Tag Archives: Champix

Zen and The Art of Cigarette Smoking

…or not, as the case may be.

I’ve been taking Champix since last Tuesday and something strange is happening to me: I’m not enjoying my cigarettes as much as I used to.

Champix is a non-nicotine medicine which is designed to help smokers quit the dreaded weed. It works by suppressing nerves that are stimulated by the nicotine from tobacco products. It’s also an anti-depressant that has some severe side-effects for a small proportion of its users (though not this one so far, thankfully). I can smoke for the first two weeks while taking these pills, then it is suggested that I stop completely. If I have the will to stop – and I believe I do – and I follow the correct procedure and dosing instructions, I have a better than fifty-fifty chance of finally quitting.

Champix also fucking expensive. A month’s supply of little blue and white pills costs €150, a price not to be sniffed at. But when I figure out that I probably spend that and more on cigarettes, it’s a price worth paying. Let’s face it, people, I’d like to live as long as I possibly can and if a pill is going to help with this ambition, then I’m ready to follow my doctor’s advice. There’s a first time for everything.

Reading through the leaflet, I came upon this rather interesting side-effect. The manufacturers state that some users of Champix may find themselves acting more assertive than normal. What this means for me is I could find myself in situations where I might ‘voice’ my concerns and complaints more aggressively. This might not be ideal as I’m not the most patient of people, especially at bus stops and shop queues. The next person who decides to pay for a pint of milk with their Visa card may be in for an earful from yours truly, if they’re not careful.

I can’t wait.

Doctor in the House

It had been three years since my last visit to Dr. Kelly. He told me so, after looking up his records. I said I’d been busy. He didn’t reply, but I knew what he was thinking…

So, how did I get on? If you read my recent post, you might want to know. Then again, you might not. No biggie.

I brought a book with me to the surgery. I’m reading Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, I’ll explain why at a later date. A friend messaged me earlier, suggesting ways to bring my blood pressure down. I did what she suggested, concentrating on me and my surroundings – but not the child running riot in the waiting room. (I can’t get away from them, can I?) I relaxed myself and focused on Ms. Rand’s ramblings on architecture and Objectivism. And focus I did; so much so, I nearly missed hearing my name being called.

After I refamiliarised myself with the good doctor, it was straight down to business: I cupped my balls and coughed.

No I didn’t; I jest. He weighed me and I came in at a svelte 65.5kg, a full1kg weight gain in three years. I’m ten stone nothing, the weight I have been for most of my life. My Body Mass Index is set at 22.5, meaning I’m the perfect weight for my height. Fist pump!

Seriously, if you don’t want to read anymore, I’d understand.

My blood pressure is spot on. I have no problems there. Yippee!!

As to my lung function, I blew into the pipe and came out trumps. There appears to be no immediate damage to my lungs; but I pressed Dr. Kelly about suggestions to help me quit smoking. He introduced me to a product called Champix, an anti-depressant drug that inhibits nicotine craving. He wrote me a script.

The doctor also scheduled me for a full health screening, as there is history of heart disease in my family. My father died of a heart attack, aged 58. He and I share the same dodgy affliction, polycystic kidneys. I’m to give blood samples next week, after a twelve-hour fast, as well as a urine sample.

Come on, don’t be giving out to me. It was your choice to read this far.

I went on my merry way but before I headed into town, I decided to check the price of Champix in my local chemist. Let’s put it this way, if I can get them cheaper on the Internet, I will.

Before I go, the first pop/rock concert I ever went to was by The Thompson Twins. Listen, laugh – but enjoy. I’m off to have my Horlicks.