Sunday, October 9, 2011

Ramblings Of An Erotica Writer: Quitting the Nicotine

Dear Reader,

Well, I decided to take another try at quitting smoking. The problem I’ve had in the past is I like smoking. It gives me a reason to take a break from writing or design, so I can step and think. Flimsy excuse, I know, but true.

 But it’s more the health issues spurring this decision. I’d heard from someone I knew a few weeks ago, and I found out his Mother passed away. This shocked me. Yes, I knew she was sick, and on top of that had cancer—from smoking and other issues. She’d gone in for an operation to remove the tumor, and a week later, she went in for a checkup. Doctor told her she was cancer free. That same day, she went home, had a nap, woke up having trouble breathing—after having a cigarette. The ambulance was called, but she died before she reached the hospital.

In the face of tragedy in the weeks following, you start to look inward, and wonder. It’s difficult not to know the downfalls of smoking in this day and age, where the act is fast becoming taboo. I still think one day, the government will ban tobacco altogether, and make it illegal. And perhaps, they should.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand. I debated all my quit-smoking options. We return to the fact that I like smoking, which makes it an feat to stop on my own. The patches (which make me sick, even if I don’t have a cigarette), the gum (ew, hate the taste, why would this ENCOURAGE me to use it?), the inhaler (never tried it, but I haven’t heard great things), the electronic cigarette that emits nicotine and water vapor (have to order online, and know someone using it, so I’m waiting to see how that goes). I’m not into the group therapy thing provided for the government—either I kick it on my own, with support of the people I know, or I don’t. And then, there are the pills.

There are three bands that I know of. Wellburtin (Generic Zyban), Zyban and Champix. When I was seventeen, I tried to quit the first time with Zyban when it first came out as a quit-aid (formerly known as an antidepressant, but the patience discovered the deceased need for nicotine). Because I was little more than a kid at seventeen, the doctor would only prescribe me seven days worth. And boy, did they work! The side effect I got was major insomnia. I did not sleep a wink for the duration (wasn’t tired during the day either). But after I ran out—well, I started back up within a month, because I’d lived and hung out with smokers, I was with all of the time. I took Wellburtin and Zyban later in life. Wellburtin made me twitchy and hypersensitive, and the second dose of Zyban a few years later didn’t do a thing—I think because I might have developed an immunity to it, or I wasn’t as gung-ho about quitting.

This time, I did my research. Champix was recommended to me by my pharmacist. He said amazing stuff about it. So after my search on the computer, I found out some disturbing facts. As I’ve said, Zyban is an antidepressant. On the other hand, Champix could magnify depression. Make you suicidal or homicidal—or both, possibly hallucinations and paranoia. Of course, the biggest worry of doctors in the sight of all this? Raised blood pressure. I had to read that three times, and not before I read the whole article again. They saved that fact for last?

So, when I went in to talk to the doctor yesterday, I told him all about the above. Typical. Most doctors DO NOT like patients who do research. They figure you’re either a hypochondriac or a self-diagnoser. But I was guilty, I suppose. I asked for Zyban. Yes, it hadn’t worked in the past, but the side-effects of Champix freaked me out. But the doctor had other ideas. He took my blood pressure, said it was normal, and prescribed me a 12-week program of Champix. He told me I worried too much about the side effects, since I admitted I typically don’t get most of them. Maybe one, if I have a bad reaction (like the insomnia). If Zyban didn’t work last time, was it really worth it?

I talked to some people, read more customer experiences, who’d taken this drug. Some react to it by becoming extremely irritated—and it was pointed out to me, if you quit solo, you would anyway—though many don’t get any of the side-effects. So, I’ll try it…

Who, knows maybe it will work? Maybe it won’t, or I will react to it, and stop taking it. Then, I’ll try something else. Right now, I’m on the second day of low-dose. Time will tell on Tuesday when I go mid-dose, or next Saturday when I’m on the full dose.  


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