Patient Comments: Whooping Cough (Pertussis) - Experience

Please describe your experience with whooping cough (pertussis).

Comment from: TracyS, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 08

I am in the UK and had whooping cough now for almost 4 months but it is easing! I caught it from my daughter, a healthcare worker. She had it for 3 weeks longer than I. We both had difficulty in getting our doctors to accept we had whooping cough and were diagnosed with many other lesser illnesses before this! We both had choking cough, retching, vomiting after, release of wind stuck in windpipe after, bringing up nasty mucus (when able to as it was like superglue)! We both had pulled abdominal muscles and suspected cracked ribs. We both lost weight as unable to eat properly for many weeks and we were both hospitalized. I am left with residual mucus stuck around the top of my windpipe and voice box, hoarseness and occasionally still choking after swallowing food. My daughter suffered from mycoplasma pneumonia and pleurisy on top of the whooping cough and then she was discharged from hospital here in the UK too early as still very clearly unwell and she went on to get sepsis and then post infection syndrome. And 4 months later we are still both having symptoms although much lesser strength so hopefully it is about to vacate us very soon. It has been the worst illness we have ever had and do not want to catch this again in this life.

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Comment from: kale, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 06

I came down with a cold on 7/8/16. I developed dry cough second week, third week started whooping, choking cough, and could not breathe. It is now 8/31/16 and I just got home from a weekend in the ICU. I went in with severe headache and vomiting, seems I have an epidural hematoma, blood in my spine near my neck/head. I am home now, better, still have headache and dizziness, but the theory is that I coughed so hard I broke a blood vessel. The neurosurgeon said I could have been paralyzed. I am still coughing but scared to death to cough; and really tired of not being well. I am an otherwise very healthy individual and have never been this sick for this long. I empathize with everyone who has ever had whooping cough. My hope is that the benzonatate cough suppressant they prescribed when leaving the hospital will help. The doctor gave me a prescription for it for my 'dry cough' in July but I threw it out because it did nothing. Now I will try anything. Good luck everyone, this is a serious illness and it is not on our doctors' radars which is the scary, real problem. They could have tested for it within the second week when I went to my general physician but it wasn't something they even mentioned as a possibility. Not that it would have been early enough to stop the whooping stage, but at least I would have known what was going on. I had never heard of whooping cough before except for in infants and children.

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Comment from: Peggy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 18

Although I haven't officially been diagnosed with whooping cough (WC), I know that's what it is. I've been sick since the end of January 2016. Initially I went to the general physician (GP) thinking I had a sinus infection and he prescribed a 10 day course of antibiotics. In retrospect I'm glad for the antibiotics since I wasn't contagious. I then developed this horrible cough where I would cough so violently I would sometimes throw up. I've been sleeping in a recliner for almost three months and I still wake up coughing. I'm exhausted and can barely make it to work where I sit at my desk and never get up, not even for lunch. I often lay my head down on my desk and sleep. My GP gave me another antibiotic, steroids, cough syrup with codeine, various inhalers, Tessalon Perles, and a nebulizer. Nothing has helped and I'm at my wit's end. I've also been to a pulmonologist and cardiologist. When I went back to the pulmonologist her husband who is the breathing technician told me that he, his wife and their grandchild had WC so I know it is around. I wonder why my doctor didn't think of this. He also sent me for a chest x-ray and his office called and told me it was clear. That's the last I heard from them. No follow up. After a bad fit last week I started googling and came across this and realized that's what I have. I don't know why doctors and medical centers aren't warning us about this. I would much rather have the flu any day over this yet all you hear about is to make sure you get your flu shot!

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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 get the whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine?
Whooping Cough (Pertussis) - Treatment Question: What treatment did your child receive for whooping cough (pertussis)?

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