“There are no words to describe how I feel,” Susan said. After 40 years of smoking, 5 weeks as a non-smoker feels like a whole new world.
“It’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself,” she added. “I feel sorry for other smokers. They have to stand out there in that nasty weather, ugh!”
“I can’t thank you guys and your program enough,” shared Susan. To show how much she appreciated the support of the Michigan Quitline she wrote a letter to her local Michigan Dept. of Community Health. In it, she described how every winter severe respiratory infections made her miserable. The constant flow of antibiotics into her system left her feeling drained.
Then, a series of mini-strokes combined with a serious conversation with her doctor about her health was the final straw.
“I read about the quitline online,” she said. “I worked with a coach to hammer out a plan and a quit date. When the free patches arrived, I was on my way. The first week was really tough, but I kept telling myself, ‘Tomorrow will be better.’”
Every week Susan would update a coach on her progress and challenges she was facing. She worked on getting her husband to smoke outside. She changed up her routines during work breaks, used different oral substitutes like gum and suckers and continued to educate herself by reading everything she could.
“I am so proud of myself,” she said. “Tears come to my eyes every time I think about what I’ve accomplished. If I can do this, I can do anything!”
Susan now appreciates the little things in life that previously went unnoticed. “I can get up and down a flight of stairs without coughing and wheezing. My sense of smell is great!” she said. “If I’ve made it this long I know will never smoke again.”