28 Sep 2018
01 Oct 2018
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Hello everyone, my name is Craig. I want to share my story.
Lat week on the 23rd of September in the morning I started my usual day. Got up, made coffee, had my first smoke of the day, coughed my lungs out as per usual. That morning was a bit different though for some reason, I didn't feel quite right. I felt like I was getting another chest cold or flu, cigarettes were tasting funny, started feeling feverish, short of breath, the whole works. So I just took it easy, curled up on the couch wrapped up in a blanket. I was finding I couldn't lie down....I would start coughing and couldn't bring anything out. Had a lunch about 11 am or so, had my usual smoke afterwards, but I had a very hard time with it, I coughed badly on each drag. After I put it out I had one smoke left in my pack, then I would need to run into town to get more...but I felt very crappy. so...I kinda sat and dozed in and out for most of the afternoon until about 9 pm... I could hardly take a breath, I was light headed, fevered and generally felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest!
I decided it was time to see a Doctor...but it was Sunday evening so it was the emergency room. After registering at the admitting desk I put my paperwork at the nurse station and sat down...there was about 15 or so ahead of me, so figured I had a long wait ahead. The nurse called me up for the assessment review, and at that point I was taken immediately into the ER room... My O2 saturation was below 80%.... I was hooked up on Oxygen...nebbulizers, antibiotics, blood tests...and of course all kinds of questions.
To this point in my life, I had hardly needed anything more than an occasional aspirin, maybe some oral antibiotics...so I was feeling pretty overwhelmed...and bloody scared I tell you!!
Chest X-ray's showed Chronic Bronchitis and a spot of pneumonia! After being in that room all night...in a chair till 7 am (I did get breakfast mind you), no sleep to speak of.... I was finally admitted to a room on the 3rd floor, hooked up to the wall oxygen supply at 6 liters per hour...or min...not sure how it's delivered. I spent the rest of that day being monitored constantly for my oxy levels...could barely maintain between 80 to 85%.
That's when they gave me the news... I had COPD, Chronic Bronchitis!
95% was due to smoking of course, but I was also a welder for 20 years, lived and grew up on a farm, I am now a Journeyman Agricultural mechanic (so exposed to all kinds of grain dust etc as well as diesel exhaust fumes). So...even my carrier choices were my doom, even if I Didn't smoke!
That was my turning point...I had quit a few times but always seem to falter, and end up smoking more than I did before I quit...and never for more than a few day's without a "Cheater" smoke that only lead to more and more till I was back to a full pack a day.
I am happy to say that by the 27th of Sept, in the morning I had been taken off the oxygen for 24 hours and maintained 94% plus...so I was good to go home...without the need to have an oxygen bottle tethered to me :) But...I have a whole pharmacy of medication now along with Combivent inhaler. But I am thankful I can still work and not be on disability...well, yet anyway.
That one last smoke I had left at home before I went to the hospital....Gone, along with every ash tray and any other related junk that went with it! I figured I had already traveled this far without a smoke...I'm done with it!
Today makes exactly one week...no cheats and no intention of starting again....being able to breath is so very important to me now, I am not going to mess it up.
I take each day as it comes...if I made it through without looking to have a smoke, then I am one more day as a Non-Smoker :)