…..Deep breath……Yea, its been since July since Ive blogged – buuuuuuut

One of my New Years Resolutions was to resurrect this blog with at least one new post a week. For starters, I do have alot to say, but since I am left without a physical voice at least half the year, this is where Im forced to ‘say’ it.

So, here are my scattered thoughts on wrapping up 2014 and looking forward to 2015.


Anyway, as of today (January 4, 2015) I am 669 days smoke free because I switched to ecigs. My health has somewhat improved….I havent had to use the rescue inhaler for quite some time.

Obviously vaping isnt going to improve actual chronic conditions….and the act of quitting combustable tobacco takes time to actually show improvement – and there is reducing your mg of nicotine (Ive gone from 24 mg to 0-3 mg).

Ive increased how much water I drink and only drink a cup of hot green tea a day (I used to be able to down a pot of coffee plus drink sodas all day).

I also spent my Christmas week completely news free. Granted that wasnt exactly a New Years resolution but it was something I needed to do for my own sanity. I believe that may turn into a tradition -depending on the severity of what is going on in the world, of course.

I cleaned up alot of my social media feeds. This covers removing people I dont speak to, inactive accounts, and just otherwise negative folks. I have also kept my exposure to these social networks to a minimum, which actually has made my life alot more peaceful.


2015 was also the year I found out who my real friends are and just how fake others have been.

See-when you have a chronic illness, and your health deteriorates, and you cant travel or even get out of your house – you dont expect your friends to ‘trade’ you in for another person who can do those things. Real friends just dont abandon you like that…..they just dont leave you hang. And they certainly dont just stop talking to you. So goodbye to those people.


At the end of last year, I asked people to send me suggestions of things that I might have missed…..(music videos, youtube channels, podcasts, Netflix shows/movies) So, everyday in 2015, I will be stepping outside my ‘comfort zone’ to watch things I would have otherwise missed. I also suggest you do the same. Its already been eye opening as to what I have missed simply because it wasnt in my radar.

This is also going to be a year of personal change. Because of my illness, Ive been very inactive this year. I wont go into the details in this post as to what has been going on, but its been difficult to go more than 10 minutes from my home without huge issues. I will be setting a weekly goal to ‘move my body’ so I get in some resemblence of normalcy back in my life.

A continuing goal of mine is to reduce the clutter. This includes clothing you wont ever wear again, papers you wont need, and other belongings that you just dont love/need/want. I personally donate what I can, recycling what I can and tossing the rest.


I have other goals for this year, but those will be mentioned in other posts where they will make a little more sense. But thanks for reading and I hope you stick around for 2015!


I know…..I know….My blog has been silent over a year and I apologize.


Anywhooo, I submitted my comments to the FDA today and since so many of you guys wanted to know what I said I figured Id put it here.

So here is what I submitted: (My tracking # is:  1jy-8dh8-3×75)



“FDA, Docket No. FDA-2014-N-0189, Regulatory Information Number (RIN) 0910- AG38”
Submitted July 28, 2014
Dear FDA Center for Tobacco Products,

My name is Sheila Faulstich and I smoked two packs of cigarettes for over 30 years. I no longer smoke thanks to electronic cigarettes. Since I began vaping a little over 500 days ago, I have also been able to reduce my nicotine level from 24 mg to 3 mg and even sometimes vape 0 mg.
As with others like me, FDA approved methods to quit smoking did not work for me for various reasons. My doctor attempted to help me quit smoking many times due to my health deteriorating. Some FDA approved methods were not compatable because of their side effects and I even attempted hypnosis. Even during my longest stretch without smoking, I still wanted to smoke and eventually went right back to smoking 2 packs a day.
Right before I discovered electronic cigarettes, I was diagnosed with COPD and needed to use a rescue inhaler several times a day. I also suffered from a myriad of other health issues. Ever since I started using the electronic cigarette, I have not needed to use my rescue inhaler and my other health related issues and begun to improve.
While we, the consumers, have no way of knowing the impact of the proposed FDA regulations, there is ‘talk’ in our community that only cig-a-likes would be available. This is a big problem for me. For one, these products are being manufactured by ‘big tobacco’. The same manufacturers who have poisoned me for 30 years. Its also worth noting that these cig-a-likes cannot be refilled with the nicotine level than I currently use, which is significantly lower than what is available with these products.
I am fearful that if these regulations are put into place in the way they are perceived to be, that there will be an underground movement for these products. This increases the risk of the consumer since many of the vendors we work with now, may be put out of business due to the burden of the regulatory process. Many of us, the consumer, personally know our vendors. So many of the vendors we use are living the American Dream of owning a business for the first time in their lives, and employing people. In this economy, I dont think putting people back out of work is any answer.
Many legislators, as well as what is contained in the proposed FDA regulations, are skirting around the issue of flavored e-juice. Quite honestly, I dont vape tobacco or menthol flavored e-juice. I personally do not like them. If I were to list all the flavors I vape, I would exceed the word limitations for commenting. Adults like flavors. Its just that simple. If you ban flavored e-juice, then where is the logic in allowing flavored alcohol or flavored nicotine gum, which is currently approved by the FDA.
Should the proposed regulations go into effect as they are currently written, many would have no choice to go back to smoking. While I am not personally one of them, it is worth considering that many thousands of current non-smokers would be reduced to smoking after (in many cases) a substantial absence from cigarettes.
Not all the proposed regulations are arguable though. I believe that most of us in the vaping community would gladly adhere to putting restrictions of these products out of the hands of minors. However, every vendor and electronic cigarette store Ive used, does not sell to minors already, so Im unsure of the necessity to over-regulate what is already being followed as an ‘industry standard’.
In closing, I am perplexed as to why the FDA would need to step into this growing industry that has had no problems in the 5 years it has florished.

As I stated in my last post, we are now electronic cigarette vaper-ers….


When I first began to vape, I thought I would not like flavored nicotine. I started vaping Tsumani brand tobacco at 24 mg. I should also add that it is 100% pg. This was extremely harsh on my throat. The first day on pure tobacco e-liquid was not pleasant. I got a harsh throat hit and coughed ALOT.

I thought I made a huge mistake.

After reading many forum posts, I thought we should give some flavors a try. My boyfriend wanted to try a blueberry flavor and our sales lady at Safe Smoke told that Pink Spot Vapors had pretty great juice. While Frank really liked this flavor straight, I still thought it was too harsh on my throat but decided to mix it with the tobacco juice…..I had a winner. Not only does it taste good, it makes the room smell fantastic.

I did purchase the Safe Smoke brand coffee at 18 mg that I have vaped straight. This stuff tastes just like a cup of black coffee! I love to vape this after dinner. It doesnt produce too strong of a throat hit, but it does produce a good amount of vapor.

I mentioned in my last post about Fuzion Vapor and the crankberry. I LOVE this juice. LOVE. Seriously. Its described as cranberry/rasberry flavored, but I think its more of a soft watermelon. Even at 24 mg of nicotine, its smooth and produces a ton of vapor. I also mixed this with my tobacco. This strengthened the throat hit and really enhanced the actual crankberry flavor. I also mixed this with Franks US Menthol 24 mg (just a few drops) and created a wonderful minty watermelon taste.

We have been vaping these mixes for about two weeks.

Last night we decided to purchase some additional Fuzion Vapor juices based on reviews I read online. Unfortunately taste testing at Safe Smoke is not doable using clearomizers, but one of the customers let us use his set up that uses similar cartridges as the testers. Whew!

After tasting some of the flavors we settled on 2 additional flavors. One of the flavors I initially wanted to buy was not as good as I thought it would be (the banana one).

Fuzion Vapor Ectoplasm – Oh my! This is like a citrus fruit lemonade. It has one taste on the inhale and another on the exhale and then the vapor smell….Its a good thing we cant drink this. It seemed a little thick in my clearomizer, and Ive let it steep a bit since last night and it seems it has gotten better consistency-wise. I cant tell a difference in taste yet. Some reviewers have said this is hard on equipment, so Im watching carefully. I might rinse the clearomizer out every couple refills though. I got this in 24 mg strength and there is no throat hit. The after taste is good but unless you are chain vaping, it can leave a little chemically taste. Im not sure if it needs to steep longer to get rid of that tho.

Fuzion Vapor Starscream – Words just cant even describe how good this juice is. Ive read other reviewers saying this is like a Cherry Starburst candy, but its so much better than that. I steeped it last night and most of today and it has gotten so much better. I admit I mixed some tobacco (just a few drops tho) and it has enhanced it greatly. The vapor smells so good. The after taste is like youve actually ate a fruity candy. Nothing chemical. I got this in 24 mg also, but I think when I get it again, I work down to the 18 mg because I like to vape it too much!

Both Frank and I wanted to try a stronger watermelon. We decided on Pink Spot juicy watermelon at 24 mg. Both of us chain vaped this on the way home from the store. It tastes fabulous and the smell is too good. It left a great taste in our mouths. I did end up mixing mine with the Fuzion Vapor Starscream and Jeez. Wow. It was like vaping cotton candy. I almost could not stop vaping this last night!

I definitely LOVE the new juices we have. Earlier today I had been out of the room we had vaped in, and when I walked back in, it smelled SOO good. I can only imagine how good the vehicles will smell! Changing over from cigarettes to these electronic cigarettes has definitely been a great thing.

So many of my friends have been asking about electronic cigarettes, that I decided it was easier to post this blog, rather than typing this out each time I responded……

Right around the middle of February, Frank came home raving about electronic cigarettes. He brought home this ‘kit’ and some e-liquid. He smoked menthol cigarettes so I really wasnt in the mood to try it. (I occasionally smoked menthol, but Im a non-menthol smoker) But after a few days, he stopped smoking and was exclusively smoking the electronic cigarette, so I thought, hmm if hes successful, I should really try em. (We have both quit numerous times, but have always gone back to smoking)

So he took me up to a place in the local mall called Safe Smoke (Westminster MD). The sales lady asked me how much I smoked and let me try a few different ‘strengths’ of tobacco.

After choking myself, we settled on 24 mg e-liquid. I mention choking myself because you cant inhale these things the same way you smoke a regular cigarette.

I was using one of the batteries from Franks kit, so I wouldnt have to plunk down $75 for my own kit, not knowing if I would care for this electronic variety. But after two weeks, I HAD to get my own.

Its been almost a month now since Ive went the exclusively electronic route and we have done a little experimenting…..

We are using the ego-t battery with vision clearomizers.

This is what it looks like assembled: l_900mah-ego-t-battery-ce4-atomizer-e-cigarette-kit-59dd

Frank has a green battery and a black battery, while I have a brown battery and a white battery.

We both have four vision clearomizers. (They come in different colors and several different sizes fit on the ego-t battery) We both like variations in flavors so four clearomizers work for us. Clearomizers also seem easier to work with when filling and refilling. They are also pretty simple to clean (we sort of messed up cleaning one, so despite what you see online, do not remove the wick when cleaning).

How to Clean a Clearomizer

The best part about ‘vaping’ is the flavors!!!!

No matter if you smoked menthol OR regular tobacco, you will not have the same taste with an electronic cigarette. Thats probably a good thing.


We found some really great flavors. They taste great on the inhale and exhale and produce great vapor.

Frank really likes the Pink Spot Blue on the Berry. Its a fabulous blueberry and the vapor smells fantastic! It produces an excellent throat hit.

Im privvy to the Fuzion Vapors Crankberry. Its a rasberry/cranberry mix. Its very smooth, but it doesnt produce a great throat hit, but the flavor way outweighs that. (Buy Crankberry here) Ive heard that the guy who makes these e-liquids was a chef, so most of his flavors have great reviews.

Both of us mix these flavors with our tobacco. I like a few different variations. The sales person at Safe Smoke turned us onto mixing our e-liquid.

But I have to say….the best part about vaping is there is no cigarette smell! Depending on what is in your clearomizer, you can have a fruity smell or no smell at all. You and your home will no longer reek of cigarette. Your breath will not smell like you ate an ashtray. AND, you will be able to actually taste your food!

And, there are several forums online where to get e-liquid reviews, support if you want to wean to ZERO nicotine, and also some pretty neat do-it-yourself mods.

I have to say, my biggest issue with smoking was the hand to mouth action, so I carry my ego-t EVERYWHERE! Frank has the nicotine to overcome. Both are big obstacles when quitting this habit. But electronic cigarettes do fulfill both of these issues and so far, so good. We havent smoked a regular cigarette in over a month!

This is ‘Part 2’ of my last post: I see what you did there…

In this post I will talk about how seeing abuse and getting abused affects relationships. I sort of did a ‘quick and dirty’ over view in my prior post but I wanted to go a little more in depth, especially concerning the abandonment and trust issues.


Some days when Im looking thru my facebook stream, I see my friends posting how wonderful their parents are, how much they help them, etc…I did not have this luxury, EVER.

Not only have my parents never helped me, I havent even spoken to them in some time. I may be irrational in my line of thinking, but its my thought that are still abusing me.

You may be thinking ‘how is that abuse?’

Im going to call what they continue to do, neglect.

Even tho I saw them at my grandfathers funeral a few years ago, I did not really speak to my parents beyond the initial sympathies upon arriving at the funeral home. When my grandmother passed away back in 2011, I got a phone call from my mother the day before her funeral telling me she died. I wasnt even told where her funeral would be held.

Other than that phone call, my parents have never called me in close to 20 years.

I dont get birthday cards and neither have any of my children. We dont receive Christmas cards either.


When I first started to flare back in December, I attempted to call them for some assistance. Quite honestly, I did not expect them to help, but I also did not expect to be told that I was a whore because I gave birth when I was a teenager.

I still cannot understand why something that occurred in 1988 is still being used by my parents as an excuse for them not being parents. Believe me, I havent forgotten getting pregnant in 1988.

What bothers me the most is that they have lost out on being around their grandchildren by maintaining this ‘blame’ for the past 20+ years. Instead of loving and getting to know my children, they refuse to have anything to do with them. Not only have they missed out on my childrens lives, they have two beautiful great-grandchildren that they are missing out on knowing.

As a parent and grandparent, I cant see how they can justify this in their minds OR hearts.


This brings me back to non-emotion as a result of this abuse in my early life. I can see these non-emotional tendencies in me towards others. And I can see how this cycle goes on.

Granted, I have never been like this towards my children,  just in my other relationships….As ‘social’ as I am, I can also see how anti-social I am.


Many people see how many people I know, or talk to in general when in a social situation and try to tell me that Im not anti-social. Im talking about close friendships, not short term social situations.

Obviously, this only assures me that I have no one close to me. And, well, this obviously puts me in a position where even the things I need to talk about to someone else doesnt occur.

At this time in my life, I have so much baggage that its hard to even make a new friend, let alone continue an ‘established’ friendship. Most of what friendship consists of has to be put in place small piece by small piece, and without a ‘bond of trust’ you feel you cant share some of the things that have gone on in my life. And then, if you DO share, I can imagine that it could be pretty unsettling to hear.

And I found out that I tend to be non-emotional because at least in my mind, it saves me from being hurt.


Ive broke up with guys because theyve told me they cared about me. Ive broke up with guys who wanted to take the next step in our relationships. All of this ‘reasoning’ was to save myself from becoming potentially hurt.

In truth tho, it caused more pain. It caused me to lose people that did truly care about me. I think about one person in particular who told me straight up that if I didnt stop this ridiculousness, I would be left alone, without no one around me to care. At the time I told him (actually yelled) that he wasnt old  enough to make that observation. If he were still alive, I would tell him that he was right.


My current relationship has held ‘steady’ at nearly 13 years. But in the beginning, I wouldnt allow him to have a relationship with my children. I made it clear very early on that I would not be re-marrying. I also made it clear that there were to be no ‘I love yous’ exchanged.

(We would say elephant shoes instead of I love you)

And they say men have commitment phobia?

And obviously 13 years later, he does have a relationship with my kids and love yous have been exchanged, but I do hold tight onto that re-marrying part.

I feel extremely lucky that he stuck with me thru alot of that mess. And, Im still a mess. I still have a fear that he will abandon me. I still have a fear that if/when we break up, he will abandon my kids.

He tells me that Im being irrational, and on one hand – it hurts my feelings to hear him say that, but it also puts me off guard. As someone who has heard this before and been let down, its hard to trust someone when they say they wont leave.

And I can guarantee that its easy to leave me.


As it stands right now, I only have three people who know me. And quite honestly, they really dont KNOW me. Ive omitted talking about certain things and at this point, an omission for this long, is a betrayal. Or it could be misconstrued as a betrayal.

Some of these omissions are a minutia – others an avalanche.

I stand now in fear that I will be left alone.

Which happens to be just where most abusers want you.

Apologies for the long and rambling post….

So, Ive been seeing a counselor to deal with some issues. I think everyone has issues and should talk with someone – someone who isnt involved with those issues.

Its no big secret that not only do I have health issues that I have to deal with, but some major emotional issues as well. Ive been ‘non-emotional’ for a better part of my adult life.

Marriage Schmarriage

Ive said at one point in my life, I never wanted to be married. I actually had it in my mind that this stemmed from having parents who are tremendously unhappy in their marriage.

And despite the issues with my own marriages, some of my thoughts regarding why they didnt work out was that I should not be happy. That I didnt deserve it.

However, during a recent counseling session, I found out that my thought was only partially true.

Witnessing a parent being abused

  • Ive seen my father beat the crap out of my mother, all while blaming her for a number of assorted things.
  • Ive seen my father throw the dinner she cooked across the room because he changed his mind about what he wanted.
  • And, Ive seen my mother make up lame stories about what happened to her when shes been caught with bruises.
  • Ive seen my father and grandfather call my mother horrible names. Ive seen them screaming into each others faces.

Being abused by a parent

Ive actually been scarred by my parents by their actions towards me when I was a child. Now, some of you may be thinking, ‘Yea-havent we all?’

While some of you believe that they were abused as children due to discipline ‘abuse’, I was living with a mother who woke me up every morning screaming obscenities at me. We arent talking about a parent who is cursing because their child is being uncooperative getting up for school here, we are talking about a parent who screams that their child is a *bitch* or several other words. Every. Single. Day.

My mother would slap me across the face for disagreeing with her. If my opinion differed, I would get slapped.

My behavior

At one point, I became completely defiant. Not only was I hostile towards my parents, I would openly defy whatever they said to do.

My parents put me in religious counseling. I dont know what ‘they’ told that counselor but I was told to do what my parents told me or Id go to hell for not listening. Some counseling, huh?


I made some ‘bad’ choices as a result of viewing this abuse, being a victim of this abuse, and feeling unloved.

I had met this guy who showed me the attention I had craved. You know where this one is going tho, right?

Long story short, I found someone that would help me escape this hellish life at my parents home. I found myself pregnant at 16 and being forced to choose between marrying him or getting an abortion. I choose to marry him.

At the time it didnt matter that we had nothing in common besides a physical attraction. It didnt matter that he was possessive of me. None of it mattered. It only mattered that he was willing to marry me and ‘save’ me.

Short lived

Its not surprising that this relationship was short lived. It didnt even last a full year passed our wedding day.

I basically just went from one abusive place to another.

And when that relationship was over, I was the one blamed. Not only did he, his family and my own family blame me…..I blamed myself for this failure.

The ‘I told you sos’ from my family were bad enough, but I wasnt able to maintain any type of custody for the newborn child I had given birth to only months earlier. I had to give custody up to her father.

From one to another

I ran into someone I knew prior to my short lived marriage. And we began a nearly 10 year relationship. These were a tumultuous decade.

We both ‘gave as good as we got’….

I had a rotten attitude and he couldnt keep his genitalia to himself. A rotten combination. And a vicious horrible circle..

It wasnt until the birth of my third child that everything came to a head.

I became seriously ill after giving birth and the betrayal of my husband was too much. Not only did I almost die, but while I was fighting for my life in ICU, he was out running around with a local slut.

The proverbial last straw had arrived.

That man disappeared off the face of the earth. He abandoned not only me in the process, but my two youngest children as well.

Moving on?

My children and I moved into his mothers apartment. (yes, HIS mother). And she and her husband helped me take care of my children for a number of years.

Why does this all matter?

It has been about 17 years since my second marriage broke up. In those 17 years alot has occurred.

Ive been dealing with the diagnoses of lupus, fibromyagia, COPD along with many other health issues. I have had a long term relationship with a wonderful guy. My kids have grown up, with my youngest now almost 18 and getting ready to graduate high school. My oldest two daughters have given me the best gift, grandchildren.

Which brings me to the vicious cycle of abuse.

I havent been a perfect parent. Ive said things I probably should have never said to or around my children. I am ashamed of that.

Ive spanked my children. With a wooden spoon. Sometimes in anger.

I feel like I was abusive.

My children dont act like I was, but I feel that somewhere within them, they have those memories of their mother acting like a jerk. And I feel that somewhere within them they will feel the way I feel towards my family, towards me.

I wanted to be a different type of parent. Once who would not repeat what I had seen or been thru. I believe that I failed.


I have more to say about this, but this post has already taken me half the day to compose.

I know its been awhile since Ive blogged….its been very rough.

Right before Christmas I became ill. It was just a cold. Unfortunately for those of us with lupus and fibromyalgia simple colds can turn into a multitude of issues. And that is what occurred.

Some of you may know the other health issues I face along with the SLE and FM. If you arent aware, I also have been diagnosed with COPD and IgaN. Both of those are serious enough issues by themselves  but coupled with the auto immune factor….well, lets just say Im on a very tight leash with my team of physicians. There are other health issues that havent had an official diagnoses yet, so as of now just the symptoms are the issue.

My doctors have told me that I will probably never work again.

What does this mean?

Well, other than the fact that we have no disposable income whatsoever, it also means that we cant pay our bills on a single salary.

So, we are doing a significant downsize here.

Our house will be either sold or short saled. My vehicle is gone because Im not allowed to drive any longer. And we move to a much smaller and affordable place with ONE floor because climbing up and down stairs is not helping me with mobility.

And while this does help in the long run, we face the hurdle of relocating on no money. And that is why I am asking for help.

Many of my friends have told me to attempt to ask for help online. I have started that process and have asked some of my friends to help. (For those that have helped, I truly thank you)

However, in the midst of this, Ive been made aware of some insane stories about people raising money online. One of which is some bloggers on what people refer to as FTB. There are 3 bloggers raising funds now. One had a hysterectomy and in the process bought designer shoes and blogged about it. The other had their laptop break and are raising money to purchase another. From what Ive seen of what theyve done, theyve been successful. Ive heard that another FTB blogger is actually homeless (Im not that desperate……yet) but it seems like her plight isnt being taken seriously enough. Those things make me mad. The REAL person needing help there isnt getting it.

Theres another blogger (a foodie, if Im not mistaken) who raised over $170,000 so she can travel to kitchens and blog. (Her online name is Harto) Im not sure what type of people donate money to a food blogger, or even the types of people that think that is a worthy cause, but it seems to me that these reasons are not dire.

Granted, I dont need that kind of money….and Im not asking for that. But it makes me mad to see the types of things people donate to things that literally dont matter. 

But Ive gone a little off topic….

I need help. Financial help.

Ive applied to many human services programs but they refuse to help because I own the house Im moving out of and happen to co-exist with someone who makes more than $1000 a month. I dont even qualify for food stamps.

Ive been referred to a program called Catastrophic Health Planning. That way I can get SOME type of support for the emotional aspect of changing my life with all these new limitations, but that still doesnt help us buy groceries or gas so I can get to doctor appointments.

Which brings me to my plea for help. Im sharing a link to my paypal where you can donate money. Just click on the link and enter my email address (sheilafaulstichATgmailDOTcom) Yes, I spelled that out so I wont get spammed. [LINK: https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/send-money-online ]

Any amount will help us get thru this tough time. Thank you in advance.