Julia quits smoking: a life saving event!
Julia has been smoking 20 cigarettes a day for as long as she can remember. In fact when you ask Julia about the days before smoking she can hardly recall ever not having a cigarette in her hand - perhaps you can relate to her or perhaps this is your future.
During the last 5 years Julia has suffered bouts of chronic bronchitis at least 4 times a year. Last year she was hospitalised for 2 weeks because she had pneumonia. When family asked Julia why she wouldn't quit smoking she told them it was because she enjoyed it but secretly she was starting to wonder just how much pleasure she was getting out of it.
Without letting on to anyone Julia had in fact tried some of the nicotine replacement therapy items (NRT) on the market but she had never been successful in quitting. She knows she is suffering from an addiction to nicotine and felt sure that NRT would be the best way to quit.
Julia cares for her two grandchildren three times a week while her daughter is at work. About a year ago she realised she was struggling to keep up with them without gasping for breath and she had also heard them say that "Nannie was smelly" and this upset her deeply. The kids long for the day when Julia quits smoking but they don't think it will ever happen.
On the 6th June 2011 Julia was rushed to hospital with chronic bronchitis and while she was in hospital she was also diagnosed with emphysema. The Doctor immediately discussed the harm smoking was doing to her lungs and prescribed Champix which Julia was to start taking straight away.
Within 3 weeks of taking Champix Julia quit smoking and felt a lot better but she has the early stages of emphysema which is a progressive disease. The progress that emphysema makes is unknown and depends on the individual.
One year on and Julia is still not smoking but unfortunately her emphysema progressed rapidly. On her good days she can sit and watch the grandchildren play and if she doesn't exert herself she can get by on her puffers of Salbutamol and Ipratropium.
If one of the children gets a cold Julia has to stay away for fear of getting a chest infection. On her bad days Julia is in bed breathing oxygen from the tank she keeps in her bedroom.
Last week Julia celebrated her 60th birthday.