The Second Doctors appointment

Dr. Baxter

My doctor, as I have said before, is a bad ass. She gets things done, and has probably saved my life and sanity. She cured me of my horrifying headaches I was having for like a year by sending me to a sleep specialist. I went to many doctors who didn’t know what was wrong. Dr. Baxter had me an appointment within hours. I was cured within a week. So I feel as if I owe her. She also has a countenance that makes me feel like I can’t bullshit her either, not that I would. My appointment when she gave me the Victoza and got onto me about my blood sugar that I wasn’t testing, was a real eye opener for me. She scowled a lot. I am not saying that I made changes to please her because I didn’t but she scared the poop out of me. She really gave me some dire looks as if I could kick it tomorrow. Not only that but she was visibly pissed at me. Both of those things made me really want to do better. That night I went home and cried. Her sense of urgency made me realize what I was doing. Also, if someone who I have only met with three or four times cared this much about my health, why don’t I?

So as you know after that appointment I have been trying super hard. I have lost about fourteen pounds, and I quit smoking. I was super excited for my next appointment. I don’t know if I expected a gold star or a party, or what. I know she was pleased, and she said as much. She said good job and all that. What surprised me was that she still wasn’t that happy. She was disappointed we haven’t exercised since the pool closed. I felt as if I were defending Brad and I at first. Then I realized that I knew clearly what Brad and I were doing. I felt confident in the way I was living my life this month.

We have literally been working our butts off. We had made lists, wrote down what we ate, tabulated what we ate, and stressed about it. I had worked so hard on it that I actually quit smoking and lost weight for heaven sakes. I had done all I could handle. I was confident in my choices, where as when it came to my health; I had never felt that before. When I realized that, it felt good.

So even in the face of the interminable Dr. Baxter, I knew my plan would work. As soon as I explained to her that we were adjusting slowly. When I explained to her how we have turned the house upside down working on this and promised that the exercise would come later she nodded and moved on. I felt as if I had a clear idea of what was doing for my health for the first time.

My New Nic Stick

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The high end vapes

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I am very excited because I have finally quit smoking for good! I know, it sounds too good to be true. A lot of my friends and family usually roll their eyes into their head when I say this. I mean they give me a roll it up deep, look inside your brain, roll of the eyes. I have been smoking a pack a day since 1994. I have quit approximately one hundred times.  I have tried the gum, the patch, smoke away, the step down method, and a myriad of other things. I didn’t want to quit bad enough I guess, and maybe I didn’t really want to now, but as you know….

Dr. Baxter just gave me too many bad looks at my last appointment. Not only was I not checking my blood sugars, I was still smoking. I got the scrunched nose burrowed eyes of disappointment. I knew at the next appointment that I wanted to not get that face. She recommended that I start vaping. I had heard about this before but since I have had so little success with other cessation methods I had tossed the idea aside. She says that the vape liquid has only five chemicals where as just the cigarette paper has over twenty. Now that is impressive.

If you have never heard of vaping, let me explain. It is basically an electronic smoking device. It has a battery, and an attachment that holds the liquid which is flavored nicotine. There are hundreds if not thousands of flavors. I went a week and a half ago to the Vape shop called Variety Custom Vaper on Broadway Avenue here in Boise. It’s motto is “Make a habit a hobby.” That right there almost made me turn around….corn balls guys….corn balls. However, that motto is something a lot of smokers have done. There are people I have seen on the web that have tackle boxes full of vaping supplies. It is a full blown hobby akin to the likes of cigar smokers, maybe even more intense. Some people leave the house with a backpack full of stuff for their vaping pleasure. I personally haven’t got into it that much, but my mom seems to think that I am too enthusiastic for it. I have been trying to get her to try it too, because I am so excited.

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My favorite Vape Store

 It started when I tasted the peach vape through my red vape. My nic stick as I call it, is a beautiful shade of maroon. You can get them with many designs including fake diamond encrusted, but I felt that would just get to dirty with my grubby hands on it all the time. Mine is pretty simple. I feel it is classic looking. There were about sixty flavor of vape at my vape store to choose from.

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Half the flavors you can try for free. I love free samples

What I found out when I sat down there to try it was that the experience is similar to smoking. The nic stick simulates that intake and sort of hot air thing on the back of the throat. It fills your lungs with the “steam” that is laced with nicotine, and when you blow out there is a visual that really does make it seem like you are smoking. It gives you the deep breathing, it gives you the nicotine, and you can even use it in places you can’t smoke. I bought peach, Irish latte, pina colada and fairy floss which is cotton candy flavored.

An aside: If you are in the Boise area, this shop is so nice. The guys walk you through every step of your vaping needs. They are very knowledgeable and patient. They explain all the different batteries, and tanks. They put it together for you the first time. They also allow you to try all the flavors, and it is all very hygienic.

I don’t plan on making this a hobby for the long term. I plan on using the nic stick to be done with nicotine already. There are different strengths of nicotine you can get: 24, 18, 12 and then no nicotine. I want to gradually step that down, but even if I wanted to keep this going it wouldn’t be that bad. I have already noticed my skin is better and I am coughing less. I am so happy because I feel as if this is finally the way I am going to be free of smokes.

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I got a red one like these!

Dancing with Ewoks

I had a fortune cookie today that said, “The first step in making a dream come true is to wake up!” Yes, complete with the explanation point. In light of what I have been going through, I am taking it up as a new mantra. I feel like such a baby. I have been in pain two and a half weeks, and it is driving me out of my mind. There were days when I had trouble making decisions about what I wanted to eat, or what pants I wanted to wear. Last Friday I spent the evening in the emergency room. I have for about two weeks been having the worst painful cramps of my life. People think cramps and think it is something silly and inconsequential, but it isn’t. I am a tough person. I have dealt with a year of painful headaches without too much complaint. I have gotten into car accidents and had my head go through the windshield. I have back pain and ankle pain, but this was the worst pain I have experienced in my entire life. Every day for two weeks I was lying on the couch, holding my stomach moaning. For two weeks my husband watched me try every over the counter pain killer, muscle relaxers, and even a pain medicine my doc specifically prescribed. Nothing worked. He got fed up and took me to the ER. Three morphine shots, and several tests later, the doc sent me home to take Aleve and wait until Monday to see my Gyno, with no other resolution.
The Gyno, told me that I had metabolized my Depo-Provera shot too fast and that was what caused the cramping and if I just went back on it, then I could stop the pain. So I did. He wants me to wait until I lose some weight before giving me a hysterectomy. He did, in the same breath recommend weight loss surgery. Yeah, it was too risky for him to give me a hysterectomy, but not to have weight loss surgery. The Depo helped, I am not pain free, but I have to go back once a month to get the shot. There are a lot of side effects from the Depo that I read on the internet during my convalescence. It does cause painful cramping when you go off of it, and it takes your calcium. Women that have been on it for a long time have told tales of getting osteoporosis, even in someone as young as twenty one. That’s pretty scary. My doc feels like I won’t be on it long enough, but I can’t take the pain anyways. I feel like with every medical step I take to try to dig my way out of this hole, I am just digging myself deeper and deeper.
I could give you the whole convoluted story, but really it’s kind of boring. Pain, pain, pain, six months of “Aunt Irma,” bronchitis, pain, pain, pain, and that’s the abridged version. I just want to say that just waking up every day, sometimes is all I could do, and I had to give myself credit. I have to remember, that I can’t make progress when I can’t think because of the pain. I was depressed because I hadn’t really worked on quitting smoking again, or losing weight. Because my husband took care of me the two weeks of pain, eventually it degraded to us eating McDonalds and the aforementioned Chinese food again. But mysteriously I had lost two pounds at my doctor’s appointment, small favors from heaven.
I am finally feeling better, and refuse to get sick again. I am going to push on through. I have to lose 24 more pounds before I can have my hysterectomy which I desperately need. These complications from my Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, are ruining my life. I didn’t include this earlier and think I should have, this web site has a definition of PCOS, http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=4981.
I don’t want children so a hysterectomy will help with a lot of the problems I have been having. 24 pounds and I will have a new freedom from pain and misery, and I will also possibly lose some medications. I hope I can do that before the Depo’s side effects take hold.
However, I am done letting this upset me anymore. I figure I have about three months of these shots that I want to get into my system. I want to lose 24 pounds by then. This isn’t an unattainable goal. It is a short term goal, and that is all I am concentrating on. I am going to start with a “Getting Healthy” party. I have invited all the people who love me in town, to come to my house, bring recipes and something healthy to eat. We are going to play volleyball and badminton and basically I am going to soak up all the love to carry with me on the journey ahead. I feel like I am going through my very own Empire Strikes Back right now, but don’t count me out for Return of the Jedi. I will be dancing with Ewoks very soon my friends, very soon.

Quitting Smoking is hard!

I don’t know what the deal is, but I think I may have finally tricked myself into quitting smoking. I think that alot of stopping an addiction feels like you are fixing your dodge dart with a rubberband and a wire hanger. Meaning that it feels like quitting is only temporary. You have to go through the pain of quitting everyday. Everyday you have to remind yourself, “I don’t smoke, overeat, shoot heroin…etc.” I wake up and think I am going to smoke, then say to myself I don’t smoke anymore. It is an EVERYDAY thing, sometimes several times a day.
So you are asking, how do you trick yourself into quitting smoking? Well here is what I did. I made a deal with my family that I would quit smoking on my nephews birthday. My nephew is an unbelievable source of hope for my family. My parents are giddy pools of joy when he is around. My siblings and I have made plans for his entire life before he was born…this is how excited we were for his arrival. This baby is like my families hope for a brighter future, no pressure cute kid. So when my Dad said he was quitting soda on Calebs birthday, I opened my big mouth and said I would quit smoking. Not only that, my pushy self pushed other people in my family into it. My little sister quit chips and my husband quit soda. So there I am on Calebs birthday having to quit because of my big fat mouth. I have tried the patch it gave me a rash. I tried the gum and it aggrivated my TMJ. I tried smoke away and ended up throwing up in the hospital, not entirely sure it was smoke aways fault but you know how that is. I tried the ones you suck on and I got the hiccups. That is when I found out from Ol’ Doc Gage that I was allergic to Nicotine… Yeah sit with that for a minute.
So this time I was going to try Chantix. So my nephews birthday was Tuesday. Monday I called my Doctor. The Doctor called in a perscription and that is when I found out that Chantix was 200.00 and that was just for one month. Why insurance doesn’t pay for it, I will never understand. So I was screwed. I was going to have to quit cold turkey. I really was going to do it. It means that much to me to not be embarrassed after shooting off my mouth. I knew it would. However, Tuesday came. I made it two-three hours at work before I bummed a smoke. Then I told my boss I was trying to quit. She said, “You should try the fake cigarettes.” I had no idea what they were. She showed me hers and I was amazed. So by the time lunch rolled around my husband had brought me a pack of them. I am so excited because it is working. These are the benefits of the ecigarette, as I see them. I mean I am not promising it will work like this for everyone. I don’t feel the anxiety I always did when quitting smoking. I felt the anxiety before even trying. Like the day before quitting smoking I would be sitting there smoking and in a bad mood. People would ask me what’s wrong, and I would say, I am quitting smoking. I mean the anxiety is aweful. Now, I know I have Nicotine coming whenever I want. Which I know isn’t good for me either, but it is better than tobacco. Also my fiance likes to remind me of the other “crap” they like to put in cigarettes. The thing that is really awesome is I am not puffing on this ecigarette as much as I did the regular ones. I am slightly lazy. So I will be watching tv and think I want a smoke. Then I will look over and the smokes are on the table…and I will think “its all the way over there…” Then before I know it I have gone all evening without a smoke. Also, the same thing happens when I am busy. I can work though it. So I am really only inhaling this ecigarette two – three times a day. Now I am not smoking it inside like they say. I don’t want it to be that easy. I don’t want to create new habits. I just feel like it has been a tiny metal security blanket. For the first time I have hope, and maybe that is what is working so well for me. Hope. Just like little baby nephew, esmokes are giving me hope and that may be half the battle. Not tricking myself, but rather having hope that I am strong enough but smart enough to accept the help.