Posted 9/17/2012 7:57 AM (GMT -6)
Hello, all: I have been coughing for over 22 years and I am simply exhausted! I was diagnosed with asthma when I was in my early 20s, but rarely needed treatment until about 22 years ago. It all started with a dry tickle and cough that just wouldn't go away back in 1990-91. Eventually, I spoke to my PCP about it and this started me down a road of continually failing drug treatments with too many docs to count. Every time I am forced to start over with a new PCP or specialist - which is all too frequently due to docs leaving and moving around and to issues with my insurance (I have seen Allergy/Immunologist in the past; seeing Pulmonologist currently), I have to go through THEIR need to start from scratch on trying to treat my cough and asthma. Bottom line is I am at my wits end! I spend much of the year coughing... this year it's been particularly awful. I get no sleep, my poor husband gets no sleep. I'm exhausted and most recently, my voice has become hoarse and this has been going on for the past three months now. I currently take spiriva, symbicort, albuterol as well as claritin, sudafed and fluticasone. Unfortunately, the only thing that works is prednisone and I've been on it about one week a month over the past 9 months or so. Codeine-containing cough syrup sometimes gives me an hour of rest or so, but no other cough syrups work even a little bit. What's been happening this year is that I go on prednisone for 7 days.... about day 6, I start to get relief. I then have about a week with little cough. Inevitably, though, after about a week to 10 days, the cough starts back up again... and in only a few days, I am now back to coughing constantly again and driving myself and my husband crazy. It is worse at night... but doesn't stop for any length of time.
I have also tried OTC prilosec and similar drugs... but they don't seem to help. I need some suggestions. Is anyone else out there suffering similarly? I am exhausted and neither my PCP nor my pulmonologist seem to know what to do.... they say I can't take the prednisone all the time - but don't seem to have any alternatives that will help me. I did have a really good pulm who was trying to help me - but he recently left the practice very suddenly... so I'm back to square one AGAIN with a new Pulm who is absolutely awful (didn't listen to one word I said). I've requested another doc, and will be starting over once again next month. In the meantime, PCP doesn't want to deal with my cough and I can't get in to see the Pulm. PCP suggested I go to Quick Care.... it's now been three weeks since the cough started up again. I don't want to go on prednisone again, but nothing else is helping... I am going to QC today - I give up. This is not the first time docs have gotten frustrated with my extremely resistant cough..... do I have any hope at all? Anyone have any ideas for me?