Homesteading Forum banner
1 - 20 of 59 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good evening all.
I apologize for the cross-post (I posted this in alternative health also), but we are growing some sort of desperate here....


The Christmas season has taken a detour in our household as my 11 year old daughter has come down with a cough that will not quit. We are now on day 15 of a cough illness.

She coughs every time she breaths in, that being every 2-3 seconds. The ONLY time she does not cough is when she is asleep at night, and it takes her 3 or so hours to go to sleep due to the coughing. The xrays of her neck and chest were clear.

The cough is a dry cough, no sinus or allergy problems. We have been to the pediatrician more times than I can count, and to the emergency room once. Over the course of two weeks, they have given us the following (though not in this order):

Prednisone - tablet by mouth
Benzonate (tessalon pearls)- gel tablet by mouth
Augmentin - tablet by mouth
Valium - tablet by mouth to make her sleep, didnt make her sleep
Chlorpromaz - tablet, I think....they are all gone
Prolex with Hydrocodone - liquid
Prometh with Codeine - cough syrup with codeine to make her sleep (didnt make her sleep)
Steroid breathing treatments (nebulizer)
Steroid shot
Tylenol with Codeine (didnt make her sleep)

In addition, we have tried chickenista's honey/herb recipe which our daughter promptly threw up.

We have tried mentholatum on her feet.
We have tried steam showers.
Humidifiers
Cold Air
Hot Air

and I am probably missing something else.

The problem seems to be doctors that do not know what to do beyond writing prescriptions. The days of having a doctor which actually took a culture sample and looked at it under a microscope are apparently long gone. Meanwhile, while the dr's are spending days and days on referrals and appointments, our daughter suffers...

Sarah is normally a very healthy child. She is the athletic, go-happy one of the family and has not been sick more than 3 times in her life. This has us very very puzzled, and of course, worried.

The doctors are supposed to be getting us a referral to a pediatric pulmonologist at Arkansas Childrens Hospital, which is about 3 hrs away. however, that was suppose to happen Monday and we still seem to be getting no action from them....

My real question is this: have any of you ever heard of this type of coughing illness, and do you know any remedies? We are out of ideas and would appreciate any feedback and also your prayers.

Thanks.

Irv
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,180 Posts
Have you tried honey? It's antibacterial and has worked wonders for me for sore throat and coughing, specially that itch in the throat that won't go away. Buckwheat honey is the best but any liquid honey will do. A spoonful once in a while will help. Shouldnt do any harm to try anyway.

Just a suggestion. Good luck.
 

·
Animal Addict
Joined
·
12,209 Posts
I hate to bring up a dreaded word here, but has she been evaluated for asthma?

Also, tell me more about the nature of the cough. Worsens when she lays down? Worsens when she is active? Possibility of epiglottitis (though she might be a tad old for that). Do OTC medicines work? My DD3 1/2 has been working on a chronic cough as well. When she really gets hacking, we have to stick pillows under her mattress to tilt her head/chest area up. With her, I am sure it is a lingering cold as she and my hubby have been kicking one back and forth (I decided they shouldn't have all the fun, so I got it too).

Also the codeine is for a bit more than making her sleep. The codeine actually acts on the brain, blocking the part that sends the signal to cough (that is about as simply put as I can make it). Any narcotic will do this. So if she was improving on the codeine as far as the cough, but it didn't make her sleepy, that is ok as long as it helped the cough part.

ETA: just saw truckinguy's post and would strongly second that recommendation. I mix it up in warm tea. It coats the throat.

Prayers and wishes for you all, it stinks when your child is sick and you can't help.
 

·
Animal Addict
Joined
·
12,209 Posts
Also wanted to add, some rare people have the opposite reactions to medications than that intended, as in the valium didn't make her sleep. For instance, everyone else can take Benedryl and be down for the count, it makes me restless and unable to sleep at all.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,303 Posts
Hi there!

I would NOT use a cough suppressant. We cough for a reason. Did they do a second chest X ray? A CT scan? Any breathing tests like spirometry?

This makes me think about asthma (cough variant). You said they gave her a steroid breathing treatment? Just one dose or did you come home with that? That usually takes a while to work. What about nebulized bronchodilators like Xopenex or Albuterol? They open up the airways to make breathing easier.

Did they do a flu swab? RSV nasal swab? She's a bit old for RSV but she could easily have influenza.

I'd ask about the breathing treatments until you get to the pulmo. I'd really want to know about a follow up chest Xray and breathing tests. Long term, allergy testing may be in order.

I'd be awfully suspicious of asthma. Sometimes an acute illness can trigger an asthma episode even in an individual with very mild asthma.

Laura
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,785 Posts
Have you tried honey? It's antibacterial and has worked wonders for me for sore throat and coughing, specially that itch in the throat that won't go away. Buckwheat honey is the best but any liquid honey will do. A spoonful once in a while will help. Shouldnt do any harm to try anyway.

Just a suggestion. Good luck.
I was going to suggest honey as well. I read somewhere that a tablespoon of honey at bedtime actually does more to suppress cough's then OTC cough syrups (part of the reason they are now telling parents not to give any OTC medicines for colds to children I believe).

I use a local raw honey. Like truckinguy said, it can't hurt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,499 Posts
Have they ruled out whooping cough? Not that I know anything about it, it just sounds like a very frustrating, scarey time. Sounds like you've tried almost everything.

When did this start? Can you put your finger on anything in particular that could have triggered it? New clothing, pet, laundry detergent, family member's fragrance, etc.? Were there any other symptoms that coincided with this?

I pray you find help and relief for her asap. Poor thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you all for the quick replies. I am often amazed at the willingness to help others on this forum.

Answers to some questions which may help further clarify the situation:

We tried honey once, mixed with some herbs (cumin, cloves, cinamon, etc). THat is what she threw up.

The cough does not seem to worsen when she lays down, although it does seem slightly more intense at night to me. It is indeed worse when she gets very active. Last saturday night, she got so worked up from the codeine that she started to have what I think was an anxiety attack and I could hear her wheezing with what sounded like a constricted trachea. There were tears and fear in her eyes as she looked up at me. We got her to the bathroom and started a steam shower while reading her a book, which seemed to calm her down and she was better.

She went outside for a few minutes yesterday and watcher her little brother sled. The cold air seemed to have temporarily slowed down her cough to a noticable level. This was the first time in 13 days that it had subsided at all.

We have the steroid breathing treatments for the nebulizer. They did one treatment at the dr office, and then we followed up at home for another 3 or so days. But it became very very obvious that the treatments were making it worse, not better. The dr agreed she should stop them.

We have strongly considered whooping cough, but cannot draw enough similarities between symptoms. WC seems to always refer to coughing spells. That is, coughing fits for 10-15 minutes, and then its over until the next spell a couple hours or so later. This is a very very consistent cough.
Also, there has been no "whooping", although the whooping sound is not always present in WC.

Thank you all again.
 

·
Be powerful. No other option exists.
Joined
·
42,277 Posts
What changed in your house right before the coughing started? Put up the Christmas tree? Bought new blankets? Changed laundry soap? Got a puppy?

Does she have a runny nose? Post nasal drip? I'd teach her to use a neti pot.

Ditto on the asthma questions others have posted.

Also, I'd get on the phone and call the pulmonologist myself. Don't wait for the doc. Rattle some cages.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,802 Posts
Here's something that a lot of old-timers in Europe would do and that worked for me when I was a kid and got chronic winter coughs. She could try this, it certainly can't hurt her and might help.

Boil some water in a pot and dissolve a lot of salt in it, allow it to cool a bit so the steam isn't scalding hot then breathe in the steamy salty vapours with a towel over the head to trap the steam.

If that helps her you can put salt in the water in an electric water vaporizor that puffs out hot steam - like this type pictured here http://www.drillspot.com/pimages/1615/161551_300.jpg or this http://www.sansurgicals.com/srm_steamer_vaporizer_facial_sauna.php (not a humidifier).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Have the Dr's ruled out pneumonia? My youngest ds had "walking" pneumonia and the only symptom he displayed was the constent coughing with a very very low fever. As I recall we had to do a swab test since the x-ray did not show any fluids in his lungs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,582 Posts
My dh is recovering from whooping cough. He had very similar symptoms to your dd (it didn't occur with every breath, but it was very frequent). The doctor said that the whooping sound is usually heard in babies as they try to catch their breath when coughing. There is a test (I think it was a blood test) to confirm the dx.

Good luck! Your poor dd. How miserable that must be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
652 Posts
I get a cough that lasts a long time (seems like forever) after I recover from a cold. I actually got the flu at the beginning of November, and am just now getting over the cough. I do have asthma, and I know the cough does worsen when I exercise or even just breathe in cold air. I think there is always a constant drip for awhile after getting over a cold. Using medicines to try to dry it out seem to make it worse at night - at least for me. Some things that have helped are:

lots of warm liquids - tea, coffee, etc.
salt water - I use warm water with a little salt and take it in through my nose. Then blow gently. I have tried the saline available at stores, but the salt content does not seem to be enough to work effectively. This works better than all the medicine I I have taken though it is not pleasant!
steamy shower - I let the warm, almost hot water run over my head for awhile. This seems to really help clear the congestion.

I hope she feels better soon.

Veronica
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,056 Posts
Oh, poor thing(and poor mama) You've been given great advice here...but I didn't see my favorite...Mucinex. It's just the Guafenisin, not the other ingredients in cough syrup that you don't need. I get a lingering cough with every cold, and it loosens it up really well.
I get the same "idiosyncratic" reactions to antihistamines and codeine. Other people would be passed out for hours...I get heart palpitations, am wired up for sound, very hyper. I remember the time we wanted to fly to CA with my then 4 month old son, and everyone said to give him Benedryl so he'd sleep on the flight. Thankfully, I knew to 'test' it first...gave him some of the elixir and soon I hear giggling from his crib. He's in there, on his back, laughing like mad at things on the ceiling that aren't there :rolleyes:. At least I know I brought the right kid home from the hospital!!
Hope she's feeling better soon!!
 

·
Happy Scrounger
Joined
·
13,634 Posts
Try JUST honey...either a tsp of it, or in weak tea. no herbs or spices. My mom used either a weak Brandy tea and tsp of honey, OR fresh lemon juice+hotwater+tsp honey when I was a kid with severe bronchitis. Every year, in March, for 10 years, I'd come down with severe "geez, she needs to go to hospital" bronchitis.

It's entirely possible the honey will be too sweet, but it certainly does slow down the coughing.

Good luck with this. Sure sounds horrible, poor little thing...she must be miserable (and Mom will need to take care of MOM or you'll both be in the hospital!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,798 Posts
Lifelong asthmatic here, and that was the first thing I thought of too....

Prednisone should have helped with that, but maybe there's something in the house that's irritating her - mold, dust, some other irritant?

Hope you can find what's causing the cough and make it stop. I know how annoying that is for the cougher and those listening to it.
 

·
wife,mom,taxi driver,cook
Joined
·
6,674 Posts
have you tried a little bit of Mountain Dew when she's coughing? If its asthma that may help. Not as strong as an inhaler though. For the cough...I would be giving her honey in some mullein tea. You can collect mullein yourself or buy it online. Its not strong tasting so she should be able to get it down. Even my easily gagged son can drink it. Give it to her as often as she will drink it. Mullein is an expectorant and helps strengthen the lungs.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,527 Posts
I have Sjogren's Syndrome( extreme dry mouth and throat) and I get that tickle cough a lot.The only thing that stops it for me is Hall's Vitamin C drops( NOT the menthol kind)- the assorted citrus flavor.Can't hurt to try them.you're only out a couple dollars.Hope they help her!
 
1 - 20 of 59 Posts
Top