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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Because It’s Always A Good Time for Cake

I’ve done it several times; and each time, I suspect that I get a little better at it.

But this time, I’m going to be really good at it.

Once again, I have quit smoking.

“We won’t give you this medication unless you stop smoking,” the doctor says.

“Do I need it?”

The doctor pauses, taps her pen against her front teeth. “Hmm,” she muses. “Do you need this medication… You come in with various complaints, I offer you what I believe to be the best first-line options, and you want to know if you need it.” She cocks her head at me. “I dunno. You tell me.”

Rats. I hate when they get all smart on you.

“But can I smoke when I’m drunk?”

Her head remains cocked to one side, but her eyes narrow.

“What about if I feel bored? Stressed out? Hungry? Unfulfilled as a human being?”

“Read a book, do some sit-ups, drink a large glass of water, consider your non-human options.”

We smile at each other. “Funny, aren’t you?” I say.

“Yes,” she says. She leans forward, places her white-coated elbows on her knees, looks me square in the face. “Let me ask you a couple questions.”

I cock my head at her.

“You use your mind much?”

“I’ve been known to ponder on occasion.”

“Like to communicate? Talk? Write?”

I reach for my purse. “You mean I haven’t given you my blog’s business card yet?”

She waves me off. “Do you think you’re attractive?”

I smile. “I think I’ve peaked,” I say, “but I’m not bad looking.”

“How do you feel about partial paralysis?”

I frown.

“How would you feel about drops to keep your unblinking eye moist? Having to use your good hand to ensure that one side of your mouth is closed when you’re chewing?”

Dagnabit. Doctors and their brains. I briefly consider getting a dumber doctor and then shake her proffered hand.

It’s a deal. I promise to try not to have a prescription-aided stroke.

So that’s it. I quit. It’s been 10 days. I won’t bring it up again until I run out of post ideas and/or I think some sort of treat is due me (outside of saving money or not coughing or not stinking up the porch or clearing the avoidable paths to strokedom...)

I just felt you should know.

You know. In case you wanted to bake me a cake.


Hilary said...

Oh good for you. I know how difficult it is to quit and I'm happy that you are able to. Your doctor is one smart woman.

Sarah said...

Wish my doctors had some sass like that!

Good luck with the quitting, it's definitely no easy feat as I've sadly come to learn :(

ellen abbott said...

watch out for the weight gain. not me of course. my husband quit smoking a year ago last Thanksgiving and sometime last summer, he swelled up like a puffer fish. I swear he put on 20 pounds in two weeks. you could almost see him grow.

haphazardlife said...

How about cheesecake? - Jazz

Deborah said...

This is fabulous! I'm in your corner, it is not an easy thing to do, but an awesome thing to do.

I quit 13 years ago and I have to say that the biggest thing that surprised me about it is freedom. I just had no idea the chain that was attached to me through my smoking.

Yay to you.

Pearl said...

Thanks, everyone. I've only had one true craving and I just sat there and thought MAN I would so light up if... and I dropped it at that.

And yes. Cheesecake is always an option. :-) Thanks for reminding me!

Douglas said...

Sounds like blackmail to me. "We have the technology to save your life... but you must jump through this flaming hoop first!"

I quit smoking some 40 years ago but I did it by my own choice. I was not forced into it. I personally believe that is the only way to do it and be successful.

Kyna said...

Wish I had a smartass doctor. That would be awesome.

Good for you for quitting!

Kate Mohler said...

Funny stuff here, Pearl, and congrat's for trying again to stop smoking! Who needs a stroke anyway? I like your doctor by the way: very personable.

Simply Suthern said...

I cant begin to imagine all the things those two cats of yours would do to you if you stroked out and couldnt protect yourself. Prolly dress you up in cat clothes. Feed you a couple gold fish. Order all sorts of things online. And worse of all write bad blog.

So save yourself and us from them and stay smoke free. Congrats and good luck hun.

Sausage Fingers said...

Pearl - good luck.
You were one of my mouse pad winners, check your e-mail.
Cheers, Sausage

Elly Lou said...

I have to agree with the doc, that doesn't seem like a good look for you.

lesinfin said...

Congrats, Pearl! This is awesome! I was never really a smoker myself, except that for some time I smoked when I drank wine or coffee or water and also when I drove or got stressed out or bored or wanted to feel European. (No offense to any non-smoking Europeans.) But I was never, you know, a smoker. Anyway, I stopped doing all of that, which is good. And I started drinking tea too which I mention because for whatever reason, it helped. Whenever I thought about smoking, I drank a cup of tea. Sounds weird maybe but whatever works. Now I actually like the tea, which scares me a little.


lgsquirrel said...

You can do it! Yay! Yay! Do what i do. Eat nuts instead.

Susan in the Boonies said...

If I make you a cake, you will now be able to better taste it, so that's a GOOD thing!

Also, no wonder you've been more sensitive to smells lately! (Think yesterday's post.)

Congratulations on the 10 days. You've been awfully stoic about it to make it this long without whining. Good job!!!!

(P.S. I like your doctor. :-D )

Jhon Baker said...

It is good to talk about the stressors you have while in the midst of quitting. Helps keep the mind tuned in to what it needs to do. Congratulations! it is a hard thing to do and 10 days is a long time.

Katie said...

Darn those doctors with their valid points.

Congrats on going 10 days. Here's to the next 10 and beyond.

jenny_o said...

Good on ya.

I can tell you from watching my paralyzed-one-side father the past three years that a stroke is a gamechanger. In a bad way.

Keep up the good work. Angelfood cake is a low fat and lower calorie yummy alternative to regular cake, for what it's worth :)

And, I'd be remiss if I didn't tell you, now that I'm finally commenting, I'm enjoying your blog immensely!

Oilfield Trash said...

That is awesome. Congrats on the 10 days.

I am in the process of quitting smoking as well. My problem is I also will have to quit drinking because for me they go hand in hand together.

Cheeseboy said...

Your doctor sounds like a total smar-ass. I totally dig it!

Congrats on quitting. Hope you enjoy that medication.

bruce said...

good job Pearl!

i am on day 30 myself. i am a smoker! I'm just not having one today.

amazing what a diagonsis like stroke, or in my case cancer, does for motivation...

i was in a smokers home today and i felt like i needed a smoke...but then i felt like i needed to live also...

living won this round...

keep it up!

Bruce Johnson JADIP
Evil Twin
stupid stuff I see and hear
The Dreamodeling Guy
The Guy Book
The Guy Book

Leenie said...

Sounds like you and your doctor are a match. All kinds of good karma going your way for all kinds of success with this project and any other mountains you may climb. Crap! that sounds too much like a greeting card and I think the boss is coming this way so I won't have time to improve----

Polly Scott said...

I can't make you a cake because I can't cook. But I do yoga - so I will meditate for you. You will be my intention tonight. You and your cake.

Pearl said...

What a bunch of sweethearts!

So sorry about your diagnosis, Bruce.

Polly Scott, I practice as well and will think of you and your thoughtful intention tonight!

Gigi said...

You are an inspiration Pearl! Keep it up!

IndigoWrath said...

Hey Pearl! Quitting smoking? Wow, tough gig. Give it hell. And give your doctor the bird while succeeding. Indigo x

JallieDaddy said...

Wow, that's some doc! Good luck

Eva Gallant said...

Go Pearl! Besides, think of how Liza Bean Bitey of the Minneapolis Biteys would take advantage if you had a stroke! She'd be completely out of control!

white rabbit said...

You go Tuger! It will be good!

I found an easy way to stop smioking.

1. Fall over and fracture hip.

2. Have fractured hip plated under general anaesthetic.

3. Come round from general anaesthetic to discover a canulla giving me intravenous morphine on demand.

4. Be told 'just press this (button on morphine drip) if you are feeling uncomfortable'


6. Be so off my face on intravenous morphine I couldn't care less about smoking (just as well as too immobile to crawl out of hospital for cigarette anyway)

It worked for me. haven't touched one since. the morphine just bounced me through the withdrawal phase and when I was discharged I thought i might as well roll with it. Kicked the morphine habit too...

Sweet Cheeks said...

10 days...how long is that in dog years?

Good job, Honey!!!

Sex'n'Fries said...

It is hard work to quit but so worth it. Of course as an ex-smoker, we have more opinions about smokers than anyone else.

jLow said...

See how er'body out here wants you to be successful AND healthy!?!! Congratulations!

becca said...

i'm all about chocolate cake anytime

Eric said...

Congratulations! I just passed the 1 year and 2 months mark. It gets easier. Virtual cake:

| |
| |

Eric said...

OK that didn't work.

Roses said...

Well done honey. That will be me on March 1st.


The Vegetable Assassin said...

Good luck with that, I'm sure you won't need it being superhuman and all. My young man quit about 18 months ago. Just stopped one day and never went back. Amazing really. Oh he WANTED to but he somehow had the power. SO you know, it's hard but it can be done. And that man has NO will power usually. :)

On My Soapbox said...

Yay, Pearl! You can do it!

SeaD said...

Well good for you, Pearl! It won't be a piece of cake, but you will deserve one when you feel you have kicked the habit. My roomie wanted a new I-phone and figured if he quit for one month he would have saved the $200.00 to buy it. Once that month was over he just keeps checking off the days and 6 months later, he says he feels great. Here's wishing you all the cake you can hold!
P.S. Got your chap book in the mail and it makes the perfect bus companion! Good stuff as always.

Belle said...

That's terrific, Pearl. Good for you.

Sue said...

Yes. I will bake you a cake. And, umm...have it shipped. To Minnesota. Because that is what a good Housemommy would do.

Seriously, though. I'm really happy for you, what with your blinking eyes and closed-mouth-chewing and all. Keep fighting the good fight. It's totally worth it!

Ruthibelle said...

cake's on the way. bravo, pearl, bravo!

a Broad said...

Oh honey, I am SO baking you a cake !!
I did it !! My husband did it !! My dad did it after the doctor told him, quit smoking or be dead in 6 months..he was in his early 30s .. He is 80 now ..
I am so glad you are going to be around for a long while . . we might even get to meet and have cake together !!!

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

quitting smoking is a tough gig
congrats on your 10 days
wish I had some cake for you...

how 'bout an armadillo?
i got a spare armadillo

Kal said...

Now THAT is funny. I have a crazy funny doctor like that too. Is she from South Africa by any chance?

vanilla said...

Best to you. I know you'll succeed. Today I was behind a guy at checkout who paid $57 for a carton of cigarettes. Thank God, I thought, that I am not as one of these. ;)

Haven't smoked in nearly 13 years.

Bambam said...

I'm still battling that sweet seductress Lady Nicotine, but I'm determined to kick it soon... Well done Pearl!

WrathofDawn said...

You can do it! Yes, you can!

I know this, because I have done it (for good, I think - it's been 4 years) and I was BORN addicted to nicotine. Both parents smoked. The first cigarette I smoked, I felt like I'd come home.

One of the methods that helped me is something I like to call the 'I'm a Moron and I Can Be Tricked' Method. Every time you want a smoke, say, "Not just now. Maybe later." If you're as dumb as me, you'll fool yourself over and over and before you know it... you won't be wanting to smoke any more.

Also, put aside the money you would have spent on smokes and after a month, buy yourself a treat with it.

Mamma has spoken said...

Good Job on quiting that habit! I smoked too many, many years ago. I quit the first time because I was pregnant, took it up as soon as he was born, gave it up again when pregnant the second time and decided never to take it up again because it was so hard to do. Tried to smoke several years later, couldn't stand it. To this day, can't stand the smell of it either.

powdergirl said...

You go, Pearlie Whirly Girl!

I would bake you a cake, but I'm just shite with the baking. Would you care for some braised fennel and roasted yellow beets? Spinach salad? Beet borscht? Maybe a nice rack o' ribs?

Cause I totally rock those dishes!

Only one craving? You're a quitter for sure! Congratulations : )

my name is Ian said...

quitting is easy, I'm good at quitting, I've quit a least a dozen or more times. good luck!

Linda Myers said...

Good for you. Those 10 days are long ones, but the worst is over. I hope you decide you don't want to do them all over again.

For me, it's been 20 years since I smoked and I still remember how hard it was to quit.

Stephanie in Suburbia said...

Ok, don't laugh, but my mom quit smoking with hypnosis! I just tried it for weight loss and am keeping my fingers crossed. My mom is an RN and calld hypnosis and acupuncture "voodoo crap." Now she's hooked!

Joann Mannix said...

Big time congratulations!

I like your doctor's technique. Scaring the shit out of this hypochondriac would work every time.

Now, go drink that big glass of water. You're going to be just fine. Welcome to the healthy side of life.

NotaSupermom said...

I bet you look and feel better. It's a tough addition to kick, so I have a lot of respect for you.

Flea said...

I like a girl with a short skirt and a looooooooong jacket.

Lazarus said...

Pearl, you have too many followers now to keep smoking, we are like your children (sort of.) We are all rooting for you, you can do it!

Katie Gates said...

As my former husband once said, the great thing about quitting smoking is that everyone congratulates you: smokers as well as non-smokers. Speaking on behalf of one of those groups (puff-puff): CONGRATULATIONS! 10 days is major. Good for you.

River said...

Yay!! From now on every breath that comes from your mouth (and lungs) will just get sweeter and sweeter. I'll be the friend who tells you that smoke fouled lungs really, really, stink. "If you've just had a cigarette, don't come talking to me for at least an hour and even then don't get close to my face" type of stink.(perhaps I'm super sensitive, but I do flinch away from that odour). Also your hair and clothes will no longer carry the smell of old stale smoke.
The best part? You'll be able to taste subtle differences in food again. For instance you'll taste the difference between rump steak and fillet steak. And so on.

Chez said...

Wonderful news! Have you had an unintentional personality change?

hoodyhoo said...

Congrats on the quitting -- I did it recently myself and it SUUUUCKED... but I do feel better and things taste better and smell better and oh, yeah, I'm not risking huge blood clots...

alwaysinthebackrow said...

Cake baked. How to I get it to you?

John McElveen said...

Hope you make it. It took me 5 trys..and then I started back after quitting for 9 years!! Then I quit again: 6 years ago, and I could still start back. The triple by-pass and two stents helps remind me though!

Damn the Tobacco Companies...they sure knew what they were doing!

And I'll bet they have a hand in the prescriptions we take to quit!

Sorry--that sounds to Conspiracy Theorist doesn't it?


Mr London Street said...

I recommend reading The Only Way To Stop Smoking Permanently by Alan Carr. I used to smoke thirty-five a day (more on the days when I went to the pub) and I stopped completely and have never missed it in the slightest. Probably the best book I ever read, and I've lost track of how much money it saved me, better than any get rich quick scheme.