Help with a bad cough: Part 2

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Dan70, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. Dan70 macrumors regular

    Aug 4, 2014
    So some of you might remember, or not that I started a thread a few weeks ago about a cough that was pretty bad and wouldn't go away. So fast forward to today, since then I've been to the doctors twice and the first time I had some antibiotics for a week and finished them. It seemed to have disappeared temporarily.

    Recently the cough has come back and won't go and is just as bad as last time. The second doctor said to me... it'll just go and the first doctor shouldn't have prescribed antibiotics because they won't have done anything.

    So now I'm turning to the internet in hope complete strangers will tell me what I have and how long I have left because I'm sick of this now. I'm coughing so much and choking and struggling to breathe at times. What do you guys think it is, surprise me.

    * edit *
    Part 1
  2. heehee macrumors 68020


    Jul 31, 2006
    Same country as Santa Claus
    I'm no doctor and speaking with personal experience, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

    There is a Chinese saying 100 days cough and I've had that a couple of times before in my life. Started out with a cold and cough, the cold went away pretty quickly but the cough lasted over 2 months. Went to several doctors and nothing helps except for asthma pumps. I try not to use it unless I'm doing something important because its steroids.
  3. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Sailing beyond the sunset
    I had bronchitis once. The first round of antibiotics didn't completely get rid of it, so it came back. Second round was longer and fixed it. All told it took over 6 weeks.

    Maybe you should see the same doctor, or maybe you should see a different one, but either way you need to give them the whole story about how it didn't go away the first time, and what meds you were on, and all that stuff. You should even say that you asked for advice on the intertubes.

    If you don't see a doctor at all, you're being extremely stupid. Bronchitis can develop into pneumonia, which can kill you. It killed Jim Henson:

    And if it's not bronchitis, you need to find out exactly what it is. So I'll repeat what I wrote in the other thread:
    See a doctor.
    You may have to go to a specialist, but unless you think breathing is something you can live without, don't put it off.
  4. Dan70 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 4, 2014
    Ideally I'd like very much to not breathe as that is what's causing the issue but I'll see what I can do.

    On a more serious note, the first doctor was useless. The second one whilst being a nice guy, said that it'll pass in time. Nothing is really going to help it. So I'm just at my wits end. It hurts so much.
  5. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Sailing beyond the sunset
    When you took antibiotics, you said it got better. That suggests that the antibiotics had some effect. If the antibiotics were having no effect at all, then you wouldn't have seen an improvement. Or maybe the improvement was just the placebo effect, but that's hard to isolate.

    As I said, when I had broncitis, I thought the first round of antibiotics took care of it. After ramping back up to my exercise schedule at the time, the cough came back, which necessitated a second and longer round (same dosage level and drug, IIRC), which finally resolved it.

    In the US, this would be the time for a second medical opinion, or the time to schedule a visit with a specialist. I don't know how that works in the UK.

    Personally I'd put "getting diagnosed by unqualified strangers on the internet" pretty far down my list of sensible things to do in a timely manner.
  6. strider42 macrumors 65816


    Feb 1, 2002
    If you are struggling to breathe, that's more than a simple cough. Insist the doctor actually diagnose you.

    I get lingering coughs after I've been sick. Sometimes for 6 weeks. I ascribe it to my throat being irritated, making me cough, which irritates my throat, which makes me cough, etc, etc. What works for me in those cases is cough surppresent in the form of usualy over the counter ones, or using something that contains frittilary (herbal remedy that is a thick syrup, often made with honey too). It just kind of coats my throat and gives it a chance to heal. I recently used slippery elm tablets and that worked surprisingly well. I don't do herbal stuff for a lot of ailments, but they work for me for my coughs.

    But again, if its more than a simple cough lingering from being sick, you doctor needs to come up with an actual diagnosis and treat you accordingly.
  7. firedept macrumors 603


    Jul 8, 2011
    I will not offer you any medical advice, that would be wrong. It is up to a doctor to diagnose the problem after knowing the symptoms. Plus that is what a doctor is trained and paid to do.

    My best advice is go back to your doctor and insist on a more thorough examination. If that does not provide a solution, then it is time to go to a second doctor for a different opinion or a specialist. I am surprised that your doctor has not sent you to see a specialist.

    Coughing such as you state tells me something is wrong. On top of that, if it is affecting your breathing at times. Then it is clearly time to go back to a doctor and be insistent before this becomes a medical emergency for you.

    Please do not take advice from "internet doctors". This may take you down a path that is not very good for you. This could be one of a hundred things and without the proper diagnoses, you are putting yourself at risk.
  8. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    Go to the doctor.

    Antibiotics may clear up the infection, and decongestants may help to clear your chest.

    Otherwise, - apart from stress - the deteriorating (ghastly) weather of a rapidly encroaching winter may also be contributing to your cold. It does to mine - I loathe the cold, wet, miserable, damp, depressing, light deprived winters of the northern hemisphere…..

    Moreover, I suspect that I am in a somewhat similar situation to you, as a cold I thought I had banished two months ago has decided to pay a return visit; however, I have some idea of what some possible causes might be….

    Therefore, with this in mind, might I ask you to mull over 'stuff' that may also be going on in your life at he moment, 'stuff' which might be helping to undermine your immune system (stress, etc), which may well be a contributory factor in a recurring respiratory infection which refuses to fully clear up?

  9. boccabella macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2010
    Go to the emergency room at one of your local hospitals, that will be the best place to get a proper diagnosis IMHO.
  10. mobilehaathi macrumors G3


    Aug 19, 2008
    The Anthropocene
    Please tell me you're joking.
  11. Roller macrumors 68020

    Jun 25, 2003
    No reasonable medical professional will provide a diagnosis based on a patient's brief description of a non-specific symptom such as cough. However, any competent internist or general practitioner should be able to reach a conclusion based on a careful history, physical examination, and possibly blood tests (e.g., CBC) and imaging (chest x-ray or more complex procedure such as CT).
  12. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Need to find the source of the cough, might need to see the doc again.

    Just remember these days cold/cough medicine tends to not have anything for decongestants/drainage anymore.

    So when you get colds/flu these days it is much hard to simply take Nyquil to kill most of the symptoms that may make it progress to the rougher and harsher cough stage.

    Sometimes a simple decongestants/drainage pill will help or is needed.

    Or needing to stop some of the meds preventing you from coughing up that darn mucus/phlem ball causing the irritation.
  13. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    I'm hoping you're going to go see that second doctor again.

    That first doctor wasn't doing anything wrong though. Make sure this other doctor knows that you were prescribed antibiotics by him.
  14. noisycats macrumors 6502a


    Jun 1, 2010
    The 'ham. Alabama.
    A more thorough exam may be needed at this time to include pulmonary function studies. You may have an asthmatic component on top of relatively mild viral condition if you are experiencing shortness of breath. A chest x-ray on a third visit would also not be inappropriate.
  15. Plutonius macrumors 604


    Feb 22, 2003
    New Hampshire, USA
    Keeping your neck covered and warm at night along with some pillows elevating your head should help a lot.

Share This Page