Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Habits...Cigarettes and Nicotrol Inhaller

My experience with smoking cigarettes has been a long and difficult road.

I have quit and restarted so many times I can't honestly remember how many times I have done it.

At one point in my young life I was flat broke.  After college I was running around trying to see our beautiful country, in a Rambler, sleeping in a pup tent with a friend and a golden retriever named April May.  I was so hooked on cigarettes I rolled my own filterless cigarettes, tobacco in a can.  I remember one day I had just started a job in Phoenix Arizona working in a clothing store, my department manager came to me and asked to bum a cigarette. She smoked that home rolled cigarette in her fancy clothes and beautiful makeup.  I still didn't recognize how serious the chain of addiction was.

At one point I made an agreement with my Dad, I was in my 20's,  if he would quit smoking I would too.  That seemed like a really good idea and offered me the best motivation.  When he died of complications of rheumatic fever, damaged heart valves, I took up the habit again, I was angry and didn't feel like he was keeping his end of the bargain.  I was  surprised how quickly I went back to a pack each day. 

Again, the hamster was back on the smoking wheel and I continued for several years one morning I felt so badly I promised myself this was to be my last cigarette.  I managed to put on 10bs. very quickly and quit again for about 10 years.  When I found out my husband had started dating without my permission, of course, I was devastated and went back to the smoking nightmare for another 5 years. 

This story has happened many times and here I am hopefully on the last chapter. 

One day I got home from work and my throat was burning every time I inhaled, I know better.  I called Jupiter Medical Center, our local hospital, and told them I was killing myself and they had to help me.  I was put in touch with Dan O'Hara he was the facilitator of the smoking cessation program at the Medical Center.  We did a test and found my oxygen level was low, my lung capacity was diminished, and I was statistically in line for cancer again.  I stopped smoking this time with the assistance of Nicotrol Inhalers.  They were like a baby's pacifier for me for a year but did the trick. 

I am tobacco free for ten years.  I still have days when something pops up and I want to smoke.  Honestly, I think about it briefly and take a walk.  I hope I keep on walking and I am finally done with the addiction of cigarettes.

Having said all that, Happy Anniversary Teri, Best wishes for a smoke free future, you deserve it.

Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.
--Warren Buffett

God Bless,
Director of Member Services and Smiles
OurHealth Co-op, Inc

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