“D”id it. Three dental appointments in three weeks. Today was the last day of dental work that included yet another freezing…oh!…and another dose of freezing…OH!!…and a third dose of freezing, directly into the gum (I just typed “bum”…I’m laughing hysterically with half a frozen face…schmexy, I’m certain.)
I have accomplished in three weeks what has been my total and complete non-effort to do so over the course of two decades. I researched, I read and I understood the importance of oral healthcare within the context of all things chronically afflicted. So, as I sit yet again with splooshes of iced tea dripping down my favourite ROOTS sweatshirt in a valiant attempt to re-hydrate my parched mouth after the Hoover suction-thingy…I am reminded of just how much someone can accomplish if they simply alter their perception about a fear.
Smoke-free!!! I’m not even entertaining the, “I really didn’t smoke much to begin with…” bullshit. Nope. DONE. How could I possibly have even considered bitching about all things chronically afflicted if I was directly and exponentially contributing to each and every part of it?!?
How did I do it? It doesn’t really matter because, like the treatments for anyone’s chronic illness(es) themselves, it’s wholly individual. Needless to say, I put no pressure on myself…by that token, I felt that if it “was the right time”…I would not buy that next pack.
It was the right time.
Look what all it’s made me accomplish:
Your blood pressure, pulse rate, and the temperature of your hands and feet will all return to normal.
Remaining nicotine in your bloodstream will have fallen to 6.25% of normal peak daily levels, a 93.25% reduction.
Your blood oxygen level will have increased to normal and carbon monoxide levels will have dropped to normal.
Anxieties peak in intensity and within two weeks should return to near pre-cessation levels.
Damaged nerve endings have started to regrow and your sense of smell and taste are beginning to return to normal. Cessation anger and irritability peaks.
Your entire body will test 100% nicotine-free and over 90% of all nicotine metabolites (the chemicals it breaks down into) will now have passed from your body via your urine. Symptoms of chemical withdrawal have peaked in intensity, including restlessness. The number of cue induced crave episodes experienced during any quitting day will peak for the “average” ex-user. Lung bronchial tubes leading to air sacs (alveoli) are beginning to relax in recovering smokers. Breathing is becoming easier and the lungs functional abilities are starting to increase.
5 – 8 days
The “average” ex-smoker will encounter an “average” of three cue induced crave episodes per day. Although we may not be “average” and although serious cessation time distortion can make minutes feel like hours, it is unlikely that any single episode will last longer than 3 minutes. Keep a clock handy and time them.
The “average ex-user is down to encountering less than two crave episodes per day, each less than 3 minutes.
10 days to 2 weeks
Recovery has likely progressed to the point where your addiction is no longer doing the talking. Blood circulation in our gums and teeth are now similar to that of a non-user.
2 to 4 weeks
Cessation related anger, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, impatience, insomnia, restlessness and depression have ended. If still experiencing any of these symptoms get seen and evaluated by your physician.
Brain acetylcholine receptor counts up-regulated in response to nicotine’s presence have now down-regulated and receptor binding has returned to levels seen in the brains of non-smokers.
2 weeks to 3 months
Your heart attack risk has started to drop. Your lung function is beginning to improve.
3 weeks to 3 months
Your circulation has substantially improved. Walking has become easier. Your chronic cough, if any, has likely disappeared.
1 to 9 months
Any smoking related sinus congestion, fatigue or shortness of breath have decreased. Cilia have regrown in your lungs thereby increasing their ability to handle mucus, keep your lungs clean, and reduce infections. Your body’s overall energy has increased.
Your excess risk of coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke has dropped to less than half that of a smoker.
(as taken from: http://whyquit.com/whyquit/a_benefits_time_table.html)
Now, the only challenge that remains is:
How on earth shall I celebrate my “DD” day with half a frozen face and wet boobs?!?! 😉
*Sportsbra image from: The Sun-herald
*Smoke-free image from : http://osocio.org/