Apr 10 2015

666 days

In the last 666 days my toxic mountain of 16,650 cigarettes would have burned up $13,053.60 (and that's at old prices not how much they cost now). Money not saved (of course) but spent on food, bills and other things that are a little more important than adding to the damage in my lungs.
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Jun 13 2014

Stats Update 365 days smokefree

Smokefree days: 365 days
Cigarettes NOT smoked: 9125
Total savings: $7,154.00

12 months ago today I was heading up to the hospital in an ambulance, struggling to breathe. A month before I'd had a collapsed lung, been treated and come home, now it had happened again and this time it was way more serious. My lung collapsed because of the damage I had done through 40 years of smoking.

I was a typical head in the sand, this isn't going to happen to me - I ignored all the warning signals, the shortness of breath, the cough, the taking forever to recover from a cold, I kept smoking until I couldn't breathe. After major surgery at Auckland City Hospital (incredible place and people), a 5 week stay in hospital, I was finally home. I used that 5 weeks as a catalyst for my quit, I haven't had a puff since. If I want to breathe I can't smoke and I really do want to breathe! I want to live.

Today I'm back at work full time, am booked for pulmonary rehab, wear a fitbit to so I can track my exercise (the goal is 6500 steps a day), I'm taking photos on the weekends, walk my geriatric dog slowly (at 16 yrs that's all she wants), I love my life. I get breathless if I go up a hill or run or race up the stairs at work, if I get a cold or the flu I could end up in hospital, I have emphysema, 55% of my lung function left .... but it could be way worse. I tell my friends to quit before you have to quit, you really don't want to wait as long as I did. I nearly left it too late.

I visit here everyday, to read blogs and make a few comments. The stories, the people here .... you guys are awesome!! Encouraging and inspirational. Thank you all!

Whoooot! A year and I feel great!
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Jun 7 2014

359 days

Getting kinda exciting . . . .

Lovely weather up here in the north, heading off to help a friend. Enjoy your day xx
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Apr 9 2014

300 days

Wow! I can't quite believe it! Have to take a cake into work today to celebrate. My workmates are proud of me, but can't quite understand why I'm celebrating usually, but they sure don't mind sharing the cake :))
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Feb 11 2014


You out there Ladylene, haven't heard from you for a couple of days and hope that all is ok (((hugs)))
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Feb 8 2014


240 days, 6,000 cigarettes not smoked. Phewwey, that is one gi-normous toxic mountain! Still have cravings sometimes, but ignore them as there is no way I want to go back to where I was last year!
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Feb 1 2014

Stats Update 233 days smokefree

Smokefree days: 233 days
Cigarettes NOT smoked: 5825
Total savings: $4,566.80
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Jan 30 2014

for Ladylene xx

Have strength, believe in yourself. You and your pretty pink bicycle can do this! I believe in you ♥

I ignored the warning signs. Was coughing a lot, getting more and more breathless with my daily life. Asthma I said as I puffed on my inhaler and lit a smoke. The last chest xray didn't look great, but . . . . asthma I said. Weight even lower than usual and I was always on the very lean side, been smoking instead of eating for 40 years. I went to the doctor cos I just couldn't breathe, another chest infection. She send me home with antib's. Off work for a few days. Next day even worse. The walk from the bed to my chair was almost too much. That night I rang a friend to take me to A & E, they didn't make me wait, took me straight in and gave me oxygen (I didn't think I looked that bad). Xrays showed my left lung had collapsed. Drain in the chest for 4 days and then home. Diagnosis pnuemothorax caused by fragile lungs (which were caused through my emphysema). My poor little Bailey (15 year old dog) was over the moon to see me. She had been being fed by my lovely neighbour. Good to be home!

Came home. That's it, no more smoking!! But then everyone left (I live alone) and there was a packet in the house ..... so I had one. And coughed and coughed and coughed. Later on, I had another. But not inside. I cut right back by taking it outside, not in the car and not at work .... but I was still smoking about 10 a day. I rationalised that it was so much better than my usual 25 - 30 I had been smoking.

Bout a week and half later back to work .... didn't feel great, still breathless but better than I had been. Didn't really pick up but I coped (well, I thought I did), no energy, not eating but figured it was just a matter of time and I'd come right but 2 weeks later couldn't breathe again. Went to doctor, more antib's, still going outside to have a smoke! Next day even worse. Rang a friend to see if she'd take me to the A & E and she rang an ambulance (note to self, don't ring the nurse friend, they know too much!!). Ride up to hospital in comfort, fast track through into A & E, still not breathing well, not good, more xray, ICU staff there trying to help me breathe, not good, very scarey. Xrays later that night showed that my lung had collapsed again. Wouldn't reinflate again so the next 2 weeks was in CCU with ICU staff trying to stabilise me to get to Auckland City hosp for surgery.

3 weeks in Auck Hospital (what an amazing place that is), 3 months off work. I haven't smoked since, it's 7 months now. I have moderate/severe emphysema (53% first time with spirometer, 55% with my latest after starting exercising), I walk every day (haven't done that for years), I've gained back the weight I lost, and I lost a lot while I was so sick . . . . actually, it's time to stop gaining now, I'm getting a lil chunky round my waist LOL. Hills are still tough, I'm not running yet, but I motor when I'm walking along on the flat. The specialist was so pleased with me last time he doesn't need to see me again unless I get sick.

This has turned into a novel! A novel with a great ending. Apart from working full time I'm back out getting photos at the stockcar track on the weekends. I have my joy of life back. I have wonderful friends who loved me, looked out for me, cared for my dog while I was away, supported me until I was fit enough to look after myself again.

hugs xx
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Jan 1 2014

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone and thank you all for your support.
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Dec 13 2013

6 months yay

Brought a cake to share at work today to celebrate 6 months of freedom. Still get urges to go out with the others and have a puff, but I don't . . . I won't. I want to breathe.
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