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Posted 25-02-2012 at 08:54 by lettie

The next day, I took my prescription order round to the GP Surgery. I was told that I would be able to pick the prescription up later that day, which I duly did.

I was more than a bit sceptical about whether this tablet would actually work but figured that I had come this far and may as well give it a chance.

The beauty of Champix, to any smoker, is that you continue to smoke as normal whilst taking it. When the drug starts to kick in you will start to want fags less and less. It has well publicised side effects, especially pertaining to mental health and becoming suicidal. I asked Sparks to keep an eye out for me displaying any odd behaviour etc......... That was a challenge for Sparks, sorting out my normal behaviour from any oddities wasn't going to be easy...

So, I set my quit date for day 14 of the treatment and started taking the tablets. Half a milligram a day for the first 3 days. I was still smoking as normal, no side effects whatsoever. Then, the dose doubled, 0.5mg twice a day. I was still smoking but, on about day 5, they started to taste a bit off. I started to make the effort myself and instead of having one with a brew in the morning, I would make a brew and have a shower first, try to wait a while before the first fag of the day.

By the end of the first week I had gone from smoking 15/day to about 7/day. Then the dose doubled again to 1mg twice a day. This is when it really kicked in. I started to get vivid dreams. Not bad dreams, they were bloody brilliant. Like being in an exciting action movie, the alarm would wake me up from one of these dreams and I would begrudge getting up. All I wanted to do was sleep and dream.

The urge to smoke started to diminish, by the ninth day, I was only having a couple a day. On day 11, the 4th July 2010, I had my first fag free day. I just didn't want one. I went back to smoking cessation 2 days later having not smoked for 3 days. My Carbon monoxide reading was that of a non-smoker, I got my follow-up prescription order and my treatment card marked with another appointment in 2 weeks.

Champix is supposed to continue for 12 weeks. This is to give you enough time to stop and, get used to being stopped... I continued my Champix for 10 weeks. As our house move got closer and I got busier, I just kept forgetting to take them twice a day. I told my counsellor that I was still taking them at least once a day, she said that if it worked for me then it was fine.

I ended up stopping them 2 weeks early. My sister had a baby and with all of the rushing around and excitement, I just forgot to take them. Before I knew it, I had done 2 days with no Champix, and never noticed. I had an appointment at the Town Hall smoking cessation that day so I told the counsellor that I had quit the Champix. I was officially discharged that day.

I still see the counsellor sometimes... in our local pub. She always asks how I'm doing. I know that if I fall off the wagon I can go back. I haven't fallen off the wagon though. I have had days when I could murder a fag, even now, I'll still get the occasional craving but, it is short lived.

All in all, it took about a year for me to start feeling fitter. Before then, I was just 'fatter'...

My walking has helped me to keep my weight from increasing any further. I no longer cough, my gums have not deteriorated any further and my finger nail is no longer yellow but....... I don't half miss those dreams.
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