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Another Pre-Going-To-Doctor Medical Question - hard unproductive cough to the point my ribs are in agony.
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: March 12, 2018 04:59PM
Super-fast backstory: Had the flu the week before I flew to London. Had a cough (you know, normal flu). Was pretty much over it until the flight home. Got a little worse. Cleared up again once I got home (from the airport, I mean) the next day.

Now, two weeks later, the cough returned with a vengence... hard unproductive cough, even with a little over a max dose of "Tussin DM" (combo of Dextromethorphan cough supressant and Guaifenisen expectorant) and a lot of ibuprofen and acetomenophen.

It feels like I've got a couple knives in my ribs, and an icepick in my brain stem every time I cough... which is far too often.

Any ideas on how to calm the cough so my ribs and muscles can have a chance to heal? I could stand the COUGH by itself, it's the sore muscles, cough-induced headache, etc, that are getting to be too much.

FYI; breathing is just fine... I can take good deep breaths. Well, most of the time, when I don't cough. It doesn't feel like I have gunk in my lungs. No fever.

Treatment ideas WELCOME for until I can get a doctors appointment (last time, they promised to get me in in three weeks.... *sigh*)



Paul F.
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A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

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Eureka, CA
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Re: Another Pre-Going-To-Doctor Medical Question - hard unproductive cough to the point my ribs are in agony.
Posted by: bik
Date: March 12, 2018 05:04PM
You're drinking plenty of water?

Assuming you don't have a sauna, I'd see what happens if you put a towel over your head and hang it over a sink running at max-hot water, breathing in the steam deeply.

Edit: And, if you are drinking plenty of water, try more. And eliminate anything that can contribute to dehydration (caffeine, etc.)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/2018 05:06PM by bik.
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Re: Another Pre-Going-To-Doctor Medical Question - hard unproductive cough to the point my ribs are in agony.
Posted by: Carm
Date: March 12, 2018 05:10PM
Second humidifier idea. You work for a school district, you should be able to go to a local “urgent care” to be seen by a dr and pay a reg. copayment. My wife’s plan ( also works for a school ) is through Kaiser and the copay is $10. Just took my daughter in on Sunday for ear pain (ear infection diagnosis)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/2018 05:11PM by Carm.
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Re: Another Pre-Going-To-Doctor Medical Question - hard unproductive cough to the point my ribs are in agony.
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: March 12, 2018 05:18PM
Plenty of water being consumed... (long history of having one working kidney.... I baby the one I have with lots of water as a force of habit).

Shower steam helps a little. Not hugely. The humidity in my house right now is 68%. I have two DE-humidifiers (not running right now), but the idea of a HUMIDIFIER around here is kinda funny.

I have a $10,000 deductible, so pretty much anything other than an office visit at my "approved provider" regular doctors office is out of pocket. When you're not a TEACHER at a school, you don't get the "deals".



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Another Pre-Going-To-Doctor Medical Question - hard unproductive cough to the point my ribs are in agony.
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: March 12, 2018 05:29PM
A hard cough can cause cracked ribs, that would explain the stabbing pain.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
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Re: Another Pre-Going-To-Doctor Medical Question - hard unproductive cough to the point my ribs are in agony.
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: March 12, 2018 05:39PM
Quote
Ombligo
A hard cough can cause cracked ribs, that would explain the stabbing pain.

If i'd cracked a rib (or two), I'm guessing it would hurt when I'm NOT coughing too... so, thank heavens for small favors, I don't thing I've cracked a rib YET. Maybe later tonight I'll get lucky.



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Another Pre-Going-To-Doctor Medical Question - hard unproductive cough to the point my ribs are in agony.
Posted by: deckeda
Date: March 12, 2018 05:43PM
Breathing + pain = ER, especially if it means waiting several days to see a doctor. Sure, you’ll waste a day there but if they find pneumonia it’ll be worth it.
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Re: Another Pre-Going-To-Doctor Medical Question - hard unproductive cough to the point my ribs are in agony.
Posted by: billb
Date: March 12, 2018 05:46PM
coughing really hard can "fracture" a rib
The bones are not actually broken but the tissues around them are damaged
Hurts like hell


Sleeping upright might help . No curling up in bed trying to sleep it off. If you have a LaZBoy chair .....use it.


We have a nice walk-in clinic here that my insurance doesn't cover but I tend to go there anyway.



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Re: Another Pre-Going-To-Doctor Medical Question - hard unproductive cough to the point my ribs are in agony.
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: March 12, 2018 05:47PM
You can get a cough syrup from the druggist with c0deine in it. I can't remember if you need a prescription or not. Just call the pharmacy and ask. You have to sign a book and there is a limit. It works well for awhile, but loses its effectiveness. But, it does give you a respite.
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Re: Another Pre-Going-To-Doctor Medical Question - hard unproductive cough to the point my ribs are in agony.
Posted by: pdq
Date: March 12, 2018 05:54PM
Quote
Ombligo
A hard cough can cause cracked ribs, that would explain the stabbing pain.

Yeah, I'm going to second Ombligo here.

Also, the flu this year left some folks (like my wife) with a persistent nonproductive cough. She tried big time doses of Mucinex and the like, thinking that if she could just free up what was bothering her down there, it would fix the cough.

Didn't work. (Honestly, I'm not sure Mucinex/guaifenesin is good for anything). Anyway, her doc finally put her on a combo of a prednisone (immune-response suppressant) dose pack and azithromycin for "bronchitis" (her x-ray was clear.) And while it might have been a coincidence, that largely took out the cough. If I had to bet, I'd guess it was the prednisone.

YMMV.

PS- you didn't start lisinopril or another "ACE inhibitor" recently (usu for high blood pressure)? It's a first-line drug for that problem which causes a significant minority of takers to develop a persistent non-productive cough that they may not associate with the BP med.
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Re: Another Pre-Going-To-Doctor Medical Question - hard unproductive cough to the point my ribs are in agony.
Posted by: JoeBob
Date: March 12, 2018 06:16PM
Tussin DM- never understood why you would want to take an expectorant to help you cough-
along with a cough suppressant. Pick one.
Not giving you crap personally, just the idea behind this.
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Re: Another Pre-Going-To-Doctor Medical Question - hard unproductive cough to the point my ribs are in agony.
Posted by: Janit
Date: March 12, 2018 06:42PM
Quote
JoeBob
Tussin DM- never understood why you would want to take an expectorant to help you cough-
along with a cough suppressant. Pick one.
Not giving you crap personally, just the idea behind this.

An expectorant can also help to suppress a cough if the cough is triggered by hard-to-resolve congestion. In such a case the expectorant can help to get the crap out. Efficient expulsion of crap results in less coughing. An unproductive cough may be a different matter.

When you call the doctor, emphasize the pain and express concerns about your ribs. That may get you in faster. Three weeks is ridiculously long to wait.
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Re: Another Pre-Going-To-Doctor Medical Question - hard unproductive cough to the point my ribs are in agony.
Posted by: DP
Date: March 12, 2018 07:13PM
Except for the lack of fever, I'd suspect some kind of pneumonia. "Pneumonia" tho, is a catch-all phrase for numerous lung infections and symptoms vary. I had it two years ago and oddly, I didn't cough much and it was a dry cough. But I felt achy and sore throughout my body and had a fever of 101º. Got the Z-Pak and that fixed it. But I'd still get to the doc or urgent care or ER soon. Don't take any chances.





Disclaimer: This post is checked for correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Any attempts at humor are solely the responsibility of the author and bear no claim that any and all readers will approve or appreciate said attempt at humor.
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Re: Another Pre-Going-To-Doctor Medical Question - hard unproductive cough to the point my ribs are in agony.
Posted by: Pam
Date: March 12, 2018 07:41PM
My worse coughing was after pneumonia. You may have had it instead of or after the flu. It is a persistent nasty cough and I too cracked ribs. Humidity, ginger tea, vick's vapor rub... try anything!!!
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Re: Another Pre-Going-To-Doctor Medical Question - hard unproductive cough to the point my ribs are in agony.
Posted by: Carm
Date: March 12, 2018 07:55PM
Forgot about your high humidity problem. Either way, get to a Dr ASAP.
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Re: Another Pre-Going-To-Doctor Medical Question - hard unproductive cough to the point my ribs are in agony.
Posted by: Buzz
Date: March 12, 2018 08:28PM
See a doc, get some super-syrup to calm that cough down long enough to get you back under control. Good luck.
==
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Re: Another Pre-Going-To-Doctor Medical Question - hard unproductive cough to the point my ribs are in agony.
Posted by: blooz
Date: March 12, 2018 10:02PM
Yeah, get checked out. When i have a cough like that it always turns out to be bronchitis, which a couple times turned into pneumonia. Please be careful.



And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.
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Western Massachusetts
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Re: Another Pre-Going-To-Doctor Medical Question - hard unproductive cough to the point my ribs are in agony.
Posted by: MikeF
Date: March 12, 2018 10:09PM
Did you change other medications after the "flu"? Some medications can cause coughing. Our doctor says the only true cough relief is a medicine with codeine in it -- and it will require a prescription.
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Re: Another Pre-Going-To-Doctor Medical Question - hard unproductive cough to the point my ribs are in agony.
Posted by: GeneL
Date: March 13, 2018 01:10AM
What ever you do, keep "babying" your only kidney. I can tell you with authority, being on dialysis for the rest of your life is no bed of roses.

I will be following your progress and keeping my fingers crossed for you. I'm feeling so sad, right now.

Don't believe it when people say that misery loves company.

Hang in buddy!



gl @ Dana Point, CA
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Re: Another Pre-Going-To-Doctor Medical Question - hard unproductive cough to the point my ribs are in agony.
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: March 13, 2018 10:49AM
Hey All!

Feeling considerably better this morning! Coughing has abated quite a bit. Ribs still hurt, but improving now that I'm not coughing as often. Tying my shoes was a little unpleasant...

Oh, and no changes in medication prior or during this.

And GeneL;
Had a CT scan a couple months ago to check for stones in my "good" kidney - clean bill of health, and since my "bad" kidney quit when I was 8, the urologist said my "good" one is larger than normal, and appears very healthy.... And I plan to keep it that way!



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Another Pre-Going-To-Doctor Medical Question - hard unproductive cough to the point my ribs are in agony.
Posted by: AllGold
Date: March 13, 2018 02:40PM
I feel (some of) your pain. I'm recovering from a case of pneumonia. I haven't had the same pain from coughing as you, probably because I have had bronchitis before and know the drill. Because of that, I have been very careful about how I cough so I don't hurt myself.

Last night was pretty bad, though. I hardly got any sleep because I was coughing so much. But it was a very productive cough so I didn't want to suppress it.



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