Friday, March 04, 2005

Quitting Smoking

So my doctor has prescribed the Nicoderm Patch system for me. It's only been one day but let me tell you, I'm ready to rip that patch off my body, cut it, roll it, and smoke it.

I tried quitting once before. It was about two years ago and I made it smoke-free for 7 days. Then I caved. Those 7 days were the longest days of my life.

I don't think non-smokers understand how incredibly difficult it is to quit. It's funny how people have such admiration for and give such support to people who are trying to overcome addictions to drugs or alcohol. But if you tell someone you're trying to quit smoking, they usually just give you a disgusted look and say something assy like: "It's about time!" Let me tell you, people. It is DAMNED hard to quit smoking!

You go through the same physical and mental withdrawal symptoms as any other addiction.

Today hasn't been too bad but I've been at work all day. The real agony begins when I get home and have to get through the weekend. Last time I quit, I found that I only had a couple really bad cravings. It was more the "habit" aspect of it that made me insane. I would sit at my computer and not be able to function because I didn't have a smoke in my hand. Not smoking after meals, that's a killer too. Watching tv. Reading a book. Man, there's pretty much nothing I do that doesn't require me having a cigarette in my hand.

You know, my mother smoked for almost 40 years. She finally quit and, you know what? She dropped dead of an aneurysm a couple months later. How's that for inspiring?

But I'll give it my best shot. Again.

The Mystery Illness

The Mystery Illness appeared about 5 months ago. September 20th, 2004 to be exact. I remember the exact date because I had originally planned to go to NYC that day but I ended up cancelling because I didn't have the money. Then, out of the blue, I became violently ill that night so I was very glad I hadn't gone on my trip after all.

The main symptoms of the Mystery Illness are:
  • Extremely fast/pounding heartbeat
  • Chest pains
  • Throat closes up so it's very difficult to swallow
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness in chest/throat
  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches
  • nausea

There are a few other symptoms that pop up now and then but those are the main ones.

I have suffered from migraines for years and they have become more and more frequent ever since the Mystery Illness started. (And, when I say "migraine", I'm not talking about how those annoying people get a little headache and walk around saying "Oh, I have such a migraine!" I fucking HATE those people! I'm talking about actual clinical migraines where you curl up into a ball and silently pray for death.)

I'm also a smoker. Or, at least, I was until today. I've smoked for approximately 10 years.

My father had a stroke when I was 10. Both my mother and grandfather died of brain aneurysms. My other grandfather died of a heart attack. And both my grandmothers died of a cancer. So, as you can see, I have a kick ass family history. We all die young. It's tradition!

Anyway, after 5 months and about 5 zillion tests, the doctors have decided that I'm suffering from panic attacks. I think they're full of crap. Who suffers from panic attacks non-stop for 5 freaking months?? I think the doctors just don't know what it is and are tired of dealing with me so they've decided that it's all in my head.

So, my doctor's solution? "Get rid of all the stress in your life." No, seriously. That's what she said to me yesterday. Get rid of all the stress in my life. Ok, let me just snap my fingers and all my troubles will magically disappear. Hmmm...didn't work. Isn't that odd?

Her other solution? Quit smoking. Yes, the stress of quitting smoking will certainly make my life less stressful. That makes sense. She wants me to go back and see her every two weeks so she can monitor my progress. Won't it be fun when I go back every two weeks and tell her that nothing has changed and I still feel like crap?

Anyone have any ideas as to what the Mystery Illness might be? Oh wait, I just remembered, no one is reading this blog. Well, damn. So much for that idea.

My first post

So I finally created a blog. A blog that I'm sure no one but myself will ever read. That's ok. Now I can talk about all of you!

Damn This World And Everyone In It! My brother always said that if they ever wrote a book about my life, that's what it would be called. And it's so very appropriate, really. I am a bitter, jaded cynic. I'm sarcastic, and pessimistic, and I hate people. Well, most people. I like Kiefer Sutherland. And that Joe Boxer guy. But that's pretty much it.

So what has made me into the charming person I am today? Good question. I think it all boils down to the fact that most people suck. Seriously, compare the amount of nice people you deal with every day to the amount of complete morons you deal with every day. Think about it for a minute. See?

Or maybe it's due to The Organization. What? You haven't heard of The Organization? Trust me, it exists. I'm convinced that somewhere, there is a secret organization of people out there that exists for the sole purpose of irritating me.

Or maybe it's the fact that my life hasn't turned out quite the way I had expected. I was a good kid, smart student, graduated with honours. Now I'm a 32 year old single receptionist, who filed for bankruptcy a few months ago, and has been dealing with some sort of mystery illness that has sent me to 8 different doctors over the past 5 months. Ain't life grand?