I Have Officially NOT Quit Smoking But I am Officially NOT a Junkie!

I guess you could say I made a full 36hrs. or a bit more (you must count sleep!) without a cigarette.  However, something seemed terribly odd.  I just wrote it off.  I was stubborn.  I’d quit cold turkey before, and each time, no problems at all.

That something “terribly odd” turned into something that didn’t make sense.  Then, something was wrong.  Then, something felt wrong!

Somewhere in the back of my warped head, I had reservations about quitting cold turkey before I even did it.  Now, I think I have very good reasons to actually start smoking again!

I already new this about trying to quit anything that is potentially addictive (or just plain is!) That gem is, you never do it at the same time you are trying to quit something else! Well, I was okay there.  I wasn’t trying to stop anything else.

Wait a minute.  Rule broken?

What am I “quitting” right now? Or better said, What did I “quit” a year ago? And by quit, cold turkey as well–by force!

My Clobazam/Frisium for my Typical Absence Status Epilepticus.  And on that front, how are we doing there? We’re still making titrations, some improvement with each one, but I’m not well enough yet.  I’m still having seizures, psychological disturbances etc.

For all I know, my brain could be sitting there with a grim face saying, “Man, it’s been a year and I just can’t kick this Clobazam habit.  I really must have been addicted to that stuff.”  Yeah! My brain’s so screwy, it thinks I’m trying to get rid of it, because it damn near killed me going off it, and I still don’t have enough of it back!

I made that reference to something feeling wrong.  I’m now on Day 7 of one of my TASE intervals.  I’ve already had some seizure activity with this every-two-week spin around the dance floor.  The problem was, I was feeling just fine until I stopped smoking.  Day 6 and today threw me back so far, it was like the days of surviving things months ago! *winces*

Still, I refused to believe.  I carried on.  I just thought things symptomatic from quitting smoking right off the bat.  Either that, or damn! What on earth is going on with my TASE?

Now sure, you could say, “Okay, PA.  Right…you’re just making excuses for your symptoms.  You’re just sick because you’re not on the right dose of meds yet! You just want to smoke!” Say it all you want.

I think this gives me all the ammo I need to start up again.  It has to do with the receptors in your brain for nicotine and epilepsy.  Yes, peer reviewed studies I read so not a lot of bunk.  Also some anecdotal from message boards to see what other folks with epilepsy did when quitting (as advised by their neuros.)

It’s about the desensitization of those receptors.  People with epilepsy have a massively higher rate for those receptors to become desensitized due to the receptor itself and especially one binding site that covers so much territory! There’s lots more about other receptors, loads of studies of this in particular re: genetically, inherited epilepsy, but forget all of that.

The point is, it can even get to the point of lowering your seizure threshold so goddamn low, you can start having seizures! HEEELLLOOO…I’M ALREADY HAVING SEIZURES!!!

Which may then logically follow, that if it was lowering my threshold enough, it would only make sense that my Typical Absence Status Epilepticus got worse! It’s a form of Non-convulsive Status Epilepticus, so I’m already seizing all over the place–you just can’t see it, and it makes my brain and body go completely mad!

So, what have I done? When I got up this morning, I went to a store to get a small packet of cigarettes.  Time to do a bit of experimentation.

The jury’s still out, but a verdict may be coming soon.  I was in hell yesterday and today, earlier.  Things may be starting to clear.  Slowly.  Because I took a really hard brain bashing.

Irrespective of the jury and that case.  My overall medical one is closed–for now.

Cigarettes and so much more are drugs.  They’re just not medically prescribed! So, as far as my brain is concerned, just like any other head med, a slow discontinuation required.  Handle with care.  Another item on the table for discussion with Sweetie GP.

POSTSCRIPT: This has taken me all day.  So, still kind of slow but also very tired, still in TASE anyway.  But not as crazy vs. incapacitated like before.

  1. Mr. Franklin

    Great allocation!! I enjoyed reading this discussion and really appreciate author for spending time to write this article. Thanks


  2. Hi Mr. Franklin. Nice to meet you and welcome. You’re far too kind with your compliments, but thank you very much.

    Also, please note that I rarely edit my commenter’s comments. I removed your url for Spam purposes.



  3. Ve

    Dear Mr. Franklin,
    Thanks for helping me make a bit of sense of what is happening with me. I have Grand Mal Seizures that are controlled with Valproic Acid and carbomazapine. I ‘ve smoked for along time and haven’t had a seizure in over 30 years, but when I tried to quit smoking my brain went all kinds of nuts even while being on the Chantix. I had no side effects from the chantix and it did help, but when week 5 of quitting smoking came around I started having involuntary seizures-my face and eyes kept twitching but I figured it was something that had to do with my eyes…I even went to the eyes doc to find out I need bilateral surgery for cateracts. Great! OK so that must be the problem right? I guess I just deal with it.
    Until two days ago I started having Petit Mal Seizure I even feared going to bed thinking I wouldn’t wake up. My Blood Pressure was 104/64, no ambition, my brain was taking a beating I had to have more then 100 of them by mid day. the day after I read you paper I got a pack of smokes and I can actually focus because the seizures are calming down I’ve called my Neurologist and he will adjust my meds to accommodate quitting…I will quit some how. I agree though the smoking all these years helped control my meds so I could take less meds…now I have to take more meds to stop smoking.


  4. Hi Ve. Nice to meet you and welcome. I am patientanonymous and wrote this post. Mr. Franklin was another commenter.

    I just wanted to clear that up because I will be responding to your comment here. I didn’t want you to be confused in thinking that it should be Mr. Franklin. Nope! I write everything on my blog myself!


    That is something I have never done in a comment on my blog. If I choose to emphasis something, I do it in italics in the previous sentence. If it’s really important, block caps and italics.

    The above? I owe everyone a post about the Neurochemistry involved with epilepsy and quitting smoking. Your happy encounter with Chantix happens at the tail end of the story.

    It screwed up something called ACh. Acetylcholinesterase. It’s part of the chemical process of a chain of events that begin one way or another, beginning with Norepinephrine that targets our nicotine receptors in our brains–and the problem is–we have a hell of a lot more than people who don’t have epilepsy.

    So tapering down is the ideal process with your Neurologist. Or under any other doctor’s supervision.

    It sounds like you were having some significant withdrawal seizures. That’s NOT good. I’ve been lucky, but I’m pumped up on very high doses of ACs, so maybe why? Or just lucky? Or I don’t smoke so much as others? Who knows. But I am experiencing basic withdrawal symptoms.

    But on top of all this shit, the cataracts too? Ugh.

    You take care of yourself and let me know how things are going. That is, if you’d like to, and/or if you feel comfortable doing so?

    I hope all goes well from this point forward,


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