Sunday, April 18, 2010

AND JUST WHEN I THOUGHT........................

...........I was through the worst of it on day 4 of being off the patch - and day 11 of nothing to smoke - I woke up feeling like a million little claws went skipping through my mouth and throat - I'm still needing to go to a large store to get a bunch of cat food and a few other things so I'm not spending so much $ on cat food every other day at my local Walgreens.   Between the lack of energy and just generally feeling like crap, and not trusting myself if I walk past someone with a cigarette -  I'm really having to seclude myself as much as possible.   I sort of wish I was in the mountains right now so I could go out and walk around in the fresh air, and just relax listening to the birds and checking out whatever wildlife might be around, plus I wouldn't have to worry about running into someone with a cig.   So, Friday I hung out on the couch and drank tea most of the day - my throat was feeling a little better, but then late at night it began hurting really bad again.  OK!
After managing to find my little flashlight I went in the bathroom and opened wide and there in my mouth, the back of my throat, the roof of my mouth, the sides, pretty much all over are all these white patches!!!! And my tonque looks like it's about to split open!  Now, I don't think I'm dehydrated - - I have been sweating a lot, but I've been drinking stuff and eating popsicles.   Of course I figure out late Friday night that I've got a riproaring case of thrush going on.  Taking a fluconazole at the start of the 6 days of methylprednisolone kept the thrush at bay for a while I guess, but within 4  days after I finished up the corticosteroid I've got white patches all over my mouth and throat.  And quitting smoking has turned my brain to mush!!! I've been having problems with my throat through this whole process, and well, I started the steroids 2 days after I had my last cigarette.  So I'm not sure how much of my throat problems were caused by the steroids or by the quitting process. 

I have felt really crummy the past two days - I was thinking on Wed & Thursday that I would start feeling better soon - yeah well, maybe if the thrush hadn't kicked in I might have.  And interesting enough, even as bad as my throat hurts, I want a cigarette so bad!!!  Even with the patches I was getting intense cravings, ok - get through the craving, take a breath and there it is again,  and again and again and again.  "They" don't tell you that even tho the cravings only last a couple of minutes, well, if you don't satisfy the craving, it keeps kicking in over, and over and over again and very quickly!!! at least for me it has.  For the fun of it I kept track of how many times these cravings were kicking in Sat am - about 20 times in one hour - and that's after 12 days without a cigarette and off the patch for 6days -
Cleaning out!!!
The closet:   I took ALL of my clothes off the hangers and I'm washing everything - even the hangers - dishwasher works great for washing the hangers!!! Every time I smell the left over scent of cigarettes, -smoked or not -  it makes me want a cigarette so bad.  I did manage to clean most of the walls before my daughter and kids came so the walls aren't too bad.  There are other things, like the blinds that need to be washed - but honestly I can just do so much.  This may be a good reason to start smoking outside long before you try to quit, and then wash everything inside or spray it with the odor eater stuff - then try quitting and limit what you wear and change out of it as soon as you smoke and put it in a plastic bag and keep it apart from your other clothes so you aren't getting everyting smokey again.  Talking about smoking, thinking about it, writing about it, it all makes me want a cigarette - and I don't want a cigarette.  I don't.  the last one I smoked was soooo foul I had to wonder why in the world I smoked!  I sort of think there was something about the Nicoderm patches that made them taste icky because I've never really experienced that before.  Not like that any way. 
I think making myself smoke outside for a while before I tried to quit helped - making myself wait longer and longer every am to smoke the 1st one, I think helps.   I've only eaten one meal in the past 3 weeks!  you know the thing about smoking after you eat - well, I'm almost constantly eating something - but it's not the same as eating a meal - I've been eating good stuff, avocadoes, asparagus, almonds, pistachios (in the shell), grapes, V-8 juice, celery,  fruit juice popsicles,  and recently I added black licorice - now I'm just going to add here that I chose the brand with anise - and if I could find some that are more natural flavoring or natural oils I will get those.  The anise is important here - it helps clear up the airways - DO NOT USE ANISE IF YOU ARE PREGNANT.   you have to talk to a knowledgable herbalist before ingesting much anise or any medicinal herb if you are pregnant. 
I have to jump on my soap box here - in general people should talk to a knowledgable herbalist before taking any herb!!!!! and no, not all the people working at some of the stores  are knowledgable herbalists.   -or at least read up on it in several books -there are some good books out there - if you are going to use herbs in a medicinal way, you need to get several books and read them - There is a reason herbs are used,  they have cause and effect, they also interact with other meds or herbs - some can cause spontainous miscarriages,  some can aid in becoming pregnant, some can help boost your immune system - but you have got to read about what you are taking - talk to a pharmacist, your Dr, but don't just start stuffing herbs down your throat because your friend or co-worker recomended it.  You have to do more than just read the labels on the bottles - they don't list all the contraindications.   BTW - side effects are not the same as being allergic to something. 
Chai tea is really nice and you could add a bit of anise to it too - it doesn't have to be the star anise to get it's benefits. and btw Vitamin Cottage has great prices on their bulk teas and spices!!!!  don't go overboard with the anise - it can dry you out too much - but it does help open up the airways - all of them! but, sucking on the black licorice sticks seems to help curb the cravings to a degree.  About 1/2 teaspoon anise will work for several cups of tea
and my latest "reasoning"
I've been really good, wow - ___ days now, so gee, I think I deserve to have a cigarette - just a couple of puffs - I think I deserve to have at least that - I've been soo good!"
and then I grab a licorice stick and take a few deep breaths - and back to my beading, crocheting or whatever it is I am working on at the moment.
After 40 + years and never making it for more than 24 hours without a cigarette - except when I was in the hospital having a child, or after the motorcycle accident  -  I'm actually pretty proud of my now 13 days without a cigarette - not even one little puff!  I have tried quitting - I don't know - probably at least a dozen times and have never made it more than 1 day without a cigarette!
- I sleep, I don't sleep, nod off, feel like I'm  going to completely relapse with the fibro, feel like I'm over the worst of nicotine withdrawal,  feel like I'm in the middle of the worst of it, I want to cry, I want to laugh,  I want to rip someone's head off,  - doesn't matter who - anyone will do!!! My head hurts. It feels like it's going to go into a major migraine.  My brain feels clearer, it feels foggier, sometimes, it just shuts down. 
My gastric reflux - wow - intense reflux stuff going on! (throat issues)  I want a cigarette, I don't want a cigarette, I don't think about it, I obsess about it - and all of that within a 10 minute time frame - and then replay all of it,  over  and over and over and over again!!!
I've spent a bunch of money on stuff to munch on in the past few weeks - much much more than I would have spent on cigarettes or food for the same time period - and somehow, I haven't actually put on more than a few pounds - I do manage get up now and then and do things and also walk around my apt and to the store about every  2 days.  Smoking is expensive - in many ways - quiting is also expensive - but hopefully that will even out here soon and will be so worth it! Even the the cheapest cigarettes are "expensive"
Someone said it's really just a matter of "determination" - yes and no!!!!.  but, I'll get into that next time - right now, I need to go back to sleep and sometimes that is the only thing that helps me get through these bad cravings -  I just have to  sleep!!!
lolololo it's 6 a.m. and I'm now going to fix myself some asparagus and then sleep for a bit.

I'm still not back to all of my normal web weaving - I have to focus on this - and believe me if I could put myself in a facility that would keep me locked up for about a month -  like a rehab - but for smokers, I would do it! But, I have to just do this - and I have to allow myself a little more time to allow myself to do what I need to get through it - There is a lot that I need to do regarding a lot of things right now, and there are things and places on the www that need attention, but they may have to wait a little longer before I can get back to them - because I have to get through this - because if I don't, I'm not sure that will get see my grandson turn 13 - and I want to see him turn 30 at least!!!  That's only 20 more years - but I want those 20 years and more!!!!!!!  so I'm doing the most selfish thing in the world I've ever done right now - and hopefully everyone will understand!
If you are a former smoker - let me know what helped you quit - and stay quit!  Are you one of those people that consider(ed) cigarettes as a friend??? I find that very interesting - let us know what helped -

wow - it got really long!
Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


So, I was supposed to get my internet speed upped the other day.  
but, instead, I got up and had no internet at all.

why is it - well, it's almost if the universe is saying ok, lets just see how much you can deal with since you decided to quit smoking - no really - but I'm not going to go into everything, now on day 9 - cigarettes are not my  friend, I have never considered them to be a friend, they are a drug - a very addictive drug -
I started using the nicotine patch on March 26th - this is 1st time, I've been able to use one 24/7 - and I didn't have super bad vivid dreams - some vivid dreams - but I was having dreams - not hallucinations like I've had in the past - so the dreams have been cool.
From the 26th through April  5th, I smoked about 1 cigarette a day - I know you aren't supposed to do that - but I did - except for 2 of the days - I smoked about 2 puffs of one on the 5th - and havent had any since!   I quit using the patch this past Sunday  evening - decided I need to just get the nicotine out of my body and as long as I keep using the patch and putting nicotine in my body, well, I'm just sort of dragging this out. 
It's now Wed - I could blow it sooooo easily right now - I'm trying really really really hard to not blow it!!!!  I need this to be done - there is stuff I need to get done that isn't getting done - but, it's sort of um well, I can either go out and do stuff and probably bum a cig from someone - or I can stay home, and bury my face in a pillow and scream, or go take a long shower and then brush my teeth and use the water pik for 10 minutes and then go bury my face and scream - or go to sleep - sleep seems to be a great solution to a lot of things right now - except that there are things that need to be done - so sleeping is not a great option - it's just that sometimes sleeping is the only safe option!!!
Changes - my sense of smell or sense of taste havent really gotten great yet - still  dealing with tooooo much of the icky stuff still - haven't been coughing, no runny nose, headaches, lots of headaches,  sometimes, my breain just shuts down - it's like I just can't deal with anything any longer and I have to just lay down for a while. 
Meanwhile, my right shoulder that I messed up a few weeks ago - is still messed up - finished up the cortisone - and the shoulder is still messed up - hot tub would be nice - but no, it's not working either!  Why is that as soon as the weather gets nice enough to really start using the hot tub - the hot tub becomes unusable. 
My skin - my face anyway - my skin looks so much better - the color is better - softer, smoother,
my ears don't have this dry flaky skin all the time any  more - they do have a couple of massive pimples -

my hair - which I chopped off on the 5th - it's about 3" long now - well, there were handfulls of it on the bottom of the bathtub the other day - strange - not sure I thought my hair would fall out when I quit smoking!!! But, yeah, I was rinsing out my hair after I finished my shower and there's all this hair on the bottom of the tub!!!!!!!

I don't know what is going on - I was sitting here working on some pictures when people from the complex came by - well I thought they had sort of walked past my apt and were looking at something next door when I heard a  voice say something about the wood and if it had come from the mountains well that's just inviting trouble and all sorts of bugs  blah blah blah - well come on folks there isn't any other place for the wood to come from around here except the east mountains!!!  Or maybe I should have it shipped in from one of the rain forests!!!! So, I'm not sure what is going on - my patio is actually somewhat neat right now - I do have a few things that don't really belong on there - but it's not all trashed out - my apt is a big mess - imagine moving all of your furniture into the middle of the room and then putting about half of it back but not all the way, and well you can start getting an idea  what my apt is looking like these days.   I mess up my shoulder and then the Dr says - you need to stop lifting things for a while - so everything is sitting in the middle of the room!!
The heffalumps continue to stomp stomp stomp stomp  - sometimes I can sleep for 3 hours withwout waking up, sometimes, I get 2 hours - if I'm really lucky I'll get 5 hours straight through without someone waking me up!!
yeah - I want to go do some damage to someone's face right now - doesn't matter who - anyone will do - all this from your peace loving hippie here!!the wall,  a car, a window, yeah I think sometimes going to sleep is a much safer option!!!!!  because I do not want to smoke - .......................................................................

I did manage to put together a kaleidascope slide show - it's on the bottom of the page here!!  check it out! 
I have managed to do a few pictures from 1 picture - I really want to put together some cool slideshows with these -

I'm trying to be zen about all this - and most of the time, I'm sort of ok - this is day 3 without the patch - in some ways - it's better without the patch and its a whole lot worse without it!!!!
I think once I get past today - maybe two more days at the most - I'll be on the upswing of it all! at least I hope so!!!!
I don't want to blow it - there are things I need to do - there are things I want to do - but you know what right now, I just have to get through this process - and so other things will take place as I can deal with them.
Here's Tweet-Tweet - I inherited her recently - she's 10years old - so she should fit in here with my 10 year old JazCat and me!!! 

He likes to hang out on top of her cage - doesn't try to get at her - he just likes hangin out there!! Tweet-Tweet will just go about her business and sometimes flap her wings and sscreetch at him - but she seems to know he can't get to her anyway.
I now have to go lay down for a bit before I go screetch at someone myself!!!
Have a wonderful day!!!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010


I think the computer, and the offending software has been remedied!  I sure hope so, although, there may be a few settings I may need to change as I come across them.....................................................................

I am in transition - I know don't where I am going tho.   I have options - just not sure which one of those options is going to play out at this point.  I'm a Capricorn.  I really am - and this cappy does not like being in limbo - some limbo, an exploration of sorts is ok - but not when I thought I had something figured out and then find out, I can't do that - well ok, but I'm just not sure where I'm going to end up - either across town or in a whole 'nother state!
However, I decided I want to share some things with the world out there - and I see even while I was off here I gained another follower, and I don't think I actually lost any - at least on here - so thank you! I was going to just address my current limbo - but some background info is sometimes a good thing. 
1989 - I was 36, divorced & 2 kids, and then eventually living with a man that I loved, and worked with.  Then, I was in a car accident - hit from behind - both kids seemed to be ok - they were both still so small, they were in car seats in the back seat of my bug - me, I had whiplash for the 2nd, 3rd, I don't know maybe the 5th time in my life.   It put me out of work for a while - and the man, he ended up moving to Texas because of his job,  we eventually split up.  I was still out of work - and on assistance - and then I realized I was in the perfect situation to go to school, and that's what I did.
1990 - enrolled in the community college with a full course of the basic required courses - went to school for one year - took off the next and worked part time for myself - went back to school, I started out with the idea of going into Occupational Therapy - well, the university here didn't have an occupational therapy program at the time, (but was working on it) then thought about Art Therapy - yeah you guessed it, it didn't have that either.  (again, they were working on it) Limbo!
One of the classes I took my very 1st semester was Small Group Communications - I fell in love with the teacher and the whole idea of really purposeful communication and all the ideas that went along with it - I took at least one communication class a semester or year for most of my remaining time in school.  After tossing around a few other ideas, I finally decided to go into Elementary Education.  Then I put my own limbo into action.   I entered into the BUS program (bachelor of university studies) with a concentration in art (drawing & painting), communications, and pshycology.   I didn't have a clue what I was going to do with it - but somehow had this trust in the universe that I would get where I was supposed to be.   Due to things with my children, my dad, my own health, I eventually started enrolling for 3 classes instead of 4, sometimes, just 2 depending on what was going on with everyone.   I graduated May 1999 in the top 2% of my class, a member of the Golden Key club, and a 4.gpa.  This from the person who basically  flunked her way through high school.  I started working part time my last year of school in a dept at the university doing a major web page developement.    But, I was graduating, the job was for a student employee.   They wanted to keep me, I wanted to keep doing it, so they made it into a real job, and after going through the actuall process of applying for the job along with people who were more technically qualified, I got hired. I got hired because of the art background.  The manager of the dept at the time figured it would be much easier to train someone to use the software to do the web pages than it would be to train a techy person aesthetics.  I had the art background and had already been doing the job for a year.  It was a perfect job for me, I got to use my design and artistic side, and the logic side of my brain.  This web site was much more than one page - it's huge and I built it from the bottom up - or maybe that's from the top down.   I got to keep learning new things, and most of the classes were paid for by the dept or by using $ I got for school from the school.  Most of the time, the classes were during work hours.  not bad.  Eventually, I got into teaching (evenings) I was teaching two different classes on a contract basis (along with my regular full time job) - teaching paid much better - and I was able to catch up on all my bills and actually had started putting money in savings toward buying a house.   I still had enough energy when I got home from work, I painted. 
2000 - summer - July, I think.  I was sitting at my desk, and could not stay awake.  I didn't have anything else really going on - no sniffles, no headache, my knee hurt - my left knee has been injured numerous times - but really not much going on - I had been feeling pretty good, life was good, I was swimming several times a week, exercising in the gym several times a week.   Somehow, I made it home, and went to bed, that was on Monday, I do remember that.  I finally made it back to work on Frid for part of the day.  I slept most of the time - and that's all I wanted to do - sleep.  Within a few weeks, most of my body - from my neck down to my feet was in extreme pain.  And I could not wake up most days.  My alarm would go off for minutes, it would wake up my daughter in the next room, but it wouldn't wake me up.  She would come in, shut off my alarm,  try to wake me up - I would not wake up - by Oct I was on medical leave - thinking that with some rest, I could go back to work in a few months. 
Jan 2001 - I resigned from my job - both jobs.  Diagnosis:  Severe intractable fibromyalgia. (think that's what my dr wrote) Pretty scarey.  I now had an adorable grandson, and my daughter to support.  My son had been living with his dad for a number of years by now.  We moved - quickly into HUD subsidized housing and I applied for Sec 8, disability, food stamps, and any other kind of assistance and help that was available.  My daughter started working part time at a grocery store as a bagger, and later for one my fav craft stores.  Although, in a lot of pain, I could manage to take care of my infant grandson for 4 -5 hours, and I had help coming in to help me with cleaning, and cooking for me, and helping to take care of me.  Eventually, we managed without her working and enrolled her in the community college (at 16) - I really wanted her in school more than working.
2002 - I moved into the apt complex where I still live.  My daughter and grandson moved into their own apt.   Outside - hot tub - the lady working for me would take me over there in my wheel chair - I started out exercising for 5 minutes every other day.  I was exhausted with just that.  After a few weeks, I was able to start slowly adding time and excercises to it.
Numerous physical therapy sessions for my back, the fibro, plantar fasciitis, plantar fasciitis surgery,  thousands of trigger point injections,  cortisone epidurals,  changing meds, almost dieing twice - somehow, I'm better.  The fibro is better - but I have osteoporosis, at least 6 (probably 8 or more) herniated discs, arthritis in most joints, GERD, and I cannot take prednisone or any form or cortisone without it playing havoc with my body.  I cannot take anti-inflammatory meds (NSAID'S)- they play havoc with my stomach. 
I am mostly sleep deprived these days - mostly because of the noise around me - and so - this is prompting my next transition - I have to get out of here - I wanted to move to an adult complex that has 2 nicely heated indoor pools - but they no longer take sec 8!!!! and then my daughter says - mom - how about you move up here - well, not sure that up there is absorbing sec 8.   there are options - I just don't know which one is going to happen yet -
anyway - I am working on going through my belongings.  I have a lot.  I have spent the past 6 years or so, buying things that I think I can do to sell to earn a little extra money or to give as gifts.  I have a lot of material - and now it's hard for me to sit and sew for very long. I have a lot of ornaments, those I can sit and do - but they don't really sell very well, the stained glass - well, it's sort of like the sewing - I can be up doing that for just so long before my back just won't tolerate it any longer.   I can only sit at the computer for so long - and then my back just won't tolerate it any longer.  I can only be up and around for so long, going through stuff, boxing it up and then I just have plant myself on the couch.   I often lose my balance.  When I 1st stand up after sitting I have to just stand for a minute before I can move -
I don't know what to get rid of.  do I get rid of all the little stuff and take the reasonably good furniture with me, do I get rid of most of the furniture and take all the material, yarn, glass, ornaments, ......................and the hard part, I live in a gated complex so having yard sales to the outside world is made a bit tricky.  some of it will go up for sale at some ridicously low prices in one of  my shops - soon I hope, I need to get pictures, but right now, it's all in boxes! 
This is not to elicite sympathy, but more of an explanation, I messed up on my last two orders, and I refused to  send out an order ( a very nice order) because I didn't like sending $150.00 worth of my handpainted ornaments out to someone and have them just left on the porch without a signature confirmation.  My daughter and grandchilren were here for about 10 wonderful days - then my computer went wacky!   It is in some respects an offer of hope to some degree for people with fibro - it does usually get better - and mine was really severe - sometimes, I get angry, sometimes I get sad - I feel like I lost almost 10 years of my life - I have refused to have pictures taken of me - those ads you see of people with fibro on TV - well, they look good, I look like I aged 10 years in one year after I got so sick.  I honestly believe I have been dealing with this horrid disease since my early 20's.  Not in the same way, but I really believe it's all been a part of the same thing.    I don't remember things, my brain still doesn't function as well as it used to, it's better, but not the same.  I have a hard time thinking of words, I have a  hard time spelling ( and I was very good at spelling), I try to write things -  it takes me 20 words to say something that could probably be said in 5 or 10 if I could think of the right word.  I have to go back through everything I write at least twice to make sure I got all the typos, put in left out words, take out extra words - I have an appointment the 1st part of May with someone to start exploring ways to get my brain functioning better.   I hope I can find an apartment with a very warm indoor pool so I can start swimming and maybe get my body functioning better.   
I could go on and on - but the back is "talking" to me and I need to try to get some sleep - you're comments are most welcome, and I appreciate it so very much if you have managed to make it through all this dribble.

Just one more thing - - I am now on day 5 - of nothing to smoke! I had my last cigarette Monday afternoon.  I have to celebrate every day I go without one - sometimes I have to celebrate every moment I go without one - because I frequently want one!
Have a wonderful day and a great weekend.