help me? I really want a Quit Meter banner, but I can't find one that works. Http:// seems to have went down the day I quit smoking. And all of the other stuff I find is broken. Any suggestions? I could use one of these for inspiration. Heh... perhaps I need to make my own, huh? I'll consider it ;-)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Day 3: Still Going Strong

Today is day number 3. It hasn't been as bad as days 1 & 2, but I still feel pretty ... slugish, I guess. It's hard for me to get out of bed and face the fact that I am now a non-smoker, and it's hard for me to sleep at night. Last night I woke up at 3:00 am and likely never fell back asleep.

The full Chantix dose makes me nauseous on and off. Not really really bad, but enough to upset my routine. Of course, when I feel like I'm going to throw up, a cigarette is the last thing on my mind ;-)

This is the second day now (Monday and today) that I haven't been able to concentrate much at work. I did do some stuff today -- a vast improvement over Monday where I accomplished absolutely nothing. Hopefully tomorrow will be better, however I have a feeling I won't be back in the groove for a week or two. Good thing I've been super productive over the course of this year; maybe they'll overlook this week or two.

My husband quit smoking the same day as me, only he is using the patch. It worked fine for him in the past. He has a very strong will, and last time we quit he was the one who pretty much forced me through. But yesterday morning he goes, "I feel like having a cigarrette... but you probably can't, can you?" I couldn't believe it, and I let him know: "OF COURSE you feel like having a cigarette! You're quitting! I'm quitting! NO we can't go outside and smoke." I was sooo proud of diverting this situation, cause usually I'm the weak one. However, for the next hour after he mentioned it, I had one heck of a craving. But hey, we got through it!

So ... that's all. Fighting the urge to smoke. At no point have I actually considered going out to smoke. Not once have I come that close. I'm proud of myself, and I thank you guys for all your support! I check my comments & other people's blogs numerous times a day to keep going. Thanks so much!!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Day 2 as a Non-Smoker (Dec. 25th)

Merry Christmas everyone! I would like to start by thanking all who have taken time out of their busy holiday schedules to read and/or comment on my blog. This is fantastic support, and I feel very blessed to have it. Thanks!

If you count the fact that my last cigarette was at 9pm on Dec. 23rd, it's been 39 hours since my last cigarette. I'm very proud of myself. Yesterday was really hard. Very hard, but I pulled through. We went to my father-in-law's house last night. We hide the fact that we smoke, so usually these get togethers involve me trying to enjoy myself, but counting down until I can get out of there and have my next smoke. Then, as soon as we were gone, I'd drive a block or two then pull over and have that much needed cigarette. But not last night! Yes, half the night was filled with me really needing a smoke, but I knew that problem wouldn't be solved by finding an excuse to leave his dad's house. So that was a nice change.

Today is the same thing. We're going to my mother-in-law's house, and the same situation applies. One of the reasons I chose yesterday to quit was because I knew I'd be bombarded with places that I can't smoke, so it would be the best strategy to keep from smoking. This weekend is the biggie -- going to my Grandma's house for an entire weekend. Now we're as careful as we can be there, because she would freak, so we wash everything and don't smoke before going to her house. It can be stressful. Not this time though! I'm determined to make it through!

So far today hasn't been THAT bad. A few minor cravings, nothing as bad as yesterday. Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Quit Day! First Half (Dec. 24th)

It's here! It has arrived. Too soon, in my opinion. At about 9 pm last night I had my last cigarrette. It was an uneventful smoke, if not a very uncomfortable one as I tried to get my last bit of nicotine in and say goodbye while battling the cold air and high winds.

I was in a panic last night, as anyone who read my post yesterday can see. I woke up 5 or 6 times last night. Each time I woke up, asked myself, "Am I craving a cigarrette? No? Okay, good..." before falling back asleep. Why I would do that, I don't know. I never wake up in the middle of the night and go outside to smoke. Like I said, it was just a panic.

But of course quitting smoking was the first thing on my mind this morning. Even though I usually don't need (or think) about a smoke for the first hour or two in the morning, it was the only thing I could think about. I didn't want one; I was just scared and wondering at what point in the day I would want one.

I got out of the shower and wrapped up in my bathrobe. I got to brush my teeth as soon as I got out of the shower! That was a plus because it meant more time in my warm, comfy bathrobe -- not a luxury I get on a weekday morning. Normally I get out, get dressed, fix my hair, go outside, smoke, come back in, brush teeth and then apply makeup. I just eliminated three steps from my morning routine!

When I got to work I was craving a smoke. I think the walk from my car to my building triggered it, because I smoke during that every morning. By the time I got to my office I was pulling out the crackers so I could take the pill. I ate all my crackers and then took a pill -- which normally would have helped me to avoid nausea. Not today! I guess the 1 mg pill requires more food to settle than the .5 mg's. Within a few minutes I was really nauseaous. Not as bad as the one day I took it, but still pretty bad. I forced down more crackers, and eventually it subsided. Now I know: bigger breakfast before the 1 mg pills. Oops, my bad.

The day has gone strangely. I've battled a few mediocre cravings. The rest of the day I've felt fine, but my mind has been on quitting smoking. I can't do work (as you can see with my long post from my work comp). And I just ate, so my after-meal craving is settling in. But now, I am reaching for a lifesaver to occupy myself with instead. *Deep Breaths* ....

I have not cheated. I will not cheat. I will probably leave another post later today ;-)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Chantix: Days 6 & 7 (Dec.22 & 23)

This is a combined post because I've been out of town. Well, quit day is tommorow, so when I wake up I'm going to be a non-smoker. I'm excited, but still worried that I can't do this. But I know I can do this, and I will do this, it's just scary. Up until yesterday and today I've been thinking about it, but the day has come up faster than I was prepared for. But it will be okay. I'll be okay. Right? Right. I can do this ...

I learned a few things about the Chantix this weekend. First, I must be careful of my alcohol intake. I was visiting friends and went out dancing. I had one drink and was very noticably buzzed. This disturbed me a bit -- while I enjoy a few drinks and a slight buzz, I do not enjoy being very buzzed / drunk. I think it's the loss of control. I don't know, but what I do know is I didn't drink anymore that night.

The other thing I learned is that I think this Chantix thing is going to work out. There was a major ice storm yesterday in the city I was visiting on Saturday. The conditions outside were terrible and I had no place to smoke inside (I don't smoke in my car, or in my house, for the kids' sake). I attempted to get a few drags here or there, but I didn't really need it. I went 5 hours with only a few drags. During that time I felt like I wanted a cigarrette out of habit, but I didn't NEED one.

Driving back today the roads were terrible. It's a 3.5 hour drive from the place I was visiting to where I live in St. Louis. Usually, when I'm battling a slow, dangerous, stressful drive, I pull the car over somewhat often to smoke and reduce the stress, and keep myself calm and collected. It's usually one of the few times where I really feel like I NEED a cigarrette -- otherwise I'll drive for a couple hours before pulling over to smoke. Today, however, I didn't need one at all. I was calm and collected and didn't feel the need for the smoke to help me better handle the drive.

So all of this has made me feel like Chantix is really going to work. Unfortunantly, at the moment, I think I'm panicking, because I have this constant desire for a cigarrette, like I have already quit smoking and know I can't have one. Again, I think this is just panic from the realization that in a few hours I will have my last cigarrette.

Finally, in preparation for tomorrow, my smelly winter coat and gloves are in the washing machine. I will start the day with a clean, smoke free coat and gloves. All the more reason NOT to smelly them up again.

Whew! Tomorrow! Trepidation, excitment ... Wish me luck, and chances are you'll hear from me a couple times tomorrow ;-)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Chantix: Day 4 (Dec. 20th, 2007)

Day four, and everything looks to be all right. I was really worried about the 2 pill thing, but I didn't feel any nausea from the second pill. And not much at all from the first pill, either. I think I have this thing under control, which I'm very excited about.

As far as effects, I'm not feeling much at all. My cigarrettes feel lighter, but that's it. I'm a bit worried because I expected to feel something by now. Some adversion, or getting nothing out of my smokes, but I don't feel much different at all. I guess I just have to take this quitting thing on faith that the medicine will help. Is this the way everyone else felt, or did the medicine make smoking very different for you?

I went to the store last night and stocked up my desk with low-cal snacks. I have jello with fruit, gum, hard candies -- I should be set to handle this. I don't want to gain a lot of weight, and I know that snacking is inevitable, so I'm trying my best to substitute with better items. At least I won't be running to the vending machine to get a replacement fix.

I did add a links list to my blog. Again, if you want to be on the list, just drop me a note. I'll check out your blog, leave you a note and post your link. It just might take a few days.

2 more full days to smoke! I feel the trepidation, but I'm still excited!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Chantix: Day 3 (Dec. 19th, 2007)

This morning before I took my pill I ate a bowl of oatmeal and let it sit for a few minutes. My stomach felt a little upset, but it was nothing like the nausea I experienced yesterday. A few hours later I was a little nauseous, but I ate a small snack and everything returned to normal. As long as it continues like this I'll be all right. After yesterday I was afraid to take the pill, but today was much better.

So tomorrow is going to be odd because I start taking two pills. I'm a bit worried because of the nausea thing, but hopefully I can keep it under control.

So, overall today has been pretty good. I don't feel like I'm getting quite as much out of my cigarettes as I did before. It's hard to explain, but it's kind of like smoking an ultra-light, I guess. It's there, but you don't feel it as much.

I've got to think of new ways to take breaks at work. Currently my day is divided up by cigarrette breaks: 9:00 am, 10:30 am, 1:00 pm and 2:30 pm. I'm so used to segmenting my work day this way that I think this is going to be the hardest part of the entire quitting thing. Plus, I don' t leave my desk at work unless for a smoke break. I even spend my unpaid lunch hour working while I eat lunch at my desk. So I really really really need to start thinking of alternative ways to get a few minutes away from my desk every couple hours.

Finally, I would like to thank people for actually reading and responding to my blogs. I just joined this site and already I feel like I'm a part of a community. I know this is really going to help me quit! For good! Also, if you have a Chantix blog please leave me a message and I'll be happy to link to you. It might be a little while, though -- I need some free time to set it up, and right now I don't have a lot of that ;-) But I will get your link on my blog!

Thanks everyone, and 4 days till Q-day!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Day 2 (Dec. 18th, 2007)

Chantix day two! I took another .5 mg dose this morning. Within 20 minutes I was overloaded with nausea. I was sitting at my desk at work, convinced I was going to have to run to the bathroom and throw up. It was horrible. There are few things I hate more than vomiting. So to me this is particularly bad. I'm also worried because I'm not even on the full dose yet! It doesn't usually take much of any kind of medicine to effect me, so I'm not surprised at this.

I searched all over the web looking for info about the nausea. Today and yesterday I took the pill and then ate some crackers. By the looks of it, I need to do my eating before I take the pill. But I need some help -- do I need to eat a lot? a little? somewhere in between? If you have a comment about what has worked for you, please leave it for me to read. It will be much appreciated!

As far as how I feel, I feel a little strange, actually. Starting about noon I've had a deep craving for a cigarette, but I can' t get rid of the craving. I've smoked twice since then and I still have that feeling. I can't really explain the feeling, but it's in the pit of my stomach, up to my lungs -- it's the feeling I get when it's been too long since I've smoked ;-) . So, I'm thinking the medicine must be starting to do it's work.

5 days left to smoke! Still psyched!

Chantix: Day 1 (Dec. 17, 2007)

So I'm finally going to do it. Actually, it's not the first time that I've quit smoking. I've been quite successful in the past -- I quit for over two years. Why did I start again? I was stupid of course. I suppose I could blame it on extremely stressful situations, but that's just an excuse. I don't like excuses. So, it boils down to being stupid. While I was successful last time it came at the expense of the sanity of my loving, patient husband and older daughter. I don't want to put them through that again!

I would classify myself as a mild smoker. On an average day I smoke 10 light cigarrettes. When going out, or at a smoker's house, I tend to smoke much more -- up to one pack a day. I have been smoking since I was 14 (minus the 2 years I quit). That makes my overall smoking time 9 years. (Wow -- 9 years already?! ugh)

This morning I took my first Chantix, which was a .5 mg dose. I experienced a little nausea, but I was already not feeling well, so I'm not sure if it can be attributed to the Chantix yet. It went away after eating some crackers.

Aside from (maybe) having nausea, I feel no effects thus far. Smoking still feels the same.

6 days to quit day! I'm psyched!