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There is a sore point between Dave and I that has me VERY worried.... David has continued to smoke since his stroke. :angry2: He knows that it is obviously not good and raises his chances of another stroke.. but it has gotten way out of hand, he is up to three packs a day again!! No matter what I say he will not stop. Oh, he totally agrees with me about smoking when I bring it up. I know it is an addiction but I don't understand, he is not even trying to cut back let alone try and stop. We don't fight about it, we do discuss it, but it makes me very sad. :( Lately he is having some pretty severe chest pains with profuse sweating, and shallow breathing as well when this happens. He won't go to dr's or anything, I am very frightened, i don't want anything to happen to this man, I love him deeply and can't picture myself without him.

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hi aime,

i would be worried too and can only imagine how helpless you must feel. you are right it is an addiction and as with all such things it is, in the long run, up to a person to make the needed changes in his life. i know of several people who continue to smoke after their stroke or heart attacks. i suppose he knows that second hand smoke is deadly to you. you said you two talk about his smoking - has he thought about your fears and sadness of life without him. if he won't quit for himself would he quit for you and your future together? i wish i had words of wisdom - please keep us posted on the situation. you both are in my thoughts. kathy

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Amie,

 

Please do not beat yourself up about this. Those of us who have had strokes are often not able to clearly make decisions. It is always difficult to quit any addiction and with the added problem of having had a stroke it makes it doubly hard.

 

Have you looked into various helps to quit smoking?

 

I agree that it might help to talk to him about doing it for you.

 

Keep working at it.

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When Dave first got out of the hospital after his stroke, he didn't smoke for two weeks... then all of a sudden he snuck one, then two, etc... I cried hysterically and literally threw myself on the floor he cried with me, I told him that smoking doubles his chance of a 2nd stroke and that I didn't want him to die and leave me, I loved him to much for that. He agreed, he tried the patch, sucking on leman drops etc.. Obviously it didn't work. I can't scream at him, he's not a child he's a all grown up 60 yr old man!!! Like I said before I just worry, I know he is stressing over the hospital bills ( no insurance) and the business.

Then there is his son, that is not working (he is 31) and it doesn't look like he is looking for a job very hard either, Dave is supporting him as well. That is a sore point between us, the son will not look for a job as long as Dave is giving him money. Dave has always given him money, which in turn has left the son, lazy and selfish. He knows the situation with his father but doesn't seem to care, he just keeps on taking....... I have talked to the son about it , but nothing has changed. Dave gave the kid a business and pays the overhead (rent, yellow page ad etc) the kid doesn't work it at al. To me and the rest of the world that is just throwing money out the window.... hello anybody home :uhm: I feel like I can't say too much to Dave about it after all it is his son. But, in my opinion the son should SMARTEN UP.

Okay sorry for the vent I guess I just needed to let it out...

hugs to all

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Anne,

 

Your story reminds me of my Brother - he has 4 adult children - 2 are doing absolutely great. However, the oldest and youngest (boys) are useless except of course to have their hands out to Dad. It's so hard to try to get them to enforce tough love.

 

As to Dave's smoking, smoking is one of the worse addictions to break - some say worse than hard drugs. Pre-stroke, I smoked a minimum of 2 packs a day. I will be honest though, I still indulge; however, 1 pack lasts me a minimum of 4 days. I know I shouldn't do it; but it is hard when there is not much else to pass the time plus it's the habit/addiction. I do not smoke inside the house - which will be interesting this winter as we know live on the east coast (we were living in AZ).

 

My :2cents: is to continue talking to Dave, reminding him of the dangers, Also, if you can find something that holds his interest, possibly that would help in the reduction of how many he smokes a day. My doc was not thrilled I've continued but happy that I reduced the amount as much as I have. I have heard, that in some, after experiencing a stroke the desire to smoke vanishes. Dave and I weren't so fortunate.

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hi amie, i can understand your situation though, my husband did the same thing after his heart attack. he quit for awhile but then went back to smoking almost 2pks a day now. i feel he was very selfish on his part, all of my family smoked too but outside not around him, to help him to be able to quit. i smoked also back then. then i quit 6months prior to my stroke but i had smoked for 30 years. it is a very hard habit to break but it can be done. i am ashamed to say that i started smoking again a year after my stroke and still do knowing its not good for me but i do enjoy it and i live with a house full of smokers, our friends smoke etc. my doctor is not thrilled with me either. there are new meds out there now to help with quitting and i've heard that they work. you might talk to your husband about them and see if he would try them. of coarse you have to really want to quit to be able to do it, mind over matter. i wish you alot of luck on this issue. you feel like your hitting a brick wall at times and with some people, you are.

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Amie,

 

I think you are doing the best you can. You talk with Dave about your concerns about his smoking and his dying. I know it is hard to stand by and watch the man you love harming himself. Unfortunately, you cannot change him.

 

You said that there is no insurance. Does that mean he doesn't see his doctor for follow-up appts? If he does, can you both go together and you can express your concerns to the doctor about his smoking. You should also discuss his chest pains and breathing troubles. This certainly seems like heart trouble.

 

Is he depressed and has lost his wanting to live? It almost sounds like he is hurting himself on purpose. I do understand how easy it is to go back to old crutches to deal with stress. But maybe anti-depressant would help him quit?

 

Hang in there. Keep coming back to let things out. We are here for you. Beth

 

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HI AMIE,

 

I KNOW THAT GETTING OTHERS TO OVERCOME THEIR VICES IS NEVER AN EASY TASK. :yikes: IT'S HARD ENOUGH AND SOMETIMES IMPOSSIBLE FOR US TO QUIT OUR OWN VICES.

 

ONE THING THAT SMOKING DOES IS CUTS THE OXYGEN SUPPLY TO THE BRAIN. THAT'S WHY IT'S SO IMPORTANT NOT TO DO IT. OUR BRAIN NEEDS OXYGEN AND THAT'S A MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR TO STROKE AND HEART ATTACK. PEOPLE KNOW THIS AND STILL CONTINUE THE HABIT. :im stupid:

 

RACHEL ALSO SMOKED PRYOR TO HER STROKE. WE BEGGED HER TO QUIT. SHE FINALLY QUIT AFTER BEING DIAGNOSED WITH CHF. SHE COULDN'T BREATHE AT ALL.

 

 

I WILL KEEP YOU IN MY PRAYERS. DON'T BLAME YOURSELF. WE ARE ALL RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR OWN ACTIONS. :2cents: TAKE CARE-LISA

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I also have quit several times..... a re-started. I do have a prescription for the new smoke aid Chantix.. it is around $100.00 a month and Dr. recommends 6 months. I will be getting it filled this week or next. At 100.00 a month it is still cheaper than smoking.

 

There are a couple on line smoking support groups, and most have help aids and books to down load. I even bought a "fake cigarette" it comes with mint flavored cartridges.. something to fiddle with. or have in your hand.

 

If you are interested in the on line site PM me and I will look it up.Has a lot of useful tips. The medication is called Chantix you can also go on line and get a free information packet from them.

I have tried the patches.. I break out in a horrible rash. Wellbutrin gave me headaches and I felt really irritable on it. There are also some Naturopathic tablets.. at vitamin stores. you let them melt and then chew them to help with the craving.

 

The best thing is to think about it.. and set a Quit date.

 

I am going for this again soon. they say it takes 6 or 8 times of trying .. to often quit

 

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Amie,

 

The only two times I quit were prior to and during both my pregnancies and when my children were babies. Seems I was much more concerned with their health than mine, both times

i was able to do it cold turkey quite easily. I know if I tried now it would not be easy. Truth be told I enjoy it.

 

After my stroke my neurologist asked me if I wanted to quit, and offered to write me a script for the patch. I said not really I enjoy smoking. His response was that I had been given a second chance at life and I should do what made me happy. This perspective takes in to consideration the fact that I don't smoke 3 packs a day.

 

Bonnie offers wonderful suggestions with support groups and asssistive medications. it certainly is a dangerous habit for someone who has had a stroke. it also increases cholesterol.

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Thank you everyone for your replies :) It does help alot to hear others in similar situations.

 

I think I have come to the conclusion that discussing/arguing about his smoking is not helping anything, also like someone said, yes he has been given a 2nd chance at life and if he chooses to smoke knowing all the downfalls about it, then that is his choice. He knows how I feel about it and no matter what happens I will be right beside him.

He has tried the patch, he will NOT join a support group, he is much too macho for anything like that just ask him, lol, he is my he-man. :wacko:

 

NO he feels that since he has no insurance at the moment (trying to get accepted into VA) he will not go to the dr's or for his labs as he should.

 

Hugs to all, Anne

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Dear Amie,

 

I believe smoking is one of the absolute worst addictions there is. My husband smoked for over 40 years. When we left the hospital after his 1st stroke the first place we stopped was a gas station where he went in and purchased a pack of Marlboros. While we were in the ER as he was having his 2nd stroke he went outside and had a cigarette. While we were waiting for the ambulance during his 3rd stroke he requested a cigarette, at which time I told him he had already smoked his last cigarette. I had heard all the warnings the neurologist had expressed. Bill had heard them too, but was insistent that he was different. He was so different that he suffered that 3rd stroke that took the use of his right leg and arm. Maybe it wasn't the smoking - but maybe, just maybe it was a contributing factor.

 

The reason Bill has had to stop smoking is that he has an artery deep in the pons that is narrowing. He was not a candidate for the patch since it releases nicotine into the blood system. This leads me to believe it isn't the smoke that causes arteries to constrict as much as it is the nicotine. Last summer he wanted to try to smoke. I told him ok. He smoked one cigarette and his right leg shook so much he almost could not walk. He was so dizzy he almost fell off his chair.

 

Neither one of us smoke any longer, but Bill says not a day goes by that he doesn't crave a smoke. I can go days, but then it hits. I don't want to start again because it is so horrible to stop. There is no treatment for smoking cessation that doesn't carry side affects. (I have a friend who used the Chantix and said the nausea and insomnia was horrible. But when she started smoking again she went back and got another prescription for Chantix because she was so determined to quit.) I've used Nicorettes and Commit. The last time I just decided to heck with it - I didn't want to fool myself anymore - quitting was going to be a bear and I might as well bite the bullet and do it and remember that to start again would only mean I'd have to quit again sometime.

 

I'm sorry your husband is having such difficulty, but I believe his symptoms are directly related to his smoking. It seems like what you are saying goes along with reduced blood flow and since nicotine constricts arteries, it all makes sense. (I'm no doctor or nurse, but I've seen his symptoms plenty of times.) I don't think it comes as any surprise to you that your husband is in denial about smoking and the way it relates to his health. My husband certainly was and really, he still is. He just isn't in a position where he can argue about it any longer.

 

I wish there was an easy way to get rid of this awful habit/addiction. I know there are support groups, but unless we are ready to stop there aren't enough support groups around to help us do so. The one thing to remember is that you have no control over your husband's decision to continue smoking. You don't have to buy his smokes, light his smokes, or clean up after him though. He knows you are worried about him. To cry and beg will only make him feel more guilty and helpless than he already feels. I can't remember whether you said he does or doesn't smoke in the house - but you have every right to establish a boundary for yourself - no smoking in the house. Get yourself some carpet freshener, clean up all the ashtrays, light a candle or two and tell him you have made a decision for your own health. Then stick to it. He can choose to smoke, but you can also choose to have smoke free home. No amount of cajoling, or putting him on guilt trips can "make" him stop. All that will do is strain your relationship. He may not be happy about your decision to not have smoking in the house, either - but you aren't making any "demands" on him to stop smoking - you are just cleaning up the environment in which you live and breath.

 

Good luck to you!

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