My wife, Miranda has been coughing up phlegm since January 2010. She has been to ENT specialists, pulmonologists, allergists and has had pretty much every test you can think of all with negative results. The closest we have gotten to a diagnosis is acid reflux or post nasal drip. Miranda is 50 years old, never smoked (I don't smoke either) and about 150-200 pounds overweight.
We didn't think too much of it at first because there have been times in the past were she would get an infection, cough up phlegm for a week or two and got healthy again. But now, its been going on for months. We have tried otc products to no avail.
She is coughing up several times a day. Her phlegm has always been clear, odorless, extremely thick and sticky. Sometimes it can be stringy. Sometimes its foamy and it gushes in her mouth quickly. She has to clear her throat every few minutes. She can cough until she gags, chokes and eventually vomits. She vomits at least once a day.
She said the phlegm sometimes stays in her throat regardless of how much she coughs or clears her throat, it just stays there. This is usually what causes her to gag. She said she can always feel some phlegm in her chest and throat. If she can't spit it out when it comes up, she swallows it (which causes her to gag) or keep it in her mouth (which makes her feel sick). The coughing isn't worse or better at certain times of the day, its always there.
Miranda can't be out of reach of tissues, bags, sinks, or something to spit in. As if the coughing wasn't enough, she has headaches, sensitivity to light and sound, nausea. She has a low grade fever (usually around 99 farenheit).
She coughs all day and night. She can't rest because of the phlegm. When she does sleep, she can be waken up by a cough. The first thing she has to do before she can even get out of bed is, you guessed it, cough up phlegm.
She feels awful as you could imagine. I can't really help her, except for taking her to the doctors or making sure she has everything to spit up into. I feel bad because I can't make her feel better. It's damaging her health, social life and self image. She doesn't go anywhere except for a doctor's visit and she schedules them very early in the morning or late at night so others don't stare at her or make rude comments. She doesn't see any of her friends because she doesn't want them to have to listen to her coughing up phlegm. She can't do anything around the house because she is so ill (she is a stay at home mom). I don't know how much phlegm she can cough up at once, but its a lot, she once went through an entire box of tissues in one day.
Miranda is absolutely miserable! If you have any suggestions, we would love to hear them. I just want my wife to feel better.