You may or may not remember, but around during late May, June and the early part of July 2016 I was poorly. It started with a mild cough and simply progressed into one of the worst coughs I have ever had. It ruined a day trip to London, when The Prince’s Trust celebrated 40 years at a Buckingham Palace Garden Party!
At first I just thought I had a cold, but I never really got a snotty nose etc, just a progressively worsening cough. Then one night I woke up suddenly gasping for breath, feeling like my throat had closed over and then just coughing up all sorts of nasty stuff. I was exhausted for over 2 months as it was impossible to sleep lying down. I took to sleeping on our top floor as we have a couch up there that I could sleep on sat upright. I felt rotten for so long, that I started to wonder if I would ever get better.
During this time, I visited my GP 3 x times, getting nowhere the 1st time, mild antibiotics the 2nd time and the 3rd time I got something stronger, with a booked chest x-ray. After the 2nd lot of anti-biotics, things seemed to improve, but it took far longer that I expected. My doctor never really told me what was wrong, so I assumed I’d had a chest infection.
Over a year later, I was in work and we were listening to Radio 2 when they did a piece on Whooping cough. They were interviewing a woman who had struggled to get diagnosed and they played an audio clip of her coughing, which stopped me in my tracks. The clip they played was EXACTLY the coughing and choking noises that I would make several times a night during the height of my illness. She described being tired and feeling like her throat was closing and the fact that she struggled to get her GP to listen to her. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?!
So I wanted to write a post to let people know what I went through and to show people what whooping cough looks and sounds like:
Here are the symptoms from the NHS:
Symptoms of whooping cough
Intense coughing bouts start about a week later.
- The bouts usually last a few minutes at a time and tend to be more common at night.
- Coughing usually brings up thick mucus and may be followed by vomiting.
- Between coughs, you or your child may gasp for breath – this may cause a “whoop” sound, although not everyone has this.
- The strain of coughing can cause the face to become very red, and there may be some slight bleeding under the skin or in the eyes.
- Young children can sometimes briefly turn blue (cyanosis) if they have trouble breathing – this often looks worse than it is and their breathing should start again quickly.
- In very young babies, the cough may not be particularly noticeable, but there may be brief periods where they stop breathing.
I only wish I had filmed what I sounded and looked like, but this poor guy is going through exactly what I did:
So if you are going through something similar, be persistent with your GP, record yourself if you can & I hope this blog helps you.