Monday, 19 September 2011

DAY ONE: Minus four.


I have been feeling odd; bit of a cough as expected after 64 years of the weed, light-headed yet achy behind the eyes nose and cheek-bones...classic allergy symptoms I've been telling myself when my thought process turns to the most obvious and, some would say, most deserved diagnosis.

But it is the sharp pain under my ribs [ diagnosed by me as intercostal cartilage strain or inflammation of:-] which  is the one symptom, the final symptom which leads me to the decision that I Must Quit.

 To that end I dug in the rubbish drawer for the Niquitin lozenges from my last attempt, only remembering the foulness of them on sucking the first one. I sauntered next door but two to the Chemist - our usual glorious Pharmacist - she of the ebony skin, silken dreadlocks and the whitest truest smile was on holiday and her Locum, a tall elderly taciturn man with a full head of white hair and moustache to rival that of  Dick van Dyke's Dr. Sloan, suggested, when I asked if there had been a breakthrough and had someone thought to flavour the wretched things so that they were palatable, wandered around the aisles and suggested that 'perhaps if I bought some strong mints and sucked along with a lozenge...'

That was Day one: minus one. I lasted until 1pm. I tried keeping busy, but one has to sit down sometime and Milou didn't feel like giving up his afternoon cuddle on the sofa with mum, Doctors, Flog it and Countdown.
My count was six that day...which I felt was a credible effort.
Day One:  minus  two and three followed pretty much the same pattern except that I think I must be holding my breath or somehow controlling the strength of the breaths I do take because though I slept well enough the intercostal pain was worse this morning.

Took another stroll to the Chemist...tablets are mint flavoured but at  £15. Hell's Bells. Forget it. I will quit, but slowly using will power. [famous last words?]

Just Googled Intercostal Cartilage and I think I have been 'Bracing'. Yup!

Life in the old girl yet.

Will no doubt be flagging Day one when it arrives.

I looked for a suitable illustration on Google Images but they are all too preachy, too worthy , patronising or just bonkers; as if we are not aware of the dangers involved in sucking up the tarry smoke.  Then I thought of the very old song by Phil Harris:

 Smoke smoke smoke that cigarette 
                        Puff, puff puff and if you smoke yourself to death
                              Tell St. Peter at the Golden Gate, that you hate to make him wait
              But you just gotta have another cigarette.

This song came out in  1939/40 and it was one of the songs in Mother's meagre collection [the B side wassomething about a card game: I remember: Now sitting right there in that there clan, there chanced to be a one-eyed man and he kep' starin' at me out the corner of his' ol' one eye would deal and then, it cost Bill another five or ten....]

So even then they knew. 1]that nicotine is addictive and 2] It was/is harmful.


  1. when the anti-smoking campaign came out with all those posters, we put the one that showed an ugly old hag that said 'smoking is glamorous' on our mother's bedroom door. she was not amused. and she didn't quit. the only reason she quit smoking is because eventually she had to be put in a family home (too much damage from TIAs and needed round the clock care) and she couldn't get her hands on any.

    good luck. it's the worst addiction.

  2. I totally sympathize with the problem of quitting. I too keep trying. I have found a product that really works called "Smoking Withdrawal" a natural homeopathic medicine made by NatraBio. Good luck!

  3. Good for you, Moannie. I know how difficult it is to quit, but each puff prolongs that difficulty. Wishing you strength.

    And get that pain checked out anyway.. self-diagnoses are often reliable but it might be best to get a second opinion.. aside from Google's. ;)

  4. You can do it. I was 64 when I quit. Buy the damn lozenges. Think of it as your last, expensive cigarette fling. After some time, like more than a week, break them in half and just use them when you get cigarette brain creeping up. After a while you may go a whole day and only suck on a quarter. Then have a really good mad and go off on someone you don't care if you ever apologize to and stop the lozenges, too, and you are done. That was four years ago. It's wonderful to know you won, and you can do it.

  5. Nicotine certainly is a powerful drug and very addictive AND harmful. I believe it is almost as difficult to quit as heroine, as I found out when I tried to quit for the upteeth time30 years ago. IO do confess it was the hardest thing I ever have done but I have been free of it ever since . . . . . and saved a lot of money!! They were 3s 6d for 20 when I stopped and now I belive they are more than £5 per 20 pack. I used to smoke Embassy tipped and I did enjoy it but realised it is harmful to ones health. For the first 2 weeks my throat was sore as though my body was squeezing every last drop of nicotine from my cells. I discovered that one good point of nicotine wasa that it is a good anti-septic. Also I noticed the horrible smell of traffic fumes became apparent which was a downside of the operation. It was very difficult for 3 months but gradually the craving faded but in pubs it was very dangerous because nicotine and alcohol are powerful allies so I stayed away and did not have a drink for 6 months. After a year it was well and truly out of my system and it did not bother me if others were smoking nearby. Now I just cannot imagine why I started or why anyone starts . . . . . my grandma said, "If we were designed to smoke God would have put a chimney on our heads".

    Please persevere and remember if I can do it, smoking 40 cigarettes a day, I think you can as well. Lets have one more thing in common as well as our artificial hips.

    I do hope your dianosis of the pain is correct and this course of action serves as a fast cure. If you want any further moral support just holler and I will help in any way I can. Take care ~ Eddie x

  6. Each and every minute or hour that you don't have a fag is fantastic...don't beat yourself up too much for trying to do something so what you can and eventually you will succeed....well done for even starting on the 'giving up' trail.

  7. I'm on your side in this quitting adventure. I did mine cold-turkey and it is a hard hard thing but one day I woke up and realized that I hadn't craved a cigarette for a whole day, going on two and if I could last that long, forever would be no problem!

  8. i too quit after thirty years of heavy smoking. it's still the life accomplishment of which i am most proud because the process was so all-consuming. on the other end of it now, i try not to preach - but just desperately wish that all my smoker-friends (and fellow bloggers!) could feel as healthy as i do, breathe as deeply as i can, sing as high as i do, and taste, really taste, food. i wish you much luck in your venture. you may regret smoking but you will never be sorry you quit. the anniversary of my "quit day" is in ten days and i still celebrate it - thirteen years later.

  9. My dad started smoking when he was 8 years old. When he told me that, I had to wonder what my grandparents were doing when he lit that one up. He tried to quit many, many, many times. He hated that he was spending so much money that could have been put to better use (this was in the 90's after cigarettes took such a huge leap!). He finally quit when he was 65. That was 57 years of chain smoking. The smoke would be so heavy in our living room when I was growing up, it looked like a fog had settled over our couch. The smoke yellowed the walls, the furniture, and his teeth. After being smoke free for 8 years, he found out he had lung cancer....and it had metastasized to his liver and brain. He lived 6 short months after finding out his diagnosis. I miss him.

    Do this for your children and their children....and for all the people out here in blogland that would miss your wit and wisdom.....a woman who has been through so much in her life and come out the other end a strong, vibrant woman that you are surely can conquer the cigarette. I have faith in you.

  10. I started at 15 and quit at 30, you can do it!!!

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  13. We're behind you all the way! You CAN do this. What's more, I believe you WILL.

  14. yes, quit! Be determined. Smoking is horrible. Dying cos you can't breathe is even more horrible. I know. I've seen it happen.

  15. There is a new pill (called Champix in Canada) that stops your cravings for nicotine. It doesn't contain any nicotine and isn't an anti-depressant. It worked for me. It's expensive, but then, so are cigarettes. Good luck!

  16. Baby steps. One minute, one hour, one day at a time and before you know it - it has been six or seven years since your last smoke. Been there, done that - Yay, Me. Yay, You!!

  17. mumsy!! as you know(like maggie may) l started at 15 and quit at 30 cos i wanted kids... and stopped cold turkey national non smoking day 1990 march 15th....succeeded for 20 years...and then last summer l had one, two three...twenty..

    hooked again, l tell myself I will quit again when I feel like it..

    there is an inner 'switch' it only clicks when you KNOW it and YOU make the decision...listen to me as l drag on another!!

    thing is..when people said to me, oh you;ll never smoke again now after all these years...i said never say never...l was right l knew myself..

    I will...and l admire you you quit once before for 3 or more years didnt you....

    and you WILL again, cos thats what it is WILL... we all make choices...

    am very proud of you Mumsy!!

    if l havent quit by next visit, all the better for us...smoke free zone at moannies..

    luv ya!!


  18. Today is the 25th. I hope you are feeling some better and not having bad withdrawal symptoms....and that you have kept with it! I am anxious to find out how you are. Please keep us updated. You are in my thoughts.

  19. It's only been two weeks, too soon to be over all but the worst, so if you're still in the hole you pulled in behind you, just stick up a thumbs up or down for the rest of us up here. And, good luck.