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Coughing trigger (revisited)

Question asked by TW517 on Jan 10, 2018
Latest reply on Jan 11, 2018 by Deb-EX

I posted about this last October ( Coughing trigger?), and was hoping I’d seen the last of it.  I had coughing and wheezing for the first 5 months of my quit, that progressively lessened in frequency.  According to my “Smoke Free” app, this is normal.  Also according to that app, after 5 months (or October 2017 for me) my coughing and wheezing should have improved 100%.  And that also was true until December 29.  I had an episode then that lasted more than half a day, and had another yesterday, January 9, that began in the middle of the night and lasted until about noon. 


I’m not ill.  If you were sitting next to me, you probably wouldn’t even notice.  It’s not a cough like when you have a cold or flu.  It’s more of a productive chest/throat clearing cough that many smokers have, and occurs maybe every 30-60 minutes. It's like a "harrrummph" 2 or 3 times and done.  The craving begins immediately after that first cough and continues for several hours, getting worse with each chest/throat clearing.  I’m not sure if this is a “mental” crave.  I get a strong physical sensation of a void or vacuum in my left chest, just above my heart.  I also get an involuntary reflex to swallow several times trying to somehow fill that void.  When it is happening, I can’t stand to have even the slightest pressure on that spot on my chest.  If it happens when I’m in bed, I have to take my t-shirt or night shirt off, and make sort of a tent with the sheets/blankets so they are not touching my chest.  If I’m wearing anything slightly close fitting, like a sweater, during the day, I have to take it off.  The only thing that is mental about it is that for over 40 years, smoking a cigarette would (ironically) make my coughing stop and make that empty/void sensation go away immediately because it felt like I filled that void.


I can't "will the crave away" like I've learned to with other mental craves.  At least, I can't "will away" the coughing and void it produces.  Hopefully, over time, I can lose the memory of a cigarette filling that void.  Some of my old tricks like vigorous chewing or walking help only a little bit.  But nothing makes it go away completely until the coughing stops.


Anyone else experience anything like this?  Especially this late in your quit?