I must be a guinea pig

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  #1  
Old 11-09-16, 06:59 AM
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I must be a guinea pig

I've had a cough for about 6 weeks, been going to the doctor and each time they take me off the previous meds [because they didn't work] and prescribe me new ones. 3 trips to the doctor with no change Had a breathing test today and I passed but it liked to have killed me Go back in 2 weeks and if no improvement they are going to send me to a lung specialist.

Supporting the medical profession is starting to get old ..... not to mention the cough
 
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  #2  
Old 11-09-16, 07:12 AM
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Sometimes a cold, cough or whatever just seems to linger forever.

Hope they figure out what you have and get better.
 
  #3  
Old 11-09-16, 08:31 AM
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They claim the x-ray shows I have COPD and while I used to smoke [quit 25 yrs ago] I've not previously had any lung issues and since none of the COPD meds seem to have any effect, I'm not convinced on that diagnosis.
 
  #4  
Old 11-09-16, 09:03 AM
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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an umbrella term used to describe progressive lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, refractory (non-reversible) asthma, and some forms of bronchiectasis. This disease is characterized by increasing breathlessness.

Although your past smoking may very well be a contributory factor, the term COPD is a very broad term to cover many things. I would just consider the term as a word that says you have a problem and nothing yet to pin point the cause or the reason. Hang in there (not that you have a choice ), and be positive.
 
  #5  
Old 11-09-16, 09:15 AM
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COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and like Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a catch-all diagnosis of symptom rather than any specific disease or malady. There are many different "things" that could cause your problem and all of them could be lumped under the catch-all COPD.

My daddy worked as a painter for the better share of his adult life. He developed a nasty cough that would not go away. One doctor decided he had an "embolism" and put him in the hospital where he was actually getting worse, probably from a lack of exercise. I MADE him go to see my doctor, the finest diagnostician I have ever known (unfortunately, dead now) and when Dr. S. took a chest X-ray he showed it to my daddy and asked if he had seen any of his previous X-rays. My daddy answered that he had so the doc asked him if a particular spot had been on the previous films. When my daddy answered yes the doctor stated that spot did not look like an embolism but a tumor.

To shorten the story, it turned out to be an old infection that had killed part of his lung and he had been coughing up the remains. He ended up having half of his left lung removed and truly made a miraculous recovery. I remember the operation taking far longer than initially anticipated and then the surgeon (Doctor P.) telling us it was like picking flower petals out of concrete. I'll add that many years prior (when he was a young doctor) Dr. S. had been the Chief of Staff at the local tuberculosis sanitarium, in the early 1950s and Dr. P. had been his chief surgeon. Between the two of them they had probably seen more chest X-rays than many pulmonary doctors today.

I'm NOT saying this is your problem but I do think that you need to see a few more doctors for a second and even third medical opinion.
 
  #6  
Old 11-09-16, 09:29 AM
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Could not agree more with Furd. Get another opinion. As a kid I had a neighbor who was like a second father to me. He had TB. Spent two years on his back in the VA hospital. Had one lung completely removed. After recovery, he worked as though he had three lungs.

And btw... I never remember him without a bottle of beer in his hand, but was never drunk.
 
  #7  
Old 11-09-16, 09:44 AM
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I go back to the doctor in 2 weeks and have pretty much made up my mind that if there is no improvement I'll ask to see a lung doctor. I've never had any lung issues and even now with this broad diagnosis, I don't have any problem breathing, just this cough that won't go away for more than a few hrs at a time.
 
  #8  
Old 11-09-16, 10:59 AM
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I've had a cough for over 20 years. Can be sitting in my chair all day and all the sudden I start coughing, been to many doctors and never found answer. Now I know how to stop it but not how to fix it. A hydrocodone tablet stops cough. Have tried almost all the different cough syrups, even the prescriptions one's and nothing would stop it. Have given up on fix but now with the new rules on drugs it is harder to have doctor prescribe them.
 
  #9  
Old 11-09-16, 11:11 AM
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Just to throw in my cough problem, developed a persistent cough. Took awhile to pinpoint but was a side effect of Metformin. Dr didn't diagnose it, my RN daughter picked up on the connection. A week later, no cough.

BTW, lemon drops seemed to help while I was coughing.

Bud
 
  #10  
Old 11-09-16, 12:16 PM
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Had recurring respiratory problems for several years. Tried all kinds of meds. Even had a week long stay in hospital for pneumonia, copd, asthma, congestive heart failure, etc. Got home from hospital and looked up side effects of meds I was taking for diabetes II and hypertension. VIOLA! One of the diabetes meds side effect list read like a shopping list for my problems. Quit taking it and after a five year cleansing period I was clear of respiratory problems and felt renewed. It has been 7+ years since I quit that med and my respiratory symptoms are gone.

Check the side effects of all meds you are taking. You just might discover where your problems are coming from.

Good luck!
RR
 
  #11  
Old 11-09-16, 11:11 PM
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Wow Mark! You actually get to see a doctor in less than 6 weeks?! My waits now are longer than when I was in the Navy, and I have to pay for part of them.

I needed an appt with a GI doc (not just an Internal Medicine guy) back late June. Earliest I could see one then w/in 150 miles was Feb 2017! Luckily the GI dock who did my colonoscopy about 4 years ago moved back to town in Sep and I was able to get one 3 days later. Some people don't like this guy because they say he's a bit abrupt and doesn't run enough tests. My neighbors have both seen him and others and said he's better. Friend of the ex's told her that he told her husband "You Americans just want to have too many tests run for no reason". He's Pakistani I believe, but has been in this country practicing for years. Did his internship and residency at Mt Sinai in NY. He gave me an exam, checked my meds, answered my questions (which I had researched myself) and told me the facts. I'm too young to go on the transplant list because I have years to maybe reverse the damage. I've stopped drinking completely, cut cigs to maybe 2 a day, and I'm slowly getting some strength/stamina back from when I was at the worst. (Ever lose over 50 lbs in 4 weeks or so? Not fun lemme tell ya.) He said as long as I'm not gaining weight back (retaining fluids), my vitals are fine, skin not turning yellow, no drinking, and try to stop smoking completely and that I FEEL good, he wants to just keep seeing me about every 3 months.

Ex- said "What? No biopsy? That's stupid!". He explained that also. It's not just a simple diagnostic like an x-ray or ultrasound. It's an invasion of an internal organ and has higher than desired chance of causing internal bleeding and/or infection. So, blood tests every 6 months or so to compare with what I had done before in the ER and a cautious let's wait and see attitude. Works for me.

Even with my regular clinic doc I had to wait 6 weeks even though I told them I had no real complaints. It was to update her on my status with my liver problems and ask her some questions and get some prescriptions done. When I finally had one set up for the 16th of this month, they called me last week and told me they had to reschedule for one of 2 docs who are likely the temps they bring in for the holidays. Oh great! Girl was so frazzled on the other end I said I don't care who I see, just give me the 1st available. Don't know whether my regular doc quit or was hurt, fired, whatever.

Sorry for the semi-hijack.

Btw...have you tried Fisherman's Friend cough drops? The original extra strong, not the sissy flavored ones. Haven't needed them in quite a while, but they were the best non-prescription fix for a cough I ever found.
 

Last edited by Gunguy45; 11-10-16 at 01:14 AM.
  #12  
Old 11-10-16, 12:46 AM
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I too have diabetes and the old drugs don't work they give me gastric problems. So 6 months ago the doctor completely switched out my medication. Long acting insulin now and a pill instead of the old medication. Never have I felt so bad the pill gave me gastric problems too so I took myself off of the pill. The long acting insulin I have read can cause heart palpitations and shortness of breath both of which I now have and have never had before. Luckily I see the doctor next week and I am sure I will then get new medication.

The side effects took a while to come and now they seem to be diminishing some so hard to say what he will do. I hope you feel better too marksr and I am sure you have talked about side effects of medication but it never hurts to go over the conversation again with your doctor. My trouble is my deductible since I couldn't afford anything else so I can't afford expensive tests. Medication has a high deductible too so I just get what I can afford and nothing else.
 
  #13  
Old 11-10-16, 03:19 AM
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Locally we can usually get in to see our current doctor within a few days, sometimes the same day BUT if it's a new doctor [one you've not previously seen] the wait can be anywhere from a few weeks to a month or more. Changing primary doctors is problematic as many won't take new patients on medicare and those that do tend to put you off for several months. I had a lot of confidence in my previous doctor but he died [only 59 yrs old]

Fisherman's Friend cough drops - I hadn't heard of them before and don't remember seeing them but will keep an eye out for them. My cough isn't constant and I do go hours without coughing. I could live with the light coughing but several times a day it gets severe enough to almost make me keel over

I'm fairly satisfied with my medicare advantage plan. Most of my meds are reasonably priced but here lately they've been prescribing meds that either aren't covered or are at the highest tier [$45 co-pay] Wouldn't be so bad if they worked.
 
  #14  
Old 11-10-16, 03:52 AM
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You're correct about trying to find another doctor within a reasonable time. However, if your current doctor is willing to allow you to get a 2nd opinion, he should be able to get you a referral that will get you in within a week.
 
  #15  
Old 11-10-16, 04:59 AM
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I agree with Norm I do believe that if you get a referral that you probably will get to see the second doctor fairly fast perhaps even within a few days. I have never tried Fisherman's Friend cough drops but in the the past I have seen them advertised and I believe I might have seen them in the store. I think they are a fairly good cough drop but I can't say for sure. From personal experience though I really like Halls sugar free with lemon and honey. With some of my problems I have had a dry cough not quite as bad as yours but bad enough and they really have helped.
 
  #16  
Old 11-10-16, 07:32 AM
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Mark - I've been using Fisherman's Friend cough drops for years. The original extra strong are the best. Not your typical cough drops but they work for me.

I was diagnosed with COPD at age 42 during a navy rad worker physical. I was a heavy smoker at the time. Funny thing though, I've had a several chest xrays since and no other doctor has mentioned it. Get a 2nd opinion.
 
  #17  
Old 11-10-16, 11:12 AM
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Since I was young when I would get a cold it would be followed by the cough from hell that would last for weeks on end. Everything that tried by many different doctors through the years had no effect on the cough. When I was at my current Dr for this same cough he told me he could stop it and he did with a Methylprednisolone 4MG Dose Pak. It's a 6 day course and stopped the cough in it's tracks. I know this stuff is said to have nasty side effects and some people cannot use it but it might be worth asking your Dr about it.
 
  #18  
Old 12-07-16, 09:05 AM
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update

After 6 different prescriptions that didn't help, they finally figured out it was a side effect from my blood pressure pill. Not sure why it took 2 yrs to present itself but changed blood pressure med 2 weeks ago and my cough is almost gone
 
  #19  
Old 12-08-16, 09:21 AM
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Glad they figured it out. I not a fan of taking any pills but sometimes I guess you don't have a choice.

Not your typical cough drops but they work...
After hearing about these drops for a while I finally bought some. They're plenty strong I'll give you that but the taste is absolutely vile.
 
  #20  
Old 12-08-16, 01:40 PM
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Mark, If your BP meds was an ACE inhibitor like lisinopril (Zestral), then coughing is a fairly common side effect. My Dr warned me about the possibility when I started taking it.

Baldwin, I went years without taking more than the very occasional aspirin, now I take a handful every day. It's another one of the bennies of old age.
 
  #21  
Old 12-08-16, 01:53 PM
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Lisinopril was my previous BP med, I took it for over 2 yrs before I developed a cough. Most folks that get a cough from lisinopril get it within the first few months - I guess maybe that is why it was suspected last. I think I only coughed a couple of times today
 
  #22  
Old 12-08-16, 02:02 PM
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It's another one of the bennies of old age.
AKA The Golden Years. Sure would like to know the moron who thought that one up.

I'm 65 and still chugging along... knock on wood.
 
  #23  
Old 12-08-16, 02:40 PM
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I think they call it the golden years because the more gold you have the easier retirement should be
 
  #24  
Old 12-08-16, 04:03 PM
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Baldwin - At 60 I could walk 36 holes carrying my bag. At 65 I could walk 18 holes pushing my bag on a trolley. By age 70 I had to quit golf and I could not walk to the mailbox or climb a flight of stairs without pausing to catch my breath. Age has a way of catching up.

OTOH Because of the pills (that I used to avoid) I can now make it to the mailbox no problem and I can run up the stairs - tho my doc says my V8 is running on just 3 cylinders.
 
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