A few weeks back I read an excellent post by my friend Brett Batten about his efforts to give up smoking. I laughed. I laughed so loudly, that I think he heard me in Canada, and regret to say that maybe I laughed a little too loudly. Having only tried to quit myself (and failed) several weeks earlier I guess I took a little too much glee in his struggles. So my apologies (again) to Brett… and if you’ve ever tried to quit, go and have a read.
If you want to follow my saga of abolishing the need for nicotine in my life, you will need to cast an eye over Giving Up Nicotine and Unseen. If you don’t want to read those, the short version is that I tried to quit in September, but had to give up on giving up because the pain caused by nicotine withdrawal was simply too much for me. It was much worse than the usual pain I am used to from having fibromyalgia. It was always my intention to try to give up again, once I had access to some pain medication that would make life bearable while I went through the withdrawal.
My attempt to make that happen by getting off lithium (Ten Years Later, And I Have My Answer) failed, and so did my attempt to get my doctor to give me some stronger medication. So there goes that plan. Initially on failing both points I decided to just keep smoking for a while longer until I came up with Plan B. That was until I was told that my Graves’ Disease (Is There a Sign On My Back?) is on its way out of remission. The problem with this is that smoking makes the problems a whole lot worse, and is probably what is causing me so much eye pain, let alone an accelerated heart rate. So it’s time to quit… again. It won’t fix the problem (the Graves’), but hopefully it will ease the symptoms.
Last time, I used nicotine replacement patches, but a long conversation with the pharmacist yesterday left me with no options for nicotine replacement. Because of the combination of health issues I have, I can not use patches or any other form of nicotine replacement, not even gum, and so I will now be going cold turkey. And yes, it has occurred to me that if I can’t use nicotine replacements I really shouldn’t be smoking in the first place.
Right now I’m considering that being asleep for at least a week might be the best option, but as that won’t work I’m going to be grumpy and emotional for at least a week, so be warned. And if you thought I already was, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
What interests me is that no one in the health sector seems interested in helping me to do this. My doctor even refuses to admit that pain will be an issue. He just thought I’d “been on the internet again too much”. At least the pharmacist readily admitted it would be a problem for me.
The New Zealand Government now insist that cigarette and tobacco packaging must have graphic images of diseased body parts resulting from smoking. They’re adamant that these images will stop us smoking. Actually since they were introduced a few years back I have just ignored them, as have many others I know who smoke. I don’t know of anyone who has given up because of the images, even though the government continue to go on about their success. But now that I want to stop, and their images do nothing, no one will help with the pain I will experience in the coming days.
I guess I could pay for hypnotherapy or something, but I don’t have the money; and I would be saving the government a whole heap if they just gave me a small amount of medication to get through the pain of the withdrawal. But no… because a week’s supply might turn me into an addict apparently. I am a little concerned about my mental health (my mood)in all this, but I really don’t accept that a week will make me a drug addict, when I haven’t turned myself into one so far in this life.
There was one other suggestion put to me by one of my regular readers. John has suggested the method by which he successfully gave up. Smoking cigars without inhaling. Ever since I was a child I have loathed the smell of cigars, put off by an aunt who smoked them. She wasn’t the problem but I just couldn’t bear the smell. I just don’t think I could do it. But thanks for the idea, John.
Oh, and I refuse to eat my way through withdrawal. I am not going to put on weight just because of no nicotine. I absolutely refuse.
So what all that means is that you’re stuck with me. I have to make it work this time. As I was reminded by a family member yesterday, I can be stubborn when I want to be, so I guess I will just have to use it for good. Wish me luck.
“The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can’t are both right. Which one are you?”
― Henry Ford
- Giving Up Nicotine (infinitesadnessorhope.wordpress.com)
- Unseen (infinitesadnessorhope.wordpress.com)
- Ten Years Later, And I Have My Answer (infinitesadnessorhope.wordpress.com)
- Is There a Sign On My Back? (infinitesadnessorhope.wordpress.com)