Ex-smoker passes Turkey Day test

November 27, 1998

Editors note: This is the second in an occasional series. From time to time, The Herald-Mail will check in on Angie Rowe as she wages her battle against nicotine.

By LAURA ERNDE / Staff Writer

If Angie Rowe wasn't serious about quitting smoking, she would have easily given up on Thanksgiving Day.

That's when Rowe, who hasn't smoked since Nov. 18, experienced the first true test in her battle with nicotine.

"If I haven't lost my hair yet. I should be bald," she said.

Rowe's stress began Tuesday night as she was planning dinner for 22.

She came home from grocery shopping and realized her 22-pound turkey was missing.

She told her husband, George, that maybe the customer in front of her accidentally took her turkey.

"I snapped at him big-time," she said.

When they went back to Ernst Market in Clear Spring, there were no turkeys left. They had to settle for a 10-pound turkey breast and a chicken roaster.


Rowe, 32, had a frazzled day on Wednesday, working at the Washington County Hospital's behavioral health services office. That night she went home, took off her last nicotine patch, and went to bed.

Some of her young relatives knocked over a plant and she started to cry.

"Everything is just like tenfold, magnified 10 times for every catastrophe," she said.

Meanwhile, her parents and four in-laws kept going outside her Falling Waters, W.Va., house for cigarette breaks.

She caught one of them trying to sneak outside unnoticed.

"I said, 'You can say the C-word. It's not going to kill me,'" she said.

Rowe even joined her relatives outside a few times to get some air. She said she wasn't tempted.

She feels bad for her husband, who has been supportive of her decision to quit.

"My husband tells me I haven't been very nice to him," she said. "He said, 'I've overlooked a lot of things this week, but you're really starting to hurt my feelings.'"

The task didn't start out that bad.

The first three days were relatively, easy, she said, although she did have some strange dreams.

Avoiding cigarettes started to get harder last Saturday, when she went shopping with her mother who was smoking in her car.

That night, she and her husband went out to dinner with some friends.

The dinner was long and after each part of the meal she craved a cigarette.

"I was just real uncomfortable," she said.

They went to an oldies show at the Maryland Theatre and she fell asleep.

The next day was a little easier. Her two nephews, ages 4 and 6, came to visit after Sunday School.

They played on the computer and ate lunch. Later, she took a nap.

There are now chinks in her armor, but she is still committed.

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