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Sandy9s
Member

USA
306 Posts

Posted - Sep 01 2017 :  11:41:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've been having chronic coughing spells........several each day. They usually come after sleeping, after eating something, often after taking my inhalers. When they happen at home, it's no big deal. I always cough until I can get the phlegm up........just white stuff. But when I am out at a restaurant, or just "out," and coughing happens, it can get very embarrassing. This morning, in a restaurant, the waitress brought me water without being asked after, obviously, listening to me have another coughing spell.

It usually takes me at least a minute or two of coughing before the stuff loosens up enough to cough up. This is when it's embarrassing.

What do others do when this happens?

Sam-Tx
Senior Member

597 Posts

Posted - Sep 01 2017 :  2:21:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Totally unprofessional non-expert answer: If you can't spit it out, swallow it and then drink a little water with it. Your stomach acids will take care of the bad gook in it.
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SteveinMechanicsburg
Member

68 Posts

Posted - Sep 01 2017 :  2:45:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I dunno about you, but if I didn't huff up mucus every day with my Aerobika, I would have coughing spells, too.
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Sandy9s
Member

USA
306 Posts

Posted - Sep 01 2017 :  3:17:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Sam and Steve. But I think what I was really asking is What do you do when you are with other people and the coughing starts up and won't stop. As an example, while teaching my Chorus (I'm the Director), and I start up coughing, I cough and cough and cough and cough.......everybody gets bent out of shape wondering if I'm gonna die or something. I tell them -- No, I'm OK -- I gotta get this stuff outa there.........then I'm embarrassed cuz I gotta keep coughing until I'm actually finished. So I talk, then cough, then talk, then cough, cough, cough, then talk, then cough cough cough.
I get sooooo embarrassed.

I think I need to know that I'm not alone.

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SteveinMechanicsburg
Member

68 Posts

Posted - Sep 01 2017 :  4:12:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So, do you actually take time out, say in the morning, to clear mucus purposefully and patiently? If you do, do you do this one time or more than one time each day?

You see, if you do not do this, then advice about how to stop it will be well-meant but somewhat beside the point.

Edited by - SteveinMechanicsburg on Sep 01 2017 4:15:54 PM
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Sandy9s
Member

USA
306 Posts

Posted - Sep 01 2017 :  4:30:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I do not purposefully cough in the morning.......only when my Mucinex generic kicks in when I take one a few times a day. Sometimes I cough when I don't take the Mucinex generic.
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SteveinMechanicsburg
Member

68 Posts

Posted - Sep 01 2017 :  4:46:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It has been said that, when we start repeating ourselves, we are starting to argue. That is not my intent but I must repeat myself. If you have mucus (and you increase it by taking Mucinex) and you do not clear mucus (I didn't say "cough", I said clear mucus) at some point during the day then you may, inadvertently, be creating the very condition you are trying to remedy. I clear mucus shortly after rising. I almost NEVER cough during the day - except an occasional throat-clear.

Edited by - SteveinMechanicsburg on Sep 01 2017 4:52:52 PM
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Sandy9s
Member

USA
306 Posts

Posted - Sep 01 2017 :  5:25:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't know how to "clear mucus."
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SteveinMechanicsburg
Member

68 Posts

Posted - Sep 01 2017 :  7:46:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well then, one place to start is here:
https://www.nationaljewish.org/conditions/copd-chronic-obstructive-pulmonary-disease/overview/lifestyle-management/bring-up-mucus
There are many more places to read about this.
The ultimate objective, for people who hypersecrete mucus, is to remove it from the lungs.
Inasmuch as I have what some call "premature airway closure" coughing doesn't work because my airways shut down immediately and won't let enough air out to move mucus up my bronchial tree. That is precisely why I use an Aerobika.
Good luck.
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Dave-OH
Administrator

USA
3998 Posts

Posted - Sep 01 2017 :  7:50:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
http://copdforum.portalone.us/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1382

Dave, Forum Administrator
COPD Support, Inc. http://www.copd-support.com/
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Sandy9s
Member

USA
306 Posts

Posted - Sep 01 2017 :  8:00:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you. I do have an acapella.......is that the same as an aerobika?
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Dave-OH
Administrator

USA
3998 Posts

Posted - Sep 02 2017 :  12:07:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Similar - I have several acapella and two lung VibraPeP.

Dave, Forum Administrator
COPD Support, Inc. http://www.copd-support.com/
Your source for peer support and COPD Info

Chat room http://chat.copd-support.com
Mobile chat room for pads and phone Chat room http://chat.copd-support.com/m

My Site: http://lungresources.com
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SteveinMechanicsburg
Member

68 Posts

Posted - Sep 02 2017 :  09:10:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Benefits of mucus clearance using an Aerobika but applicable to any device.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOaNvzwvuSs
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Sokcap48
Senior Member

USA
833 Posts

Posted - Sep 02 2017 :  6:41:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Also look up the Huff Cough--Dave gave you the link, it takes some practice but it will help you.

Paul-Ut
The Journey Continues.

Edited by - Sokcap48 on Sep 02 2017 7:30:24 PM
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Gecko10
Member

51 Posts

Posted - Sep 04 2017 :  12:16:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Before going out take a couple of Mucinex DM. That controls my coughing for a few hours

Edited by - Gecko10 on Sep 04 2017 12:17:37 PM
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Sandy9s
Member

USA
306 Posts

Posted - Sep 06 2017 :  5:16:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I went to my 3-month Pulm. appt. this morning. He did not like so much wheezing coming out of me -- so put me on a prednisone schedule of 4 - 20's; 4 - 15's; 4 - 10's; 4 - 5's; then 4 - 2.5's if I still need it. Obviously this is all connected to the continuing coughing spells I initiall wrote about........I'm still coughing. So this is 16 days of prednisone, possibly up to 20 days of prednisone.

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Sandy9s
Member

USA
306 Posts

Posted - Sep 20 2017 :  5:47:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just thought I'd check in.......I'm down to 2.5 mg. of prednisone. My coughing was completely stopped for the past 3 days.........then started up again today for a little bit. Obviously the prednisone regimen fixed me -- now that I'm almost (2.5 is not much) finished with the regimen, I might be starting up the coughing again.......

I don't want to stay on prednisone forever...........will now pay attention to how much coughing I actually do...just a couple of coughs today with a bit of rattle in my chest which finally cleared up.

The prednisone regimen worked............now hope I remain "better."
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Jocopd
Member

USA
58 Posts

Posted - Sep 21 2017 :  05:44:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I used to have these same spells and it was terrible. This was before my COPD diagnosis. I think it was Robitussin max strength cough relief that I took that held off the cough for a while. Then I was diagnosed and I stopped smoking and the coughing fits also stopped. So if you haven't stopped smoking that might help a lot.
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faybees
Member

USA
111 Posts

Posted - Sep 21 2017 :  10:02:37 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Do you have any kind of reflux/gerd going on. I never cough, even when I had pneumonia I did not cough, so a cough for me is something to be aware of. I started coughing to the point that I could not breath and felt like my windpipe was collapsing in on itself (it actually was and there is a name for it but it eludes me right at this moment). Anway turns out I have silent reflux, nasty thing. I take Ranitidine for it, fancy name for Zantac. Works wonderfully. Maybe you need to investigate something like that.

fay beech
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paulmjo
Member

USA
57 Posts

Posted - Sep 28 2017 :  07:41:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I also cough quite a bit, mostly at night 9-10pm and in the morning, heavy thick mucus hard to get up, sometimes takes hour or so. At the same time it starts my nose running, use 8-10 tissues, what a pain.
I try steam, sprays, doctor says just part of copd, clinic bronchitis, wish i could give you some solutions.
Toes without a cough are lucky, as the coughing only makes breathing worse for awhile. Best of luck.
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SteveinMechanicsburg
Member

68 Posts

Posted - Sep 28 2017 :  09:38:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
paulmjo, you stated something important. It is often (not always) difficult to get mucus out and it may take much time and effort but it must be gotten out. I may patiently push down into my obstruction to gurgle it up for 15 minutes or more sometimes so that it reaches the level needed to cough it out. Really must get it out or risk infection and diminished O2 in blood.
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Sandy9s
Member

USA
306 Posts

Posted - Oct 02 2017 :  5:25:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Coughing spells have now stopped after about 21 days on prednisone. Husband had major AAA Open Repair in another city and during that entire process, maybe the coughing was "scared" out of me...... If I had done a lot of coughing, they might have not let me see my husband.

Anyway, he is doing better; I am doing my usual 1/2 OK, and the coughing has now stopped. We are home -- hopefully, to live happily ever after.

The point I am trying to make is that all of the coughing I had been experiencing was not normal for me. It had been going on for so long -- maybe 3-4- months -- that I had become used to it being my "new normal." Wrong! I guess I learned something! See my Pulmonolgist when coughing is continuing........

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Sandy9s
Member

USA
306 Posts

Posted - Oct 16 2017 :  4:22:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
About 2 weeks after posting the last time, the stupid coughing is not yet over with. Because my husband cannot lift more than 5 lbs. due to his recent aneuryism surgery, I went grocery shopping myself for the 1st time in about 4 years. It was a $150 grocery shopping -- and with a bum hip and my COPD, was taking a bit longer than usual. Then the coughing started up -- about 10:00 AM in the grocery store. I coughed for about 3 aisles, stopped/hung onto the cart, several different times. Soon a wonderful man and his wife offered me a bottle of water == knowing I was kind of "in trouble." The water helped, along with my Combivent Inhaler.......but never completely went away. I instructed many "less than 5-lb. bags" so that my husband could help carry them into the house with me. But I was still coughing, and was totally exhausted by the time all of the food was put away. So ----- my "coughing spells" have not yet gone away. This occurred about 4 days ago and I have not had any severe coughing spells since that time. Sure wish I knew what brought that one on.........
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tsainta
Contributing Member

USA
1696 Posts

Posted - Oct 16 2017 :  9:03:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If I were you I would use a nebulizer with albuterol every morning, at least, after a glass of water, cup of coffee, etc. I would force the air out down to the last little bit, which should provoke coughing if there is anything to cough up. I find that coughing while nebulizing is very productive and lessens the probability of later coughing fits. More than once a day might help more. I find also that keeping hydrated--drinking water--helps to keep the mucus softer and more easily "coughable." When I'm going to a location where I specifically don't want to have a coughing fit I take a tablet or liquid containing dextromethorphan. It's not a solution, but I find that it often helps.

Tony-CA

50% of dealing with COPD is common sense.

Edited by - tsainta on Oct 19 2017 12:40:09 PM
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rjh-spokane
Rookie

USA
4 Posts

Posted - Oct 19 2017 :  07:09:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
tsainta has the best answer as far as I am concerned. I nebulize albuterol also. When plugged up I will nebulize up to four times in a row. I then lie down on my side and the mucus will then be coughed up easily. I had a ER doctor tell me that if I need it, I can nebulize as much as I need and they will go in the ER up to seven times if needed/ My pulmonary doc and reg doc both agree. I do this in the morning after breakfat and lay on the davenport for 1/2 hour or so. Makes all the difference for the rest of the day.
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faybees
Member

USA
111 Posts

Posted - Oct 19 2017 :  10:54:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yep the nebulizer is great for making you cough up the gunk. I too have been given one after the other doses by my doc with no ill effects. Whatever works.
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Sandy9s
Member

USA
306 Posts

Posted - Oct 23 2017 :  4:11:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Coughing spells started up again.....mid-October. So went back on the 15-day prednisone regimen, starting with 20-20-20; 15-15-15, etc. etc. I have not started the Levoquin antibiotic because I have a question for the Group. I do NOT have a fever; it does not feel like any bacterial infection of any kind. Cough is in my bronchial tubes -- tight (and probably inflamed). It does not seem that an antibiotic would be helpful to me.......comments please????

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tsainta
Contributing Member

USA
1696 Posts

Posted - Oct 23 2017 :  4:15:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I seldom have a fever with a lung infection. Last time I had a fever, the lung infection had progressed to sepsis.

Tony-CA

50% of dealing with COPD is common sense.
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jmrommes
Contributing Member

1722 Posts

Posted - Oct 23 2017 :  8:56:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sandy, you need to figure out what the red flags are for you. For me, it's a change in the color of my mucous, but more than that, if I can't do today what I did yesterday in the gym, something's wrong. Another red flag for me is my blood sugar readings: anything 15 points higher than normal that I can't explain based on food intake is also a red flag. None of those things involve a fever, but I start the antibiotics anyway, because those three things mean I have an infection.

Exercise not only lets me live, it enables me to have a life.
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JanC
Member

USA
29 Posts

Posted - Oct 24 2017 :  3:12:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hope you all don't mind my two cents on the mucous issue. My particular brand of COPD is primarily the bronchitis and heavy mucous production. I've smoked for more than 40 years and have had a tight cough for 20 of that. Other people who smoke usually have loose, phlegmy types of coughs after they laugh or something. Mine were never like that...always tight. I don't have coughing "spells" so to speak, but often feel like if I don't cough it up, I will choke to death and can't breathe. I've researched a lot of ways to treat this, including reading up on the treatment of kids with cystic fibrosis, which is far worse.

The nebulizer is the first and best thing to try. Muccinex helps, but I've found that the expectorant cough syrup is better. It doesn't last 12 hours, but it soothes your throat and almost immediately you will cough up something. If you find the kind that does NOT have dextromethorphan in it, you can just about take as much as you want, as often as you want. I was buying the 88 cent bottles at Walmart, versus the $8 bottles at CVS or Walgreens. Walmart seems to have stopped carrying the plain guaifenesin syrup now. I tried calling a compounding pharmacy and am now getting it by the pint for $3. I use it before I go to bed, and anytime I can't easily cough up anything. It is a miracle, to me, anyway.

CF patients take it, and they use a vibrating method to breakup the glue-like mucous in their disease. They actually make a vest to wear that vibrates the lungs, and I bet it works well. I have a vibrating chair pad for the back that really helps, and if worse comes to worse, I will stand against a corner wall and bump my back into it. It works!

Most of the time if you go to bed and use a vaporizer or humidifier, wake up and take a gulp of the "Tussin" syrup, and then use the nebulizer, you should be ok. Spiriva also helps, especially with a wheeze.

Hope that helps someone.
Jan
PS...that "Huff" coughing suggestion was amazing. That will bring up a tight ball almost every time. Thanks for posting that!

Edited by - JanC on Oct 24 2017 3:15:59 PM
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