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Smoking Cessation Series: I Started Smoking When I Was 16, by Donna Wirt

Posted Apr 16 2013 6:00am

This is the second guest blog post in our “Smoking Cessation Series,” which reveals personal stories of people who have successfully quit smoking, or who are currently trying to quit.

Donna Wirt

Donna Wirt

I started smoking when I was 16 and I was smoking two to three packs a day.

I lived with my mother and son. My mom was an ex-smoker. She had emphysema, was on oxygen and had to use a wheelchair when we went out.

After several years of carrying a wheelchair in the trunk of my car and lifting it in and out and in and out, I realized I didn’t want my loved ones to have to do this for me. I went to my doctor and was given a prescription for Welllbutrin. On May 15, 2000 I smoked my last cigarette!

It wasn’t easy, but Wellbutrin helped me greatly. I still had to do much of the work myself. I took one day at a time, one hour at a time, and sometimes, one minute at a time. I chewed on straws. I gained some weight. I cried. And one day I noticed I was feeling better and had more energy. I made it and it wasn’t all that bad.

A couple of years later, when all was said and done and I no longer smoked, I found out the truth. My mother and son told me stories of how my son would say, “Grandmom, she just pulled in the driveway.” And my mother would send him to his room until she learned what my mood was. When it was safe she gave him the green light to come back downstairs.

My mother passed away in 2005 because her emphysema prevented her from having a simple operation that would have extended her life.

I now have emphysema and one day I will probably be on oxygen and in a wheelchair.

-Written by Donna Wirt, Systems Analyst, General Finance and Business Systems, LifeBridge Health

To schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained physicians and find out why LifeBridge Health is Baltimore's premiere health care organization, call 410-601-WELL.

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