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Smoking and Moyamoya (Read 4149 times)
Shari K.
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Smoking and Moyamoya
Nov 19th, 2009 at 8:21pm
 
Hi,

My husband has had bilateral STA-MCA within the last year after suffering a pretty bad stroke almost one year ago.  He did smoke about 1/2 to 1 pack a day before the stroke (usually at work or in his truck, rarely at home) and usually lied to me about it.  I am suspecting that he has started again, due to the stress of being sick and now being unemployed.  He doesn't remember all that the doctors here in Chicago told us about smoking and the need to stop.  He had his second surgery done by Dr. Steinberg, and we just got back from his 6-month post-op visit, and all was good.  When we went I did not yet suspect the smoking had started again, and now I cannot get him to admit that he is.  It is pretty obvious, though, as he smells like smoke and is around no one who does smoke (now that he is out of work).  Please tell me what you may have been told about moyamoya and smoking.  The posts on this board were what put him in the frame of mind to have the second surgery.  Maybe the same can happen in regards to his smoking.

Thank you,
Shari K.
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Lore
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Delaware, USA, usa, 419, 133, OH, Ohio
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Re: Smoking and Moyamoya
Reply #1 - Nov 19th, 2009 at 9:02pm
 
Hi Shari,

It is no secret that smoking doubles a persons chances for a stroke and strokes are the third leading cause of death in the US.

Smoking is very addictive and extremely difficult to stop. My friends who are former smokers said it took them 3 or more attempts before they completely stopped smoking. One of my friends told me it took her 7 attempts to stop smoking. Today, there are more stop smoking products available to a smoker.

Your husband is not the only MMer to smoke or attempt to stop smoking. Perhaps others will share their stories with you.

Most importantly, your husband has to want to stop smoking and he will be more successful in stopping if he gets help from his doctor and joins a stop smoking support group.

Very few smokers who stop go it alone. Statistics† show a smoker is more likely to stop with a medication like Chantix.† I don't know if your husband can take such a drug but his doctor can advise him on his options.

There is a reason your husband is smoking whether it be because he simply enjoys it or he is having difficulty stopping due to all the stress and the addiction and the length of time he has been a smoker. I think it is important to understand why he is now smoking again.

Let your husband know you are there for him and will support him through the difficult times.

Hope this helps,

Lore


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"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
 
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Becky
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Stroke10/03, Diagnosed6/04,
Unilateral Surgery9/04

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Minneapolis, USA, usa, 303, 84, MN, Minnesota
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Re: Smoking and Moyamoya
Reply #2 - Nov 20th, 2009 at 12:37pm
 
My husband is a smoker and he went on Chantix. It is a wonderful but horriable drug. I am lucky in that the only symptom he has is the horrible nightmares. I was told that my husband needs to tell me his dreams every morning so i can let him know to stop for a day of taking the Chantix. The worst nightmares he had were: we were arguing and it broke out into a physical fight and he punched me in my softspot and killed me. He awoke dripping in sweat and screaming, so he started to check to see if I was still there and alive.  well a month later and he is no longer a smoker! he cant even stand the smell of them. I was never a smoker and I have the MM.
Good luck, and remember the person quitting needs to want to quit they should not be forced.
Becky
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What doesn't kill us, makes us stronger. And sometimes leaves a cool looking scar.† †† STA-MCA bypass and EMS Surgeries done at same time at the Mayo clinic
 
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Michele
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Re: Smoking and Moyamoya
Reply #3 - Nov 21st, 2009 at 12:17am
 
Please be cautious when considering chantix.  Chantix is a medication that turns off the nicotine receptors in the brain.  However these receptors have other "uses" too, and contribute to a persons feelings of happiness, etc.  Using chantix has been linked to suicide and other mental conditions.  If your husband is already depressed from unemployment or other factors, I would NOT recommend it.  It is true the primary side effect from using chantix is very vivid nightmares, however a good friend of mine reported "strange" dreams, such as spending the night dancing with her favorite blues singer, etc.  She reported all her dreams were pleasant.  She also always returned to smoking as soon as she went off chantix.  The positive side is I believe most states now have quit lines and your doctor can fax then a prescription for chantix and they will send it out to a person for free as long as you participate in their telephone "support."  This is common among states and is what many states did with their tobacco settlement money.  I have many friends who are smokers and I know of NO ONE who smokes purely because they enjoy it.  Everyone I know who smokes knows that it is a filthy habit, causes major health problems, makes people smell foul, yellows your teeth, causes bad breath, etc.  Yet they continue to smoke because the addiction to nicotine is the worst thing you can imagine.  There are nicotine replacement therapies available that he might try if he determines that chantix is not for him, however only your husband and his Dr. can determine what stop smoking aid would be best for him.  There are gums, patches, lozenges, etc. available.  Additionally, Wellbutrin is an antidepressant that is basically the same chemical as chantix and he may have some luck with that if he is prone to depression.  Please know that getting upset, yelling, or otherwise giving him ultimatums will only ensure that he continues to hide the behavior from you and will help no one.  (Not to mention getting your own blood pressure up!)  Please know that most smokers do not quit cold turkey, they set a quit date down the road and work towards it (even chantix users do this).  If you can begin an honest dialogue with your husband about his smoking, this will help you to be supportive of his efforts.  For 20 years my step dad smoked "behind my mothers back" and would adamantly deny he smoked.  The rest of us knew because we were out in the garage watching him smoke.  She always knew the truth, just like you, from the smoke smell on his clothes.  She also would occasionally find his cigarettes, lighters, etc.  He has passed away now, and we joke about it, but how sad that he hid something like that from her like a teenage boy not wanting to be in trouble.  She never smoked and could not understand why he couldn't quit "because she told him to."
I do agree that your husband needs to decide that he wants to quit again.  No words you can say will take away his habit or addiction.  He needs to make up his own mind and then get the support he needs to set a quit date, and hopefully quit. 
I have also known people who quit for 1, 2 and 3 years and ended up going back to smoking.  Obviously it is something a person has to be vigilant about for the rest of their lives.  It seems like all they have to do is smoke one cigarette and they are hooked again. 
I have also seen these new "electronic" cigarettes.  I believe these are more for the habit smoker.  Some people smoke because it is a habit and some smoke because it is an addiction.  For the habit smoker, the electronic cigarette seems to be the ticket.  They hold it like a cigarette, it makes a "smoke" which I think is like a  vapor mist (???) and it has a bright red end just like a real cigarette.  I do not think this would work for the addiction smoker because it does nothing to replace nicotine or turn off the nicotine receptors in the brain.  Some people also smoke for both habit and addiction, and a combination of the replacement electronic cigarette with a nicotine replacement might be the best route.  Once your husband decides to quit, he can talk to his Dr. about what method is best for him after determining what "kind" of smoker he is.  I hope this helps you both to understand better.
Been there, done that!  Cheesy
God Bless You!
Michele
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Shari K.
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Re: Smoking and Moyamoya
Reply #4 - Nov 21st, 2009 at 8:42am
 
What I don't understand is that he quit for nine months...now he is smoking again, so I don't think the addiction is the reason for his going back.


I would like to know if anyone has had a doctor say anything about not smoking because of the moyamoya.
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hrsridermom
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Re: Smoking and Moyamoya
Reply #5 - Nov 21st, 2009 at 10:37am
 
My daughter is 15 but all of her doctors have told her to NEVER EVER smoke with her Moyamoya,  she has also been cautioned against taking certain medications.
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Mar
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Re: Smoking and Moyamoya
Reply #6 - Nov 21st, 2009 at 1:58pm
 
Michele wrote on Nov 21st, 2009 at 12:17am:
I have many friends who are smokers and I know of NO ONE who smokes purely because they enjoy it.†

I beg to differ and so not true. MANY smokers DO smoke purely because they enjoy it. Simply for the pleasure of it. Itís a psychological pleasure that gives you a sense of satisfaction that you CAN'T seem to get from anything else. Thatís a huge part of the dependence of smoking and why so many go back to it after quitting, and why you must really want to quit to be successful.

The nature of enjoyment from smoking may be different for each person. For example, a cigarette for some may be a reward of some kind, like a pat on the back or a bonus that accompanies other pleasures, like eating, finishing a project, a hard days work, etc. Thatís the enjoyment of smoking that Lore speaks of in her post. A cigarette can be a friend for many, believe it or not. Itís something to lean on (psychologically) Many times people who are trying to quit will say, ďI canít think, I need a cigarette!!Ē They think they need that smoke to help stimulate them. See what I mean? I can go on and on about the endless physiological satisfaction that comes from smoking, but Iím hoping youíll see my point, that itís not as easy for everyone to be successful at quitting smoking. I personally think itís an addiction worse then heroin because of the psychological enjoyment that's also associated with it. Thatís why Lore mentioned in her post, ďThere is a reason your husband is smokingĒ and needs your support and understanding to be successful.

Iíll keep him in my prayers.

Mar
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Mayhem
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Re: Smoking and Moyamoya
Reply #7 - Nov 21st, 2009 at 3:14pm
 
I used to smoke for the pure enjoyment of it. I stopped a couple of years ago, and do miss it occasionally, but it's best I stopped.
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Michele
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Re: Smoking and Moyamoya
Reply #8 - Nov 21st, 2009 at 9:03pm
 
I can't imagine the psychological addiction you are referring to as being also thought of as pleasurable.† The pleasure is only momentary and quickly passes, however an addiction NEVER goes away!† The pleasure seeking that you are referring to is the addiction itself.† We can agree to disagree on this one for sure.† That is why the husband, after some period of not smoking, can light up a cigarette and be just as hooked as he was the day he quit.† †I spent 10 years as an addictions counselor and 20+ as a smoker!† Any educated addict or addictions counselor knows that it takes work every day to overcome an addiction.† It does get easier as time goes by, but a person must always be aware of limitations, triggers, etc.† It sounds to me like Shari has identified the trigger of unemployment.† Along with this could be boredom, depression, financial difficulty, feelings of inadequacy, etc.† Any one of these could trigger an addictive behavior to become active again.
Michele
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« Last Edit: Nov 21st, 2009 at 9:07pm by Michele »  
 
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Mar
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Re: Smoking and Moyamoya
Reply #9 - Nov 22nd, 2009 at 9:38am
 
Michele wrote on Nov 21st, 2009 at 9:03pm:
We can agree to disagree on this one for sure.††

No one is disagreeing with anything other than people DO smoke because they enjoy it--simple as that, and any counselor/doctor will agree to that. Why youíre going on, I have no idea. Our goal is to help support Shari and hopefully help her understand the many different reasons why people have difficulties quitting.
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