Thomas3.20.2010

Smoker's Cough?

Blog Post created by Thomas3.20.2010 on Jul 10, 2013
   
  I had/have smoker's cough! That's right! 3 Years and 3 Months after I quit smoking I still have smoker's cough! My pulmonologist calls it Chronic Bronchitis. That's one of the components of the umbrella disease called COPD. The other components I suffer from are shortness of breath (a.k.a. emphysema), asthma and allergies. Other folks have different combinations of airway obstruction that qualify as COPD. 
   
  When I quit smoking in March 2010 I had had "smoker's cough" for aproximately 10 years but I was still in denial. I thought it was caused by pneumonia - in actuality, the pneumonia was caused by the hidden emphysema. Yes, I was short of breath but I thought it was because I was out of shape! It honestly never occurred to me that I might have a smoking related illness!
   
  I was diagnosed with COPD and 6 days later had my first puff FREE Day! But my cough got worse - not better! I coughed so hard, I pulled muscles in my chest! I coughed so hard, I vomited! I coughed so hard, I leaked! Need I go on?
   
  Today I still cough EXcessively and sometimes uncontrollably! I rarely eat in public because it often happens at mealtime! Sometimes I can soothe the cough with a mint or a piece of gum but sometimes I just can't stop coughing. 
   
  About once a year I cough nonstop for an hour or more - long enough to go to Urgent Care and get special treatments that are the only way I know of to halt the spasming cough.This cough is generally a symptom of lung infection (a.k.a COPD EXacerbation) My wife has to drive, of course, because I can't focus on driving while coughing nonstop! She usually has that deer in the headlights look in her eyes. 
   
  I'm LUCKY! I was diagnosed with Stage II COPD/Emphysema! My lung capacity has stabilized very nicely since I Quit Smoking and received proper medication. More than half of all folks who have "smoker's cough" don't even know that they have COPD!!!! By the time they're diagnosed, their Quality of Life is much, much worse than mine!
   
  Yet, unless there is a medical miracle (which I totally believe will happen in my lifetime) I will never get better! In fact, in all probability I very well may get worse - a lot worse! COPD is incurable and progressive!
   
  If you have a "Smoker's Cough" and have smoked more than 100 sickerettes in your lifetime - get tested ASAP! Don't make EXcuses! Ask your Doctor for a Spirometry Test! Once you know what you have, you can deal with it! KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!
   

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