Ah, Young Love

Charlie is trying to “help” me quit smoking again. I discovered that I’m allergic to the nicotine patch. The last time I put it on I had a rash and a red patch on my hip for almost three weeks. This morning it almost immediately began itching and hives spread over my arm and up onto my poor neck, which is still blemished and patchy from the horrible case of hives the Wellbutrin I took over three years ago caused.

So his “helping” consisted of hiding my pack of cigarettes in the cat carrier on the shelf in the back bathroom (which took me all of 60 seconds to find). I was told I had to ask him for one, no more than once per hour and at one point he set the timer on the microwave. And when I did ask he kept me waiting, on purpose, for over 40 minutes. It really irritated me, especially considering he was upstairs using my iTunes account and credit to buy shitty music for his iPod that I got him. This irritated me much more than it would have if he had said, “Can you try waiting for twenty more minutes?” or “Do you think you can go another half an hour?” But, you know, in a nice way.

So I sought them out, found them, and had one, which also pissed me off because I knew I could’ve gone longer than that – I just wanted to show him he couldn’t pull the strings. We’ve had issues in the past with his desire to control things. Not in a Dr. Phil my-husband-locked-me-up-in-the-basement kind of way, but in a this-is-my-money-and-I’m-a-grown-man-and-we’ll-see-if-I-decide-to-allow-this-sort-of-spending kind of way.

I’m not trying to harp on Charlie and make him out to be the bad guy. I understand he thought he was helping but with each action I felt more and more like I was dependent upon him and he was enjoying controlling the situation. I didn’t like it.

I don’t know what will be the effective measure that helps me quit smoking. I’m a smart enough person that the money and health issues should do it, especially considering a friend just lost her mom to lung cancer and we have no health insurance right now. So what’s it going to take?

I’m allergic to the patch and Wellbutrin, plus I can’t chew gum – my crowns and TMJ won’t tolerate it. The idea of a nicotine lozenge makes me seriously gag. I have to be completely committed to doing it and I don’t know why I haven’t. I’m okay when I’m at work and stay busy. But once I get home that switch flips and I just want one.

So I just went online and looked up some information on the patch. It says redness, irritation and a burning sensation at the site of application are pretty normal side effects. A rash is “less common.” But in the directions that came in the box it says to remove the patch if you notice redness or irritation.

Maybe I should just put it back on tomorrow morning and suffer through a minor skin irritation. I mean, which is worse, you know?


9 thoughts on “Ah, Young Love

  1. Have you thought about that chantix stuff? I’m not sure that his the actual spelling, but I know it’s a pill and you start off taking it and smoking and then gradually wean yourself off of it. I’ve heard lots of positives about it. I know a couple of people using it and they seem to like it.

  2. I’m not sure if I’ve heard of it. Is it expensive? We haven’t got any insurance right now. At this point I think I’m willing to try just about anything. 🙂

  3. My own version of quitting smoking would probably be to quit stress eating. I struggle with this on an almost daily basis, and I’m up 10 lbs right now from where I want to be, so I’m no shining role model. That said, what I find helps is to be conscious of the craving and to examine it. The dialogue with myself goes something like this:

    I’m hungry.

    Are you really hungry?

    Hmm– well, eating something salty or sweet would certainly be preferable to making this difficult phone call I have to make.

    Sounds like you’re actually stressed out about making this phone call. Maybe you should get it over with before you go looking for a snack.

    OK. I’ll eat something after the phone call– if I still feel like it.

    When the stressful phone call is done I get up and have some water or make some tea, or I examine myself again. Is my stomach growling? If that’s the case, OK. Go hit the snack machine and be done with it. Most of the time I’m too lazy to rifle around for change, though.

    Unfortunately I don’t always give myself time to have this conversation before eating something, particularly mid-afternoon. This is why I don’t keep chocolate, crackers, or chips in my office. If I really want something, I have to get up and go buy it.

    I think this approach is called cognitive therapy.

  4. Okay, darling, I have to ask this:

    How many times have you tried the patch?

    And how many times has it been successful?

    My experience with quitting smoking (twice) was like this, cold turkey, with a schedule. I literally told myself, “On Monday, September 3rd, I am a non-smoker.” I even made sure to time it so that when I woke up that day, I didn’t have any cigarettes in my possession. And yes it worked, as I haven’t smoked a cigarette in 7 years.

  5. Oh, and one more thing: If Charlie had tried to “help me quit” by doing what you described, I would have been out-of-my-head infuriated. So I understand. 🙂

  6. I would have said, “This isn’t Easter, don’t hide shit from me.”

    My dad quit smoking cold turkey after 50+ years when he got scared shitless when my uncle had to have a lung removed.

    My friend’s mom had great success with hypnosis. I know it sounds crazy, but you never know, it could work.

    Personally, I had to set up physical boundaries for myself. First it was no smoking in the car. Then it was no smoking in the house. Then no smoking on the porch. Then no smoking in the yard. Then only at bars, then only at the weekender, and this year I didn’t smoke there, either.

  7. A friend of mine quit successfully on Chantix or however you spell it. And she lost weight to boot. I know of a few people that quit with Chantix and were very happy with the results.

    My dad quit cold turkey. My friend Cris is trying to quit cold turkey. And so far doing ok.

    One thing a friend of mine said helped keep her from wanting a cigarette was she could smell her hair and she loved the smell. So every time she had a craving she would smell her hair. She laughingly said, a little vanity goes a long way to convince you to quit.

  8. I personally quit by using the patch. I did have some redness, but nothing like you are talking about. I wouldn’t put the patches on if I were you.
    I actually took Wellbutrin for depression and still smoked through that. They were all amazed-so if you didn’t do so well with it, I would be leary of trying that new Chantex or whatever it is.

    Cold turkey may be your best bet as that is how everyone else I know quit.

    Oh, and you have to actually WANT to quit. You may not be ready yet. What are your reasons for this time?

  9. I wish I knew what the silver bullet was. Mom tried every kind of nicotine product. Even the lung cancer diagnosis wasn’t enough to make her quit. One thing she tried was to stop smoking in the house and car. She poured water in her ashtrays. It was the most disgusting thing ever. She obviously wanted to quit very badly, but she never could. And because she couldn’t quit no matter how hard she tried she’d sneak around and smoke shamefully in the shadows. That’s definitely not the way to do it. I would give anything to see her smoking away happily at her own kitchen table than feeling like such a loser.

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