I'm not sure if anyone noticed, but I didn't post a blog last week. I wanted to, I needed to, but I just couldn't do it. The truth is, since I got back from SOS, I've been "out of sorts." For those of you not from the South, "out of sorts" is simply a catch all diagnoses, most often used by ladies of my grandmother's era, to explain otherwise unexplainable ailments and illnesses. To make matters worse, for the last twelve days, I have been taking a mind altering drug that is supposed to help me dump my oldest and most dependable friend, Mr. Cigarette.
Chantix, a product of Pfizer Labs, is a 1mg pill, taken twice a day for a minimum of four months, with an additional three months also recommended, designed to "help ease" nicotine cessation. Simply put, Chantix's active ingredient Varenicline, binds with high affinity and selectivity, to neuronal nicotine acetylcholine receptors in the brain, thus preventing nicotine from binding to said receptors. Yep it's all that and a bag of chips, too for only $150 a month. By the way, insurance doesn't cover a dime.
Yes it's a little pricey, but you get a lot of extras and possible extras, that you don't get with that $6.00 pack of Merit Ultra Lights. The clinical name for these extras is "adverse reactions." They include, but are not limited to: rash, nausea, vomiting, constipation, flatulence, headaches, abnormal dreams, nightmares, insomnia, dry mouth, fatigue, lethargy, irritability, mood swings, depression, and not least but maybe last...suicide. It sounds pretty involved to me. With Merit Ultra Lights it seems much simpler: your lungs turn to brown goo, you can barely breathe, you get cancer and you die.
I first heard about Chantix from my friend Steve Dean. After Steve's doctor told him if he didn't quit smoking, in about a year his lungs were gonna turn to brown goo, he would hardly be able to breathe, and he would get cancer and die, Steve decided to try Chantix. I remember the Saturday morning Stevie told me he was gonna quit smoking. I took a big draw off my cigarette and thought sure...right...you go son, never believing he had a chance in hell of stopping. I told him I hoped he could, and I meant it, but I also told him, they would have to pry them out of my nicotine stain fingers before I'd give them up. Well it's been over a year and a half and my friend Steve is still on the wagon! God bless you my friend, you go son!
I really do have it in my mind to quit this time. I'm down to about 6 cigarettes a day now and I know my "quit date" is very close at hand. Already I miss smoking. It really is like losing a best friend, not to mention, I really think it's affecting my blog production. Poe had his opium, and Hemingway had his booze for inspiration and relaxation. Soon I won't even have my cigarettes. Now don't misunderstand me, I'm not comparing myself to, or insinuating that I am as recondite as Poe or as prolific as Hemingway. I'm just saying, "can't this brother have a crutch too."
It's good to finally get back to blogging. Hopefully if the "adverse reactions" don't get too bad, we'll chat again next week.