Thursday, March 08, 2007

Begins Dusting off Surplice.

Okay, here I am four days after ceasing to put any nicotine of any kind in my body and six days after stubbing out my last rollie, so I’m past the 72 hours mark mentioned here. What have I felt thus far? Have I felt any changes? Hell yes.

Time since quitting
Beneficial health changes that take place
20 minutes
Blood pressure and pulse rate return to normal.
8 hours
Nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in blood reduce by half, oxygen levels return to normal.
24 hours
Carbon monoxide will be eliminated from the body.
Lungs start to clear out mucus and other smoking debris.
48 hours
There is no nicotine left in the body.
Ability to taste and smell is greatly improved.
72 hours
Breathing becomes easier.
Bronchial tubes begin to relax and energy levels increase.

This is not necessarily in the order of the table here (snaffled from the ASH website), but not far off. Within a day my sense of taste improved, within two days it had improved frighteningly and I saw the barriers preventing me becoming as large as Ayres rock just evaporating in the sunshine. However, something else has improved to counter that: I enjoy exercise a lot more. This isn’t often mentioned in the preachy give up smoking sites and perhaps should be. Yes, heavy smoking can result in you being out of breath, but in that respect light smoking isn’t so bad really. What the light smoker does experience is a complete lack of an endorphine rush from exercise – it is just perpetual hard grind to him. Cycling and weight-training have now become less of a chore and more of a pleasure to me.

I am also loaded with more energy to expend and just don’t seem to get tired during the day. Also, come night-time, I am tired and fall to sleep quickly, which is unusual for me.

Another noticeable effect has been a sharpening of my senses. I see hear and feel things a lot more acutely now, as if a deadening layer has been removed from all my nerves. This can be both a good thing and a bad thing. It’s definitely a bad thing if you try drinking the same amount of coffee you drank while smoking. Fingernail marks in the ceiling and the like.

Cravings? Yeah, enough of them, but I’m being bloody-minded about my addiction: “No, bugger off you mindless shite! You will not make me smoke!” The problem with the organism is its lack of intelligence when it come to behaviourism. The organism will certainly make the connection between the burning pain and the blow torch applied to the testicles, but has difficulty making the connection between that asthma attack in the middle of the night and the cigar you smoked the day before (on top of all those rollies).

And I shall soldier on!

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's good you're seeing benefits so soon. Plus to the non smokers around you you'll no longer reek of stale smoke. Always a good thing.

Kirby Uber said...

well done. 8) my breaking point, it seems, is after the fight. when the cravings have slacked off, and i'm functioning well. that damn ritual of a cigarette as a celebration, or reward. "i've beat the addiction, so what's a cigarette now and then, hey?"

keep it up, my friend. 8)

Mark Chitty said...

Congratulations Neal, keep it up!

I stopped Jan 05 and haven't looked back. I smoked around the 20 mark each day but enjoyed maybe two out of the lot. Since stopping my fitness went up considerably and I was a much less moody bugger! Although I have put on two stone since stopping, that's really my fault for being a lazy bastard!

All the best for the non-smoking future!

Mark

pandi said...

congrat on the quitting neal

i quit on average twice a year and always seems slope back to them, keep it up if you can do it, i might give it another try myself

Chris said...

It's all downhill from here man. I quit five days ago myself.

Those first couple days were real bitches, I'm gonna stay quit just so I never have to deal with that again.

Neal Asher said...

Anon, my smelling of stale smoke to non-smokers was a matter of complete indifference to me and, frankly, still is now.

Kirby, I think it's the sneaky late cravings getting to you. Some with me really, plus a load of depression. How it usually runs is: Does it really matter if I have a fag when I'm contemplating topping myself?

Mark, it is quite surprising already how much better a mood I am in already. Caroline keeps looking at me with that 'what are you on?' expression. The answer, of course, is oxygen.

Well, Pandi, another try, even if you fail, means you've smoked less cigarettes and maybe avoided that single one with 'cancer' written down the side of it.

Chris, so really we're on about a par. Perhaps we should form an Internet support group?

I think managing to give up is all about reaching that point where there's more pain than gain. Even more than that, the reptile brain crouching in the centre of our skulls has to realise this too. Most people don't really start to feel any damaging effects until they're in their thirties and don't see those effects outweighing the addiction until they're in their forties. And even then it's difficult.

NovaWasp said...

Quitting smoking is simple.

It just ain't easy.

I still have the same nervous habit of reaching for something when I'm thinking. I drink about 10 pints of water a day because I have nothing better to do with my hands. I quit smoking 9 years ago, give or take.

I find it humourous that an Atheist contemplates suicide, especially one with a can do, responsible for yourself attitude. Please refrain until you've finished "Line War."

S. F. Murphy said...

Man, keep it up. I've never been a smoker but most of my family is and it is a bear to quit.

If nothing else, think of all the money you've saved that you can then spend on beer and skittles. :)

I'm pulling for you, man.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
Trapped in a Place Called Missouri

Neal Asher said...

Novawasp, surely topping yourself is taking ultimate responsibility for yourself? And no other atheist is going to tell you it's a sin.

Murphy, I don't save vast amounts of money by giving up. The government here has taxed cigarettes so severely it's created a huge black market, so tobacco/cigs are cheap from your local smuggler. Seems governments are incapable of learning the lessons of Prohibition.

Chris said...

I really wish my mam would quit... after seeing what my gran endured (she quit a couple of years prior to dying, and we all saw the difference: no coughing fits each time she lit up for starters, but it was too late - the cancer had taken hold).

Good luck Neal - but have you realised that, if all smokers quit, then imagine how much income tax we'd have to pay extra? ;-)