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Haven’t smoked since 8 Jan 21.


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I smoked for a little over 22 years.  Gave them up at 41.  First it was social, then smoking became a coping tool for PTSD and an anxiety disorder I developed while in the military.  I managed to retire from the Air Force, but smoked the entire time just to deal.

 

I quit 8 Jan ‘21....132 days as of today.  Never touching another cigarette again.  I used the tobacco-less nicotine pouches as a way to still get my nic fix....this is my first day without those...we’ll see how that goes.  
 

Honestly, I am so pissed off at myself that I didn’t quit sooner.  I look at my wife and kids and just have serious regrets about not quitting sooner.  Not only that, but after four months my breathing is still not great. It’s okay, but I was surprised how out of breath I would get because I didn’t get out of breath like this while smoking! It’s not extreme, but I do feel like I have to take more deep breaths more often. Sometimes it’s my anxiety disorder, sometimes I am short of breath, but that’s when I’m pushing myself on longer walks.  It’s like I’m trying to eat right & exercise away the mistakes of the past 20+ years.  I want to be active, I want to have my breath back.  In the past month I’ve probably walked 60 miles or more (at least 2 miles a day).

 

Question for the forum...how long did it take you to get back to better breathing and feeling better?  I know I need to be patient and that lung healing will take time, but my anxiety disorder messes with me.

 

Thank you for any inputs!

B-Raven
 

 

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Posted (edited)

Forgot to add on that my anxiety has been through the roof.  Probably because my quit has not gone how I expected.  I honestly didn’t think my breathing was bad when I was smoking and now that I quit it’s eye opening.  Honestly, scared sh*tless of having COPD.

Edited by BmoreRaven
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Hello and welcome B....

Congratulations on your great quit ,and glad you have found us ....

Everybody is different ,and we all heal different ....

Be patient ,and rejoice that every day your lungs are healing ...that process starts the minute you out out your last cigerette....

Take time to look around the board ..there is tons of great information here....

Start at the Main Discussion Board ,the posts pinned with green ...

We have some great Newbies here just now ...so your not alone ...

Well done ..you can do it ....you just have to want and believe in yourself ...👍

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2 minutes ago, BmoreRaven said:

Forgot to add on that my anxiety has been through the roof.  Probably because my quit has not gone how I expected.  I honestly didn’t think my breathing was bad when I was smoking and now that I quit it’s eye opening.  Honestly, scared sh*tless of having COPD.

Any concerns ,always check with your doctor ...if you tell him you have quit ,he might be able to help .

It will ease your mind ....👍

 

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3 minutes ago, Doreensfree said:

Any concerns ,always check with your doctor ...if you tell him you have quit ,he might be able to help .

It will ease your mind ....👍

 

Already lined up to get with a pulmonologist just to check on things.👍

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Welcome B-Raven and congratulations on over four .months quit already, that's fantastic! My breathing got worse for a while before it started to get better. Our lungs need about a month to rejuvenate the cilia in them after quitting so now they're busy cleaning up all that gunk. Drink lots of water or juice to help flush your body out and keep being active and if it still doesn't get better or gets worse than you may want to go see your Dr. 

The same goes with your anxiety. It'll get worse for a bit and as you get further in your quit it should get better but if it doesn't your Dr can maybe prescribe something to help. 

Quitting is the best gift you can give yourself and your family. Stay close and reach out whenever you need us. And thank you for your service🤗

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Welcome to QuitTrain, @BmoreRaven and congratulations on quitting smoking.  I really can't tell you anything about nicotine pouches as people here have quit in a variety of ways but hopefully someone else can add more insight on them.

 

As Doreen stated above, if you are having serious anxiety issues, it is always a good idea to check with your doctor.

 

Congratulations on 132 days smoke free.  I smoked for roughly 20 years and quit at age 39.  Everyone's quit is different but it did take a while for my breathing to get back to normal.  I did start noticing my breathing was a lot better after a few weeks but, at times, I was hit by heavy and nasty coughing reminiscent of what I experienced when I smoked.  I was told that this may be due to my lungs cleaning themselves out after years of abuse. 

 

Everyone's quit is different but the key to successfully quitting is just to not smoke.   You definitely want to try to get off nicotine at some point as well (since you are using pouches as a nicotine replacement treatment) and I'm glad you are doing this.  Sounds like you are going in the right direction.

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2 hours ago, BmoreRaven said:

Forgot to add on that my anxiety has been through the roof.

Welcome BmoreRaven! I’m sorry about your breathing. I would definitely get checked out. I don’t have any breathing issues and I’m 2 months into my quit. Smoked for 35 years. But I do have an anxiety disorder. And it has been worse since I quit smoking. It’s getting better slowly, but there are days when I wake up triggered. Nothing seems to help but crying it out. I am doing NRT patches and my last 7mg patch will be next Friday. Looking forward to it, but also concerned about my anxiety issue. I have a lot planned starting next Saturday. I plan on staying so busy and preoccupied that hopefully I can completely manage any attack. But if not, I will deal with it and keep on with my quit. I refuse to go back. I would not survive another initial quit. I hope everything turns out okay for you! I’m glad that you found us! Stay close and you can freely speak here of any issues you have. It helps you to voice them and it helps others to read them. Hopefully, you get some real help out the responses given. 🙂

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Welcome to quit train . You cant change the past but you can the present . Excited for you . You will i think be surprised how fast breathing can improve .

I have moderate/severe copd . Walking is amazing for your quit and your health . I started at a couple blocks and can now walk five miles daily 

 

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You'll soon know what's going on with your lungs if you're seeing a pulmonologist. Regardless of what the result of that examination is, quitting is the absolute best thing you can do to preserve the health of your lungs in future. Even more so if there's an damage already present!

Quitting is stressful because you are reprograming your entire daily routines and learning new coping skills at the same time. Those changes you are making will become your new normal soon enough if you simply stick with the program. That's the way it works for all of us. No one gets a free pass. Hard work and NOPE (Not One Puff Ever) is what will get you to life long freedom.

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Posted (edited)

Welcome aboard! As others have said, see your Doctor. There are Pulmonary Function Tests  he can order, to rule out COPD. I can relate to your confusion about whether your shortness of breath is related to your lung function or your anxiety disorder. For me, who also suffers from an anxiety disorder, I sometimes have trouble distinguishing between an episode of tachycardia that is related to my heart issues, and/ or an anxiety attack. So, I get what you mean about your anxiety disorder messing with your head. Since you have been pushing yourself, by walking every day, you are going to tax your lungs and heart, which is a good thing. But, please see a Doctor about your being short of breath.  Maybe, in the meantime, dial back your walking speed or distance, until your Doctor gives you the “all clear.”  By the way, I am a retired RN. Oh, and Thank you for your service to our country. My son is in the USAF.

Edited by Katgirl
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Welcome BmoreRaven, I can relate to your frustration about breathing problems. I have COPD from smoking but it's not too bad fortunately. When I quit last year my breathing improved so much that I hardly had to use a puffer, but this time there hasn't been much improvement and I still need a puffer to get through the day. I quit 45 days ago, so I'm hoping there is still going to be some improvement, but who knows? I can recommend a little device that I bought online called an 'Air Physio', which apparently was invented here in Australia. It seems to help with breathing and may strengthen the lungs, I have found it to be quite good. Maybe have a look online? Hope this helps you. I guess these things take time and perseverance, but I would have thought you'd see more improvement after 3 months, but then I'm not a medical person!

I haven't had so much anxiety, but a lot of depression issues. I basically cried for the first three weeks of my quit and still have days when I'm very tearful. Another thing I have tried for anxiety is ' Rescue Remedy', three drops under the tongue. Not sure if it's available in the U.S though. All the best 3+ months off the cigarettes is amazing, I'm planning to get there too!!

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Posted (edited)

Those of us who put things in our mouths, then deliberately set them on fire, and inhaled them, multiple times per day, for many years, are probably going to have some reduced lung function. It’s just what happens. All we can do is keep our quit, and not make it any worse. I noticed over the years that suddenly, when I would get an upper respiratory infection, it would always morph into asthmatic bronchitis. Why? I am guessing the smoking had a lot to do with it. The reality is, we knowingly harmed ourselves. The good news is we made the decision to “stop it!” Now we must deal with any lasting consequences. Having said that, we should not beat ourselves up over it. It’s pointless! Rather, we should be proud of having quit, because we all know how hard it was, and resolve to live the healthiest lifestyle we can, from this point forward. 

Edited by Katgirl
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8 hours ago, BmoreRaven said:

Honestly, I am so pissed off at myself that I didn’t quit sooner.

All of us past smokers have felt like that BmoreRaven.  Some of us have even wasted more years than you!  I remember obsessing about my breathing when I first quit.  My anxiety about it did ease as I progressed along my own journey.  I tried to imagine my body healing along the way.  I too think you should check with your physician and make sure all is well.  

132 days quit is awesome.  Stay committed and don't look back.  You have gotten through some of the tough days on your own.  We are here to help support you along the way!  

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Welcome BmoreRaven :) glad you joined here with us. I with the others here please do see your doctor. I was recovering from a upper respiratory infection and bronchitis when I quit (don't even want to talk about the GERD). Maybe you need a inhaler for a bit to see you through.  I am sorry of the anxiety...I do not wish that on anyone that is tough tough scary stuff...that is why I started walking so often and it really did help me.....I call them my sanity walks :) Best wishes and again welcome!!

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All, 

Thank you for the warm welcome and words of support.  I have been really hard on myself since my quit.  Sometimes I just can’t get out of my own head and just chill and take things day by day.  Working on that,  but the anxiety disorder has been whoopin my butt lately. 😏

 

I will continue to frequent QT...This seems like a good group of people here.  Glad I found the site!

 

Side note: Yeah, it’s kinda ridiculous, but I did a 6 minute walk test today in my neighborhood.  Not scientific, but I was within the norm for my age range (42/m).  650m in 6 minutes and I could have done more if I pushed it.  Personally, it’s things like this that help ease my mind a bit. 

 

-Raven

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Posted (edited)

Walking several times a day is a great stress buster. Any activity that requires using both the mind and body, helps distract from the stress. The brain cannot really focus on two things at the same time, so doing something constructive will short circuit the anxiety symptoms. When my anxiety gets particularly bad, usually when I am quietly at rest, I do what my therapist calls  “square breathing”:  breathing in through my nose to a slow 4 count, holding my breathe for a slow 6 count, and exhaling through pursed lips to a slow 8 count. I do it between 3 and 10 times in a row, until I feel calmer.  It’s a great tool. 

Edited by Katgirl
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QuitTrain®, a quit smoking support community, was created by former smokers who have a deep desire to help people quit smoking and to help keep those quits intact.  This place should be a safe haven to escape the daily grind and focus on protecting our quits.  We don't believe that there is a "one size fits all" approach when it comes to quitting smoking.  Each of us has our own unique set of circumstances which contributes to how we go about quitting and more importantly, how we keep our quits.

 

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