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Could Use Some Insights - Frightened and Confused.   Health Support and Encouragement

Started Feb-16 by freetobeunme; 229 views.

From: freetobeunme


HI All,

I had smoked for 30 years about 4-5 cigs a day. Sometimes I'd go for years, like 2 years, having quit. Other times I would quit for several months. And, there was a period for several months where I would only have 1 cig a day. I called it my "cigar" at the end of the day.  

Fast forward to early February 2019 I had a bad head cold with non-stop sneezing and it took a good 14 days to get over. Longer than I remembered other colds taking to get over. I mostly did not smoke during that time to so I could heal. 

I had experienced indigestion off and on, mostly off, over the course of 2018 and 2019 and it was pretty bad. Was it caused by spicy foods? I changed my diet in an effort to eradicate the indigestion. 

Early March 2019 I had the worst case of indigestion  I had ever had. My throat burned and I coughed from it. I knew by then that smoking does contribute or cause indigestion. I needed to quit smoking to help the worse case of indigestion I had ever had.  

I joined this forum in April, I believe, 2019. I was a quitter and proud of it! Within 2 weeks my skin was glowing (and strangers would even comment!), my energy was boundless (I was vigorously working out for up to 1 hour a day!) but, the problem was, I felt "too good" and everything I tried to "create" or initiate would be thwarted, so to speak. This was discouraging and I thought the only way to deal with it was to self medicate by having a smoke here or there and a glass of wine. I socialized to while away the time because I felt like things in my life weren't gelling quite yet.

THEN, around July 20th 2019 I developed a dry cough and AM phlegm. This was weird and unlike anything I had ever experienced. My throat tickled but I felt fine and had no other symptoms except my nasal passages were inflamed, my throat felt "sensitive" and my ears were plugged up. But, no fever, no lack of energy, no fogginess or anything like that. I still worked out vigorously and was fine with it. However, I did cut my workout down to 30 min. 5 days a week so I could give myself a break. The exercise helped moved the mucus up and out. I cut my smoking down and would sometimes not smoke at all during this period. Mind you, I only smoked 2,3,4 cigs a day, not much. I went to 2 doctors, all saying I had sinusitis and they said take Flonese and anti-inflammatory sinus allergy medicine. I told them I never had allergies before so I disagreed with their diagnosis. What was further confusing to me about my health condition was that around Oct./Nov. 2019 two of my friends (one my age (50)/non-smoker, and the other non-smoker and 20 years my junior) both reported that they were having the most unusual symptoms for the first time: mucus, sore throats -  similar to me so everyone was blaming it on the recent fires (in Oct.) but then months later no fire yet the symptoms are only gradually, slowing going away. Also, whenever I would go to a rural area my symptoms seemed to disappear within a day or two. I do check the air quality where I live and it does shift from not great, moderate to good. 

After 3 weeks of developing this odd dry cough in July, I developed a head cold and the 3rd doctor I visited said I had bronchitis. He checked my lungs said they were clear. They had always felt clear but my bronchial tubes seemed irritated. I quit smoking completely at that point. It took me about 6 weeks total to recover. After recovery in September, I would take up smoking during social events but would notice how my throat felt "sensitive" the next day and I was producing phlegm, so I would throw them out and quit again......until another social event and I'd break down and buy cigs and slowly smoke the pack away over the course of a week. I was kidding myself into thinking, "Hey, why not just cut down? What's wrong with becoming a social smoker? I can just smoke a very little bit, here and there." I really thought I could because I enjoyed taking breaks from the stress of my life and just escaping into happy land: socializing, drinking wine, smoking 2-3 cigs and listening to music. What a nice contrast! Or, so I thought. But, I was beginning to discover that I just couldn't get away with cutting down, or taking extended breaks like 2 weeks any longer, due to producing low amounts of AM mucus, inflamed, nostrils that I would experience after a bout of smoking. I just gave it up for good. Damage was popping up "suddenly" for the first time and I am now determined, as many others I am sure, to finally see that ANY smoking is not ok and to say NO, NEVER AGAIN. It is not a possibility  on any scale. It is now a thing of the past, not the future, and I now relate to it that way.  Luckily, 98% of my friends do not smoke, so it's easy to now just "join the gang". 

So, really, over the course of 2019-2020 there was A LOT of quitting for 2 weeks and starting up again but smoking 1 pack over the course of a week, then quitting for 2 weeks, then buying and smoking the pack over the course of a week and sometimes I would proudly smoke 4 cigs from a pack and throw it away after a night of drinking. I really thought I couldn't enjoy social drinking without somehow slipping in a cig or two over the course of the night....Now, I just don't drink or limit it to one glass of wine. I am happy with that AND happy to prove myself wrong about I needing a little smoke. NO, I am finally convinced No, not just one. I kidded myself because I came from a grandmother, father, mother of smoker's and they ALWAYS  smoked way more daily and for MUCH longer....all their lives - 85 years old. I am now 50 years old, so why couldn't I smoke less than them and for awhile? I thought? Made logical sense. Ha! Right!

So, now that I've bared my soul, I am worried about if I will heal. I am now 1 week smoke free (remember, unlike others I have spent about a year taking 2 week breaks, smoking a little, as described and rebounding into the above described vicious cycle so there was some "healing" time, so to speak).

I am now in the throes of experiencing: inflamed sinuses, a teeny tiny bit of clear phlegm when I wake for a moment in the morning, and I feel like my lips, my bronchial tubes and my sinuses are a combination of either dryness or slightly inflamed. NO: coughing, restlessness, poor sleep, constipation, stress, irritability, wheezing, headaches or anything else that is common for cessation, but my mind could be a little sharper and energy could be better. 

Has anyone else experienced similar repercussions from smoking and is there realistic hope for hea
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From: Jules55


You're basically looking at a few different questions here, that may or may not be connected.

1. Q.) Is smoking bad for your health?    A)  Indubitably.  Without question. 

2.  Q.) Did smoking cause your health issues?  A).  Maybe, maybe not. 

3. Q.)  Will I ever feel better?  A.)  Hopefully!  Listen to your doctors and tell them everything!

A lot of people suffer from lung related issues that have never smoked a day in their life.   It could be some other irritant you're exposed to in daily life.  Smog, gas, the cleaning solution the office cleaners use, no telling what!       Or maybe it IS smoking. 

I typically like to tackle problems with overwhelming force from all sides!    Get an air purifier for each room you spend a lot of time in every day ( I like the Levoit brand from Amazon).   Quit smoking.  Change your typical household products with chemicals in them to something more natural.   Keep seeing your doctor.    

That's the best I can offer.  I hope you get feeling better soon.  


From: Majomar


I do believe you are going to feel better and your health will improve, cigarettes did nothing good for you, but it doesn't clear you from problems that might be caused by something else.

Researches say that people who stop before she 40 really can heal almost completely (those who quit before 30 can heal as if they never smoked), and every age is GOOD age and it will bring many benefits, if life gained back can not be complete, it still is improvement if your life quality and life prolongment. In healing and repair process many other factors probably come into play, lifestyle, what you eat, weight, fitness, attitude, genetics...

My mother had COPD (and other lung conditions), my father has it now, his is stage one and nothing in your symptoms remind me of his, but I'm not a doctor and you should see one, do a spirometry, if you cough mucus, that should be analysed for bacteria and other stuff. Maybe You suffer allergies, Jules gave you valuable advice.

If you are worried, see another doctor. 

It's good that you're scared, that should keep you away from cigarettes wink

People live with terrible health conditions, if there is no therapy ,there is management... Be grateful for the health you have and for the health that you will gain now that you're smoke-free and deaseases you'll avoid by staying that way. Congratulations :)

Be positive :)