"40 years smoking....conquered"

About: East Riding of Yorkshire PCT / Stop smoking service

(as the patient),

it was around March 2009 when i was admitted to Hull Royal Infirmary with a stroke following a siezure at home and after a few days of recovery i found i was also suffering withdrawal symptoms from the lack of nicotine which was in turn forcing my blood pressure up even higher, disturbing my sleep and increasing my anxiety levels even further than they already were.

the positive side of this situation was being visited by a nurse from the smoking cessation team based in the hospital who showed me that my carbon monoxide levels in my body were decreasing even after a few days and offering me help to conquer my addiction.

i was started on a course of applied patches each day which immediately took the edge off the cravings, and on release from hospital i was given inhalators to further help me deal with the struggle i was having, this was very helpful whilst i got rid of the poisons caused by smoking in my body.

i cannot stress how helpful the encouragement was that nurse Val Bell and her team gave me, especially during those early days when it was so very difficult to put an end to those bad habits and get used to the new experience of being a "non-smoker", after all it was a normal thing for me to look for a cigarette after every meal, or in times of stress, and after 40 years of that kind of lifestyle i would have found it very difficult, ( bordering on impossible ) to try and attempt to stop smoking on my own.

it wasn't easy, i think everyone knows that it's going to be hard, and at times all so easy to give in and just go and buy another pack of cigarettes, but the rewards are amazing, i've been smoke free for more than 18 months now and i'm feeling the best i've ever felt in my life.

i can taste things again, i thought i'd lost my sense of smell but its back with me now, better than ever, i don't cough anymore and i'm never short of breath, the best thing is i'm not a slave to nicotine, and i feel so much fitter without it.

so thanks again to nurses Val Bell and Mhairi Rees at the "Specialist Stop Smoking Department " of Hull and East Riding Hospital for all their help and dedicated encouragement without whom i wouldn't have been succesful.

walter stevenson

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