Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

chronic cough, gagging, choking, burning, hypersensitivity

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 13 Replies
  • Posted By: DaveinLA
  • March 15, 2008
  • 06:57 AM

In September 2006, I had what I thought was a normal cold. It went from the head to the chest. I had a nagging cough that I thought would abate in a short time. Instead, that same cough (dry, squeaky, spasmodic and nonproductive) remains with me to this day. I cannot inhale, laugh, eat, talk or do virtually anything without launching into the cough. It's a deeply embedded reflex sensation. I have frequent intense burning and tickling in the throat, as if a hole somewhere is leaking something (mucus? bile? acid?). I also have a chronic feeling of having to clear phlegm from the throat (globus). I've had numerous tests, all negative. I'm scheduled for a sleep study (I often gag myself awake when lying on my back, as if a ridge or ledge or swollen area is impeding my air flow) and a "virtual bronchoscopy" (a CT scan in lieu of an optic tube inserted by a pulmonary doctor). Could a long-ago virus, bacterium or fungus have silently and invisibly destroyed part of my airway? One ENT physician thinks I have a chronic stubborn case of GERD or LRD, but my 24-hour PH acid tests were unremarkable, as were a battery of swallowing tests (barium, motility, etc.). I had my gallbladder out in 1994 and a fundoplication (esophageal tie-off) surgery in 1995. I had hernia surgery last October. Sinus scans have been negative, as was an MRI of the throat region. An endoscopy and a colonoscopy were both negative, as was a food/dust/pollen allergy panel. I'm banking on the upcoming pulmonary studies to reveal something; if the "virtual bronch" is revelatory, I'll follow up with a regular bronchoscopy. If this is GERD or LRD, then why didn't previous courses of Prevacid and prednisone do anything? I've modified my diet and bought an elevated pillow, but still no relief. Does any or all of this sound familiar to anybody out there? It's really been difficult to live with. Any input would be appreciated.

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