Quitting Smoking One Day at a Time...

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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

One Month left on Chantix....Kind of Scared!

I have been on Chantix for exactly 64 days now. I filled my last prescription and am kind of scared about going off of it. What if the cravings come back? What if I slip? I mean, I have been smoking since I was 12 years old which is 30 years. Of course I am concerned. I signed up for the stop smoking program again starting January 10th. Since this is the most success I have had quitting, I am nervous. I e-mailed a doctor who has an on-line quitting support group to ask about the possibilities of staying on Chantix for a bit longer and if there were potential side effects. I read on the Chantix site that if a patient has beeen successful with quitting, the patients doctor can extend the prescription. Here is where I really need input from the old timers who quit smoking, stopped taking Chantix and are still successful. What did you guys do? Were you scared? Did you extend the prescription? What was life like after Chanitx? Magggie, I know you did a tapering off thing. I want to think about my options and keep an open mind. I am sure the right answers will come to me. All I know is I have been smoke-free for quite awhile and I want to stay this way. Please share your exeriences with me....the good, the bad and the ugly. I will be grateful no matter what I hear.

Speaking of life changes, I watched the season premire of "The Biggest Loser" Couples. I was so touched by the people on there willing to do ANYTHING to change thier life--even go on national TV and be humbled in front of all the viewers watching them do it. Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper are kick ass trainers! I think I am ready to make steps to change my diet and exercise habits. I mean real changes....not just turning on TV and watching other people sweat! When the contestants went to the morgue and saw the health effects of bad lifestyle choices, it kind of made me realize that eating bad foods and being a couch potato is going to ultimately do the same thing to my body organs as inhaling poision. I mean, I really want to change my life. That is why I quit smoking. Smoking was my main issue but obesity-related illnesses can be just as deadly. I think I am going to check out gym memberships, becasue believe it or not, once I get going and quit acting like I am being abused, I really like working out.

I am off to bed. I am going to get my dental work finished tomorrow. A new crown, a deep cleaning to keep the gum disease away and God knows what else. Fortunatly I already had the root canal last year.


Brandie said...

Hello! I can't give you any advice about going off Chantix, but you've done wonderously so far. Eventually it will have to happen, right? Either way, whether you go off it in a month, or in 3 months, I'm sure you'll do great!

And props for the workout motivations! I wish you the best of luck. I have had two kids, gained 55 pounds with each of them (total of 110 lbs), and managed to take it all back off. So it can be done if you want it enough!

maggie's mind said...

Some doctors prescribe another month or two of Chantix when it seems like a good idea, and I've read about the 12 to 24 week range on the Chantix website, so it's not unheard of by any means. Even though I did taper off of Chantix at about 12 weeks, after discussing it in detail with my doctor and also a couple of pharmacists, I'm not convinced it was necessary. Certainly I was assured from all of the above that there was no harm in doing so, but I also don't think it made any difference. The first bit of time that I was off Chantix (see my blog entries in September for an idea), I did notice it, but it wasn't bad. It was like the urges (or by then barely tuggings, as I called them) were more frequent but not any stronger, if that makes sense.

Everyone is different, and only you know how strong you feel at this point. Some are ready to be off Chantix at less than 12 weeks, others a bit beyond that point.

Quitting smoking does make me want to take better care of me, too. We are more likely to live a bit longer having quit, so we may as well do what we can, I guess. Easier said than done, of course ;)

lynda w said...

I asked my doctor that same thing this morning and he told me 12 weeks and didn't seem interested in discussing extending it or tapering. I wasn't very happy with him.

When I go off of it, I've already decided that I'm going to taper the dosage the same way Maggie did. It just makes more sense to me. You slowly increase it when starting, so why not?

As for when, I'm going to talk to my other doctor for another opinion, but I think it will just depend on how strong I feel towards the cravings.

I have a gym membership and I've been saying for the last two months that I'm going back. I keep coming up with excuses, but enough is enough. Let's do it!

Tasina said...

I fell down a flight of stairs and got so preoccupied with that hell that I just kind of forgot to take the Chantix. I DO NOT recommend you follow my "plan"!!!!


But even before the big whoops, I had no set plan. I had been forgetting doses here and there and figured I'd just forget all of them after a while. I'm not nearly as grown up and cool as Miss M!

MamaFlo said...

I started on Chantix Sept 19 and I'm still on it, will be on it until sometime in February at least.
I've just found something that helps, I've learned some breathing techniques for when the urge gets impossible (or feels that way).

Stay Quit at all costs!

Anonymous said...

Hi! Smoked for 35 years- I'm 50-took Chantix for 3 weeks and haven't smoked in 40 days. I quit the Chantix as it was really messing with my mind and sleeping habits. Got me over the worst of the cravings and I just took myself off it.

Sherri said...

Diva, the nicotine is gone from your body. The Chantix is a miracle in my opinion. I think you have to decide when you are ready to stop the Chantix. Everyone is very different. But some of us have addictive or obsessive personalities, too. I was emotionally attached to my cigs and felt they were my best friend. At some point I had to say goodbye - forever, 'cause I knew I couldn't stay on the Chantix. There will always be something that "happens" to trigger a tuggin' or urge to smoke. It's a conditioned response. I think it's sort of like smelling an aroma that reminds you of an event from your youth or a person from your past.

You have done beautifully! Hang in there, darlin'. If you want to change how you eat or start exercising, Just Do It. Remember that all of this is a lifestyle change. Not a quick fix to a problem. Start some new Good Habits to replace those old bad ones.

Now that I'm not smoking and I'm gonna live longer, I want to feel good and enjoy all I can.

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