I was sitting down in front of my laptop yesterday afternoon, feeling absolutely icky after my epic four-hour nap, when I had what I think some people call a “moment of clarity.”
“I’m sick. I’m really sick…fuck.”
In all of my spoken and written communications over the last five years, I have used the words depression, anxiety and fibromyalgia way too many times to count.
But, I don’t think that I have ever just said or typed, simply, “I’m sick.”
It’s so strange, but I wish that I could climb a moderately sized pile of dirt and stand on top of it while shouting, “Hey, you guys! I’m sick.”
The word sick is everything to me now, not the actual diseases that I have. They all combine to make me an extremely unwell 43-year-old woman with exhausted eyes and a wry smile.
Unhealthy, chronically ill…fucking irreversibly sick.
If you strip things down to the basics, it’s really so much easier to comprehend. Perhaps this is a phase, a part of the whole acceptance thing that I keep hearing about. I have no idea, I just sort of roll with the punches.
You know, the truly saddest part is that the healthy me is still inside this now sick body, confused as fuck about what the hell happened.
Why can’t I get my ass up to the little store? It’s a short drive and I can lean on the cart.
Why can’t I cook a big dinner? Or shit, even a small one?
Why can’t I think straight and do all of the things? Even putting a clean sheet on my bed is a monumental challenge now, what the hell is wrong with me?
Because you’re fucking sick, Mer. Get it?
I’ve been cigarette/smoke free for 6 months today and I’m down to 3mg of nicotine in my ejuice, which is the lowest that they sell before you try to go to 0mg.
When I went to see my doctor in early May, he was concerned about how low my blood pressure was.
“Low?” I asked him, clearly confused since my BP hasn’t been normal without drugs since after I had my daughter in 1997. I was told that I would have chronic HBP for the rest of my life.
“Yes, especially when you stand up, which could explain why you’ve been extra dizzy lately,” he answered. “I’m going to cut it in half. You may not even need meds at all, we’ll have to wait and see.”
“Is it because I quit smoking?”
“Yes.” Huge smile from the doc and I resisted the urge to give him a high-five, then pump my fist up and down, while screaming “woot.”
Other positive health related things from quitting the tar sticks include:
I don’t wheeze anymore.
I rarely cough. If I do, it’s just a quick “clean up the lungs from 25 years of ick” sort of coughing.
I can smell and taste things like 1000 times better, which has both negative and positive consequences. (My house smells more like dog now and chocolate is like eating an orgasm.)
I don’t get as winded climbing stairs, so now I can just concentrate on how badly my legs fucking hurt instead.
It’s easy to stay away from cigarettes, since neither my husband or daughter smoke. It’s more difficult when I am around my ma and a couple of my cousins, because they all still light up.
The smell is both nauseating and seductive, come on Mer, just one, it won’t hurt ya. Especially if I am having a couple of beers or something.
But I have no intention of starting up again. I enjoy trying new flavors of ejuice way too much, making giant clouds of vapor that I can blow anywhere and not piss anyone off.
My husband said that my newest flavor, butterscotch and caramel cake, smells like pancakes with syrup and butter. It does have a breakfast at Denny’s sort of vibe.
And then, of course you have the whole cost factor. If I am being honest with myself and you guys, I was spending close to $250 on smokes per month. I spend less than $30 per month to vape.
If I did the math on how much money I have pissed away on the things for the last 25 years, I think that I would…
I know what you’re thinking. What does this old country song have to do with me quitting smoking?
Not a damn thing.
Isn’t it great?