Cough, cough, cough

I’ve had this nagging cough for the past 3 weeks now. I just can’t shake it. Went to a Doc after the first week and was on Biaxin (antibiotic) and Ratio-Cotridin (decongestant and cough suppresant) for a week and no change.

I feel great otherwise. No headache, soreness, fever, upset stomach, nor congestion. But I can’t get any consistent sleep so I’m really run down.

Just this past Tuesday, at about 2:00am, I went to the nearest ER. I was coughing so hard that I couldn’t breath. My throat had closed up and I had to vomit to clear the passage. I’ve never been diagnosed with asthma, but according to the ER Doc the symptoms were very close so he gave me two puffers (a cortico steroid, and something else) to help keep the airways open.

The strange thing is, I caught this from another guy here at work. He has the same symptoms, and to his knowledge has never been diagnosed as asthmatic either. His teenage son, not an asthmatic either, also had the same symptoms.

It gets stranger… two other guys here at the office are coming down with the same thing.

Viral asthma?

I don’t think so.

The ER waiting room had a free internet kiosk, so while I was waiting (a whole other story…) I decided to see what I could come up with.

Google: coughing vomiting choking

Okay, I know, the last thing a doctor wants to hear is his patient’s “expert” self diagnosis. I can understand that (it’s the same thing on an IT help desk). So I let the doctor do his thing without interfering. He was a really good doc, and frankly admitted that he was stumped but because the symptoms were so close to asthma he believed that it could be treated similarly, hence the puffers.

So anyway, Whooping Cough wtf?!

Well apparently it is common enough, and there’s a persistent misconception that it’s somehow been eradicated through vaccination. Turns out that the early childhood vaccination only lasts about 10 years and begins to wear off.

I guess it doesn’t matter much regardless, because if it is Whooping Cough, there isn’t anything that can be done about it except wait it out. The asthma puffers are helping though – I’ve had paroxysmal coughing fits since my trial Tuesday morning, but I’ve been able to breath much easier, even if I still had to vomit (some attacks reminded me of the Barforama from Stand By Me).

Very frustrating, and gross, not to mention frightening (that not breathing thing still scares the crap out of me).

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