For the first time in some 20 years I smoked less than 20 cigarettes in a day. In fact I smoked less than one. Yes, today I smoked not a single cigarette. Although I missed it like hell, I also sure as hell don't want to have another stroke, and if that means, in part, stopping smoking, I intend to do so. I had not been aware in the past (for who looks into the various causes of stroke except for people studying to be doctors) that smoking causes cholesterol to be especially sticky, making it even more problematic as a clogger of arteries and thus a causation of stroke. As a replacement, I have been sucking air through a straw cut down to be the size of a cigarette. Lol. Not quite the same thing. I thought of purchasing some nicotine gum online, but the fact is I have done that in the past and I know that one tends to end up both chewing the gum and smoking cigarettes anyway.
I started smoking when I was 18 years old, just after entering college. For a period of time during the 1990s, I stopped smoking. And then after the divorce from my second wife, I began again. I had stopped for perhaps 9 years, although I do remember sneaking a cigarette here and there. The thing is, aside from the addiction to the nicotine, smoking becomes wrapped up in so many activities that one does. It becomes, for instance, a part of reading a book. It becomes a part of writing. It becomes a part of thinking or working. It becomes what one does on a break from work. It becomes a part of one's life.
In short, it is very difficult indeed to stop. But at the same time, it is very unpleasant indeed to suffer from a stroke.
I have felt today, for the first time since the stroke event, almost human again, and as if I might actually recover. I managed to go most of the day without a severe headache, and for part of the day without any headache at all, which has certainly been a relief. So I am hoping that things will march on in a positive direction for the next month until I see the doctor again and we can take a look at my blood check and cholesterol levels and whatever else doctors look at. In any case, I will keep my fingers crossed, and keep sucking on my straw.