Good morning, good afternoon, or good evening! Depending on when your reading this blog haha. Anyway…I wanted to celebrate my Mom, Margaret Reilly Vitrano on her 4 YEAR ANNIVERSARY ON QUIT SMOKING CIGARETTES!!! I’m so proud of her and so are her other family members and friends. She started her journey to quit in 2018 when she went to the doctor and got several health scares. I first wrote about her journey in my previous blog “My Mom Quit Smoking Cigarettes After 48 Years!”.
Unfortunately Margaret aka Margie aka my Mom aka my best friend (I know that’s a lot of A.K.A’s lol) wasn’t immune to all heath issues after 48 years of smoking cigarettes. She has Emphysema, which comprises COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). The disease develops over time and involves the gradual damage of lung tissue, specifically the destruction of the alveoli (tiny air sacs). Luckily it isn’t life threatening if treated and carefully monitored, however it can affect everyday life tasks.
My Mom wasn’t immune to the consequences of smoking for so long, however she is much healthier now that she has quit. Life has changed a lot in 4 years! My Mom and I moved from an apartment in Brooklyn, N.Y. to a house in Charlotte, N.C. Read about it in my previous blog “Hello, After One Year 🙂”. I got married in December of 2019 so all three of us live together in our house in North Carolina. The family has extended a bit since then because my sister had her baby girl, Rosemary and now has baby #2 on the way. My sis and her family also live in North Carolina. Unfortunately deaths did occur in the family and there were HUGE health scares for many with the Covid pandemic. Despite all the emotional up’s and down’s within the past 4 years my Mom did not have any cigarettes at all! This is a HUGE accomplishment within herself.
I conducted a short interview with my Mom, Margie Reilly Vitrano to gain some insight on how she kept on track for years, especially during heartbreak and stressful times. Here are the questions and answers below:
- Q: How long has it been since you quit smoking? A: It has been 4 years on 4/20/18 since I quit smoking.
- Q: Why did you quit smoking? A: I got sick and was told I had to quit if I wanted to get better. I was hospitalized for a few days due to sickness.
- Q: Who motivated you to quit smoking? A: Me. I have been thinking about it for many years but was unsuccessful. It was mostly my daughter Catherine she got tough with me and wouldn’t let me quit my goal.
- Q: How did you finally quit and not smoke cigarettes again? A: I needed help so I used the smoking patch that I got through the 311 help line and they sent me free products to use.
- Q: How has life been since you quit? A: Better! I can breathe better, walk better except when it comes to walking up hills. I still have some of the symptoms of a smoker, but not as it was before. Some things don’t go away you just learn to live with it.
- Q: What was the hardest thing about quitting? And what was the easiest? A: The craving for a cigarette and nicotine taking a puff and just holding it between my fingers LOL. To tell you the truth nothing was easy about quitting, but I can say now that has been sometimes I forget how long it has been since I quit. I rarely think about smoking.
- Q: What advice can you give to people who want to quit smoking? And how did you coop with staying away from cigarettes for good? A: Just stick to your goal and don’t give up quitting! It is the hardest thing I had to do. but I failed many times before I got it right. Also using a support group on social media helped a great deal. There you can vent and people respond to your pain and suffering. Also they give advice and talk about their experiences and their journeys to freedom. It took many many years before I was truly ready, about 12 years to be exact. I would call the help line every year and they would send me free patches and gum. Sometimes I used them for a day or so then sometimes not. I knew I had it just in case. I was getting sick and not being around my family gave me the courage TO STOP AND REMAIN SMOKE FREE all of these years. I also started a new chapter in my life as a retired woman.
My Mom isn’t perfect however who is? She is a normal woman who overcame an obstacle and shared her experience with that obstacle. Good news my Mom has also inspired me and my Dad to quit smoking too. We have also been cigarette free for over 4 years. My Dad has also overcome many heath scares throughout the years and he is going strong too.
If you have a story about overcoming an obstacle in your life and/ or your own “quit smoking” story please share in the comments below. Thank you and have a blessed day 🙏🏻.