Patient Comments: Whooping Cough (Pertussis) - Experience

Please describe your experience with whooping cough (pertussis).

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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Comment from: Becky, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 31

I had whooping cough 10 yrs ago. The most frustrating thing at the time was that I couldn't get a proper diagnosis from any doctor in my town. None of them would even explore the possibility of whooping cough and scorned the idea. They insisted it was persistent bronchitis or that I'd developed asthma or allergies. I finally self-diagnosed online and discovered the initial antibiotics prescribed for "bronchitis" would have killed the bacteria but the continuing symptoms lasting 4-5 months could not be treated even if I'd been properly diagnosed at the time. Now, 10 yrs later, I believe I still suffer the effects. I have persistent sinus congestion and need to blow my nose up to a dozen times every day. Prior to the whooping cough I barely blew my nose once per day. I also think my bronchial tubes continue to be sensitive and not completely recovered from the trauma of the violent coughing.

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Comment from: Mrbigglw, 7-12 Female (Caregiver) Published: July 20

My daughter contracted whooping cough in early February of this year and went through some horrible coughing spells, mostly at night. I don't remember sleeping much over the course of about a month as her coughing spells were so bad she would vomit and almost to the point of passing out as she couldn't catch her breath. It was a nightmare and I can only sympathize with those of you who have contracted it. It makes one helpless and the doctors couldn't prescribe anything to ease her coughing. I actually was having a conversation with a cab driver and he told about the drug called Ventolin which is used for treating asthma patients any other forms of breathing disorders. She would only take the inhaler at night just before bed and she may have had one or two coughing fits over the next two months. The difference in her was amazing. I also kept a drink next to the bed as once she was able to calm down and take a breath it helped sooth her throat and she could get back to bed almost immediately. During the day she kept a drink with her constantly and learned to control her cough as the more she coughed the worse it was. They call it the 100 day cough and it's not lying. She's had a bad year for being sick but her immune system was destroyed over that period and is just beginning to get back to being herself.

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Comment from: Mit, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 07

I was recently diagnosed with whooping cough. I had taken a trip with a friend that had it, so assuming I caught it from her. I went to the doctor twice before they diagnosed me. Had onset of coughing spells and low grade fever for 2 weeks. I took breathing treatments at home along with an inhaler and it would not help. I have occasional asthma, and I know the difference between an asthma cough and a common cough. So I went to the doctor and after telling her my symptoms she diagnosed me with whooping cough. She prescribed 2 weeks of erythromycin along with an injection. Coughing began to get worse a week into the treatment, especially at night until I get light headed and wanted to pass out. Nausea also occurs at times after a bad coughing spell. I called my doctor back and she gave me another antibiotic shot. Hope it gets better soon. I am at work, but walk around with a handkerchief over my mouth, so that I don't infect anyone. My chest hurts from coughing so much and now I have began with cramps and diarrhea. I guess from the antibiotics. Good luck to anyone who gets this and hope it doesn't last long. long.

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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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