Patient Comments: Whooping Cough (Pertussis) - Experience

Please describe your experience with whooping cough (pertussis).

Comment from: Capergirl, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 22

The first week of December I was treated for upper respiratory infection. By Christmas Eve, I felt like I was suffocating. I coughed for hours at a time. I couldn't eat, drink or breathe. The day after Christmas I went to the emergency room (ER). I wrote a note, I had no voice and constant coughing. The ER nurses told me I only felt as though I was choking to death but I really wasn't. So they left me to sit in the waiting room for four hours. I was going to leave but I was afraid I would die at home because I couldn't breathe. Nine hours later, I had a prescription for seven antibiotics, no cough medicine. Diagnosis, cough. Really? By now I'm certain I have broken two ribs and something has ripped apart in my abdomen. The hospital did not notify my doctor. They did not notify me! I called daily, for 5 days. All I was told was, your test was positive for whooping cough, pertussis, you'll feel better. No warning of the danger I pose to everyone around me, no treatment for family members, and no go see your doctor. Well, I'm not better. But five rounds of antibiotics have not helped much. I'm exhausted, sore and can barely talk. I am waiting to see my doctor to see what he says. My advice, if you had any testing done, you follow up, call daily for results, seek treatment for family members and let others know you are sick. And stay home. Please.

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Comment from: heidi, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 14

I am 50 and have just been diagnosed with whooping cough, I have had a cough for about 3 weeks with it peaking this weekend. I do have spasms of coughing, with a whoop noise, my eyes water and at the end of each episode I gag like I am going to vomit. I feel very under the weather and am hot and cold, have no energy and now have chest pain also.

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Comment from: Katy, 3-6 Female (Caregiver) Published: November 11

My 5 kids contracted whooping cough earlier this year, and as soon as I suspected it, I quarantined my family (we did eventually have it officially diagnosed as pertussis), and I started everyone on high doses of sodium ascorbate vitamin C powder. We were giving 10 to 15 grams per child, to bowel tolerance, then we backed off a bit. This didn't cure the pertussis, but it did change the cough, and the change was profound. It became more like the cough one has with a cold. Once we started the protocol, there were no more red in the face spells, no more choking on mucus, no more apneic episodes. We ran out of the vitamin C midway through and those nights were awful. Once the sodium ascorbate was back in my hands, things improved dramatically again. The entire length of the disease was about 10 weeks.

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Comment from: ndhairangel, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 02

I got sick with a bad cold. The sneezing was very severe. About a week later I started coughing and felt it in my chest. The cough subsided and then a week later came back very strong. I went to a doctor (5 weeks into it) and was told I had pneumonia and treated with amoxicillin (which doesn't work on pertussis) and given 2 courses. I messed around with this for a month and noticed I wasn't really getting much better and even got worse during the last course. As soon as I got off the 2nd antibiotic I started coughing again and it got bad this time. I went to the doctor again and a different one who told me that it sounded like pertussis. He gave me a strong antibiotic and I started to feel better towards the end of it again but, just like before, it got bad again when I stopped taking it. Soon after, I woke up in the night and couldn't breathe and went to the emergency room (ER). This time they finally they did an official test for B. pertussis and gave me azithromycin and prednisone. I am still coughing and crackling at night and fear that when the medicine runs out, so does my luck. I haven't worked in 4 months due to the urinary incontinence and the terrible coughing. I have sore ribs and have even had a bladder infection due to the constant blows of pressure to my abdomen. I am grateful to these sites where we can tell our own story because reading about it made me know that this is what I am dealing with. I have not been vaccinated for whooping cough since pre-teen but I will now get the boosters every 10 years. I don't even want this again!

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Comment from: Miki, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: August 05

When I was about 12 I caught whooping cough. My grandma had been a nurse and my mum had had it as a child, so both recognized the symptoms, particularly when my mum caught it off me about a month later. I went to multiple doctors multiple times, who first gave me antibiotics suspecting a chest infection, second gave me a Ventolin inhaler thinking that excessive mucus was sticking my airways closed. Neither doctor would admit, or even consider that I had whooping cough because I'd been vaccinated. One made me blow into a tube as hard as possible which of course caused a coughing fit right there in his office; he essentially ignored it. It lasted for about 3 months. I barely ate because I'm also emetophobic, so I only vomited once. One day I went to school having had quite a bit of time off, but instantly wasn't feeling up to staying. I went to the office and explained the situation, and they said I needed a note from my form teacher to be able to be sent home. My form teacher who was up two flights of stairs. I hadn't even begun climbing before I started a coughing retching fit and another teacher found me. Not good. Afterwards I found out something about the vaccine; it can sometimes alter the classic 'whooping' sound you're supposed to make. Perhaps that's why the doctors wouldn't believe us, the sound I made was an awful sound of desperate, labored inhalation. I can honestly say it's the worst illness I've ever had, I was scared of coughing for months after it was gone. I agree when people say they wouldn't wish it on their worst enemy. It's truly dreadful. Plus, there's pretty much nothing you can do. Maybe if I'd been given relevant medication I wouldn't have suffered so badly.

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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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