It's one of those things that at least for me, even when I was leaving to go to Rochester back in 2008, I really had little hope the program would work for me. I smoked 2+ packs a dayÂ for 25+ years, and it's not an easy thing to let go. In my mind it gave me comfort, and had become a friend.
It's really a remarkable experience. I know in my case I really didn't have the desire to quit evenÂ after I arrived there, but in the back of my mind I knew I should. Once I was there I figured I would give it a shot, but really didn't believe it would work.
One thing I can tell you without any hesitation is the Mayo is like no other hospital I've ever been to, and specifically the Smoking Cessation branch. EVERY one of the staff makes you feel like they care about your well being and success. They address smoking as a disease that must be treated, rather than an out of control habit.
I truly truly truly believe thatÂ if they can help me they can help anyoneâ€¦The freedoms are the biggest reward. No more waking up at night coughing away, no more running out of an airport looking for a space to smoke.
I remember about 6 months after I returned from the Mayo and had my annual physical at work. My lung function test was the first normal one I had in 16 years. My Dr. told me, "You know you gave up drinking 13 years ago, now smoking, you're one of my few patients that seem to be getting healthier as they get older." I truly believe with all my heart, that I couldn't have quit smoking without the Mayo's program, and the support you get even after you leave.