Trying to Quit Tabacco?

When I saw the neurosurgeon in January, he told me that if I did not quit smoking after the surgery, there was no guarantee that it would be a success.  The NS spun bone stem cells from my hip during the surgery, grafted them into my spine, held together with rods and screws.  He said that people who smoke never grow bone, they grow stringy cartilage.

The pain was so severe, if you have ever had sciatica, you understand what I mean.  It wasn't constant, but intermittant, and the jolts were so strong, I'd gasp.  There was no way I was going to smoke after surgery if it meant screwing up my chances for successful healing. 

The first few days of being smokeless, I was in the hospital and getting injected with powerful pain medicine to keep me comfortable.  The entire first month I had to write down when I took my morphine and oxymorphine so I would remember when it would be time to take the next dose.  Morphine really messes my brain up, but keeps the pain away. And it numbed the nicotine withdrawals.  It also helped keep me patient with the kitchen remodel-I barely remember it.

At my 3 month check, the doc took and xray and said "you have 80% bone growth!".  I responded "ok to start smoking again?" He said no, to wait a few more months.  I thought hubby was going to pop him one because he had wanted me to stay smoke free.  He had been quit for a year, and was anxious for me to stay cig free too, because we have a lot to do yet in our lives.  We met later in life and we want to give ourselves the gift of health so we can live long together.  I just figured the damage was done, I had been smoking for 40 years, with on stretch of 2 years that I quit back in the 80's and always have gone back to smoking.

I've tried so many smoking cessation products.  One year it was Welbutrin.  That didn't work.  Then I tried Chantix.  Chantix did work, by making me want to throw up if I did smoke.  But the depression that came along with smoking cessation and a drug that could possibly cause thoughts of suicide, well the depression was awful.  Every single day I wanted to smoke.  Every single day I refrained but just barely made it.  

About six months passed while I was taking Chantix, and we had a life crisis.  My stepson was charged with a felony.  The stress that came along with taking care of the situation was a good enough "excuse" to start smoking again.  Both hubby and I restarted and wondered why we stopped.  He quit for me.  You have to quit for yourself.  

In July of 2010, I ordered the starter kit from Green Smoke.  I thought maybe having an e-cig would help.  Hubby had been quit since the first of the year, and I wanted to be smoke free too.  Lets face it, smoking stinks.  It gets on your clothes, in your hair and on your breath.  I don't like kissing him when he smells like a distillery, and I am certain he didn't much like kissing an ashtray.  I thought the electronic cig was the answer to my dreams of being smoke free.  It didn't work. Then.   

So back to this year, in July, I was digging through baskets and wooden boxes, just looking to see what I had stashed in things.  I do that often, put something in a basket and forget that I even have it.  I lifted the lid of my wooden box, looking for a missing necklace and what did I find?  My starter kit from Green Smoke.

Just before I had started rooting through baskets and boxes in my bedroom that day, I had decided that I was going to be a closet smoker.  Quitting was just to hard, and I enjoyed smoking so much.  I was actually going to go to the gas station once I was done poking through this box.  

I opened it, screwed the cartomizer onto the battery (which looks like a cig) and took a deep inhale.  Green Smoke, you have answered my prayers.  So for a day, I kept the ecig in my pocket, held it between my fingers, inhaled...and enjoyed.  And for the very first time since I had quit, I didn't think about smoking tabacco.  The cartomizer was used and a year old, but it held me over until the ordered fresh carts came in the mail.  

Lying is not in my nature, but I was living a lie to hubby by using the ecig behind his back.  So one day I said, I have to talk to you about something, and then spilled the beans.  I explained that the very day that I found my old starter kit, I was going to buy cigarettes.  Since electronic cigarettes do not burn, there is no smell.  You inhale a dose of nicotine and flavor and the carrier propylene glycol.  You exhale water vapor.  It tastes like smoking, the throat hit feels like smoking.  But yet, I'm not smoking.  I'm vaping.  But I felt like I was lying by omission, so I talked to him.  I had researched propylene gycol and found that it was the carrier agent in asthma medicines so I figure it mustn't be harmful.

I've been vaping since early August, and my urge for tabacco has completely gone away.  I'm no longer a slave to tabacco, my car no longer drives itself to buy smokes, and I don't even have the urge to smoke at all.  

Now I'm not a doctor, and I'm not recommending you pick up this habit, but if you are struggling to quit tabacco, this a something to think about.  The cartomizers come in all different flavors.  I was a Kool smoker and ordered the menthol full 1.8% nicotine.  My goal is to wean myself down to 1.2% and then to zero nicotine.  

For now, just holding it between my fingers is enough to help.  I guess I am officially out of the closet about the green smokes now.  I've been hiding it from my kids because I worry they will think I am weak.  Or bad.  Or just disapprove, and I don't want that.  BUT... I did accidently leave one behind at my daughters house.  I couldn't find it anywhere.  She did, and handed it to me and said "I found your cigarette".  So I told her that it saved me from starting again.  I got no response from her.  If she was upset, she would have told me. I think.  

Today I am 8 months and 2 days post spinal fusion surgery and feeling wonderful.  I'm also 8 months and 2 days tabacco free.  woot!

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