Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Day Five

First, let me explain the Chantix dosage.  Days 1-3 are only a half mg every morning.  Days 4-7 are a half mg in the morning, and another half mg in the evening.  After that, it's a full mg in the morning, and a full mg in the evening - I imagine that this is when things start to get pretty rough.
Days 1-4 for me were okay, a little bit of nausea (especially if I forgot to eat), headaches; but headaches are a regular thing for me, some odd dreams, and I definitely felt more on edge than usual.
Last night, my dreams were peculiar, only because the same constellation followed through each of them.  It was beautiful, very bright, but something about it was frightening, too.
Today, I had to go have a CT scan with contrast, so I'm not sure if it's because my schedule was thrown off (ie: had to fast, including NO COFFEE!), or because of the contrast stuff they pumped into my veins, or maybe it's a bit of everything, but right now my head is pounding, the nausea is rolling, and I can hear my heart beating in my head like village drums.
I feel like the distractions today (like my cat giving birth to six kittens, the CT scan, two of my kids being home by noon) should have been helpful, but all I want to do right now is curl up in the dark and sleep for forever.
Oh yeah, the cigarettes.  My quit date is this coming Friday, but I really have no desire to smoke right now.  It's become quite unsatisfying, and even tastes kind of gross.  So, there's that update.  More another day.  xo

Oh, two more things:  I actually feel hungry, regularly, now.  (Great.  I'm gonna be a blimp.)
Also, I'm so, so tired.  All the time. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Smoking is Bad

Smoking is so, SO bad.  I purchased my first cigarette in Senegal, when I was just 12 years old.  I haven't been home in awhile, so I'm not sure if this is still the case, but back then, the boutiques sold cigarettes one by one, or really, however you wanted to buy them.  I'm starting to ramble.
I've been able to quit off and on for years, only to start again, and it seems like every time I started again, I was smoking more than before.  I did the weaning thing, the cold-turkey thing (ohhh, that one is painful), the gum thing, and nothing has worked, permanently.
Four years ago, my little brother used Chantix to quit smoking - he's never gone back.  Chantix.  It's a really scary drug.  The side effects are extreme.  Insurance won't cover it.  (That's a whole separate rant.  Why in the WORLD would insurance rather cover the health consequences of smoking long-term, instead of covering a drug that will help many people quit for good???)
After doing as much research as I could about Chantix, I decided that all of the negatives of it are worth it if it helps me quit.  And not go back.
I went to my doctor yesterday for quite a few things (I hadn't had insurance for almost a year, so.), and while I was there, I asked him to prescribe Chantix.  He agreed that it's a good idea, and scribbled out the script. I don't have a "real" job right now, and have VERY little money coming in from watching a couple of kids a few days a week.
Get this.  Chantix is a three month thing.  For each MONTH, it costs over $200.  I quickly did some math in my head, and calculated that one month of Chantix is equal to me watching one child for three weeks.  How am I going to afford to put gas in my van?  Or get the oil change that's past due?  Or pay for my (very cheap!) health insurance?  Or any of the many other things that always seem to come up, especially when you're broke?
Even with all of that, I didn't have to stand there for long, deciding if it was worth it.  It is. It will be.  I got a bit of a discount through the Chantix website, and dropped $150 yesterday for the first month.  
So this is how Chantix works - you choose a quit date, and begin taking the medication a week before that date. This allows the medication to build up in your system.  Since I'm ready to get this show on the road, I took my first dose today, with my quit date being May 30th.
I'm really, really anxious about the whole thing.  I enjoy smoking.  But I also know how badly it affects my health, and how it could affect my future health, too.  I also know that I don't want to be a slave to anything, and I am most certainly a slave to smoking.  It's like I have no choice in the matter.  When my body decides it's time, I have to smoke.  That's not okay with me.
I'm anxious about how Chantix will affect me.  You're not supposed to take it if you have a history of mental illness or depression, and, well.... yeah.  I do.  It causes extremely vivid nightmares, which also concerns me, since my dreams have always been vivid and memorable, and mostly scary.
I'm anxious, I'm anxious, but I know myself, and I've done my research, and I feel like this is basically my last hope for quitting.   Considering how much it's costing me, it had BETTER WORK.  *scaryface*
I plan on keeping a weekly journalish thing, documenting the side effects, moods, and cravings.  And probably a lot of other stuff, since obviously I talk too much.
Good luck, me!  We can do this.