Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Not Your Regular Cough

I don't cough with a cold like any normal person does.  No really, I don't. Ask my mom.  *Giggles*  When I was a little girl I would carry on coughing until I was gagging and tears were rolling.  My throat would tickle and tickle and tickle.  No amount of cough drops, cough medicine or hard candy helped.  One of the most interesting things we found that helped a little was being propped up while I slept.  My parents would take a cushion off of the sofa and lift the mattress on the bed and put it under the front half.  As a kid, the sloping mattress was tons of "fun" to sleep on.. and did seem to help somewhat with the coughing.  In later years as an adult I always dreaded any cold that would bring on a coughing fit, especially in the workplace.  People would come out of nowhere offering cough drops, candy, suggestions, drinks.. you name it.  What they didn't understand is why I wouldn't stop coughing ...  after a while I would get annoyed looks from co-workers who thought I could stop coughing if I would just try.  No, I couldn't.. about the only thing that would help was spraying something in the back of my throat to numb it.  At a doctors appointment several years ago it was discovered that my epiglottis hangs longer than the average person~ and, when I am sick or my throat is irritated it actually swells enough to sweep/touch/tickle my throat!  I wasn't crazy after all!  Over the years I have just learned how to deal with the issue.  I have left in the middle of church to go outside and cough until I gagged on the church steps as an adult... I know the signs to watch for and try to leave before making a scene.  It's still the same for me at night... I wake coughing and coughing and have had to get up because it just wouldn't stop. Numbing spray and cough drops along with Vicks Formula 44D (sometimes) works for a while.

When does one become too old to prop their bed mattress up with a couch cushion?  Or, perhaps I need to look into surgery for shortening an epiglottis? :-)

1 comment:

Lola Skw said...

Hi, I am a choir leader and I give singing lessons at several music schools. Please, don't ever consider having surgery on your epiglottis! Any surgery concerning the epiglottis or the larynx (voice box) could seriously damage your voice.
What's more important to know is that the epiglottis, like the whole larynx, is covered with mucous membranes, like the inside of your mouth. Whenever the larynx gets covered in a surplus of mucus (like when you have a cold), it tries to get rid of this "extra" by coughing (because you would not be able to speak or breathe properly if the "pipe" was competely clogged, LOL) . When you facilitate "coughing up", it gets easier on your larynx, and your epiglottis won't swell as much.
Good, tested and tried medicines are (I am a singer, my voice is my "work equipment", so believe me, I tested everything!): 1. put some dried thyme or sage or both into a wide bowl, cook water, pour boiling water on the herbs and place the bowl next to your bed (preferably a bed table or night stand); you will have some relief through most of the night.And nothing speaks against propping you up by extra cushions! good idea.
2. steam bathing your face several times during the day time (it looks like this: )

3. a good over-the-counter medicine is ACC or other medicines containing acetylcysteine.

Good luck! And don't let anybody tell you that your epiglottis is "abnormal" - you can speak, you can breathe, so your epiglottis is in good working order. Hugs, Lola