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My background. 62 year old Male Londoner, semi-retired, overweight but not obese, normally a reasonably fit gym user, walker & occasional golfer. Only regular medication I take is Allopurinol for gout.
PS the recording of the little girl with the whooping sounded just like my 6 year old, and it really helped me to hear it . Thank you for adding it to your website
I live in England. I've just turned 50 at end May and my husband is 55. I'm a big health nut/gym bunny and - having had a harelip/cleft and 20 solid years of seeing you wonderful guys, I now try to enjoy my 'freedom' and not visit my GP. I'd not had antibiotics for over ten years, and even getting me to go for serious things like smear tests was like trapping rabbits for my Practice! But I'm now becoming desperate. I started with what I think is whooping cough in December 2011; throughout Dec/Jan I was in A&E 3 times (Christmas Day will always be remembered as A&E day). My husband comes from a family of asthmatics and said what I have is not asthma. He also said it was a noise I make when I breathe in that would be the point at which he would calmly say "we're going to the hospital now".
I've had formal asthma tests also confirming its not asthma. Up to now oxygen/nebuliser and asthma sprays stabilise things, until today. Nothing had any effect today - it even took the hospital oxygen/nebuliser a long time to kick in; although I'm a gym-bunny (thank god) my pulse rate (not BP) was frequently at 220 and they were constantly asking if I had pain in my chest which I didn't (they said it was just my heart trying to get oxygen into my system). The coughing was always at night until this last week and I'd wake immediately coughing violently (there's no gradual build up, you're just immediately into a violent episode).
I've had X-rays (nothing), several Drs examine my chest (nothing) yet I constantly cough up what I can only describe as yellow rubber-spiderwebs. Its like nothing Ive seen before in my life - my lungs flood with clear fluid but I can now only describe the effect as like a washing machine: the clear fluid is trying to wash out the fine yellow spiderweb strands. They are like Copydex, but separate like a mesh of silk threads - I think this is why nothing shows on xray. The coughing seems to come when my lungs want to dislodge these - the nebuliser/asthma spray seems to open my airways so I can do this. And you don't just gently cough this stuff up it is violently ejected - you could kill someone if you didn't cover your mouth! And your body wants it gone - there is NO way you could swallow it; even though it is so fine your subconscious makes you spit it. When Im in a bad bout and there is a lot of this stuff, it has bad impact on any soft tissues - my gums go sensitive and I get terrible plaque on my teeth despite having a sonic toothbrush. And it almost almost killed me with the negative effect on my breathing when it impacted my sinus cavities - in the end I had to do do-it-yourself nasal irrigation learnt during a harelip op to calm things down. I've also coughed/vomited, but again it's NOT that you cough so much/hard you make yourself sick, you cough and vomit just follows. Very distressingly, this even happened to me while I was driving our car on a motorway!
In Feb/Mar 2012, things seemed to stabilise and I could head off coughing attacks with the asthma sprays; all seemed to be looking good for stability until I took the 30min asthma test where I felt the violent breathing/blowing distributed this spiderweb stuff into my lungs again - the tests came back negative for asthma but the following day the coughing attacks returned to frightening levels again. In May I again felt things had started to stabilise and I even had the odd day without Salbutamol. But in the last few days it has come back SO bad nothing was working, which has been scary and is now starting to cause me to breakdown and get upset. In A&E things were so bad I could even see the staff were scared. In desperation, I'd used almost all a Salbutamol spray before eventually going to A&E with no effect. I told them about whooping cough and they just ran bloods, X-ray, checked my chest - all came back negative, and they just won't acknowledge anything to do with whooping cough, neither confirming or dismissing my queries.
They've taken a sample of the 'rubber spiderwebs' to test at the path-lab. It's now been 7months; plus in Oct/Nov 2011 I was attending my GP with a streaming nose - so much so I had to give up tissues and sat with a roll of kitchen towel and a plastic carrier bag. They would only eventually stop talking about allergies/hay fever when one A&E Dr realised antihistamines were doing nothing - the one occasion they'd had an effect was the hospital prescription which had a sedative; the Dr realised it was the sedative not the antihistamine that had an effect. My husband was ill about six weeks after I started - he had 6-8wks of coughing and coughing horrendous yellow phlegm. He is now pretty much recovered.
My mum's neighbour has the same symptoms - she's 83 and has just come out of hospital now looking like a skeleton; they are treating her for bronchitis but she says it's not that. She is a chronic asthmatic and has said its not that either; like me she cannot STAND to go into a warm or steamy environment (something recommended for asthma). The hospitals were stunned when I told them the most comforting thing was to go outside in the snow and breathe in freezing cold air - my mum's neighbour is the same. I'm now desperate; my GPs are starting to look at me like I'm some hyperchondriac whilst the hospital Dr's are getting annoyed my GPs don't seem to be seeing the severity of my condition and doing anything (it's very scary when you walk into a packed A&E and everyone just drops everything and attends to you immediately without even asking your name ... and they look scared and have that whole 'we're trying to be calm' face on). No-one will acknowledge anything to do with whooping cough they just say there's nothing wrong ... "but I've just nearly died in front of you - ?" leaves blank looks. I'm very scared because this is now WAY past 100 days, although I do feel I've now had two occasions where I feel I'm getting better only to 'crash' hard again. I just have to desperately keep clinging to the fact if it is whooping cough there is nothing more that can be given in the way of medical help anyway and it will eventually get better - but that belief is getting so hard now after 7months. I haven't read anything so far that it can last that long. Because of this, the more the attacks happen the more scared I get that maybe they're right and it's something else - but absolutely everything I read points to whooping cough symptoms
. I hope this helps you in what you're trying to do - it would feel so much better if the medical arena were even just 'with me' to get through this even if they cant do anything. But I now leave it sometimes until its nearly too late before going to hospital because I can't go through anyone else looking at me thinking "but there's nothing wrong". If you think this is whooping cough and using this on your site would help people please use it - my only strength has been reading/listening to your pages and thinking "I'm sure that's what I've got".
Just a note to let you know how accurate and helpful this site was to me. I could not believe the story written by the mother of the two boys and how it resembled my experience. Although my doctor asked early on (my second trip in, week 3) if I had been exposed to Whooping cough, he never really came and said this is what you have. My coughing spells were brutal for weeks and climaxed in the fainting spells, fits and gasping for air. When I played your recorded audio file of the male adult, my son asked if I had recorded my cough on the computer and was playing it back.... it sounded exactly the same. Now as you stated, I am now seven weeks along and am finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel with my coughing attacks down to only a couple a day and no more of the fainting/fits and drooling on myself (thank god) as I am a pretty fit 47 year old man. I understand the need to charge to run your site, but that was the piece that really took any question out of my mind as to what I have. the amount of piece of mind that you gave me was priceless, as it put my mind at ease that this would not become a permanent condition. Thanks for your dead accurate diagnosis and investing your own personal time and money to keep up this site!
I found your website last Tuesday night after my aunt said there was a whooping cough outbreak in my area. We live in Kansas City, MO. I'm not sure where she heard that. All of a sudden, as I listened to my son cough, I thought that could be a "whoop" I was hearing at the end. Your website gave me the sinking feeling that we were in for a long haul! As I listened to the recordings I felt sure that C***** had whooping cough.
Let me tell you about C*****& then I will go into the medical detail.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
After studying your website, I am convinced that my husband has had whooping cough. Your thorough explanation of the symptoms and progression of the illness describes his experience exactly; and the sound file of the adult coughing sounds just like his cough. In fact, my son heard it and asked, "Is that Daddy on the internet?"
I read your site and it has helped me very much. You are right about people not coming there until they get the really bad symptoms. My father had whooping cough when he was a baby, he now has it at the age of 56. He had a whooping attack and he looked it up on the internet and your audio sounds helped us know that it was whooping cough. Then I caught it from him. I am 13 and I am in 8th grade. I was in school with it for 2 weeks and I went to the doctor before I started coughing up phlegm. I stayed home from school and took antibiotics. When I wasn't contagious anymore I went back to school, horrified to find about 6 people in my class coughing.
Thank you for your very informative web site. The sound bites are what helped us know that that was what we were dealing with. Later, our 4 year old had tested positive via nasal swab. We all had a 5 day course of zithromax and were quarantined also. The children were given the codeine cough syrup and it seemed to give some relief, perhaps also peace of mind to us parents that there was something we were doing!
comment=I have just been diagnosed with Whooping cough (age 40) after several visits to the doctor. Of course she never heard me coughing as I only have 3 or 4 attacks a day. Your web page is excellent and it was reassuring to hear the bad whooping as this is exactly the sound my cough makes and indeed is quite frightening when you cant get breath. It would be good to have a section on your page about who to notify once diagnosed.
Thank You Dr. J!!!! You have solved the mystery of my illness and illness my husband shares with me. We live in Central California geographically speaking. My doctor has tried everything and NOTHING has worked. When we listened to the adult coughing... my husband thought it was me!! I've had this for almost a month now, and for the first time since getting sick, now have hope of recovery!!! God Bless you Dr. J!!
Dear Dr Jenkinson,
Thank you so much for providing such an informative website.
I have been coughing now for 4 weeks with no respite in site. I started out with a sore throat, runny nose and mild fever for about 2 days and then a clear, productive cough.
Initially it was a very 'chesty' cough for a number of days however for the last 2 weeks my symptoms are EXACTLY as you describe. I can have long periods of not coughing but when I do it can go on for ages. I have a very distinct inspiratory stridor just like the audio on this site, often leading to vomiting, I feel dizzy after each episode, and often cannot talk properly following and episode of coughing and have not slept properly in weeks (lying flat exacerbates coughing). I have lost 4kg in this time because swallowing is sometimes difficult and vomiting always likely.
I live in Melbourne , Australia and last week an alert was issued by the Department of Human Services about the incidence of Whooping Cough being on the rise with a 48% increase between December 2007 and December 2008.
I saw my GP 3 times before I asked her to consider whooping cough and only after she and I had been made aware of this alert (I am a registered nurse).
My chest Xray is normal, nasopharyngeal swab negative and blood test only shows "past exposure" however I am convinced by listening to the audio and reading your site that I do in fact have whooping cough.
I described it to my GP as being exactly the like the coughing fit you have when you have eaten something and it has gone down the wrong way. You cough and cough and cough and then you have laryngospasm and that spectacular inspiratory stridor and once resolved you can't talk properly and when you do that can start the coughing again.
I am going to email the Department of Human Services to suggest he adds a link to your website on their fact sheets.
Congratulations on brilliant work.
My wife and I were on a Caribbean island 4 weeks ago when I started a mild cough. You know the rest. I have been to two very good doctors, neither of which thought of Whooping Cough. It was not until I found your site that I discovered what this nasty illness is. Fortunately, I am much better and my wife is improving a little each day. There have been 3 distinct occasions where I thought I was dying. I took antibiotics and two rounds of steroids - they helped alot. Your recording nailed it for me as it sounds quite familiar.