Friday, May 2, 2014

60 Days After Switching To e-Cigs - The Journey Continues






Well, today is 60 days since I last smoked an analog cigarette. WOW!! I feel really great about that. Each day is an accomplishment but to think that it has been over 8 weeks now, is just mind blowing to me! Especially since the journey has been relatively painless.

On the symptom topic, there really is nothing new to report. The sore throat that I spoke of in my last update, has not been an issue since. The coughing is really minimal at this stage. I cannot say that the coughing has completely stopped, but I will say that it is down significantly. If at the beginning it was a 10 - and a non-smoker would be a 0 ... I would have to really say that my coughing is down to maybe a 2 at this point. In my last post I had said that I imagined that by the end of the second month the coughing would pretty much be over - and it is. Judging from how I feel today, if it is not completely gone by month 3 - it most definitely will be gone by month 4. And let us be realistic for a moment - shall we? I didn't damage my body overnight. The abuse to my body is from decades of smoking, so it would be foolish to believe that the damage would be healed overnight. I am aware that many things will heal, and some never will. Thus is the true cost of making the stupid decision to ever start smoking cigarettes so many years ago.

But, as I always say, you cannot un-ring a bell. So, onward and upward!

How about some good news? The withdrawal from the 4000 chemicals is completely gone. I no longer crave rat poison, butane and formaldehyde. How's that for progress? lol  I think it is fantastic. I am delighted to know that those chemicals are now out of my system.  And should never have been there in the first place. But I digress...

What is interesting is that even though the physical craving - or what I have affectionately dubbed my phantom-cigarette-syndrome, has subsided significantly. As I said in my first post, my mom who quit smoking some thirty years ago, will still experience a physical memory - flicking a cigarette when none is in her hand. My physical memory really has not been an issue for me during this second month. It is a very rare occasion when I find myself reaching for the pack.  What is interesting is that I will have a mental memory (lol) I will think of reaching for the pack - but the hand does not do the physical act - then I will mentally correct myself, and reach for the ecig.

For the most part - it is that simple. A fleeting thought of reaching for the pack. A mental correction. And it's over. But there are occasional moments when I WANT a REAL cigarette! These moments are controllable and fleeting. But they do exist. I don't think it is about a craving. I think it is about memory - nostalgia. I imagine it is similar to an alcoholic who is recovering - years later will have the urge to have a drink. It isn't necessarily a craving per se, but more of old habits die hard. Again, for me, it is not a big deal. The thought pops up and my mental self swats the thought right out of my head, I take a drag of the ecig and go on about my business.

So how are the lungs doing? Quite well, thank you for asking! (haha!) Seriously, my breathing is improving with each passing day. My asthma has subsided dramatically and my use of inhalers is next to none. Maybe once a day and on some days I don't even have to use them at all! The wheezing has cut down a lot, my stamina is increasing and I don't sound like I am always trying to catch a train!

Vocal cords are still healing. I have done some specific research on this topic and sadly they may never heal completely. The facts are that I have done a lot of damage to them and that damage may be irreparable. At some point I will need to make an appointment with an E.N.T. (Ear, Nose and Throat) doctor and have them checked out to see if there are any polyps on them and if any scar tissue exists and if it can be surgically repaired. But for now I am hoping that the lack of carcinogenics will heal them. In my research I have learned that this can take about 9 months before I really see what healing will take place.  My voice is improving though. It isn't as scratchy and I don't' feel the need to clear my throat as much. So, fingers crossed that one day - one way or another - I will have my voice back again. In the meantime, it is recommended to keep them as moist as possible - ie. - drink lots of water.

In my last posting, I did a listing from the Cessation Nation app I had downloaded, shall we see where my numbers are today? I will post the last results at the 32 day mark - followed by the numbers for today at the 60 day mark.

32 Days since my last cigarette.

1276 Cigarettes not smoked.

Heart rate and Blood pressure have dropped - 100%

Carbon Monoxide levels in my blood have dropped - 100%

Sense of taste and smell have improved - 100%

Circulation has substantially improved - 34%

Smoke related sinus congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath have decreased - 11%

Risk of Heart Disease, Heart Attack and Stroke have dropped to less than half that of a smoker. - 8%

Risk of Stroke has decline to that of a non-smoker - 1%

Life expectancy gained - 5 days.

~*~*~

60 Days since my last cigarette.

2400 Cigarettes not smoked.

Heart rate and Blood pressure have dropped - 100%

Carbon Monoxide levels in my blood have dropped - 100%

Sense of taste and smell have improved - 100%

Circulation has substantially improved - 65%

Smoke related sinus congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath have decreased - 21%

Risk of Heart Disease, Heart Attack and Stroke have dropped to less than half that of a smoker. - 16%

Risk of Stroke has decline to that of a non-smoker - 3%

Life expectancy gained - 10 days.


So, there clearly has been some improvements. As I say - onward and upward!

The improvement of smell by 100% - I will share a funny story with you about that, as I was just speaking to someone about this very thing earlier today. In addition to smoking cigarettes, I use to also smoke weed. So back in the day I use to burn incense all the time. Many smokers are delusional in believing that the incense covers up the smell of the weed. Of course some burn it just because they like the smell, or use it for therapeutic purposes - meditation, etc ..  but I used it to cover up the smell of the weed. So, I have not burned any in a very long time. Well, I was digging through one of my junk drawers yesterday (don't we all have a junk drawer? ) and I came across some incense and decided to burn one. These are not the dollar store incense - these are expensive ones and I remember really loving how they smelled! So I dug out my incense holder and fired one up. Well OMG!!! I could not even smell the scent of the patchouli over the smell of the smoke!! It was overwhelming!! I could not even let the entire stick burn out.  After about ten minutes I actually had to extinguish it myself because I just could not stand the smoke.  I then started thinking how I use to use essentially perfumed smoke to cover up other smoke. Pause for irony.

If you have been following along in this journey with me, you may have noticed that the ecig pictured in today's post appears to be larger than the ones pictured in the first two postings. (If you missed the first two postings, you can find them under the 'ecigs' tag in the Index on the main page of this blog.) You are absolutely right. In my first posting I mentioned that in my research I learned that as your lungs heal and become stronger you will undoubtedly use more e-liquid as you are able to take in stronger draws and larger amounts of vapor per draw. Well, this is absolutely true. If you recall, I said that my very first draw of my very first ecig was one of great expectation and resulted in a coughing/choking fit. My poor lungs just could not take it! That in the beginning I could not direct inhale, and hand to inhale into my mouth and then to my lungs.

Two months later my lungs are significantly stronger and now that most of the tar and other crap has been expelled from my lungs, my cilia have been able to move freely once again, sweeping the crap out of my lungs and allowing them to function properly.

When I first made the switch from analog cigs to ecigs - I did so with the knowledge and suggestion through my research that I begin with what we all think about when we think of an ecig. The slender cigarette looking device. The company I purchase from calls these the 510 models. They are about the size of a pen, the thickness of a cigarette, with a light battery. The light battery is perfect for beginners, those making the transition, but frankly, at this point in my journey, they just are no longer satisfying.

Because they are so small, they just do not last long enough. And I found myself having to charge them up every couple of hours. Coupled with the fact that because they are so small, their ability to heat up the heating coil and ultimately produce vapor was no longer satisfying for my needs. In the beginning, when my lungs were a mess, I could not direct inhale, after two months - with stronger lungs, it was like sucking on a straw. I was really not getting anything from the 510 setup and required a stronger system. This is normal.

In all of the forums, chat rooms, blogs, papers, articles etc. that I had read, it seems to be the general consensus that once you have a couple of months under your belt, you will want to increase the strength of the vapor. Thus purchasing more powerful paraphernalia.

So this is what I have done. I am now on the Ego series. I won't get into all of the schematics but for those who are interested, I went from using the 510 280mah Mega Battery, to now using the AnyVape EGO Spinner Battery - 1000mAh. I love the power of this battery and the life of the battery as well.  As I said, the 510's needed to be charged every 3hrs or so, whereas the Spinner battery has been going now for over 24hrs without needing a recharge. Excellent!!!

What I don't like is the size. It is a bit cumbersome for my liking. Very masculine feeling. (Although it does come in a variety of colors.) If we say that the 510 is the size-ish of an analog cigarette, then the Spinner is about the size of a cigar. I really would like to have a battery, which has the power and lifespan of the Spinner but is a bit thinner - somewhere between the size of the two. And yes, I am a total girl about it but I really think there should be a more feminine option available, and perhaps there is with other distributors. For now I am sticking with the supplier that I have found. (More about them later.)

As for the tanks. With the 510 battery I was using the s-510 clearomizer. Of course with a larger battery, I require a larger clearomizer. So I have bought two. 1 (pink) iSmoka with a flat whistle tip - and 1 CE5 disposable (black tinted). Both are pictured above. I bought one of each because I really had no idea what I was doing. lol How's that for honesty?

When I did my original research, I was only concerned with the beginning steps. Sorting through all of the paraphernalia and trying to figure out what I needed at that point in time. What was necessary to get me started on the road to vaping. I was successful in that venture, but what I had not gotten around to was figuring out what I would require for phase two.

Enter Josh.

Who is Josh? I'm so glad you asked! Quite honestly, Josh is my vaping tour guide and my new BFF! lol

He is the support consultant at CanadaVapes.com, and has been of tremendous help to me, as I graduated from a novice to jr. vapor. lol Needless to say, I had a thousand questions, and finding someone with the experience - who was willing to answer my questions, I did not hold back.  Yes. I took full advantage of him! (Poor Josh! lol)  Quite honestly, I don't know if he ever became annoyed by all of my endless questions, but if he did - he never let on. Extremely patient with me and took the time to understand where I was in my journey and suggested products that he thought would be useful to me in my next steps. Taking the time in countless emails to explain all of the in's and out's of each product and not steering me towards stuff I have no use for. That's right, he didn't try to sell me stuff just to make a buck. WHAT?!?!?!?! He actually heard me - he knew and understood where I was in my journey, and what I needed.

This is how I ended up with the two different clearomizers. One disposable and one reusable. I wanted to get my hands on them and try them out for myself. In my early research I had become very well aware that at the end of the day it is about personal preference. And I was prepared for that. But at the end of the day you really have to try the stuff to know whether or not it is for you. So, I did. And I found what I believe is the perfect set-up for me at this stage. At least until I can find a smaller, yet just as powerful battery. Thanks for everything, Josh! My Professional BFF!! Haha! (Inside Joke. lol)

Well, I think I have just about covered everything there is at this point in my journey. Let me just say once again, if you or someone you know is wanting to quit smoking cigarettes, I strongly encourage you to do your research  on ecigs and consider making the switch. I cannot say what is right for someone else, but I can tell you that without a doubt - switching to ecigs is the best thing I have done for myself in a very long time!

I really do not plug companies on this blog but I do promote what I believe. And I have to say that I really am in love with CanadaVapes.com. If you are in search of a Canadian supplier for you ecig needs, consider visiting their online store and checking them out. At this point I have had the opportunity to deal with a couple of the staff there and they are truly A-mazing! Down to earth, helpful, fast, efficient, cost effective. And they have a wide variety of product. Most of which I have no idea how to use! LOL!

Until we meet again friend.....

Be Blessed.

-Laura