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  #1   ^
Old Sun, May-02-10, 10:32
LOOPS's Avatar
LOOPS LOOPS is offline
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Posts: 3,133
 
Plan: general LCHF
Stats: 74/74/65 Female 5ft 6.5 inches
BF:29/29/24
Progress: 0%
Location: LA SERENA, CHILE
Default My symptom log

hello everybody -

thought I do some posting here as I am keeping track of stuff in my journal but somebody might see this thread and find it helpful.

I'm on day 4 of cold turkey quitting both nicotine gum and roll-ups. Customs stopped my package of cheap gum from abroad and my other option was to spend some stupid amount of money on the gum available here. I wanted to quit for a long time, but this year is different as I might want to get pregnant and have kids. I also stumbled on the whyquit.com site and started reading that a lot, which really really started to get my mind straightened out on the whole addiction thing.

I really feel after reading that, and after the first 3 days of my quit that the only way a person can quit is if he/she recognizes that ALL of the cravings, thoughts about going back to smoking, thoughts about how things are better with nicotine, and simply the result of addiction. In other words, life can be good, much better again once the addiction is overcome (abstinence). When I first found that site I was really ANGRY - I suppose because I knew I had a problem but was in total denial, and of course, being told that withdrawal is inevitable in the path to release from an addiction is not a nice thing to hear or accept.

Anyway, I am also taking a supplement called lithium orotate which sounds scary but it is a tiny amount of Li - 5 to 10mg daily as opposed to the 100+mg that doctors prescribe for mood disorders. The purpose of this is to raise serotonin levels for me whilst I quit, as I have found previously that at the 24 hour mark of quitting cold turkey I am completely overcome with panic/anxiety. This hasn't happened this time round.

I am also not eating all day long, so something is working for me - I think it is the lithium. I am also taking other supplements to balance out my blood sugar.

My brain still feels high as a kite from quitting but it's not too bad. The cravings have actually been worse today than yesterday but in a different way. I have 'gaps' in the day where I change from doing one thing to doing another and those are the times when I want to go outside and smoke. But I have found simply just to let the cravings BE THERE instead of fighting them is helping immensely. I will even go outside and wander around, take breaths and always give myself the choice to smoke or not which has really helped as well. Given a choice and remembering WHAT that choice means - all or nothing is very important to me.
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  #2   ^
Old Sun, May-02-10, 17:34
Lisa N's Avatar
Lisa N Lisa N is offline
Posts: 12,028
 
Plan: Bernstein Diabetes Soluti
Stats: 260/-/145 Female 5' 3"
BF:
Progress: 63%
Location: Michigan
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Hey, Loops...it's been almost 5 years since I quit cold turkey, but IIRC, day 3 was the most intense, cravings-wise. After that, it got a lot better. What really helped me is knowing that true cravings only last a few minutes max and that every time I sucessfully resisted, I was that much stronger for the next one.
Be strong...having that addiction monkey off your back feels so much better than feeding it on demand.
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  #3   ^
Old Sun, May-02-10, 21:02
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sybil878 sybil878 is offline
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Posts: 157
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 175/166/150 Female 5'10"
BF:
Progress: 36%
Location: Alberta, Canada
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Good for you Loops! Great job! Whyquit.com also helped me quit 6 years ago. You are right that it gets a lot better. I never have cravings anymore, and now I'm training for Ironman

I also found the site quitnet.com very helpful. Things will be tough for a while, but it is sooo worth it!
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  #4   ^
Old Mon, May-03-10, 06:25
LOOPS's Avatar
LOOPS LOOPS is offline
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Posts: 3,133
 
Plan: general LCHF
Stats: 74/74/65 Female 5ft 6.5 inches
BF:29/29/24
Progress: 0%
Location: LA SERENA, CHILE
Default

thanks. I also have a book called 'How to Stop Smoking and Stay Stopped'. It basically teaches you how to accept the cravings rather than fighting them which helps to relieve tension. Accepting meaning you acknowledge them rather than repressing the desire to smoke. So many times I have been caught off guard when trying to quit because I have been really pushing the cravings down or away (food and keeping busy etc) then they suddenly push through and are much harder to deal with then.

Day 5 - no sleep again so feeling very rough just from that. Not many cravings but I am chewing too much sf gum and my weight is creeping up even though I'm not eating that much. It's probably the Li or the gum. Well I have to keep things in perspective - the no nicotine thing is most important right now.
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  #5   ^
Old Tue, May-04-10, 08:15
LOOPS's Avatar
LOOPS LOOPS is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,133
 
Plan: general LCHF
Stats: 74/74/65 Female 5ft 6.5 inches
BF:29/29/24
Progress: 0%
Location: LA SERENA, CHILE
Default

Day 6 -

weight still creeping up so have decided to try to go the day without chewing the s/f gum. I have had some tummy rumbling at night I think that's from the gum. I am not eating lots of food - the usual low carb fare.

Bowels back to normal (mmm) - had constipation the first few days and now seem to be going a lot easier (s/f gum effect?). I take magnesium anyway which helps.

Cravings - a bit less this morning. Yesterday had a meltdown and cried for a bit - the feelings of emptiness and loss seeming to kick in. Went shopping for retail therapy which helped.

Nervous system - feel VERY warm - hands are little hot things again - circulation really feels like it is being turned back on again. Tension is mostly gone - feel quite calm, although I think that is due to the Li working for me as usually at this point deep depression starts to kick in.

Brain - still a bit spaced out, but not too bad.

Sleep - finally got some proper sleep last night, although still waking up a lot but felt like I got some deep sleep phases in, which I think have been totally missing the first couple of nights.

Skin - had major breakout on my nose which seems to be clearing up. Also got an inflamed gum which never happens to me - crikey, do I have nicotine coming out of every orifice?!!

I'm still drinking caffeine, and the strongest cravings come after drinking coffee. But so far today I've been fine without the s/f gum crutch. I guess I may have to back off carbs a little bit more to control the weight gain.
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  #6   ^
Old Wed, May-05-10, 01:24
amandawald amandawald is offline
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Posts: 4,735
 
Plan: GF mod carb/Schwarzbein
Stats: 160/160/160 Female 164cm
BF:
Progress: 51%
Location: Brit in Germany
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Hey Loops!!!

Good going girl!!!

Don't worry about the carbs too much, please, though. The main thing now is to kick the nic, don't stress too much about other stuff.

You will not regret this decision. Being a non-smoker and knowing you're a non-smoker, is AWESOME!!!

amanda
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  #7   ^
Old Wed, May-05-10, 06:53
LOOPS's Avatar
LOOPS LOOPS is offline
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Posts: 3,133
 
Plan: general LCHF
Stats: 74/74/65 Female 5ft 6.5 inches
BF:29/29/24
Progress: 0%
Location: LA SERENA, CHILE
Default

Thanks Amanda - yeah it's not too bad once you get going with it and past the initial physical withdrawal.

Day 7.

Had the most awful migraine of my entire life yesterday. Puking all day and the pain in my head was unbearable. Came on after my morning coffee. I usually have a mild migraine once every 2 or 3 years, but never that ferocious. Maybe I should just stick to tea. I think my serotonin receptors are messed up from quitting, even with the lithium orotate which is supposed to be good for migraines!!!

Didn't chew any gum yesterday. Cravings to chew something are strong today. Weight holding.

Still feeling spaced out. Also have a new zit on my chin. However did sleep last night. Apparently feeling spaced out can continue for quite awhile - does anybody have experience with this? I would assume levels of neurotransmitters take awhile to re-establish themselves. I certainly didn't have this spaciness on Chantix - so it must be the un-filled nicotinic acetylcholine receptors still floating around up there. I read it takes 6 months for the brain to 'restructure' itself or whatever after nicotine withdrawal. That's fine, as long as this continues to get easier.

I was looking up nicotine gum withdrawal and sure enough, migraines have been documented. Well at least they have pills for that kind of thing and hopefully it won't happen again.

So everyday, or actually every time I get a craving, I step outside and honestly give myself a choice, but I make myself aware of the real situation. No such thing as one cigarette or piece of nicotine gum - it's an all or nothing choice. So then I am not stuck in some 'quit box' where I don't have a choice about anything.
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  #8   ^
Old Wed, May-05-10, 10:11
amandawald amandawald is offline
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Posts: 4,735
 
Plan: GF mod carb/Schwarzbein
Stats: 160/160/160 Female 164cm
BF:
Progress: 51%
Location: Brit in Germany
Default

Hi Loops,

Sorry to hear about that dreadful migraine. Sounded absolutely wicked. Let's hope you won't have one of them for another few years...

You wrote this above:

Quote:
Still feeling spaced out. Also have a new zit on my chin. However did sleep last night. Apparently feeling spaced out can continue for quite awhile - does anybody have experience with this? I would assume levels of neurotransmitters take awhile to re-establish themselves. I certainly didn't have this spaciness on Chantix - so it must be the un-filled nicotinic acetylcholine receptors still floating around up there. I read it takes 6 months for the brain to 'restructure' itself or whatever after nicotine withdrawal. That's fine, as long as this continues to get easier.


Feeling spacey is something I'm familiar with. With me, I think it is low blood sugar in the brain that does it. Maybe that happens with giving up the smokes, too. I find that licquorice root capsules help me with that, although, of course, I can't know if your symptoms are related to low blood sugar. But seeing as they're dirt cheap if you get them from iherb.com, the "NOW" brand (about 4 or 5 US dollars), you could risk it anyway.

Quote:
I was looking up nicotine gum withdrawal and sure enough, migraines have been documented. Well at least they have pills for that kind of thing and hopefully it won't happen again.


Modern medicine is sometimes a Godsend...

Quote:
So everyday, or actually every time I get a craving, I step outside and honestly give myself a choice, but I make myself aware of the real situation. No such thing as one cigarette or piece of nicotine gum - it's an all or nothing choice. So then I am not stuck in some 'quit box' where I don't have a choice about anything.


This sounds like a very wise thing to do. I think it might also be a good idea to just take a few deep breaths when you step outside, too. I think sometimes that the "relaxing" feeling we think we get from smoking is merely the fact that you tend to take a break from what you're doing and sit down and take a few deep breaths whilst you inhale the smoke. Of course, the nicotine just makes your heart race, your blood pressure goes up and it isn't in fact the least bit relaxing at all!!!

BUT, we con ourselves - as smokers - that it is somehow relaxing, which is - this is my own pet theory - because we associate smoking with taking deep breaths. But, of course, we can take deep breaths without having to stick a tube of white paper filled with dried-out plant matter into our faces!!! And, if we do so, then we really will feel more relaxed!!!

I wish you the very very best with this project. It could be the best thing you've done to yourself for a long time. But, like you say, you have a choice: but you have to be realistic. Either you go out and have a smoke and instantly become a smoker again or you go out, take a few deep breaths and say, "No, I don't want to become a smoker again. I don't want to ever have to go through these withdrawal symptoms ever again!!!"

Take care,

amanda
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  #9   ^
Old Fri, May-07-10, 15:23
LOOPS's Avatar
LOOPS LOOPS is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,133
 
Plan: general LCHF
Stats: 74/74/65 Female 5ft 6.5 inches
BF:29/29/24
Progress: 0%
Location: LA SERENA, CHILE
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Day 9

Possibly the hardest day yet. I had a serious meltdown this afternoon after my tennis lesson and felt very tired. Then I started getting this taste in my mouth, like I really could TASTE having a cigarette. It went on for AGES. I guess I'm kind of angry. The whyquit site goes on about the 3 day physical withdrawal and for me that wasn't that difficult - anybody can wait that one out if they see an end in site. But then after the 3 days I was still really craving - in fact now I think I'm craving more than when I started my quit. This is very difficult but not impossible. I just thought it would start to get easier after those 3 days, but it hasn't. The cravings still feel physical as well, which is disappointing.

Still, nothing gained by getting angry at everybody else. I guess I am just slower at reacting to things than everybody else.
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  #10   ^
Old Fri, May-07-10, 17:36
sassiegirl sassiegirl is offline
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Posts: 630
 
Plan: low carb
Stats: 218/217/140 Female 5'5"
BF:
Progress: 1%
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your post really caught my attention. i quit 11 years ago and it really, really was the hardest thing I have ever done. I never want to have to quit again.
I refer to myself as a smoker who has not picked up another cigarette, because for me, it is all or nothing too. I haven't actually had a cigarette since I quit April 12, 1999.
What I found: i needed more sleep. i dreamed of smoking when I was sleeping, and would wake up guilty. i watched a lot of x files. i realized that my craving for a cigarette would go away, whether or not I had one, so might as well not have one. i have to say that i have never felt better, i can't stand the way it smells on anyone, and having three teens, once you quit smoking you INSTANTLY smell it on someone else...a very effective parenting tool. haha
good luck. i really understand where you're coming from.
congrats.
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  #11   ^
Old Wed, May-12-10, 15:10
LOOPS's Avatar
LOOPS LOOPS is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,133
 
Plan: general LCHF
Stats: 74/74/65 Female 5ft 6.5 inches
BF:29/29/24
Progress: 0%
Location: LA SERENA, CHILE
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Day 14

Went through a bit of a meltdown the past couple of days. Depression has reared it's ugly head, but I was expecting that so no problem.

I've been having a lot of acid reflux problems which I haven't had since before I was lcing. Sleep is still a bit fickle, and I'm still dizzy as hell nearly all the time.

The good is that in between the periods of feeling really down, I feel EXTREMELY 'loose' - just very relaxed. I thought the anxiety had come back but actually things are getting better.

I am convinced though, that I have nicotine squirrelled away in my body, that comes out when forced. For instance, every time I play tennis afterwards I have a physical craving. It feels as if it is still physical anyway.

I am working through this a day at a time. It is hard work but this time I feel is different to all my other quits. I really feel I have a very good grasp mentally about nicotine addiction, so it has been less emotional than merely stumbling around in the dark trying to hold out with willpower.
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  #12   ^
Old Wed, May-12-10, 15:12
LOOPS's Avatar
LOOPS LOOPS is offline
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Posts: 3,133
 
Plan: general LCHF
Stats: 74/74/65 Female 5ft 6.5 inches
BF:29/29/24
Progress: 0%
Location: LA SERENA, CHILE
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hello sassiegirl -

yes I really think that once you accept that it is indeed all or nothing then it seems obvious to just go through with a quit. Well done you for not going back to it! It is SUCH a PITA to go through the withdrawals.
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  #13   ^
Old Sat, May-15-10, 08:15
LOOPS's Avatar
LOOPS LOOPS is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,133
 
Plan: general LCHF
Stats: 74/74/65 Female 5ft 6.5 inches
BF:29/29/24
Progress: 0%
Location: LA SERENA, CHILE
Default

Day 17

Still going strong and it's getting a bit easier. I think nearly all the nicotine is gone from my system now. I feel more relaxed, especially in the mornings, and very warm, especially my hands.

I am self-medicating quite a bit with coffee which seems to help me, despite being told that caffeine has more of an effect after quitting. It seems to help with the 'blahs' - I think a little bit of stimulant use that isn't nicotine does help me to transition. I don't have huge amounts, but enough to help with the fatigue.

My brain is still a bit slow, and alcohol has a much bigger effect on me now. I still feel a bit dizzy and out of it sometimes. Sleep is gradually getting better.

The cravings seem quite weak now - certainly not physical anymore. I just go and have a wander around outside every now and then, take breaths and remind myself I have the choice to smoke if I want, but that that means going back to complete relapse 100% and all the problems that go with it.
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  #14   ^
Old Sat, May-15-10, 12:59
amandawald amandawald is offline
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Posts: 4,735
 
Plan: GF mod carb/Schwarzbein
Stats: 160/160/160 Female 164cm
BF:
Progress: 51%
Location: Brit in Germany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LOOPS
Day 17

Still going strong and it's getting a bit easier. I think nearly all the nicotine is gone from my system now. I feel more relaxed, especially in the mornings, and very warm, especially my hands.

I am self-medicating quite a bit with coffee which seems to help me, despite being told that caffeine has more of an effect after quitting. It seems to help with the 'blahs' - I think a little bit of stimulant use that isn't nicotine does help me to transition. I don't have huge amounts, but enough to help with the fatigue.

My brain is still a bit slow, and alcohol has a much bigger effect on me now. I still feel a bit dizzy and out of it sometimes. Sleep is gradually getting better.

The cravings seem quite weak now - certainly not physical anymore. I just go and have a wander around outside every now and then, take breaths and remind myself I have the choice to smoke if I want, but that that means going back to complete relapse 100% and all the problems that go with it.


Hey Loops!

This all sounds really really good. I don't blame you one bit for self-medicating with caffeine: you can only battle with one addiction at once and nicotine is a BIGGIE!!!

Once you've got the nicotine addiction well and truly sorted, then you can think about dealing with any other addictions you might want to ditch.

I personally self-medicated with sweet stuff during the day and beer and salami and peanuts in the evening and put on tons of weight. Went up to 75kg at my highest weight. Geez what an arse I had. But, at the time, I figured anything was better than being a smoker, so I was prepared to put up with the negative huge-arse side-effects - till the extra weight began to actually cause me physical problems, then I did something about it. (The almost vegan trip).

But, there might be one negative side-effect of the extra caffeine - maybe that is what is causing the arrhythmias through the diuretic effect??? That you're piddling out your calcium and magnesium??? If so, an extra dose of electrolytes - which is what you're doing - should be the right strategy, I guess. Just thought I'd mention that there could be a caffeine-arrhythmia link.

All the best and keep up the good work!!!

amanda
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  #15   ^
Old Sun, May-16-10, 07:22
LOOPS's Avatar
LOOPS LOOPS is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,133
 
Plan: general LCHF
Stats: 74/74/65 Female 5ft 6.5 inches
BF:29/29/24
Progress: 0%
Location: LA SERENA, CHILE
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Day 18

PMS big time! Am also feeling a little bit blah in the day - no big deal.

Yeah Amanda - one addiction at a time!

Got knocked on my arse again last night after having a single drink (rum and dc) - so went to bed REALLY early. I can't seem to keep my eyes open later than about 9pm at the moment! So the biggest symptom right now is constant fatigue/feeling exhausted. That could be a bit to do with the caffeine but I really feel that to go without right now would land me up in bed ALL day.

I am still having major brain farts - periods of dizziness and feeling out of it. I wonder how many empty receptors I have up there now? Hopefully my brain has started to get rid of some of the extra ones.
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