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Author Topic: Cough for a month - worried about anything and everything.  (Read 268 times)

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Offline messysai

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Cough for a month - worried about anything and everything.
« on: August 20, 2014, 11:03:00 PM »
Hey everyone,

I'm new here. So here's my story. About a month ago, I woke up with a cough. Just like any other irritating, flemmy cough I've ever had in my life - no problem. Thought I'd ride with it and it'll pass eventually. But two weeks later and it was still there, but not quite as bad.

I've had a small mark on my chest for about a year now which scarred after I squeezed a pimple. I was curious about why it was still there and after some late night curious googling (bad decision, I know), I read that it may match the description of a sign of skin cancer. I fully lost my mind and had a panic attack at 3 in the morning thinking that I had skin cancer and maybe it had spread to my lungs or something and that's why I had this cough lasting so long.

I went to the doctors the morning after and they told me it's just a scar and it'll heal in good time and gave me some antibiotics for the cough. One week after that and the tab of antibiotics had finished and the cough was still there, although not at all flemmy anymore. Now just occasional coughs but it's pretty hard and had brought me to tears/made me gag sometimes. Had another panic attack that I had lung cancer because I saw something online saying 'coughing for 3 weeks? you may have lung cancer' so I went to the doctors again. He gave me some cough syrup and said that if it's not flemmy anymore then it's a sign that it's healing and assured me that I'll be fine. Both doctors I saw never had a look at my throat and only checked my breathing, which worries me. Also saw a nurse to have a standard check up as this was a new GP and my urine and pressure checked out OK, which was good to hear.

Now it's been a week since my last visit to the doctors and the cough is still here. And now any little pain or strange feeling and I'm freaking out that's something's seriously wrong with me. Last night I had a headache and couldn't sleep because I thought I might not wake up again. Didn't help that I saw the symptoms of the Ebola virus randomly during the day and sore throat and headache were listed under them.

Just earlier tonight I was lying on one side, a bit uncomfortably on my rib cage, which made me breathe heavily and this forced me into another sudden panic attack. I don't want to waste the doctor's time again but I really want to know that nothing's wrong with me and this cough is still concerning me even though I've been told twice it's nothing. What should I do?

Sai

Also the checklist sticky is really calming, to know that a lot of the symptoms I'm having - or at least noticing - are down to my anxiety and not some deadly disease. Especially the feeling like a band is around your head. For a while I thought I had a brain tumor or something.
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Offline messysai

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Re: Cough for a month - worried about anything and everything.
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2014, 08:15:09 PM »
Anyone?!  :(

Also today and right now I've had a weird tight feeling around the front of my neck and feel it's a bit harder to breathe. I'm not sure if this is caused by my anxiety but I'm worrying again... gah.
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Offline Slangevar

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Re: Cough for a month - worried about anything and everything.
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2014, 12:03:52 AM »
Almost 10 years ago, I had viral bronchitis for 2 months. Seven years ago, I had a dry cough that lasted for two months thanks to dust kicked up by moving. And a couple of years ago, but my husband and I had minor coughs that lasted a couple of months and came around allergy time.

Chronic coughs are generally benign and caused by one or (more usually) a combination of factors: a viral/bacterial infection, irritation from a past infection, dust, allergens, dry air from fans or the environment, mouth breathing at night, acid reflux or stress. I can almost guarantee that yours is caused by one or more of those issues, but if it doesn't go away in another month, go into the doc for a quick check.

The rest of your symptoms are anxiety-related.
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Offline Lunatone

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Re: Cough for a month - worried about anything and everything.
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2014, 04:41:19 AM »
I had a cough for 2-3 months too, also from bronchitis. Despite how horrible it was, there were no major long lasting problems and I still breathe fine. As for the mark on your chest, I had a staph infection a while back. At the end of it i had a few "almost wounds" that started the first stage but never actually progressed into wounds. These resulted in bright red scars on my chest, much more obvious than the actual wound scars. I don't even remember getting them (when you have open wounds for six weeks, non open marks tend to get ignored) But that was years ago and they haven't done anything else except stay bright red.
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Offline patmob

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Re: Cough for a month - worried about anything and everything.
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2014, 05:51:04 AM »
Probably nothing but if you've been coughing for a month you should see your doctor.
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Offline messysai

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Re: Cough for a month - worried about anything and everything.
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2014, 09:03:46 PM »
Thanks guys for your replies. It's been really calming for me and I've been less worried for a few days now. Will see the doctor on Tuesday as my throat/cough still manages to bring me to tears despite only having to once or twice a day.
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Offline messysai

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Re: Cough for a month - worried about anything and everything.
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2014, 12:24:35 AM »
Still haven't seen that doctor and my cough medicine has run out (which didn't fix it btw), but will ring doctors and make an appointment for later today in about 3 hours.

I've been so good for about a week or two now, much less anxious but those annoying thoughts still pop by far more than I'd like them too. Anything about health I see on tv or read about on the internet makes me anxious for no goddamn reason. The worst is feeling the slightest feeling and panicking about it immediately. Which just happened. I felt something in my chest then started thinking about feeling like I couldn't breathe and a panic attack started. Heart was pounding but I manage to calm myself down almost immediately, which I think I've learned how to do well.

This cough is still really irritating me though - I'm praying that tomorrow the doctor will tell me it's fine like the last two times I've been. I'll still find a way to worry though. I don't know what this post was for, but I just needed somewhere to let out my thoughts  :-*

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Offline mollyfin

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Re: Cough for a month - worried about anything and everything.
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2014, 09:41:20 AM »
I once had a cough that lasted for...geez, I don't remember how long total.  After three weeks of hacking, I went to the doctor, only to be told "Yeah, I could've given you an antibiotic, but you waited so long, just let it go away on its own."  It took a couple more weeks to go away fully.  I think cough syrup is more to help with symptoms, not to cure coughs.  I hope you feel better soon.  If the doctor said you're fine twice he'll probably say it the third time! 
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Offline messysai

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Re: Cough for a month - worried about anything and everything.
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2014, 02:04:47 PM »
He said it's fine third time, not surprisingly! But he said you can have a chest x-ray if you want which I agreed to, but I'm terrified for it to tell you the truth.

I've had heart palpitations all day and ended up calling an ambulance this morning. It's still not gone away, and I feel terrified. How can I get rid of this?!!?! 
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Offline Spider-Ham

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Re: Cough for a month - worried about anything and everything.
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2014, 04:57:36 PM »
Well the first thing is to try and have some peace of mind from the doctor telling you that everything looks good, way easier said than done I know. Second, knowing all your anxiety symptoms intimately can really help you apply a little more logic to a situation that is out of control due to anxiety. It's very uncomfortable but knowing what harmless and anxiety-induced heart palpitations feel like can help you identify them as such and maybe do what you can to relieve the stress that comes with them. I went to the ER once because I was having similar palpitations with my heart racing and my chest feeling almost empty and hollow. It was terrible but nothing was wrong, so now when I work myself up into a similar situation I remember that night and think that it feels the same exact way and nothing was wrong. It doesn't always eliminate the feeling but at least I can manage the situation a little bit more. Obviously when something might be seriously wrong it's best to seek immediate medical attention, but that is one of those fun grey areas that anxiety sufferers have to navigate. I would try to relax for the time being and accept that so far things are looking good. The chest x-ray will most likely only help clear things up even more and put your mind at ease a little more. I had one done before for my heart and it did help for a while, but of course things come back with a vengeance. But either way let the good news help you feel better.

Coincidentally I came on the boards here with a similar problem. I have been having the fun smothering breathless situation for the past 2-3 weeks and it's been scaring the hell out of me. It's a symptom I'm used to since it was the first one to manifest itself when all the anxiety and panic presented itself about 14 years ago, but it is so uncomfortable and really does make me think something is wrong. Then a little less than a week ago I developed a persistent cough that has been nagging me. I don't feel sick like a cold but it's a bit of a wet cough with just a little phlegm and leaves my chest feeling a bit sore. It doesn't appear to be too bad but it has woken me up the past three nights and seems to be worse then, plus the constant smothering doesn't help me not put those two together. I can only imagine that I'm in the same boat as you and have nothing to worry about, but you know how it is when you feel like you can't breath and have an annoying cough. I hope you find some peace of mind and get nothing but good news from the doctor and tests, I'm sure you will. 
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Offline messysai

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Re: Cough for a month - worried about anything and everything.
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2014, 07:52:11 PM »
Thanks a lot for your reply. Trying to relax. Going to the hospital tomorrow morning for my chest X-Ray as soon as possible. I'm so nervous I could probably cry. I've been like this before each doctor's visit, too, before he tells me that I'm fine. One issue for me is that it's a new GP for me and he doesn't seem to give a proper thorough check as my old one. He didn't check my throat the first two times, merely checked my breathing and asked about my symptoms. I'm sure if I had something crazy like cancer (awful thoughts, I know) though my symptoms would have gotten worse rather than slightly better, though. The annoying thing about anxiety is that you start to question everything and it starts to effect the way you live naturally.

And I'm sorry to hear you've had anxiety for so long. If it's woken you up and it's been a week I'd definitely suggest going to see a doctor about that. Just to put your mind at ease. After each doctor's visit I definitely seemed to calm down for a considerable amount of time. I think when I run out of a solution (antibiotics first, cough syrup afterwards) and the problem is still there that I start to question if it's something worse than expected.

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