When Being a Quitter is a Good Thing
Saturday, August 25, 2012
“1 year after you quit, your excess risk of coronary heart disease, heart attack, and stroke has dropped to less than half that of a smoker.”
I can’t believe it’s been a year since I quit. I was a smoker off and on since the age of 13. I did manage to quit for almost 2 years, right after I found out I was pregnant with my first son, but the stressors of dealing with a toddler and rejoining the work force had me starting back up. I quit again during my second pregnancy, but started right back up within 2 months of giving birth.
When I decided I needed to make changes, I focused on everything BUT my cigarette habit. I made like the ostrich, and hid my head in the sand. I lied to myself about the effect it was having on my health, and about how much I was smoking. I could give Pam Tillis a run for the title “Queen of Denial”! It was the AHA Heart Walk in 2011 that finally made me face the truth. Standing there with a cigarette surrounded by people walking to fight heart disease made me feel like such a hypocrite. I work on the Advanced Respiratory Care Unit, for Pete’s sake! I know exactly what I was doing to myself, and it really isn’t pretty.
I started off using the nicotine patches, but I developed a rash beyond what is expected, so I stopped after about 3 weeks. I already knew I was allergic to the lozenges, so I suspected that I probably shouldn’t try the gum, especially since I reacted to the patch. I did not want to use the oral meds (Chantix, Zyban) because they can have some really nasty side effects, so that left me with just my will power. That was a little daunting, but I persevered.
A big, wonderful thanks to all the members of SP that reached out to offer me support. Here’s to making it to year two.