11 December 2011

Stop Smoking 2

I never wanted to smoke forever. During my third pregnancy, which was the only one that went past 9 weeks, I cut down a lot but didn't stop completely. Even though it made me feel nauseous for the whole 9 months I just could not let go.

Even though I felt incredibly guilty every moment of being pregnant I could not let the addiction go. If you've read my blog you will know I have some issues with depression, OCD etc, so I blamed that for finding it so hard to stop smoking. I never realised how true it probably was.

In December last year I read Allan Carr's book, "Easy way to stop smoking" I found it really great, and even though it is quite repetitive, there were a lot of novel ideas in there I had never thought of before.

So at the last chapter I went to smoke my "last" cigarette, and believed I was done. Until 8 hours later I had a fight with my dad, and couldn't handle the stress and the next day my daughter ended up in the hospital with septicemia. I became the first person I knew who didn't immediately stop smoking after reading the book.

In the mean time my brother had done the seminar (which is horribly expensive, unless you're a member of Discovery medical aid in South Africa) So we continued to discuss some of the ideas, and he was quite a sympathetic supporter to my continuing internal dialogue about stopping smoking, and if , when and how I could do it.

Every time I lit a smoke I felt hopelessly addicted, dependent, and like a slave to something that is in actual fact such a stupid habit, breathing in the chemical filled smoke of dead leaves?, I mean really? Who thought that was a good idea?

A week before my 36th Birthday I went to the doctor with a sinus infection and UTI, as usual she prescribed anti-biotics, and asked if I was allergic. "Nope"

I got home, ate something, took my medication, and went on Skype to tell my neighbour that the GP recommends I cut out white wine to prevent these recurring UTI's.

We were busy chatting when all of a sudden I started feeling unwell, just weird and funny. Then I realised my eyes were swelling. I jumped up and went to the bathroom to look in the mirror, at which time my throat was closing.

I had just seen a Facebook status from a friend who's son got anaphylaxis and landed up in hospital, so luckily this was foremost in my mind, so I immediately phoned an Ambulance, and then my dad, who wasn't home.

The 15 minutes they took to get there felt like hours, and as I progressively struggled more and more to breathe, and felt my blood pressure going insane, my heart beating so hard that my stomach was moving up and down with it, I thought I was not going to make it. I felt that I might die and the only thing that I kept saying to myself is "What about Caitlin, keep breathing for Caitlin"

Luckily I threw up which slowed everything down, and the ambulance got there quickly. I spent the night in hospital and a week at home in bed physically recovering, while mentally I kept thinking "what about Caitlin, what if I die tomorrow"

I happened to be one of the 1% of people who develop a sudden allergy to Anti Biotics and actually go into anaphylaxis. Most just experience swelling and a rash. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-an-antibiotic-allergy.htm

Nine days later I stopped smoking. Now I can't start again cause the money saved on ciggies are going to pay for Caitlin's extra-mural activities at big school next year. So now whenever my brain is weak and this addiction tries to get me to start again, I think "what about Caitlin, what if she can't do Hip Hop Dancing and Gymnastics next year" .... that's because we human beings so quickly forget what it felt like to almost die...

ps. There will be another episode on depression and nicotine..

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