Embarrassment following flu

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I'm getting over a bout of flu. Last night I had a really bad fit of coughing & found it difficult to expectorate. Eventually I managed it although I know I'm not yet completely clear. I'm soon to go on holiday & my partner has said there's no way I should upset other people by coughing like that!! He says it's embarrassing. I do feel embarrassed & wonder what anyone else does when expectoration is needed but other people are in the vicinity. Normally I don't have a problem as my Bx is well controlled with azithromycin 3 times a week. Now I'm worrying about this. Thanks for any advice. 

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    I'm sorry but I could get very angry with your husband! I've been married for 43 years and my husband knew from the beginning I had this ghastly rattling cough. Sometimes it just goes on and on but not often thank goodness. I usually take myself off to the loo or somewhere I can cough in peace and get the mucous away as much as possible .

    Don't be ashamed..you can't help it! Sometimes I get a bit flustered about it but the calmer you can stay the less you will cough.

    Good luck and I hope you don't get troubled by this too often and let's hope your husband becomes more understanding.

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your reply. I was beginning to feel very upset but you have put my mind at rest. 
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  • Posted

    Hmm You mean it's embarrassing for your partner, poor him , you can't help a cough. It really irritates me when people say shut up when I have a cough, do they think I do it on purpose?

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  • Posted

    I'm sorry but I'd tell him to bite me!

    If HE's embarrassed how does he think YOU are.

    For all of us who suffer with this naff thing it can be V embarrassing, but we NEED family and friends who will support us, not moan about it!

    Tell him he's lucky, my hubster has had flying sputum land in his pint. I've just gone to clear my throat a bit and before I could cover my mouth I've had a wee bit landing on the till screen at work.

    What HE needs to understand it's NOT him who's having this happen to HIM, so suck it up buttercup and grow a set wink  

     

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    • Posted

      I got a little fleck on my cardigan only yesterday.  Don't think anybody saw but it is mortifying when it happens.  It's a naff and disgusting complaint in many ways but my family are amazingly supportive - always have been.  By amazing coincidence the lady next door has bronchiectasis too. She had not long been diagnosed when we moved in here.  Her husband said to me "I didn't bargain for this when I married her" - I gave him a Paddington Bear Stare!  Actually he's a nice bloke and he's fine with it now but I think it was a bit of a shock.

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  • Posted

    Yes to everything everyone else has said, but are we missing the obvious??? Before I got onto my current regimen it could take hours for me to clear some gunk I knew needed to come up. In fact it is perfectly normal for other people to wonder about anyone who coughs a lot -- even if like me you do a lot of closed-mouth huffing in those hours. Part of why I wear a mask when I am coughing a lot is because it relaxes everyone around me. They see my heavy-duty mask & know they're not nearly as at-risk as they might be were I coughing into the room.

    But there is so much we can do to make it easier & quicker to get the stuff up & out. Using nebulizer helps, mucolytics help, postural drainage helps, flutter devices help, drinking at least 45 oz of water daily helps, moisturizing sinuses via forced-saline rinses helps, plus good clearance techniques. And of course the elephant in the room: are you 100% certain that the flu hasn't brought about a BX complication?

    In fairness I will say that I once told my ex that he needed better meds during his professional Santa season because his cough was so loud that the cough scared the kids while it terrified the moms. Having seen those parental reactions is why I so freely use a mask: I don't want to terrify others.

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    • Posted

      I am new to the group and am still trying to find out what all is wrong with me am how to deal. I just wanted to say that I had been coughing for several months and my PCP kept giving me antibiotics that didn't help so I ended up in the hospital where they decovered I had the flu in Aug. I. Now I have a good pulmonary doctor who is getting to the bottom of things. He says I have Bronchiectasis and possible pulmonary fibrosis. I was just wondering if you have had a CAT scan since having the flu? I'm thinking I have had this for some time and having the flu just made things worse. 

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    • Posted

      I've never worn a mask (for one thing I hate them and feel stifled) and alas nebulizing made my chest tight (it can for some people) but I go with all the rest. I learned years ago you take your illness in your own hands. I never go out without thoroughly clearing my lungs first and as I say if I feel the beginning of discomfort in public I take myself off to the loo or somewhere private (sometimes to my parked car) get tissues and cough away til I am calm and clear. My friends know the score and my husband will nod at me if I am too animated and involved and need to make myself scarce and sort things out. The more responsibility you take for yourself, the more empowered you feel.

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    • Posted

      Yes, I was diagnosed by CT scan. Didn't get the flu but had pneumonia, on top of smoke inhalation 4 months earlier from a small kitchen fire plus terrible sinus infection, on top of the chronic bronchitis form of COPD. It's very possible that I had it for a couple of years pre-diagnosis.

      A good pulmonary specialist/consultant is crucial so I'm glad you've got one. A bit of arrogance often comes with the territory, but if they can keep you out of a hospital & off a ventilator, they've earned that arrogance in my book. I now have a good one after 15 years of bad ones, so bad that I'd given up on pulmos.

      The kinds of treatment you get depend very much which country you're in. Stateside you're likely to get a nebulizer in addition to puffers. As far as I can tell from this and the COPD forums here, nebulizer aren't so common in the UK. Since we seem eventually to get things under control in both realms, both ways can work.

      Unfortunately when we do get sick in any country, it can take months to get us better. From August '16 to May '17 i thought I would never feel better, never go more than 2 weeks off ABs, and never cough less. I was banned from walking a mile or more outdoors because it sent me to ED every time I managed to do it, usually a few hours after the walk. I kept following lung doc's orders & finally I felt much much better. My dog doesn't understand why we don't walk any more, so I'm thankful again for my large fenced yard. Better than nothing!

      It may take time but I believe you will come to feel better. Winters are apt to be problematic for the rest of your life. I cough more & have more phlegm this winter but no infection to date.

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    • Posted

      Masks are a pain & they impact breathing so not for everyone, just like nebs. I forgot how often I dash to get out of a meeting to the outdoors for a heavy cough. Had a ninny block my path outward from a contentious Quaker business meeting a few years ago -- twice. She wanted to verbally beat me into submission on the issue and I didn't want to cough indoors but could not speak, knowing what would come if I opened my mouth. Fun times!

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  • Posted

    Thanks to everyone........all of the comments are helpful & it's always good to know that we've got such a supportive community. 

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  • Posted

    4Jean,

    It can be embarrassing, for you and the people around you. I don't like drawing attention to myself when I have a coughing spell (people always say "you need to take care of that cold".

    When you do have trouble with coughing, you can;

    Sip ice cold water (that really helps me)

    suck on a good brand of cough drops

    take a cough suppressive if you are going to be around people

    Stay away from smoke and other smells that can trigger a coughing spell

    Try to clear your lungs, by way of posturing and a nebulizer, several times a day

    Good luck, Beth

     

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