Day 10

Today has totally sucked. I’m growing really, really tired of the chest tightness. Fucking sucks. Sometimes it gets to be too much and I start to have a panic attack. Have to force myself to breathe and come down off of it. Discovered that the Xanax I’m taking for acute panic attacks is bad, bad, for people with asthma (me). Shit.

I’m so tired of all this. Of the tight chest, the irritability, the nausea, the spinning / floating head, the sinus pressure, the ear pressure, the neurological adjustments, the cravings, the phlegm, the overexcitement and the resulting energy drain, the everything associated with quitting. I want it to stop. And soon. I was reading a pulmonary forum online where a nurse was saying that the effects of smoking take a long time to subside. Double-shit. That means I might be dosing myself with guaifenessen and albuterol for a “long time” out. Damn.

It’s really funny to me how many “quit smoking” resources and websites there are out there. It’s funnier still to see the vast derth of them that, in a mission to help its members save money by no longer smoking, feature “premium services” for those who pay a membership fee. Feh. Looks to me like even the university-sponsored services are feeling the financial crunch. Feh. And it’s even more funny the number of sites that propose that living “on the patch”, or with a daily regimen of Zyban / Wellbutrin are “really the best ways to go.” I would hazard to guess that sites that recommend these paths have got to be sponsored or getting kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies. Call me Doubting Shawn Thomas, but it just makes too much sense.

Two months ago I had a smoking-cessation discussion with my doctor. He gave me a rundown of national stats and actually bothered to give me some straight talk. He said that the average, nationally, for quitters is seven attempts, meaning some quit on their first, some on their fourteenth. Seven. And of those most successful quitters the most successful and prevalent method for quitting was cold turkey. Just quit, just drop it, just leave it alone. Don’t do it. Don’t take drugs to screw up your neurochemistry. Don’t wear epidermal patches to keep you addicted to nicotine. Don’t chew the gum. I will tell you first hand that cold turkey is hell, total hell, but I can see that when I’m finally adjusted and more healthy, after this ordeal I’ll be more resolute about not picking up the habit again.

Well, after recommending different paths to quitting, from accupuncture to hypnosis to homeopathy to patches to cold turkey, my doctor acted like a doctor-with-bills again and wrote me a three month long prescription for Zyban. Wasn’t that also the day I saw two drug representatives in the waiting room?

Published by Shawn

He's just this guy, you know?