Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Good and Fun Stuff

I have not forgotten that I said I would write about the stuff that was keeing me away for the blog a few weeks ago. In a way, they still are, but I've incorporated them into my life now, and they seem to have found their place.

It all started with a major project, quitting smoking. I think I've finally done it. After everything from acupressure to herbs to nicotine gum and patches, I think I have finally been able to quit thank to what seems nearly like a miracle to me ... Chantix.

I am just about to complete my fifth week on Chantix. I am one of the lucky ones who has no significant side-effects from it. I had some very trivial nausea and lightheadness for an hour or so during the first day I took the initial dose. That quickly disappeared and has not come back at all. For awhile I was concerned it might come back to strike as I went through the first week of gradually titrating up to the full dose. Fortunately that never happened. I am having the side effect of vivid dreams, but that's not really a problem. They're not nightmares, they're just fun. Mine have been mostly about traveling to some of my favorite spots.

One of the interesting things about it is that you're supposed to keep smoking during your first week on Chantix. Before the week was over I noticed that I had already begun to lose interest in smoking. In fact, when I went out on the porch to smoke what was to be the very last one, I decided not to bother with it. Since then I've managed to avoid them completely ... and without all the horrific stuff I went through the other times I've tried to quit. It's really quite amazing.

I intend to complete the full recommend 12-week program even though it seems almost like I won't need the second of the two "continuation packs." If has worked this well for the initial 5 weeks, I want to be sure that I get the maximum effect from it.

So then in order to try to avoid as much as the inevitable weight gain as possible, I decided to get a little more serious about a walking routine. The only problem is that I get so very bored by healthy brisk walks. So I decided to get one of those new Sirius Stiletto 2 portable satellite radios I can take with me on the walks, a fun little gadget that receives radio from the satellite or from wi-fi. It acts like a Tivo and records your favorite shows. It also acts like an Ipod and let you load it up with your favorite audio. And if you're not inclined to do that, it loads itself up at random with material from the stations you listen to. So I have plenty of things to keep me entertained while I go on my increasingly longer and longer walks. I've been listening to a lot of Michelangelo Signorile on Sirius OutQ as well as the outrageous Derek and Romaine.

So ... it has taken me awhile to incorporate all of this stuff into my daily routine, but I think I'm getting there. And for my dog, Mr. Harley, it is just the best possible thing to happen because going on walks is really his favorite thing in the whole world ... well with the possible exception of those Apple Oatmeal Bark 'n Fetch Biscuits from Three Dog Bakery.

Things are good.