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Thread: An Atrocious Cough

  1. #1
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    An Atrocious Cough

    My body is so weird. I live with pain and funkiness all the time, so it's hard to know what's what.
    I have fibromyalgia and severe osteoarthritis. The fibro makes me crazy with funky revolving pain/problems. Anyhow, 9 days ago I got a cold, for the first time in about 20 years. Not bad, low fever 1 day only. But soon I had horrible expiratory wheezing and coughing. Couldn't see my doctor soon, so I went to the E.R., thinking I might have pneumonia (since these were the symptoms 22 years ago). The chest xray was normal. I've been taking mucinex round the clock. The very expensive inhaler the P.A. ordered does nothing.

    I know coughs can take a long time to go away, but has anyone had ridiculous expiratory wheezing and coughing that feels like it will blow out your brains? There are times at night when the noise coming out of my lungs wakes me. And I haven't been able to use my cpap.

    DH says it's "just" a cold and will take time to leave. I've never had this problem, while not feeling terribly bad or stuffy, and no fever.

    I was going to get some Robitussin DM yesterday and decided to wait. It seems whenever I finally make a move to do something in the past, it starts improving.......so I'm waiting. Drinking tons of water.......which immediately passes out of my body. Doesn't seem to help at all.

    Any "natural" suggestions?

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    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    Steam with thyme essential oil. Boil some water and put a couple of drops of essential oil on the surface- don't use more as this particular oil is really strong. Breathe in the steam several times a day, I alternate between breathing through my nose, and breathing through my mouth to make sure I have all the pathways covered. Thyme is a strong anti-bacterial and anti-viral. Thyme is also an expectorant. Also, I have found that thumping on my chest also helps when there is something in my lungs that needs to be broken up (doesn't do anything for dry coughs, just wet ones).

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    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I like zinc and saltwater (inhaled and gargled) when I have the beginnings of one--I've been able to stop them in the early stages for the past several years. I associate fevers more with flu, and I won't take NSAIDS if I have one.

    I'm generally on the "let it run its course" side of this issue, as you might imagine. I might breathe eucalyptus vapor (mostly because I love the smell of it) and I'd definitely indulge myself with soup full of good hearty stock, garlic, and onions.

  4. #4
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    Thanks herbgeek and Jane.

    I've wondered if thumping would help too. When I worked in the hospital, that's what the respiratory therapists would do to people after a breathing treatment......but on their backs. But I can't thump my back. haha But I have considered patting the chest.
    I've been drinking lots of O.J. and taking at least 50gm of Zinc a day.
    I'm ashamed to say I keep forgetting to get out the humidifiers........which would probably help more with preventing colds. I knew an anesthesiologist once who said his whole family had one cold after another, until they had a whole house humidifier put on their furnace, then all the colds went away.

    I can't tell if my lung/bronchial tissues are just swollen, or if I have phlegm that needs broken up. Both of them sound the same.

    Yeah, I'm careful when I have a fever to not take a fever-lowering med (if it's not too high), 'cause I think the body uses that to help fry the bad guys.

    DH got a cold shortly after me, but his left in a couple days. Not fair. haha
    Herbgeek........do you just lean over the pot or do you also put a towel over your head too? I'll look for some thyme oil.
    Jane.......I've been eating healthily (unfortunately, nothing stops my appetite!), but like I said, about 1-2 hours afterwards, my wheezing and coughing worsens so much. It's sort of weird. So now I'm a little hesitant to eat.....But I'll be brave.

    Thanks you two!

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    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    Herbgeek........do you just lean over the pot or do you also put a towel over your head too?
    Depends on how hot the water is. If it just came off of boiling, no towel. If its less hot, then yes. I don't want to scald my tissues.

  6. #6
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    The sugar in OJ might be problematic--sugar has been shown to inhibit the immune system. You could, however, slip some bell peppers into your soup for vitamin C.

    You can get percussive massage units--mechanical or electric--to thump your back.

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    I have not had a cold now for many years but recall that it always took a long time to get over the cough part. I just signed up to volunteer at an elementary school and am having second thoughts when I think about what a germ factory it will be. Our go-to for any feel bad days is hot ginger tea with lemon and honey (with fresh ginger). My mom, a pharmacist, used to tell me that many OTC cold things can have a relapse effect, ie the Mucinex possibly.

  8. #8
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    Jane......after I posted that, I thought about the sugar. Yeah, you're probably right. I cut the acidity down by adding some carrot juice....but that has lots of natural sugars too, right?

    pinkytoe......you just reminded me that when our kids were little and in elementary school, we were constantly getting sick! DD teaches french horn at several schools and her colds have picked up too. Those little kids are petri dishes, for sure!
    You know.......I was wondering that about the Mucinex. I quit it one day but worried that I'd done the wrong thing and started it back up. But.....I'm willing to quit it again. It seems like it can't get any worse........... (knock on wood!)

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    3 separate colds this summer. 1 day mild fever, 7-10 days of rough feeling and 3 weeks of cough for each. Last one, I think I pulled a muscle on my rib area just this weekend from the amount of coughing and was in so much radiated pain I was crying.

    I could not get in touch with my doctor so just went in and cried to see her. Was going to Urgent Care across the street if she was busy. She saw me and said I was not dying. Big issue was constant drainage from nose into lungs. Fosomax to help the sinus cavity, OTC pain reliever, Zertec to maybe help with allergy symptoms, up the asthma medicine. Also recommended was saline solution spray for nose to clean it out. It all helped.

    Oh, we have used a generic cough medicine when it just gets way too bad. Cough drops are all around the house.

    I better not get this again this year.

  10. #10
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    I guess I'm a wimp, because when I had lots of colds in germ, I mean elementary school I got cough syrup with codeine so I could sleep at night and not constantly disrupt the class during the day.

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