I am honored to be in this no-nonsense group of non smokers.
I am 55 years old and was going to quit when I turned 40. My excuse for not quitting after 40 was that I didn't have any serious medical problems. I was up to 2 packs a day for the last 20 years or so-started smoking at 15. Well, I had a heart attack this August 2 after trimming some branches-I didn't know it was a heart attack at the time but the chest pain didn't go completely away and I had some pain in my arms. I waited a couple days for the pain to go away and called my doctor while I was at work on August 4. His nurse told me to go straight to the emergency room which I thought was a bit much but did as I was told and found out I had a heart attack of a 5 on a scale of 1-10. Three stents were put in my heart and my life changed as I new it. Now I have to take drugs twice a day-morning and night and carry my "dynamite pills". The cardiologist told me I had to quit smoking-something I had heard before but never in this situation. I am a recovered alcoholic who has not had a drink since June 8 2003. I was told that quitting smoking and quitting drinking at the same time would be to much at the same time and I concentrated on my sobriety and kept my smokes. As a child of the 60's I did all the recreational drugs out there but my job on the railroad and their random drug tests put a stop to that phase of my life. My smokes were all I had left and I clung to them with a passion. After the heart attack I knew I had to quit and was offered the patch and other stuff to help me quit in the hospital. I refused them as I knew cold turkey would be the fastest way-more painful maybe but still faster. I had some smokes in my bib overalls at the hospital and gave them away to some work buddies. When I got home I cleaned out the carton and a half and gave them away to some smoking buddies. Just last night I found a couple of packs in my Harley and gave them away also. I think I might have a spare pack in my golf bag but I haven't played golf in months so will take care of them later.
I didn't realize how often I used smokes to 'regroup'. It seems every task I do I had to have a smoke first to 'regroup'. It was very very hard the first week and it still is hard. My tongue seems raw and I don't know if its from the heart drugs or from not smoking but popsickles seem to help. I searched the internet and this group stuck out for me. I have not 'slipped' with my drinking and don't plan on 'slipping' with my quitting smokes. This is serious business and its OK to ask for help-something I have learned is OK to do in my later years. I've been told my house is smelling better and my Mom is very proud of me-even at 55 I'm still her baby. As I have read here it is simple but not easy.