Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My New Catch 22

So, as you all know I went to the doctor about a week and a half ago and after getting the blood tests back, my doctor told me that to lower my skyrocketing cholesterol and blood pressure I would HAVE to quit smoking, change my diet and exercise regularly.

Now, if any of you know what the diet for high cholesterol is, you’ll know what hell I am going through. I am not a junk food junkie, but not being able to eat 98% of things found in a normal grocery store is…my new HELL.

On top of that, I am a week into weaning down my smoking and am at less than half of what I smoked up until now. If you have quit or know someone who has…you’ll know that the first thing you want to do is EAT! Problem number 1….I can’t fucking eat! Salads and nuts just don’t cut the ‘quit smoking cravings.’ In addition to the food aspect, my loving doc prescribed Wellbutrin (an anti anxiety drug) to help along the weaning process. The thought is good, but after reading the below ‘known’ side effects….What The Fuck?


All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome when using Wellbutrin:

Constipation (everyone knows that a cup of coffee and a cigarette are like bowel draino); dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; headache (the smoker’s cure for any pain or ailment….smoking); increased sweating; loss of appetite(when I am not able to eat anything…I am going to get sick from mal nutrition); nausea; nervousness (again…smoking calms the system); restlessness (for this and the last one….mind you, this is an anti anxiety drug!); taste changes; trouble sleeping(can’t sleep….have a smoke…or eat…WTF?); vomiting (who doesn’t have a smoke after a good puke?); weight changes.

(I will not even get into the following SEVERE side effects.)

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur when using Wellbutrin:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chest pain; confusion; dark urine; delusions; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or sore throat; hallucinations; hearing problems; menstrual changes; new or worsening mental or mood changes (eg, concentration problems, panic attacks, aggressiveness, agitation, anxiety, impulsiveness, irritability, hostility, exaggerated feeling of well-being, inability to sit still); red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; seizures; severe headache or dizziness; severe or persistent joint or muscle pain; severe or persistent nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain; severe or persistent nervousness, restlessness, or trouble sleeping; shortness of breath; suicidal thoughts or attempts; tremor; unusual swelling; vision changes; worsening depression; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

So….here I am, smoking less, wanting to eat, not being able to eat, suffering from side effects that make me want to smoke, but can’t smoke more, needing to exercise more, but lacking the nutritional energy to do so….basically making myself nuts.

Lastly…I may be wrong, or it may just be a smoker’s mind trick, but haven’t I heard somewhere that the worst time to quit smoking is when you are under a lot of stress? (i.e. out of work, struggling financially, going through divorce, etc….all of which apply to me at the moment! And my doctor knows this.)

Is my doctor a quack? Or is this my withdrawals from nicotine and fatty foods?


Anonymous said...

This is pretty typical for 40-year-old males. First off, I would suggest that you tackle one issue at a time (i.e., quit smoking first, then work on cholesterol). The effects of smoking are far more dangerous than curbing your diet at this time.

If it's any consolation, my husband went through the same thing, was told the same thing at 40, and he is now 53 and still smokes and eats anything he wants.

One way to look at it is that it costs approximately $400 a month to smoke 2 packs a day. Maybe that would be better incentive!

ZenMom said...

Cheerios - eat 'em.

Hang in there!

Annette said...

I was on Wellbutrin (http://www.annetteholland.com/search/label/wellbutrin), and my doc at the time told me that if I smoked it would help me quit. The major side effects for me were the dry mouth and insomnia. I drank lots of water during the day and Kahlua and cream at night. My doc also suggested an OTC sleep aid (check with yours) and of course more exercise for my anxiety and to help my body get tired.

I was fighting sever anxiety and S.A.D., not quitting smoking, but I gather some of the symptoms are the same.

Eat your Cheerios, and oatmeal. And anything high-fiber will make you feel full(er). And help with the constipation *snicker*

Good luck, Chris. I know you can do it. And oh yeah, check out Fresh and Easy. Great (affordable) healthy food selections.

Always Home and Uncool said...

Basically, you're screwed.

Anon is right about tackling one issue at a time. Focus on the not smoking and sub in more fruits and veggies. When you fell stable, focus on losing weight and exercise.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Quitting smoking sucks and there's no real easy way. However, here's a trick that may help: Pretend to smoke. When you're feeling stressed out and craving a butt, go outside (or wherever you smoked) and pretend. You'll feel kinda stupid, but there's a logic to this...

When you smoke, you take a break, relax and inhale deeply, which is relaxing for the body. So a mental part of craving is you needing to relax and breathe deep. Mimic smoking, without the cigarette, and you still breathe deep and relax. Just this time, clean air instead of smoke.

Good luck.

Danielle said...

I want to feel sorry for you, really I do. But... :)

There are a ton of foods that you can eat that are good for you and taste good.
Sex will keep your mind off of things and ease the stress!
Take Omegas or fish oil. They help reduse cholesteral.
You will be fine and a lot healthier soon and that will in general will help with stress.
Good luck my friend. You can do it.


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