The Ides of March

It’s been a long time, but I recognize the signs. I’ve been here before, and I know it’s serious — bronchitis. One of the surest signs for me, other than the type of cough, is the fact that I can’t stand to smoke a cigarette if I have bronchitis.

So there I was in the new doctor’s office giving her my medical background information and I hear the following words come out of my mouth, “my dad died from lung cancer” and a few minutes later “my mother died from (among other things) lung cancer”. Of course I knew these facts, I had just never said them out loud to anyone before. I thought, “how stupid I must sound to this doctor who doesn’t know me”. *I* couldn’t believe how it sounded, and I *do* know me.

Addiction doesn’t give a damn about intelligence though. And nicotine addiction is particularly insidious. What chance did I have really, when my mother smoked while pregnant with me? Of course that was before the days of such great concern about these things.

Anyway, as part of the exam I had to do a few breathing tests. I did so poorly that she wanted to send me for a chest x-ray. Well, my dears, that cinched it.

I’ve quit many times before, once for as long as 1 year & 10 months and there have been other long stretches of me not smoking (hopefully this has been a saving grace). Each time I’ve gone back it’s been because we’ve moved, one of the most stressful things in life.

Stopping because of illness wasn’t exactly quitting, in my mind. I mean, there’s not that psychological “last cigarette”. Not having that “last smoke” has been a problem when I’ve quit due to bronchitis in the past. As soon as I’ve started to feel better, I’ve wanted a cigarette & badly too. Most of the time I’ve given into that craving. My first cigarette free day was 3-15-05 (hence the title of the post) and I’m hoping that my epiphany will help me stick to it… that and we aren’t planning to move any time soon.