Coughing up a Lung?

I've been sick since Christmas time, presumably a cold or flu. It has hung on and hung on. Mostly it is the coughing that never lets up. This is the kind of coughing that is dry, doesn't produce the relief of mucus. It is the type of cough that squeezes the bronchi and it takes a great deal of concentration to not give into that squeezing.

Moving about or talking increases the frequency and intensity of the coughing.

I used every possible over the counter and complementary method I could think of to help get some control of the coughing and give my body some rest. Attempts were futile.

The cough was so intense my head throbbed and my rib cage objected to the constant wracking (hacking?). I could even feel sharp pain in my lower spine when my cough was repeating itself without respite. Yes, yes.. this is what coughing up a lung feels like!

Since I am mildly asthmatic, I am aware of when my breathing is compromised and it certainly was getting that way. Therefore I went to Urgent Care and received a nebulizer treatment. I have my own nebulizer at home but was out of the medicine to put in it. Also, I received a prescription for the medicine (albuterol) and another for Prednisone pills. They helped considerably. But, now the prednisone has run out and the coughing has returned full force.

Two days later I saw my oncologist who ordered a chest xray, just in case there was something going on. I went to have my xray. The technician seemed a bit sullen but I figured perhaps she had a bad day. When I asked to look at my xrays, she let me look at them. This seems to be pretty common these days, at least here in California. In years past I have often been refused that option or told I wouldn't know what I would see, or I was not qualified to look at my own xrays.

I'm not a radiologist. Though I took medical courses in the past with the goal of radiology I never finished my education. I cannot officially read an xray, but I have seen enough of my own that I can at least recognize when something appears to be different from the others that have previously been taken.

I was not surprised to notice a nodule in the lower lobe of my right lung. It has been there quite some time. (long story about that. I'll write about it some other time)

Therefore I was very annoyed to read the final report as read by the radiologist not noting a nodule in my lung, but identifying it as a "nipple".


  1. Anonymous1/13/2012

    I am one who in the past was notorious for getting bronchitis and would cough so hard that the tendons/ligaments (whatever they are) would snap. So now when I get a cold and it feels like it is going into my chest I go to Walgreens and buy their mucus relief pills. They have them for dry coughs too, I think...but these four hour pills seem to be the only thing that help me keep it out of my chest. I tried the 12 hour Mucinex pills and had to follow them up with a Benedryl because they Mucinex pills made me wheeze...I also found out that I am allergic to cough suppressants...they make me cough harder. Here is a link to the mucus relief pills at walgreens that have helped me.

    Don't know if they would help you, but they have certainly helped my family and I from getting worse.


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