Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Nobody likes a quitter
It was smoking that killed my mum - even when she'd been brought back from death and had regained conciousness and was being wheeled towards the room where she'd spend her last days, her lungs shrivelled and atrophied to the point where she was solely being kept alive by an experimental machine, she was craving a cigarette. The first night she was in I tried to stay with her but ended up getting angry and incredibly irritated because she kept insisting she was going outside for a cigarette even with me insisting that she couldn't possibly because it would kill her, even though in all honesty the fags had killed her already. On the last night I saw her alive and hugged her goodbye, knowing pretty damn well that I wouldn't see her again, she moaned at me that I smelt of smoke. And laughed that she'd given up because she hadn't smoked since she'd gone into hospital. But the cigarettes had done their damage and she was dead less than half a day later.
Reason 1 to quit smoking; I don't want my last days to be spent stuck in a hospital bed riddled with cancer and breathing difficulties, with Tara and (with any luck) my kids discussing out of my earshot whether they should just switch my life support off. With me attached to a bit of hospital machinery so brand new that I'm a guinea pig for every trainee nurse learning how to use this fancy new bit of kit.
Mum and Dad have both smoked as long as I've known them - I used to be vehemently opposed to it, even refusing to pop over the road and buy them cigarettes. And I left it damn late to start smoking as well - I was in my early twenties half way through University before I even let one touch my lips. Old enough and wise enough to know better.
When my dad is quiet you can hear it in his breath. Lungs forced into overdrive, his breathing raspy and laboured. At times when I stand up or sit down it seems like somebody has attached a sensor to me that detects said movements and plays the sound of my dad grunting, and it seems I'm following suit at times with the breathing as well. Fair play to him though, he's been cutting down recently through willpower alone and I honestly think he might be able to give up the fags permanently.
Reason 2 to quit smoking; Because how is Dad going to be able to give up if every time we go out I'm constantly popping out for a cigarette and reminding him what he's missing? I'd like my dad around for a good few years yet, and us both still smoking isn't going to help with that.
It's not a cheap game either. I smoke around 20 a day and at more than six quid for a packet of my chosen brand of fags, thats more than two grand a year I'm paying to some big faceless corporation to shorten my life.
Therefore, reason 3 to quit smoking. The vast expense. I could get myself something really nice for two grand, and it won't kill me doing it. Unless of course I buy myself two grands worth of poison - but I suppose I'm already doing that, aren't I?
It's not going to be easy. Much as in there is no such thing as an ex-alcoholic, there's no such thing as an ex-smoker. Even after I'd given up for eight months back a couple of years back, there wasn't a day went by without me craving a cigarette. Whilst I'd given up, I've purchased packets of cigarettes, smoked one, thrown the rest away and ended up rifling through the kitchen bin to retrieve the packet to finish the rest. Perhaps this is one of the reasons for this blog post - so when I get the craving I can read this again and remind myself why I gave up in the first place.
So, here goes. Attempt n at quitting. One last one won't hurt though, will it?
No! Must... resist... urge...