In June 2009, I got sick with a cold. I started to cough up some clear phlegm. I didn't think too much of it because there had been times before where I got sick and coughed up phlegm for a week or two. The infection from June 2009 hasn't gone away!
I have seen multiple ENTs, pulmonologists, regular doctors. I've had just about every test you can think of--all with normal results. I've tried about 25 different prescriptions and otc medicines and natural remedies to no avail.
I'm 48 years old. I live in a small town in western Kentucky. I don't live on or work on a farm. My husband and I do not smoke or use drugs. We don't have any pets. Our house has been checked for mold and asbestos (both negative). I am extremely overweight (about 400 lbs) and I've had asthma since I was a child.
Here's my symptoms:
-Coughing up sticky, thick, odorless clear phlegm
-Low grade fever (usually around 99 degrees)
-Fatigue (I'm averaging about 2 hours per night in sleep time)
-Choking, gagging and vomiting to get the phlegm out
-Constantly clearing my throat
My symptoms aren't worse at any particular time of day. I never get any relief. I have to clear my throat several times per minute, before and after I talk, sometimes I get the urge to clear my throat while I'm talking. I almost always have a tissue at my mouth ready to go if I need to spit something out, but sometimes I need two or even four tissues to get it all.
My phlegm is extremely thick and sticky. It's often hard to get up. It's clear and odorless. It can be stringy (very difficult to get up). Other times it is very liquid like and gushes to the front of my mouth (very easy to get up).
A lot of times, it gets stuck between my throat and mouth, so I either swallow (which causes a gagging after effect) or choke and gag on it until it comes up. I always feel nauseous when I'm coughing it up. I typically throw up once a day trying to get it out. If I can spit it out immediately, but I swallow it instead, the next time I clear my throat I won't be able to get it up and that cycle repeats about 6-10 times before I finally can gag and spit it up. The other day, I coughed, coughed and coughed until I choked and then I was able to spit some out, then I gagged because it was so thick and ended up having to vomit to get the rest of it up.
Every morning (or whenever) I wake up, literally the first thing I have to do before I can do anything is cough up phlegm. I spit up some after I brush my teeth. Sometime I cough while I'm eating or drinking.
The phlegm is always there! I can always feel it in my chest and throat regardless of how much or how long I cough. I can't be anywhere away from a garbage can or box of tissues, sink or toilet--anything to spit up or vomit in. I've never measured how much I can cough up, but its a lot. There have been times where I've used an entire, previously unopened box of tissues in one day.
My husband is totally healthy, he has never once been sick like this. Our daughter is in Sydney, Australia spending a semester there doing a study abroad program and she has never once been sick like this.
Even on the occasional dry cough, I still choke and gag. Sometimes I cough so hard I can't speak, although I can sometimes get a few words out. I have to clear my throat right before and after I spit out phlegm. I barely have an appetite anymore because I get so ill from all that coughing/spitting and vomiting.
I can't do anything but clear my throat and spit. I am a housewife and I can't do anything, my husband who works 12 hour shifts has to come home and take of the house too and make sure I have everything I need.
My body alway hurts now. I'm in absolute agony all the time. This has been an everyday occurence for about 13-14 months now. I feel like my body has a never-ending supply of phlegm. I hate always having to spit and vomit. This has put a huge dent in our social lives. I won't go anywhere unless its to a doctor or hospital. I don't want other people to have to listen to me coughing up phlegm. I hate knowing that my husband has to listen to it. I am miserable all the time and this such a disgusting thing to have to do.
If you have any ideas or suggestions, I will greatly appreciate them! I hate being so ill and with such a disgusting illness.