For about two years, I have had this cough that I can not get rid of no matter what I do. I am 50 years old, I have never smoked (and neither does my husband) and I live in southwestern Alaska. It started with a bout of acute bronchitis, the bronchitis symptoms are long gone, but the cough remains.
I am always coughing up phlegm. It is clear and sticky and thick. Sometimes it feels like I am trying to cough out glue or gum. I throw up at least once a day because it's so thick. It comes from my throat and sinuses. I am always making a hocking noise because it's the only way I can try and get it up.
I almost always gag everytime I cough. The gagging often gets so bad that I feel like I'm going to throw up, this happens almost constantly during a bad attack. I will cough, hock, gag and spit for about 10 to 30 minutes almost non stop.
I have seen two ENTS, two pulmonologists and have had about every test and cough medicine avaliable. The test come back normal, the meds only provide temporary relief. The doctors are basically telling me to live with it.
I can't go an hour with coughing up phlegm. I am always clearing my throat. If I clear my throat during a coughing attack, I gag and choke. I can spit up to 40 times in less than minutes during bad episode. My husband is worried that I'll get a hernia or damage my throat because of all the coughing, hocking and gagging.
I always spit the phlegm out when it comes, if I don't I will strangle or choke. My body always hurts. My stomach, head and throat bear the worst of it. My back and knees hurt if I have to bend or kneel to spit, which are particularly hard for me because I weigh 450 lbs.
I can not be away from a tissue, trash can, sink or toilet--just anything to spit in. I can't do anything without spitting up phlegm. I can barely sleep, three hours is average now. The first thing I have to do when I wake up is lean over to my trash can and spit before I can get up. I haven't left the house in a year because I don't want other people to have to listen to my hocking. I hate knowing my husband has to listen to it. We can't have people over. I literally can't do anything but cough, hock, gag and spit.
If anyone has any suggestions, I will greatly appreciate it. I hate living like this. I feel horrible all the time.
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