Okay, I wasn’t going to say anything for a while, but what the heck. Michael and I were both sick as dogs with the flu a few weeks ago and he did the sensible thing and stopped smoking. That’s much harder for me to do. But after we were more mobile, he still didn’t start again. After much hounding on my part, I got him to admit that he was trying to quit. Knowing how much of a bad influence we are on each other, I figured it was time for me to try again myself.
Now, Michael can just up and quit. I don’t know how he does it. But I’m pretty physically attached to my nicotine so I knew I’d have to use some little aid. I’d had good success with the patch before. (Quit for four years. The four years before I met Michael!) But this time, I thought I should try one of the oral nicotine substitutions. I started off on the lozenge things called “Commit”. Yeah, they taste nasty and sort of burn your mouth a bit. And you’re not supposed to chew them or even swallow much of your spit or you’ll get stomach and throat ulcers. But that’s okay. The hard part was just getting the damn things to dissolve. They are supposed to dissolve in 20-30 minutes, but mine were taking upwards of 90 minutes to turn into a chalky mush that was hard not to swallow. You can’t eat or drink while it’s in your mouth or for 15 minutes before you start sucking. And you’re supposed to have at least nine a day for the first six weeks! That’s, what? Like 13.5 hours of sucking where you can’t even drink a glass of water. Add in over two hours of that 15-minute buffer time and I’m likely to dehydrate and starve to death in a couple days.
So, I switched to the patch and I’m doing pretty well. I still have a stash of the lozenges for the really strong cravings. I don’t think you’re supposed to use them and the patch together, but I’ve not had any palpitations yet.
When I started, though, I signed up for the GlaxoSmithKline Commited Quitters program that goes along with the little not-candy-they’re-medicine things. The idea is that this friendly drug company writes up a personalized quitting program for you based on this lengthy questionnaire you fill out. But really it just means I get emails like this every week.
It has been two weeks since your last cigarette. Have you noticed any changes in your breathing? You may be coughing up more phlegm now that your lungs are beginning to work better. This is normal. Your body is clearing itself out with every smokeless breath you take. How is your sense of taste? Is it improving?
You may also be feeling more comfortable as a nonsmoker. Are you finding new ways of socializing or dealing with stressful situations? Your withdrawal symptoms may be subsiding, but you still need to be aware of your triggers to smoke and use the strategies you have learned to manage them. Don’t forget to review your personalized program on the Committed Quitters® Web site for extra support.
Oh, it’s so encouraging. I love that phlegm bit. And my sense of taste. Yeah, the phlegm tastes great.
Wish me luck. And don’t ask me how it’s going or I’ll bite your head off. (Ha.)