I’ve been trying to stop smoking for over 50 years. I first started smoking when I was 12 years old. My mum was a heavy smoker and there were always woodbines lying around the house. I would often sneak ciggys out of my mum’s cigarette box whenever I could.
I’ve always enjoyed smoking. I would describe myself as a routine smoker. If I made a cup of tea I’d light a ciggy. After I hovered around the house I’d have a ciggy. I was smoking around 25 a day. In my life time I’ve tried 3 times to stop smoking. The longest I have lasted is a week. I would find myself constantly making excuses to have one and the craving would sometimes be unbearable.
Over the last few years I have noticed on occasion that I would lose feeling in my arm or leg. After a couple of days the feeling would come back and I didn’t really think much else of it. A couple of months ago I lost all feeling in my arm and leg on my left side and my vision went blurry. I took myself off to Whiston Hospital. I was seen immediately by a stroke nurse. Once I had been seen I was admitted to a ward straight away. The nurse had a very blunt and direct conversation with me about my smoking which in all honesty frightened me as it dawned on me how my smoking behaviour was effecting my health. I walked in to Whiston Hospital with 40 Cigarettes unopened and I left a week later with the same amount.
Whilst in Hospital, I was referred to the Knowsley Stop Smoking Service. My stop smoking advisor Rita called me over the telephone. Having someone at the end of the phone has really helped me. I have really appreciated the support. I have been using Nicotine Replacement Therapy in the form of a patch to help me stop smoking. With Rita’s help I have realised that my daily routine has had to change completely. I now drink and eat in my living room of a morning instead of the kitchen as that’s where I used to smoke. Although I still get cravings I can proudly say that after 6 weeks I have not had one single cigarette. I can’t quite believe it. I’m determined to carry on and I am very hopeful I will succeed with the support from the Knowsley Stop Smoking Service.