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Preview: With Chantix and a little bit of Hope

With Chantix and a little bit of Hope





Updated: 2014-10-05T02:20:30.018-04:00

 



Almost 20 weeks of no smoking

2007-12-31T19:10:37.460-05:00

Wow. Look at all the cobwebs in this place. I haven't been here in quite a while. Did you miss me? Did you wonder if I had gone back to smoking?

Well I'm happy to say I haven't. I just had to quit writing, and talking, and thinking about not smoking so much because all that thought spent on non smoking led to too much thinking about going back to smoking. Obsessing over it was beginning to get counter productive.

I kinda had to pull a see no smoking, hear no smoking, speak no smoking thing.

I still think about smoking everyday. I still think I want cigarette everyday but once I get around someone who is smoking I realize I don't really want one, but for whatever reason, after almost 20 weeks, my brain still thinks I do. I'm hoping that will go away soon.

Good luck to all of you quitters!

I'll be checking in more often again, I promise :)



Holy Perfume Batman

2007-09-27T15:23:00.242-04:00

I stink today. At least I think I do. No one else has said anything but........

I don't usually wear perfume. I don't know why, It's just not something I do. Today for some reason I did. I have 2 bottles of this perfume I like...liked. past tense. I don't know if it has always smelled this bad/strong and I just couldn't smell it (I have gotten compliments on it tho) OR if my skin itself smells different now and this perfume is just no longer working for me.

Either way, it's time to find a new scent.
This one's giving me a headache.


Oh GAWD. Have I been "that girl" and didn't know it? The one that is decribed by everyone as "You know that girl.......... the one with all the perfume?"
*shudder*



36-41: The Funeral

2007-09-26T14:15:38.348-04:00

Thank you all for being here today.

Today we are gathered to pay our last respects to Hope's best friend of 17 years- nicotine. We'll let her start with the eulogy and anyone else that would like to say goodbye, feel free to do so in the comment area.

"You were my longest running friendship. You were there for me always. Through every happy moment and especially the bad ones. I could always count on you, and you motivated me like nothing else ever has or, I believe, ever will. I truly loved you. Who else would I go to the store for in the pouring rain, or worse, in a blizzard? Who else would I get out of bed to spend time with when I was sick? After my miscarriage you were the only one I would see. Anytime I felt depressed or cried I turned to you first.

And through it all I knew you would never let me down.

But then, somehow, you did. Somehow having you as my best friend turned me into a social pariah. Turns out you were a bad influence and if I wanted to hang out with you I had to go outside. Everywhere. No one wanted you in their house, or car, or store, or restaurant and definitely not in their workplace. But stubbornly I stuck with you.

Then one day as I went on the porch to spend some time with you, Xander looked right at me and said "momma, you're a drugger. Cigarettes are drugs and you're gonna die because drugs kill you". And he was right, and so I had to make a choice. A choice that was way harder than it should have been because really there's no question that I loved you but I love my son more than you. Sorry that's just how it is.

Besides everybody know drugs are bad mmmmkay. Even my 4 year old knows drugs are bad. Mmmmkay?

Poor poor nicotine. It's true what they say, drugs will kill ya in the end. So, sorry about that whole chantix thing but I had to get rid of ya somehow.

I miss you, and I think about you almost everyday still, but you are dead and gone, and now I am moving on.



No smoking days 34 & 35

2007-09-20T09:31:04.675-04:00

Alternatively titled: Dear God, Can I please get some sleep?

Today is day 6 off of the chantix.
I'm still waking up continuously throughout the night but besides that problem I'm not experiencing any of the horrible side effects that some people have had coming off of the medicine with out weaning or tapering down.



Day 33. still not smoking

2007-09-18T11:10:33.858-04:00

Well, I decided to try it on my own but I will be keeping a pack of chantix on hand in case I feel the need to go back on it. I'd rather be back on it than back smoking.

I have the almost full pack that I'm keeping for emergencies, and 3 other full packs. I think I am going to give them to my MIL to use since she has been toying with the idea of trying chantix. It's already paid for, she might as well get some use out of it.

On another note, I am having some insomnia which is kind of funny since that is a side effect of chantix that I never really had. As a matter of fact if I took my pill early enough I usually got the best sleep of my life. The last 2 nights I have been awake at least once for every hour of the night. I hope this goes away quickly.



No smoking days 30, 31, & 32

2007-09-17T11:24:55.274-04:00

Let me start off by saying- It's been a month. I can hardly believe it but I quit smoking over a month ago. Yay me.

Friday my son spent the night at my in-law's house so Saturday morning I didn't roll out of bed until 11:00. Since I usually take 1/2 a pill at 8am and the other 1/2 around 3 or 4, I figured I would just wait and take a whole one around 2ish. Well I ended up forgetting so no pill on Saturday.

On Sunday we spent most of the day helping a friend move. Again I forgot to take my pill.

2 days with no chantix, and no additional cravings or anything. As a matter of fact I feel pretty good. i haven't taken this morning's dose yet and I'm debating with myself if I want to take it or just be done with the medicine. I haven't decided yet so I'll let ya know tomorrow .

oooh, a cliff hanger. Will she or won't she.



Day 29 of no smoking

2007-09-14T15:14:31.689-04:00

I am so tired today. I don't know why but I had a thought earlier and i hope I am wrong.

I felt this drag ass tired everyday on the chantix until the dose increased to 2mg a day. I don't know why a lower dose would make me more tired than a higher one, and really that whole concept just doesn't make any sense to me, so what's more likely is that I'm just plain old tired today. Just because. It happens every now and then, ya know?

I guess all I can do is wait for the next couple of days to see how it plays out.



No smoking day 28

2007-09-13T13:38:43.304-04:00

My smoking urges have been increasing. It's quite possibly from reducing my chantix. It's also possible that I just haven't "let go" of the smoking yet.

It has to be all in my head now because after 4 weeks of no smoking there is no nicotine left in my system. My body shouldn't still be craving it. So I'm thinking that the second choice is more likely but I'm not really understanding why. I shouldn't have any problem letting that part of my life go.

I quit smoking once before for about 3 months and I think the hardest thing about quiting then was not the actual quit, it was trying to imagine my life as a non-smoker. I'm a shy kind of person (unless I know you- then all bets are off) and having a cigarette, especially in a social situation, was my "shield", If I got uncomfortable it was something for me to focus on, it was something to help take the stress out of the situation ,and I remember being terrified because- what would I do at parties, bars, get togethers, etc. without my trusty "friend"? I have smoked since I was 13. I had never had to deal with adult interaction without the help of a cigarette. I was scared I wouldn't know how.

Learning to be a non-smoker was a little rough on me but I made it through. I wish I hadn't gone back to smoking but at least now I know. Looking back I can remember. I know it feels good. I know I liked being able to smell better, having my clothes and hair smell better, tasting what food is really supposed to taste like.

So I just can't understand why my brain continues to want the cigarettes when I know how happy I will be as a non-smoker once I accept it.



Day 27 of no smoking

2007-09-13T08:27:52.853-04:00

I had a DR. appt. today. We talked about the chantix and my plan with it. He basically told me as long as it was working I could modify the dosage to whatever I felt comfortable with. I have a feeling that by next year or so chantix is not going to be a one dose fits all kind of drug. I'm thinking there will be different strength prescriptions and possibly a "wean pack" similar to the starter one.

I met up with my girls at my friend Gina's house last night for coffee and chit chat. Gina is the only friend I have that still smokes (It seems really odd to type that), and it's hard to be around her because the smoking urge jumps by about 50%. Not because of the smoking- I was around my dad all last week and was fine- it's because I know she will give me one if I ask. So it's the temptation and the little voice in my head that says "Look! You can have a cigarette. You know she'll give you one". Nice friend, right?

Anyway, I resisted the urges but I did find myself blankly staring at her cigarette pack a couple times. I was just zoning out on it like I was hypnotized. I can't wait until the time comes when I find smoking disgusting and not something I still want so bad so much of the time.



No smoking day 26

2007-09-11T15:26:10.860-04:00

I've been spending a lot of work "down time" on a topix message board about chantix. You can get a lot of good information there especially since a couple of the "old timers" were part of the first group of people to take chantix. Everything is discussed there, from side effects to weaning/quiting. Some of the people don't quite get along, but that's ok because it's entertaining to read. Plus they will stop bitching at each other as soon as someone needs some chantix info or needs help through a crave.

Anyway the site is here. That takes you to the general forum and then there are a couple of different chantix threads you can click on. The "chantix- September 2007- part 1" is the current general thread, there is also "chantix- problems after quiting or weaning- part 3", if you've already stopped taking chantix or are getting ready to and have any questions it's a good place to check out.

Okay, yesterday was decision time. After reading about a lot of people's quit, on the previously mentioned link, I decided to renew my prescription for another month of chantix. I didn't really do any kind of wean and I don't think coming right off of it is such a great idea. And to be totally honest, as much as I would like to do this on my own I think if I stop taking the chantix right now I would end up smoking again. But! I am not happy with the side effects. They seem to be happening to me more and more lately. The blah days are happening way more frequently and I am having a lot of trouble sleeping through the night.

So I plan on cutting down to .5mg twice a day for 4 weeks, then .5mg once a day for 3 weeks, then .25mg for 1 week.

Basically I'm going for an 8 week wean (sheesh). But the way I've broken it up only uses 3 of the 4 week supply, that way I will still have some pills and I can ramp back up if I start having problems (hopefully not) at any of the lower doses. It also gives me 2 more months to be sure I am 100% ready to do this on my own.



The big catch up!

2007-09-10T14:54:24.919-04:00

Oy! Where the hell was I?

Sorry about that. I was on "vacation" helping my dad out after his back surgery ad now I'm even further behind.

I wanted to catch up a couple days at a time so new quitters would have a kind of daily-ish reference but I feel like I'm too far behind now. So I am going to catch everything up in this last "catch up" post and starting tomorrow I will be in real time posting.

The highlights for no smoking days 10-25:
(today is day 32 of chantix but I probably will start keeping weekly instead of daily track of that- currently in week 5)

Ok in the last 15 days I have taken 2 puffs off of a friend's cigarette(again). I was drinking and having cravings, decided to give in- just to "prove to myself it's still nasty". It was. Note to self: maybe no more drinking until you've been quit longer.

I'm still having some blah days every now and then.

I've gained 3 &1/2 lbs.
I've started back at the gym. (after initially being too tired to bother)
I've found out that not only do I feel better after a workout, I have less craves on those days.

I've been taking my a.m. pill around 8 and the p.m. pill around 3/4. I've noticed that if I forget my pm pill, I start getting cravings around 7/8ish. If I take my pill that late I have some trouble sleeping. So if I forget my afternoon pill I just skip it till the next morning. I've noticed that besides a few cravings I don't miss the pm pill if I forget it.

I'm thinking about only taking 1 pill a day. 1/2 a pill at my usual times.
I did that this morning and so far I haven't had anymore cravings on 1/2 pill than I have on a whole one.

I spent a week at my dad's house without smoking, even though he smokes like a chimney. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be- but it was still hard. I thought about smoking many times. I'm glad I didn't.
Also- my clothes smelled really bad. even though I washed them before I came home, I had to wash them again.
I'm glad I don't smell like an ashtray anymore.

I'm not a good flyer (not good is a way under-exaggeration. think valium). I think getting to and from my dad's house was te most stress I've had to deal with since I quit smoking.
On my way home my connecting flight was changed adding another 2 hours to my layover. I was pissed because they never informed me when I picked up my tickets that there was a change. I was really pissed because I had taken a xanax expecting to be on a plane when it kicked in and I passed out. Thankfully I did not pass out. I was very stressed though.

I asked the ticket guy if he knew of anywhere I could buy some cigarettes. He didn't. That pissed me off more.
I realized that I was thinking about and planning my xanax consumption so much that i had forgotten to take my chantix. A little while later I was ok again.

That's about it folks. The summation of the last 2 weeks.

As for today, I have 1 pill left in this pack. I need to either call in the refill or decide to suck it up and just be quit on my own.
Sometimes I feel like I don't own this quit because I'm taking the chantix- therefore were I not taking it I might not be quit. Yes I know, that's crazy talk, but sometimes I wonder if I wouldn't feel better about myself if I could be quit without the chantix crutch.

I let you know what I decided to do tomorrow.



Days 15-17 of Chantix/ 7-9 no smoking

2007-08-31T14:17:45.272-04:00

I knew I wouldn't make it through this quit without the cravings coming at some point. Not thoughts, I've already said I think about cigarettes a lot, I'm talking about real cravings. If you've ever been pregnant or around a pregnant woman you know what I'm talking about.

You know the ones where you she answers the phone and talks to your her husband like this?: What do you mean Chik-fil-a is not open?! It has to be open. I want chik-fil-a! NO, GODDAMN KFC SHITTY ASS CHICKEN IS NOT OKAY. I WANT CHIK-FIL-A. (start sobbing) if you loved me you would find it for me. I ALREADY TOLD YOU I DON'T WANT KFC. I SWEAR TO GOD IF YOU BRING ME HOME KFC I'M GONNA SHOVE IT STRAIGHT UP YOUR FUCKEN ASS! FORGET IT. I SAID JUST FORGET IT- I'M NOT EVEN HUNGRY ANYMORE. ASSHOLE.

I had a craving that started Thursday and would not go away. I fought it hard until Saturday night.
I'm ashamed to say I gave in.
I'm even more ashamed to say I stole a cigarette from my friend (I knew she wouldn't have given me one if I asked), waited till no one was at my house and then went in the bathroom,clicked on the fan, opened the window, and proceeded to stand in my tub and smoke while trying to get all of the smoke out of the window.

This is what my addiction to nicotine has brought me to? Stealing from friends and then hiding out like a teenager with her first joint?

The bad part is that, after all that? I only took 5 drags off the cigarette before flushing it. It was disgusting. probably the worst thing I have ever tasted. It took me over 1/2 an hour to get the taste of an ashtray out of my mouth. Even after I had brushed and used listerine.



Days 11-13 of Chantix/ 4-6 of no smoking

2007-08-31T13:38:34.616-04:00

Still fighting the "blahs" but they seem to be letting up. Either it's easier to fight because I refuse to be depressed or my body is getting used to the meds, thereby relieving that side effect. Not really sure and don't really care, just glad it's gotten easier.

On another note I'm still having cool vivid dreams but I am now also waking up several times during the night. I've decided to start taking my second pill around 3 or 4:00 in the afternoon. Hopefully that will help me sleep better.

I still think about cigarettes all the time.



Chantix days 9 & 10/ no smoking day 2 & 3

2007-08-30T10:34:49.119-04:00

So, days 9 & 10 fell on a Saturday and Sunday.

I spent the entire weekend in the recliner in front of the TV. No lie, I think the only times I got up were to pee, find something to stuff in my mouth, and go back to bed. It took me a few days to figure it out but the "blahs" had started. I know feeling blah is not listed as a side effect but depression is. And from what I've heard it's fairly common. So I had that feeling like when the answer to every question is "ehhh" and you just don't feel like doing anything. I guess technically that is mild depression but I don't like to call it that because that just makes me more depressed. I know- my mind works in some weird illogical circle sometimes.

Anyway once I realized what it was I was at first surprised because I am on paxil (for something else but it's supposed to take care of depression too) but once I recognised it I was able to push myself into dealing with it.

It was either that or spend the rest of my life in that recliner.
But don't thnk I didn't consider it. heh.



Day 8

2007-08-29T15:32:20.164-04:00

The big quit day.

When I woke up I had 5 cigarettes left in the pack that I had tried to finish off the night before. I got up, got ready for work, and then faced the big challenge as I walked out the door- The time for my usuall morning cigarette. I lit one while telling myself "this will be it! Really, I just need to get my morning hit so I can let them go." I got 4 puffs off of it before I put it out. It tasted really nasty and I was a little ashamed of myself because I had told myself the night before that that would be it. I crushed it out and broke up the other 4 left in the pack.

All I can say about the rest of the day is that I made it through.

It was rough, but nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be. I'm not gonna lie, I thought about cigarettes about once every 2 minutes. But they were just thoughts, not real "OMG if I don't smoke now I will kill someone" cravings.

Also -today I began the 1mg pill 2x daily- Slight nausea again but when taken with milk it's very slight.



Days 1-7

2007-08-28T15:26:50.149-04:00

I actually started this blog on day 12 so I will be compressing some of the days together while I catch this story up. I was originally going to keep track of this in a journal but I've never been one to write in a journal more than once or twice before I get bored. Blogging on the other hand is something I like to do, plus if I put here instead of a journal maybe someone will come across it, maybe they are looking into chantix or already on chantix and have some questions I might be able to answer.
On with the story.

I took the .5mg of chantix and by the second day my cigarettes were off tasting but not enough to lower my amount of smoking.

days 3,4,& 5 I was overwhelmingly tired. I also started with the vivid dreams right around now. Vivid but not scary as I've known other chantix user's to be. It is actually kind of nice since I don't usually remember my dreams. These are so vivid it's kind of like going to the movie theater every night.
On day 4 I started the .5mg twice a day. I was getting a little nausea after the second pill so I started taking it with milk. Bingo- no more nausea.
Day 5 my sleepiness let up and I noticed I was smoking less than normal.
Day 6 I smoked less and was starting to believe this medicine might really help me.

Day 7: the day before the big quit date. I have to admit I was way nervous. I smoked a LOT on day 7. Like I was trying to stock up or something.

On day 7, Thursday August 17th at 11:30pm, I put out my last cigarette.