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Author Topic: Awful cough, can't sleep...
aragorn64
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So I've had this bad cold for awhile, but I think I'm finally sort of getting over it. Except for this horrible, awful, no good, dirty rotten cough.

It's kept me up at night (and my roommates) for the past few days. It's the awful nasal drip kind that feels like it just never wants to go away.

When I'm doing something that occupies my mind (but not physically taxing, that sends me into coughing frenzies) I'll often go awhile without coughing. It's when I start thinking about that little tickle in my lungs that I start, and have a hard time stopping. And unfortunately, when I'm trying to sleep and trying NOT to think about it, that's obviously the first thing that comes to mind. And whammo, cough time. Little sleep = definitely not conducive to getting over this cold.

I don't like decongestants and their like. They just mask the symptoms (which are your bodies way of fighting the disease) and ultimately do little good, and possibly harm. Also...they never seem to work for me. Cough syrups included, which is why I'm not taking any. I am taking a expectorant, Mucinex. A doctor initially gave me some a few years back when I had pneumonia. It "loosens" up the mucus, making your coughs more productive, and in theory, getting that junk out of your lungs quicker. (And hopefully preventing horrible things like bronchitis and pneumonia.)

I guess I'm just wondering if anybody knows some magical way to stop coughing at least at night? I'm drinking tons and tons of water and juice, but it hasn't seemed to help.

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rivka
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Vaporizer or humidifier.

Vaporub or the generic equivalent.

Lots of pillows to help you sleep half-sitting.

Tea with lots of honey and lemon juice.

Good luck!

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littlemissattitude
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Like Rivka said, Vaporub.

I'm a serious believer.

Ever since I had a bad case of bronchitis years ago, when I get a cold it always turns into a horrible cough that last forever. Typically, when I get a cough like that, it goes through a late stage where it doesn't bother me much during the day, but as soon as I lay down to sleep my throat (not my chest, just the throat) starts tickling and off I go, coughing again. Slathering on the Vaporup is about the only thing that helps at those times, I've found.

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aragorn64
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I don't have a vaporizer, but I really need to borrow one or something. The heat in our apartment is broken (they keep telling us they're going to fix it, but don't show up...) and it's about 80 degrees in here. Very dry air, I think that's making the problem really bad.

I haven't had too much luck with vaporub in the past, but I'll give it a try again!

Thank you, I appreciate it.

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ketchupqueen
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My mom SWEARS that putting vaporub on your feet, then thick socks, then putting some on your chest and tying it up with a rag, is better than regular vaporub. Her grandma did it, and though she's a nurse and says she should know better, she still does it when she has a cold that just won't go.

And I don't know why, but the two times I tried it, it worked.

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ketchupqueen
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(As for them not fixing your heat, in some states you can withhold rent and put it in an account until they do...)
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aspectre
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IF you can find it, Smucker's instant strawberry Lemonade is a miracle cure for me. Wouldn't know if it's still available because I didn't particularly care for the taste, so it remained in the cupboard for a long time after someone brought it over.

Then I got desperate one night cuz swallowing my own saliva became painful, and my uvula looked thrashed. I've never bought cough medicines, and there were no lemons around for a hot&strong lemon&sugar&water or lemon&honey&water concoction.
Tried the Smucker's, and it soothed things down enough to go to sleep. Next morning, an only slightly noticible inflammation and mild sore throat. Did another dose, and it cleared up.

Been using it ever since when I've felt a sore throat, cold, or flu coming on. And only when I've felt a sore throat, cold, or flu coming on; I still don't particularly care for the taste. And it still works rapidly.
Stir about 3-or-more times as much Smucker's as recommended into a mug with water as hot as you can stand to sip. And just sip in tiny amounts. It's alright if it cools while sipping.

Wouldn't be surprised if an equally stong mixture of lemon juice (and maybe a vitaminC tablet), strawberry Jello, and water worked just as well.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by aragorn64:
I don't have a vaporizer, but I really need to borrow one or something.

Your local drugstore and/or supermarket probably has one for less than $20 bucks.
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ketchupqueen
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When the vaporizer broke when my brother had the croup one night (he got it until he was 7, I think this was when he was 5), my mom put the stock pot on full of water and got it boiling, and dragged an armchair in for him to lie/sit on (he couldn't lie all the way down from the coughing.) She says she would have just taken him in the bathroom and run the shwoer on hot with the door closed, but our water heater wasn't very efficient at the time, either. You can't go to sleep while doing it, but it helps some.
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rivka
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Hot steamy showers just before bed certainly can help a lot.

Oh, and my cough just reminded me -- when all else fails, try sucking on a cough drop. Preferably sugarless, unless you like keeping your dentist in business. [Wink]

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quidscribis
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A cough syrop recipe from my Ayurvedic doctor:

10 parts water
3 parts dates
2 parts raisins
2 parts sugar

Boil the dates and raisins in the water until they're good and mushy. Then strain through a clean cloth. This is difficult to do completely, so don't bother trying - get the raisin/date residue dry enough that it sorta has a similar texture to playdough. Add sugar and stir to dissolve, heating if necessary.


Use a tablespoon when you have a cough. Or two or three - yeah, it's got sugar, but no drugs, and I feel fine with the sugar content considering we otherwise keep it at a fairly low level. I've made it, I use it - I typically get months of coughing after any cold - and it works great for me. [Smile]

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Tatiana
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I use Mucinex, which isn't a decongestant, it doesn't dry you out and turn your head into a brick like decongestants do. It loosens things up and makes your cough productive so you don't get into the hacking croup sort of thing. It makes a huge difference in how I feel and I highly recommend it.

The other thing I use is Cold-Eeze losenges. I get the Sugar-Free kind because I'm diabetic. They are great for sore throats and tend to keep colds from going down into my chest. They really seem to kill the pathogens that are attacking the surface of the throat and mouth.

I caught this ugly thing that's going around lately too, and when it wasn't better after a week, and when it started hurting deep in my chest I finally went to the doctor who gave me a z-pack (zithromycin) which immediately made me feel much better. I'm so glad I went. I think I would have ended up with pneumonia if I hadn't.

Take care of yourself and don't let it go on too long without seeing someone about it.

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Lyrhawn
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Your heat is broke and it's STILL 80 degrees? Where are you? Mexico? Our heat was out a couple weeks ago and I practically had to knit a blanket on the spot to survive the night.

I have nothing to offer in the way of advice except a warm bath and to echo the call for tea with honey (which is delicious as well as soothing).

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zgator
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When I've had that, I can usually stay asleep, if I can ever actually get to sleep. Getting to sleep is the tricky part. To do this, I attack on several fronts. I use strong cough medicine (like Delsym), Vaporub on my chest, throat and under my nose, and suck on cough drops until I'm just about to fall asleep. If all else fails, I resort to prescription strength cough medicine with codeine.
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aragorn64
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Thanks everybody, it's good to have a lot of suggestions to take from. I'm thinking I'll go look for a vaporizer or humidifier today, and maybe some Vaporub.

As for the heat: it WAS broken, and the place was like 50 degrees for a little bit. (We had some space heaters, so we were fine, but the management pays for the gas and we pay for the electricity so we wanted it fixed asap.) The guy was here looking at it, and he must have done something because the heat started working. But he thought it had something to do with the thermostat itself, so he took it off the wall. And never came back with it or a new one. Which means it's very hot in here, and we can't turn it down. Ugh. They were supposed to come yesterday to replace it, but they never did.

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aragorn64
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Thanks everybody, it's good to have a lot of suggestions to take from. I'm thinking I'll go look for a vaporizer or humidifier today, and maybe some Vaporub.

As for the heat: it WAS broken, and the place was like 50 degrees for a little bit. (We had some space heaters, so we were fine, but the management pays for the gas and we pay for the electricity so we wanted it fixed asap.) The guy was here looking at it, and he must have done something because the heat started working. But he thought it had something to do with the thermostat itself, so he took it off the wall. And never came back with it or a new one. Which means it's very hot in here, and we can't turn it down. Ugh. They were supposed to come yesterday to replace it, but they never did.

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