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Friday, November 30, 2007

Being Sick Sucks...Not Smoking Makes it Better!

Hi all you quitters!

I have been sick since Tuesday but managed to drag myself to work both Tuesday and Wednesday. My poor students! I work at a really small school with about 60 students and some of these kids have me for different classes all day long! I have been no prize, believe me! Finally the kids told me I should stay home! I work with at-risk youth that a lot of people are scared of but actually they can be really sweet or really horrible. Most of the time they are just sweet kids in big bodies with foul mouths! Lets just say there is never a dull moment! Normally I am really picky about what sub to call because if they don't like someone they can be far from sweet. Some subs are kind of quirky to say the least and have no idea how to deal with what they perceived as "thugs." The lady that was with them yesterday was one of the quirky ones who would have NEVER agreed to come to my school site but just sort of ended up there. She wrote me a note saying she had a really good day and the kids were nicer to her than the ones she usually gets in traditional school. I was really happy to get a nice report and not to get hate mail when I returned today.
I only went to work Wednesday because my office manager is leaving for another job and I felt like I needed to go to her farewell luncheon. Unfortunately, when I get sick I have no appetite or only eat stuff like Popsicles or soup! The staff took her to this amazing little cafe that had what look like delicious Risotto with jumbo prawns and what also looked like some really good seafood pasta. I couldn't even eat! I ended up getting some frozen Italian Ice when I left because my throat was all swelled up. Its funny, I tried to take a bite of my friends food and I couldn't even taste it! It looked good but when your food tastes like nothing, why bother? I wonder how I could even really smell or taste food all these years as a smoker? Even if I was sick as hell, (bronchitis, sinus infection, whatever it was I would still smoke!) Forget eating...but giving up smoking, even while sick was something I just never did. I would tell myself that I was soothing my throat by alternating menthol cigarettes with regular ones. Also, if I was sick and sleeping, I was obviously cutting down. Denial is a wonderful thing. It makes being addicted seem like no big deal. I am definitely an addict! I am one puff away from a pack a day just like most smokers. I am just glad that I have had no real urges since I have been sick. I would say I am between a 3-4 on the Quit meter. That feels better than the usually 5.
Today I went to a really long meeting and just did my best to stay awake. I went back to work for about a half hour before I went to the doctor and it was all good. My usual sub was there and my students were actually working! They were being all sweet and asking if I was going to feel good enough to come to work Monday. They were telling me, "We miss you, please come back soon." I love teaching at a continuation school but I have been thinking about leaving my school site to teach in juvenile hall or a camp so I felt really guilty because they were being so nice. Right before I got sick I was working on the application but did not feel good enough to complete it and get it in by the due date which was yesterday. Sometimes I forget how good I have it and other days I want new challenges.
My doctor seemed happy to hear that I am still off cigarettes. I am the first person he has given Chantix to. (You can only get a waiver through Kaiser if you have "failed" via another method.) I discussed the side effect problem I am having and we discussed it and he thinks I should try to stay on it for another month. I think I have dealt with the side effect for one month so one more won't kill me.

1 comment:

maggie said...

Glad you are feeling a little better even if it's not all the way yet. Not smoking has to help.

I stayed on Chantix the full 12 weeks, plus a little longer because I tapered myself off (doctors advised it wasn't necessary but also wouldn't hurt, so I went that route). I'd still keep an eye on side effects, and do keep your doctor in the loop if they get over the top. I know that some people have quit Chantix early for either financial or side effect reasons, but it does sound like the recommended 12 weeks plan has a better success rate. I say that based on what I've read and also just some of what I've seen. That said, I'm equally convinced that people did quit long before Chantix and that if Chantix helps a person get quit, and if the person is determined enough to stay quit, it's not like they would somehow be forced to return to smoking just because they stopped short of the 12 weeks, if that makes sense.