But it is the sharp pain under my ribs [ diagnosed by me as intercostal cartilage strain or inflammation of:-] which is the one symptom, the final symptom which leads me to the decision that I Must Quit.
To that end I dug in the rubbish drawer for the Niquitin lozenges from my last attempt, only remembering the foulness of them on sucking the first one. I sauntered next door but two to the Chemist - our usual glorious Pharmacist - she of the ebony skin, silken dreadlocks and the whitest truest smile was on holiday and her Locum, a tall elderly taciturn man with a full head of white hair and moustache to rival that of Dick van Dyke's Dr. Sloan, suggested, when I asked if there had been a breakthrough and had someone thought to flavour the wretched things so that they were palatable, wandered around the aisles and suggested that 'perhaps if I bought some strong mints and sucked along with a lozenge...'
That was Day one: minus one. I lasted until 1pm. I tried keeping busy, but one has to sit down sometime and Milou didn't feel like giving up his afternoon cuddle on the sofa with mum, Doctors, Flog it and Countdown.
My count was six that day...which I felt was a credible effort.
Day One: minus two and three followed pretty much the same pattern except that I think I must be holding my breath or somehow controlling the strength of the breaths I do take because though I slept well enough the intercostal pain was worse this morning.
Took another stroll to the Chemist...tablets are mint flavoured but at £15. Hell's Bells. Forget it. I will quit, but slowly using will power. [famous last words?]
Just Googled Intercostal Cartilage and I think I have been 'Bracing'. Yup!
Life in the old girl yet.
Will no doubt be flagging Day one when it arrives.
I looked for a suitable illustration on Google Images but they are all too preachy, too worthy , patronising or just bonkers; as if we are not aware of the dangers involved in sucking up the tarry smoke. Then I thought of the very old song by Phil Harris:
Smoke smoke smoke that cigarette
Puff, puff puff and if you smoke yourself to death
Tell St. Peter at the Golden Gate, that you hate to make him wait
But you just gotta have another cigarette.
This song came out in 1939/40 and it was one of the songs in Mother's meagre collection [the B side was something about a card game: I remember: Now sitting right there in that there clan, there chanced to be a one-eyed man and he kep' starin' at me out the corner of his eye...an' ol' one eye would deal and then, it cost Bill another five or ten....]
So even then they knew. 1]that nicotine is addictive and 2] It was/is harmful.