Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Long overdue

OK, I have been neglecting my travel blog. I'm sorry, but in the first flush of romance with my travail blog, something had to slide. And this was it. Sorry, Travel Blog -- I have more important suitors to woo!

Seriously, I did not successfully quit smoking on August 8th. My sister Amy quit smoking on August 9th, and I kept taking Chantix. I set another quit date for August 20th.

That was last Monday.

And I did, indeed, quit smoking on that day.

Since then, I have not smoked once. Although -- as another Chantix blogger noted -- I still feel like a smoker. I'm just a smoker who isn't smoking at the moment.

For the first couple of days, I tracked my cravings and cigarette desires like a statistician for major league baseball.

Then I had a tooth that totally abscessed.

If you have never had an abscessed tooth, count yourself among the world's luckiest people. Ever. It hurts worse than any pain I've ever experienced. Including childbirth and kidney stones.

Since roughly late Tuesday night -- and certainly Wednesday morning -- I spent most of my energy just trying to survive my abscessed tooth. My dentist was out of town. And he didn't have a back-up. I finally got hold of a friend of a friend's dental office -- and by the way, that dentist was at the same conference as my dentist, so honestly, it must be one heck of a conference -- and finally someone called someone who called someone else, and I finally got a prescription for antibiotics.

It still took an entire day for the antibiotics to take effect and do some good for me. In the meantime, I've discovered that I certainly CAN choke down straight vodka if I absolutely must.

So while I was dealing with the sheer, towering, quivering pain of the tooth, I kind of forgot about the quitting smoking thing. My mind was somewhere else for a few days.

An acquaintance of mine said, "Oh, my gosh, you've had such bad luck healthwise this summer!"

I hadn't thought of it, but now that she mentions it -- yeah, it sucks to be me! I threw out my back, and then I quit smoking, and then, to top it all off, I had an abscessed tooth. OMG! It *sucks* to be me!

Then I remember that it doesn't really totally suck. For one thing, no matter how much pain I'm in, I still have hummingbirds.

See? Every cloud has a silver lining!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Like an ol' pig

I'm scared. I'll admit it. Tomorrow is my Quit Day, and I'm just scared.

I've started another blog just for the withdrawal fits. I know I'm taking the latest'n'greatest smoking cessation drug, and I've been hearing all about how it really, really helps a lot of heavy smokers quit. I'm just so afraid that I'll be one of the rare failures.

If you want to glance at that blog, you can. It's public. I named it Bay's Travail Blog. It's all one topic, though, so it might not appeal to everyone who reads this blog. I was lucky and another Chantix blogger found my blog and invited me into the circle of Chantix quitters, so I'll be getting some moral support from people who are going through the same thing. Four of us actually chose 8/8 as our Quit Day, entirely apart from each other. And that's cool.

In other news, I bought a new kitchen faucet today, and Wesley and I spent much of the afternoon trying to wrestle the cruddy old faucet out of the sink. We did not succeed. The cruddy old faucet is still half attached and shows no signs of budging. I have mental images of us hiring a plumber to replace a stinkin' faucet. And the horrid thing is -- the directions on how to install the new sink are so easy, I could do it by myself!

So while I chain smoke for what might be the last time -- really! and truly! -- I just wanted to tell a little, tiny, nostalgic story about my mother.

I always liked to have my back rubbed when I was a child. I would sit next to Mama anywhere we went, and I would lean against her until she started rubbing my back. Mama never even noticed that I was manipulating her for several minutes. I mean, it was pure habit to her -- here's a child's back, rub it.

When she did finally notice that I was totally, selfishly getting great backrubs without ever giving anything in return, she would laugh and say, "You're like an ol' pig! My mama used to say that about me!"

I finally asked her what that meant -- "like an ol' pig" -- and Mama told me that apparently, pigs like to be scratched. And her mother had noticed as a child that if she went near the pig pen, all the older pigs would crowd up to the rails of the fence, begging to be scratched or rubbed. As long as Mama's mother would stand there, I guess in her little dress and pinafore, because that simply must have been around 1910 or so, rubbing and scratching those pigs, they would grunt and lean against the fence and be very still to enjoy the luxury as long as they could.

Tonight Emily was scratching my neck and lightly fluffing my hair, and when she started to leave, I kind of leaned over until she was back within reach of my head. And of course she went back to scratching my neck, and I laughed and said, "I'm like an ol' pig!"

Emily laughed and laughed. I can't imagine why she hasn't heard that expression before, or why she hasn't thought about it if she has heard it. So I explained that Mama used to say that to me, and that her Mama said it to her before me.

And it can't be an insult as long as the scratcher actually likes the scratchee.

I hope if Emily ever has any daughters, they're like ol' pigs, too.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Stuff I should've already posted

I'm still a lazy slacker blogger.

My daughter Emily just got her driver's license. For real. Like, she can drive without anyone else in the car.

So if you are headed to East Tennessee, stay off the roads.

I need to get my hair done. I have to wait until Friday for that. My roots are showing. So I think I'll send my legally-driving daughter to WalMart twenty miles away and ask her to buy me some scarves and bandannas. I can't be seen in public looking like this. Mama would have a fit.

Heck, *I* am having a fit.

I went to the doctor Tuesday and she prescribed Chantix to make me stop smoking. Lots of conflicting thoughts about that. I almost blogged about it Wednesday night, but it was so mean and acerbic that I decided my attitude must be bad. Bottom line: I like smoking and I love smokers. Love, love, love them. I want to keep hanging out with smokers in the designated smoking areas all over the continent.

I used to think that the non-smokers would succeed in making tobacco illegal, but now I think I was wrong. I think they're just going to make it too expensive for regular people to smoke. The state and federal folks are raising the taxes so quickly and so biliously that I just don't WANT to afford smoking. (Rich people have all the fun, right?) And that's why I'm quitting. Not because I want to quit, but because I want to use the money for things I love more than cigarettes.

Like going to Las Vegas to visit my sister. And going to Disney World to hug Mickey. And dining at fabulous restaurants. And buying more scrapbooking paper. And more Crocs. And buying another beloved Prius for Emily to drive.

(OK, that last one is pretty much a pipe dream. Emily has saved only $1500 for a car so far. I'm sure we'll have to buy her an absolute junk heap eventually.)

Yep. I'm trying to quit smoking merely because I'm Greedy People. Yeah, quitting might make me slightly healthier, but with my family history, I'm gonna die of some kind of cancer no matter what I'm ingesting. So health is not my motivation. Money. Makes the world go 'round, and makes me actually try to quit smoking.

This isn't the first time I've tried to quit. And I was hesitant about Chantix, although all my nurse friends swear that it is the best thing since sliced bread. Chantix is a dopamine replacement therapy, y'know. And it has some nasty side effects. I lived through some of the worst of those Friday, after the drugs had been building up in my system for two and a half days. I was terribly nauseated Friday and spent much of the day curled up on the couch in a fetal position refusing to *look* at food much less eat it.

I did still smoke, however. That's how Chantix works: Take it for a week, slowly increasing the dosage and the amount of the drug in your bloodstream. Then quit smoking on the 8th day. My quit date is Wednesday, August 8th. In the meantime, I have to log every cigarette, analyze the data, and formulate strategies for what to do if I have a craving after my quit date.

Oh, yes, I almost forgot: Chantix is more than a drug. It's a drug with a "support system." I get daily emails reminding me to go to the Chantix website and perform my Daily Activity. I have to print something out almost every day. I gotta tell you, I hope the printings stop soon. I don't like using the laser printer that much, what with the toner particles in the air being potentially carcinogenic.

[That was a joke. Feel free to snort audibly.]

In the meantime, I have already experienced some odd sensations thanks to the fake dopamine. If you've never smoked, or if you quit easily, then you don't know what it's like for someone who *likes* smoking to try to quit. It's ugly. I've tried cold turkey and I've tried with the nicotine patch. Oh! I just remembered, I even tried hypnosis once! (Well, I was young then, and honestly, even then I was rolling my eyes and trying not to snort audibly while my best friend sat next to me and tried really hard to get hypnotized so she would quit smoking.) Nothing worked for me because I *wanted* to smoke. The desire combined with the nicotine addiction proved undeniable.

So for me to be sitting around, smoking, and thinking, "I think I'll put this cigarette out. I just don't like it," is REALLY strange. Like... maybe I'm being replaced by a pod person. Like... maybe I'm not *me* any more. Because the Bay *I* know loves to smoke and really wants everyone else to love her smoking.

That's where I am tonight. Well, actually, I happen to be smoking at the moment. I'm counting down the hours 'til Wednesday.

And I'm having a nice, therapeutic cocktail like the Over Clover. Enjoy your herb gardens while ye may! Autumn's blush is just a few weeks away, and I'm desperate to enjoy the last bits of cicada-song-filled summer!