Patient Comments: Whooping Cough (Pertussis) - Experience

Please describe your experience with whooping cough (pertussis).

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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Comment from: 0-2 Female (Patient) Published: July 07

In January my wife gave birth to our daughter Victoria Kathleen Lopez. We are very religious about getting our children vaccinated. When Victoria got sick she was too young to receive the shot. It began as what looked like a common cold. Our regular doctor was out of the office so we saw a stand in that really did not answer our question and we thought hey he is a doctor right. Victoria got worse we saw our regular doctor we were sent to the hospital where I went from a concerned parent to parents facing the fact that we were going to lose our daughter. My life crashed and I would not leave her side for over a month until her passing. At the time I was also diagnosed with it. This had me on the floor gasping for breath. I broke a rib and I was coughing so much and every time I had a episode I felt terrible for her (daughter) knowing what she felt and the fear she must have had. Ten years later my family stills feels the loss. My oldest son who was 3 at the time remembers her and cries when it is her birthday. The day we lost her we spend this time together no work, no school just thankful that we still have each other. We try to share our story with others to spread knowledge of the sickness if we can change one life we would be happy so please insure that not only your children are vaccinated but those others in the family need boosters to control the spread.

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Comment from: Lizzie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 05

I had whooping cough 5 years ago in my late forties. The cough persisted for more than three months; in between coughing attacks I felt perfectly well. The coughing was always much worse at night, and I had to sleep partially sitting up. I was aware of rustling, crackling sounds in my chest as I breathed, particularly at night. The sensation of being unable to stop coughing was very distressing, with each coughing bout I feared I would choke, I felt very anxious and also depressed during this time because of it. Eventually the spasms became less and finally ceased. I asked my doctor if I would be likely to get it again, or should be vaccinated against it, he did not know. Currently, after having mild cold symptoms a few weeks ago which seemed to linger, I have started to have small coughing spasms, particularly at night, and am fearful that I have caught it again. I was vaccinated against whooping cough as a child, and the diagnosis of whooping cough 5 years ago was eventually confirmed by blood tests. I dread having the same experience again, being unable to stop violently coughing made me feel very fearful.

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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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