Saturday, October 11, 2014

Quiet day Reblogging

Hmmm, last time I put "Quiet day" in a post title I was coming down with that damnable energy sapping virus I hope I've finally shaken.

I've spent today copying my old postings off quit-line and into this my (largely abandoned) public blog at blogspot. I'm going to re-post them here in sequence, a few a day until they catch up with quit-line.

I'm not planning on stopping blogging there, but a side effect of blogging there is that I've got back into the habit of blogging. The quit-line house rules say that the blogging space here is for posts that primarily discuss our progress with quitting and as I progress with being an ex-smoker and prospective non-smoker the non-smoking side of what I do becomes relatively less important while the other aspects of my life become relatively more important to me.

As with all of us, there will be a time in the future when my blogging ceases to be a good fit for quit-line. When that will be I have no way of saying. Last time I was a non-smoker, blogging hadn't been invented.

An earlier version of this posting was originally published on Quit line on Saturday 11 October 2014.

Friday, October 10, 2014

We've come so far

I had a regular phone call from Quit-line today after it I was pretty stewed up. No names, no pack drill, but as one of my co-workers pointed out my fuse has been fairly short the last month and 4 days. The upshot of everything was that I was stressed out. Annoyed, but no real desire to head off to the dairy and get a pack. Now I've repatriated the blog from their servers I may write up the full story.

Tessa and I had a picnic dinner in Cornwall park tonight then went on to Circus Circus for coffee. While we were there one of the staff dropped a bottle of water right by our table and there was glass and water everywhere. Other than Tessa's immediate "It wasn't me, this time" we were mostly just amused by the experience.

A month ago tonight I was on day 12 of my Champix starter pack (Day 5 of quitting). Tonight I'm having the last tablet from the first regular Champix pack. Tomorrow I start on the 2nd and last pack.

That night was the first time I'd gone out socially since giving up. That night we also went to Circus Circus after dinner and I was concentrating on avoiding the smoking triggers hitting me from all kind of stray corners. Tonight I wasn't feeling any triggers ... just the occasional "I'd like a cigarette" feeling I get on a fairly regular basis. Those unexpected "out of nowhere" triggers were so strong I almost caved quite a few times. Now the feelings are weak and not a threat.

As time goes by I become more and more convinced that I'm going to succeed. Sure I've got to watch for stray side swipes from triggers, but I now believe I could do it.

An earlier version of this posting was originally published on Quit line on Tuesday 10 October 2014.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Yersinia pseudotuberculosis - another reason not to smoke

I was watching the news tonight and this pesky ailment is spreading via
vegetables including carrots and lettuce. I'd guess if lettuce can
spread God's punishment on the vegans, tobacco leaf could too.

This critter isn't just a food poisoning, "Genetically, the pathogen
causing plague, Y. pestis, is very similar to Y. pseudotuberculosis. The
plague appears to have evolved from Y. pseudotuberculosis about 1500 to
20,000 years ago.[" - Wikipedia.

Disclaimer: I'm not a public health expert; I'm a computer programmer
who occasionally does stand-up. If you want to base personal health
decisions on tips from me, can I also get you to help me get a
considerable amount of money out of Nigeria?

What about the rats? They spread plague, they could probably spread Y.
pseudotuberculosis when they are having their morning showers.

One of the scariest things I've ever seen was a (pet) rat running across
the floor towards cover with a lit cigarette in her mouth. I never left
another lit cigarette in the ashtray in that flat again. Of course now I
haven't had pet rats for over 20 years and no-longer smoke it's all
rather academic.

Those rats were real sweeties. Once when I had 'flu one of them hopped
up on the bed, sniffed me, then turned and ran off. "Great", I thought,
"Even the rat doesn't want to know me". A minute or so later he was
back, walked over to my hand, opened his mouth and dropped an uncooked
piece of tapioca in my hand ... he'd worked out I was sick and gone to
his food bowl to get me a treat.

OK, he didn't actually like the tapioca, but probably figured that since
I kept giving it to him I must.

An earlier version of this posting was originally published on Quit line on Monday 9 October 2014.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Rewarding myself for not smoking

Today had it's moments. On the way in I was hit by a strong desire for a meat pie. I stopped at the local Hollywood and by then had changed my mind and looked at the fruit salads before finally deciding on a salad sandwich.

When I got to work there was a strong smell of paint. All the internal doors were being done. So I needed to take the sandwich out onto the balcony to eat it. While I was out there I noticed that my ashtray had vanished. I found where it had got to, it had blown away and ended up on the balcony below ours. The lid's come off, but luckily it was empty and cleaned out. I don't think the people on that level ever go onto their balcony, but am wondering if I should go down and 'fess up or just leave it. It was only $3 from the dollar shop, and I don't need it any more so it's not like I care very much.

I've been having problems running an ancient version of a program that doesn't seem to like 64 bit windows. I couldn't run it in a 32 bit VM because for some reason these couldn't see the database. After struggling all day I finally got it going right on 6PM. 15 minutes later I was out of there so fast you couldn't see the dust. I had to get to a date with my new toy.

As I write this I'm having a coffee. Not just any coffee, but a freshly brewed long black from my new fully automated Delonghi espresso machine. Water in the side, coffee beans in the top, press the button and there's my coffee.

I understand that for a lot of people coffee was/is a trigger. Luckily for me it was the other way as I used to have a cigarette while the kettle was running and the coffee afterwards. This means that the coffee doesn't make me feel like a cigarette, quite the opposite really.

Yes, I have spent some of that money I've saved by not smoking on another of my likes. I picked up the machine at a reduced price at the big box sale Noel Leemings had at the ASB show grounds last weekend.

I unpacked and set-up the machine last night but by the time I'd finished it was too late for coffee. This morning I lazed in bed enjoying the warmth and once I was out I needed to leave quickly so the grand christening was tonight and then I was stuck at work.

I'm not doing this for the money. I'm doing it for the health. But, I'm happy to use some of that money that's not going up in smoke.

Some time in early January I will have saved enough to buy myself a 3D
printer. Then we'll see how good I am at resisting temptation.

I've just finished the cup so I'll post this now.

An earlier version of this posting was originally published on Quit line on Wednesday 8 October 2014.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Moving on and up

Stats Update: 31 days smoke free

Smoke free days: 31 days
Cigarettes NOT smoked: 930
Total savings: $833.90

WOW. One whole month has gone by, I stopped off at the chemist today
and picked up my (final) repeat of Champix. I didn't even realise the
month was up until I saw the calendar on my PC at work this morning.

I logged in to Quit-line from work today and got a little pop-up asking
how much I'd smoked in the last two weeks. I was very proud to be able
to answer "Not one puff"

Adding to that I haven't felt much in the way of exhaustion either today.

The sun was shining, the birds singing and the spring flowers blooming
all to celebrate my month.

After this I was asked why my quit date and a visual cue on the site
didn't match. My immediate reply "I'm not sure. It's possibly because
when I first signed up I thought you were supposed to take Champix for 2
weeks before giving up so my quit date was a week later than what I
discovered it could be when I actually got the prescription filled.

"I've changed my quit date on here but it only seems to have partially
taken. My auto emails and phone calls are also a week out. [...] I've
just queried their web master about it." started a process I'll deal
with later. Let's just say I'm no longer quite the enthusiastic
supporter of quit-line that I once was,

Now I've moved to my own blogging space I no longer need to worry about
the censorship on quit-line blogs. Let's just say for now I'm no longer
quite the enthusiastic supporter of quit-line that I once was,
Yay ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

An earlier version of this posting was originally published on Quit line on Tuesday 7 October 2014.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Darkness in the city of the soul

I woke up this morning and my clock radio's face was blank. Yes, I was one of the 40,000 Aucklanders without electricity today. [[Note 12 October - This was the number I'd heard at the time, subsequently I've heard other numbers up to 85,000 and in one outlier, 85,000 homes. Obviously I didn't do my own count.]]

Just in case there was still no 'lecky tonight, I decided to save the hot water in the tank, a lukewarm shower tomorrow morning being preferable to an icy cold one. I also decided I didn't want a cold breakfast in an unlit room with no Internet so MacDonald for breakfast, St Luke's for a roast pork and salad lunch and Ponsonby Road for Fettuccine Bolognese for dinner. About 10 Million calories while feeling uncomfortable in my unwashed skin.

What I didn't do was have my morning Champix. Not intentionally, I just plain forgot. The packet sits on my computer desk so I normally have them in my face at both ends of the day. This morning I didn't sit there. I didn't notice any difference to my desire to stay smoke-free, but the addiction did try to slip in on the annoyances with the news that today was obviously special and a cigarette today wouldn't count. Ah, the ingenuity of my desire to lie to myself. Thankfully I was able to resist.

The power's back on. I've neither bathed nor smoked today. Tomorrow I will shower, but not smoke. I'm also seriously considering halving my Champix dose to see if it makes a difference to the fatigue.

I'm reading that most people who halve their Champix do it because of insomnia; I've got exactly the opposite problem and could happily sleep 19 hours a day. More on this when I post tonight's blog.

I'm scared of the comments that people who have halved their Champix found the cravings stronger. I just don't want to go there.

An earlier version of this posting was originally published on Quit line on Sunday 5 October 2014.

Clean, clean at last

The electricity was still on this morning and it looks like Vector turned the hot water heating on overnight as well so I had a lovely hot shower. After feeling so sticky and horrible yesterday it felt so good to be clean.

As noted I've been having ongoing problems with fatigue. For example Saturday I had a full night's sleep, then was up for 2 hours then asleep for 4 or 5 then up for a few hours and then a full night's sleep. I don't know if it's Champix, a flu' like illness that Tessa and I have both had, or possibly some other medical condition. There's no way I want to risk being taken off the Champix early so I'm reduced to self diagnosis.

Despite the above confusion, I've been seriously thinking of halving my Champix dose, mainly as a way to work out if it is actually the Champix. I've been reading comments by people who have reduced their Champix dose because of insomnia. They find the cravings are greatly increased and I don't want to be dealing with any increased desire for inhale-able salads. I've decided for now to keep taking the full Champix dose, but I'm closely monitoring the situation.

Yesterday I forgot the morning one and didn't run out of energy. Today I deliberately took the morning one and the evening one and haven't felt the exhaustion yet. Tomorrow I'll take the morning does and monitor my progress. If I start feeling done-in early to mid afternoon I may try moving my tablet times to later in the day and just before bed.

As a footnote, Tessa had a bad night's sleep the last two nights because of another problem. Early afternoon today she hit the wall and needed a nap. She thinks it was the broken sleep; I'm not convinced that the flu-like illness wasn't involved and am watching there as well.

Usually writing these entries out helps to clarify things in my mind. Today I'm as confused as when I started. Oh well, let's find out if tomorrow is really another day.

I will go to the doctor if this becomes long term or if it starts getting much worse. Meanwhile there are reasons I don't want to discuss here why I'm not ready for that step yet.

An earlier version of this posting was originally published on Quit line on Monday 6 October 2014.