Varenicline (Champix® tm) is my new best friend, for the next 11 weeks and counting anyway.
One week ago today, Thursday 9th April 2015, I took my first little white pill with a glass of water after I had eaten, and waited….I had the day before been to see the Nurse at my GP’s and spoken about my desire to want to stop smoking and that I had tried by myself in the past and have never been successful; I always start smoking again. Stupid isn’t it.
- I have tried patches on the arms; they made my arm red and itchy
- I have used E-cigarettes; they just made me want a real cigarette
- I have tried plain old-fashioned will-power……I am not that strong
- I have stopped smoking following an bout of illness, whether it be chest infection/flu/sickness…..eventually I always started again.
I need help in doing this. I WANT to stop and stay stopped. I have three children and I would hate myself if they started smoking because Mummy did it. I am burning money, which I don’t have and actually need; I cannot justify the cost anymore. I have seen members of my family be very ill through smoking; I don’t want this for myself in later years.
Twenty years, yes I started smoking at the stupid, young and impressionable ago of 14 (!), I have had this “friend” and now is the time to let go. I’m making it sound like something I am going to be sad to say goodbye to; well I am actually but pleased that I am doing it. If you have had a habit, of any kind, good or bad, for a long period of time, suddenly losing that and not having it there is difficult. Like giving up your driving licence and relying on another form of transport, like changing a job, changing your diet, losing a friend or pet….suddenly that thing which has been an almost constant in your life is no longer there and you have be strong and carry on. I will carry on. I will be a non-smoker.
The Nurse I see, Jo, is absolutely completely fantastic. She isn’t patronising, but welcoming and understanding. I feel as if she really wants to help me, not just because she is paid to, but because she genuinely wants to see me stop. She explained how Champix works, and called the 12 week course “a 12 week commitment“. This made me think; it IS a commitment, to myself to improve and extend my life, health and bank balance. I am aware of the possible side-effects, which lets face it you get with EVERYTHING nowadays…..feeling sick – Yep I can deal with that, difficulty sleeping – please?! I have had three children I know what sleep deprivation is, abnormal dreams – yep I can handle these too. BRING IT ON!
So how have I found my first week? I hate to say it but relatively easy. Sorry. Actually with Champix you can continue to smoke for the first week , with a view to cutting down the number of cigarettes you smoke within by the end of the first week and then stopping completely by the end of the second week. Obviously when I returned home and told the Husband this I emphasised “I can still smoke” bit, like I was clinging on to the very last point.
I did continue to smoke. For the first 3 days I continued smoking but I also cut down how many I smoked…then Saturday night, fortunately (I say fortunately as I think in hindsight it was a silver lining) I picked up the sickness and diarrhoea bug that had been going around my house. Obviously the last thing I wanted to do was smoke, so I didn’t; and I haven’t since…..Well…I did fancy a cigarette on Monday morning, not because I wanted it, but because I always had one mid-morning in the past. I lit it and immediately I hated it. It tasted vile and I felt dirty.
I continued to not smoke, and I can honestly say I haven’t had any craving for nicotine; it’s the routine I’m missing. I miss having a cigarette with my morning coffee; when I get back from doing the school run; once the kids are in bed, to have a break from housework, after dinner, before bed…..
My first follow up appointment with Nurse Jo was booked for Tuesday, and I was excited to go and tell her how I well I feel I have been doing. I told her about the stomach bug, etc and she was thrilled with how I was doing. The real test was the breathalyser thing-me-bob (I don’t know what it’s called!) It is like a breathalyser you see the police doing on drivers they suspect have been drinking, but this measures the level of carbon monoxide (I think) in my lungs. During my first appointment my levels were at 18mms, on Tuesday (5 days later 3 of which I had not smoked for) my levels had reduced to 2mms!!!! Whoop Whoop!! I felt like dancing, and that gave me what I needed to carry on with the determination I have got.
Don’t get me wrong I know that the next 11 weeks may not be as easy, and I will have tests thrown at me, however this time I feel differently about it.
So, please think good thoughts for me, and keep things crossed that this time I WILL stop smoking and beat this horrible habit once and for all. I will let you know how things are next week…..