Patient Comments: Whooping Cough (Pertussis) - Experience

Please describe your experience with whooping cough (pertussis).

Comment from: nicki, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 24

I have had whooping cough for nearly five weeks now. The symptoms are a little less severe, yet still quite scary. As I cough, I feel as if my body is being electrocuted, and my head is about to explode. It is frightening because you simply cannot get a breath in. Nights are terrible with more frequent and severe bouts. I asked my doctor what I can do to rebuild my immune system. He simply said that it takes time. The healing process is very slow.

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Comment from: Peppa71, 0-2 Female (Caregiver) Published: June 05

I am a mother of a newborn baby who suffered with pertussis when she was a week old. It was horrible to watch my little one suffer like that, coughing until she turned blue in color due to the disease constricting her oxygen intake. It's like when you tie a rubber band around your finger, and no oxygen goes through and the finger turns blue; well, imagine this feeling taking over your whole body. We were both admitted in hospital and stayed for 3 weeks until she was discharged with some potent medications. When you see these symptoms, rush to get medical help.

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Comment from: hyang, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 26

My tonsils were swollen about a month ago, went to the Centra Care and they give me a magic gargle, some antibiotics and prednisone. These things did not help at all. A week later I develop this persistent coughing so I went to my regular doctor. He give me another round of antibiotics and prednisone; still did not work. Two weeks later my coughing is getting worse and I took some over the counter mucus medicine which did not work. I went back to my doctor and he told me my lungs are clear and told me it is allergy. He gave me another brand of antibiotics and another round of prednisone and this time he prescribed a nose spray. I am almost done with the antibiotics and here I am still coughing like crazy. It is embarrassing at work. I am getting worried now if I have pertussis.

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Comment from: Jackie, 35-44 Female Published: October 05

I have whooping cough at moment and reading the viewer comments it makes me so mad. My 10 year old daughter started with it first and again my doctor said it was just a cold and maybe a chest infection. It finally got diagnosed when we had to call an ambulance for her as she has passed out on the bathroom floor because she panicked when she could not catch her breath. Now I have it I just know I have six times last night I was up coughing and retching. I hate night times and now I am going around like a zombie. I am on klacid and I am not sure if they are helping or not cause I was on Augmentin duo before that because my Doctor thought I had a chest infection!!! I would not wish this on my worst enemy but is there nothing to stop it at night! its driving me absolutely nuts.

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Comment from: LDC, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: August 26

I am a 37 year old man who has pertussis. This is a horrible disease. I am also lucky enough to have cough syncope (pass out while coughing). So, my experience has been one to its own. I was diagnosed in an emergency room following a fall due to the syncope 11 days ago. Spent 2 nights in the hospital and have been home ever since. Today is the first day that I am not contagious. I still feel unsafe to drive to work or leave the house in fear of passing out from coughing. I have numerous attacks daily. It seems to be more common after period of sleep when I am able to sleep. I never had any other symptoms. Just a cough only that ended up getting very violent and causing syncope. Had it not been for an ER doctor walking by my room and catching a glimpse of the blood shot in my eye nobody would have ever thought of testing me for pertussis.

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Comment from: Desjam, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 17

When I was 5 years old I suffered with pneumonia and was hospitalized for 4 days. Since this time I have had very sensitive airways and each year suffer, with what I call a winter's cough. Especially at night time when it's cold I would cough. A few years ago I was diagnosed as being asthmatic, but this has since been ruled out. Last year I went to the local doctors to have my cough checked out as it was getting the better of me. Like one of you said: You feel like you are being electrocuted and your head aches and my ribs hurt like crazy. After 3 months of suffering with this cough I was finally diagnosed as having whooping cough. This year I have the same cough and I thought that because I had whooping cough for 3 months that my body would create its own antibodies for this, but I'm not sure. I have been advised to have an antibiotic injection, so I won't have this again.

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Comment from: kenzie's granny, 0-2 Female (Caregiver) Published: August 17

I echo Steven's mummy's comments. My 5 week old granddaughter experienced the same situation. The first doctor visit with my daughter I was told the baby had a cold and to suction her nose. The second doctor visit 5 days later resulted in a prescription for albuterol, as they thought asthma might be the culprit. A week after the initial doctor visit we were in the ER, transferred to a pediatric hospital and then moved to pediatric ICU. Scary, scary stuff. Especially for a brand new mother. 23 years ago I experienced the same "brushing off" as a new mother when my daughter was ill. It galls me that pediatricians for some reason refuse to believe that not all new mothers are "hysterical" every time their newborn coughs. Mothers KNOW when something isn't right. A mother's feeling should be treated like the little nagging voice in the back of your head and LISTENED to.

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Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Whooping Cough (Pertussis) - Symptoms Question: What symptoms did you experience with whooping cough?
Whooping Cough (Pertussis) - Vaccine Question: Did your child receive the whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine? If not, why? If yes, were there any side effects?
Whooping Cough (Pertussis) - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment, including medication, were used for your child's whooping cough (pertussis)?

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