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Relentless cough

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Doglover, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. Doglover

    Doglover Occasional commenter

    I have been coughing pretty much non-stop since last Monday and had little to no sleep Wed, Thur, Fri, Sat night because of it.
    Having suffered enough by Friday (I am no martyr, lol) I requested a GP call back. The GP prescribed an antibiotic over the phone, and a Salbutamol Inhaler, but I wasn't that happy that she hadn't actually seen me. I really didn't think I needed the antibiotic as was pretty sure, if there was an infection it was probably viral.
    On Friday and Saturday the cough went from bad to worse, with night time being the worst. The Salbutamol inhaler worked eventually but only after maybe using it 3 or 4 times with maybe 10 mins between each. the coughing bouts though were lasting for a good 1/2 hr to 40 mins before they settled. At times I was coughing until I was nearly sick.
    I phoned the out of hours doctor yesterday, who said he wanted to see me. He listened to my chest, and said he was happy there was nothing like pneumonia, which didn't rule out an upper respiratory tract infection. There was no wheeze, which I also knew, but he did witness the coughing.
    He has put me on a course of oral steroids and I am to continue with the Salbutamol and antibiotic. I am absolutely worn out, to be honest, as is my husband who can't sleep either. Last night there was an improvement, which is to be expected almost immediately with the oral steroids, and I slept from about 1am to 4.30am, before the coughing started. The salbutamol was definitely working much better as well.
    The cough is almost like a spasm I would say, and breathing out is more difficult than breathing in.
    I sort of feel a bit up in the air though, as the doctor can't say if it is definitely an URTI, and he kept asking about asthma. My children both have asthma, as do all my cousins, aunts/uncles on my mum's side. My sister was diagnosed with adult onset asthma two years ago.
    I have had URTIs before, and get a lot of sinusitis as well as having rhinitis, but the cough has never been like this.
    I am wondering if I should go ahead and make a routine appointment for my own GP, which will probably be a week away at least, and by that stage I should know how things have settled with the cough :/
    I am really bad about making decisions about illness, as part of the trouble with OCD I have is the belief that others think I am a hypochondriac. I am also not very good at gaining any perspective on how bad a situation is, and often let things go on too long.
    Any advice from people who suffer from URTIs/asthma would be welcome.
  2. I have an inhaler which does help - but at the moment have a cough which won't go away and have been told it is tracheitis - which is viral and antibiotics are useless!
    It is so debilitating - every movement causes me to cough! I do sympathise with you and lack of sleep - nothing worse! Hope you get better soon
  3. Doglover

    Doglover Occasional commenter

    Thanks all, I am certainly feeling a little better tonight, but will makean appointment with my GP anyway.
  4. Definitely see the doctor when you can.
    I had a nasty persistent cough a few years back while on holiday. The pharmacist gave me a cough mixture which didn't help at all. The following day i went back and he suggested Ventolin inhaler - which is available over the counter in some countries. It did the trick - immediately, and while I haven't really needed it this year, I keep one in the cupboard just in case.
  5. I am into my 6th week of a cough, signed off for a further two [also have sore throat and no energy]
    Had bloods taken on Fri, results any day.
    I had a does of antibs in first week to deal with chest infection and tonsillitis bu nothing since [​IMG]
    Have had my toddler to look afteras too ropey to drive to nursery [which is 15 miles away] so it's been hard to rest as instructed. Took her today tho then came home and slept from 10am - 3pm! Am hoping this rest will help clear things finally
    Cough is productive with pain across top of chest. Fed up of it and anxious abotmising so much of work having just returned from 7 months adoption leave :-/

  6. i had a cough almost identical to yours, doglover, which was asthma - i got put on a salbutamol nebuliser to clear things out before being put on a high dose of inhaled steroids
    asthma runs in my family too - i hardly ever succumb myself - only once every 2 or 3 years - but when i do, it's ghastly and as you describe
    i lost half a stone in the process the first time! now i know to nip it in the bud before it takes hold so badly
    hope you are feeling brighter - and you too, robyn
  7. angiebabe

    angiebabe Occasional commenter

    Here are a couple of random ideas but well worth consideration (trust me I've been there!).
    First of all check all your fridge, fruit bowl, veg basket for any type of mouldy food. A whacky friend of mine suggested this to me years ago and I thought he was barking. BUT whenever I get a cold or begin to cough you can guarantee that I will find something in the house that is mouldy!
    Next - I was notorious in my schoo for a bad chest, was always coughing. It was really bad as soon as I started to eat! My doctor finally prescribed those indigestion tabs that you can only get on presecription (cant remember the name and would never be able to spell it anyway). If I don't take this tablet around 4 - 5 each day then I begin to cough persistently - which then reminds me that I haven't had a tablet.

    Ok - now you can call me weird because none of it makes sense!
  8. And remember the other big issue for anyone with a "100 day cough".
    Get your pertussis immunisation updated. Many people forget that pertussis vaccination, and some others, is not permanent. The protection fades over time.
  9. There has been a cough doing the rounds which has been much nastier than the average bug.

    I had one for three weeks, started suddenly with a sore throat which faded after a day into a persistent cough. I thought it was a virus so didn't see the GP, thinking rest and time would cure. However it didn't and I lost many nights sleep, including some nights with zero sleep, as lying down made breathing much worse. I knew a few others who had this too, and eventually went to the GP and had antibiotics for a week-amoxycillin. It took three weeks to clear from start. I wondered whether asthma could be involved, breathing was extremely difficult at night, but I haven't previously had asthma. I'm sure it began with a "bug" which was contagious, but can asthma become a secondary complication?

    This is a link to a thread from a few weeks back:

  10. Doglover

    Doglover Occasional commenter

    Adelady, I have actually been worrying about pertussis, as it is on the increase in adults in the UK (and generally) and often misdaignosed.
    Interestingly the GP was going to test my daughter for pertussis a few weeks ago, as she was having a sore throat/cough which wouldn't clear. She has been on a 2 week course of Clarithromycin now, having already been on a weeks course of Clarithromycin before that,and it has started to clear. She has asthma.
    I did mention it to the locum doctor on Saturday, but he looked at me strangely!
    My cough was much better last night, with having had the second dose of steroids, and I think if it was pertussis that wouldn't be the case.
    Today, I feel a little bit more human, although exhausted and my chest muscles are aching.
    Things seem to be better though :)
  11. It has been any weeks since this thread appeared, and I'm still coughing, and getting maybe two hours sleep a night. I'm now 6 and a half weeks since it started, and the prescriptions don't seem to help my sleep. Salamol doesn't seem to make any difference, and codeine doesn't seem to stop the coughing. The anti-biotics worked, I had two courses with different ones, but the resultant cough now has little or no phlegm, more like bronchitus now, and sometimes I'm breathless and gasping for air. My day times wouldn't have been too bad, the coughing stops, sometimes I'm breathless if doing physical things, but so tired from typically two hours sleep that I mostly haven't gone out to work.

    Any name for this virulent bug going round, or stories of recovery would cheer me right now, I'm fairly down about it. Any suggestions how to get some sleep? I'm alright usually if vertical, but lying down brings on a fit of coughing within a minute, or worse still breathlessness which is scary.
  12. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    I had that and have seldom felt so ill. A few weeks later and I've caught a cold, complete with cough. So embarrassing.
  13. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    In other words, I feel really rough but not in any way like how I felt with the chest bug. It was really frightening.
  14. ...but seemingly no cure or end in sight.
  15. My son has this - it is like a spasm of coughing - he is now on anti histamines and an inhaler which seems to have helped- I'm sur eit would also help if we got rid of the cat but that's not a current option
  16. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Well yes, for the cold, and for the cough too, I hope.

  17. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    And, if not, you've got to smile and count your days.
  18. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Sorry, jot 1812, but this thread has developed into one about viruses and bacteria.
  19. I thought I'd counted my last day this early morning. The breathlessness was so bad I was sure I'd get a coronary too.
  20. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    It sounds like your family has other issues.

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