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? :-)