Thirteenth Day without Smoking Cigarettes
My Thirteenth Day without Smoking Cigarettes
In the past 12 days I've been through various mood swings, emotions, situations but there was one that I hadn't gone through - Anger. Yesterday I was blessed with a lot of anger (just kidding, anger is a curse, not a blessing). Extreme anger either makes me hurt myself, or makes me hurt myself AND smoke like crazy. So yesterday there I was, struggling between a smoke or no smoke.
It was like everything I had done before, all the mind work, all the energy I had put into quitting cigarettes just disappeared. There was ME on one side and the CIGARETTE on the other. I tell you, that could have been the perfect moment for a relapse. No justification for anything, no explaining myself, no stopping, no limits, no will to be healthy, no will to do any good for myself and no time to think about quitting.
The worse thing is that I did have a pack of cigarettes sitting at home, that I had kept to increase my own confidence (the fact that I have cigarettes at home, but I won't smoke em). So there I was with the pack in my hand and thanks to God, just before I took a cigarette out of the pack I got a second to think about all the 12 days that I haven't smoked and there was a pause. I pushed a few thoughts in, specially the images from the lung cancer video, a thought of my being sick and admitted in the hospital for a serious illness and the last thought was seeing myself regretting the day.
I went to my desk, drank a bottle of water and started checking my email. Took me a while, but I was over it and guess what, now I am not scared of such moments either because I know if I could handle it once, I'll always handle it. So this was the roughest time of my entire time but it was not as compulsive as I thought it would be. It was not nicotine craving or anything, but rather my mind willing to do something to hurt myself. Meditation helps control anger, so I need to start doing that for controlling my anger in the long run.
Cigarettes do drop your Heart Rate
Ever since I have quit cigarettes, my heart rate has been between 48-55 on an average and my blood pressure varies between 117/75 and 100/60. A search on the internet said people who are fit, have a heart rate that low (usually athletes) and if you are NOT fit and still have that heart rate, consult your doctor. Typically a low heart rate means that your heart strong and is able to pump the amount of blood required by the body in one hard pump, rather than several weaker ones. So maybe quitting cigarettes increased the oxygen in my blood making the body need less of it, hence my heart pumping less.
But a low heart rate can lead to a cardiac arrest so I will make sure I talk to my doctor and follow up on this. I will post the result here.
REPORT FROM THE DOCTOR at 7:00 PM EST on March 25, 2009
I called up and told my doctor that I am concerned about my heart and I need to see you today. So he did make an exception and give me a same day appointment, instead of sending me to the Emergency.
The Doctor checked:
- My Blood Pressure (112/64).
- My Pulse Rate (56).
- My Weight (225 LBS).
- EKG (Electrocardiogram, also called ECG) - showed normal rythem, 58 pulses and everything normal.
- A Chest X-Ray to make sure the heart structure was good.
So based on the stats above my heart was in perfect state and there is nothing to worry bout. The only explanation the doctor could give for the low pulse rate is as follows:
Reason for a Low Heart Rate after Quitting Smoking
When we smoke, we inhale carbon monoxide (CO) which goes into our blood stream and reduces the amount of oxygen in our blood. So lets assume my body needs 20 points of Oxygen, but my heart could only pump 10 points because the rest is Carbon Monoxide, my heart would supply the amount of Oxygen required in 2 pumps. So now after I quit smoking, my Carbon Monoxide content went down to ZERO. So now when my heart pumps blood into my body, it carries 100% oxygen enabling it to send 20 points in one pump. So now, my heart can rest and pump less.
The explanation might not be proven nor is taken from any research, but is a common assumption, the doctor added. So do not use this information for any legal purposes. I intended to include here to give you an understanding of how thing work and why your heart rate goes down after you quit smoking. So the doctor also added that my heart is the same as that of an Athlete. Reason? Because it is strong and pumping a good amount of blood in every pump. If I would have not quit smoking, this would have changed and my heart would have become weaker.
I just can't think myself and the "Self Awareness Theory" enough for getting me on to the right path.
I complete my 14 Days (2 full weeks) tomorrow. I have put together a 2 week report for you, please read it here
Total Money Saved since Quit Date: $146.25