Help! 18mo coughing until he pukes - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-31-2007, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DS is almost 18 months old and recently got over a bout of croup.

All of his symptoms had gone away about 10 days ago except for a runny nose. For the last week he's been coughing to make himself puke.

I originally thought it was an anger thing and he was doing it on purpose. He knew that if he coughed hard enough it would make him puke which would mean he didn't have to take a nap and he got to go in the shower instead. All of his instances, sometimes several a day, would be when he wanted something such as no nap, to go outside naked, to go with one parent to work, etc - just things he really wanted. Also, he'd do it when having a bad dream - he'd wake up just hysterical and the hard crying makes him cough, which makes him puke. Because I thought it was an anger issue going to a doctor never crossed my mind.

Now, he's doing it without being angry. Sometimes he'll wake up from a nap or from being asleep for the night and cough till he pukes. Yesterday he did it at our table at a restaurant. He's done it with my mom and the babysitter. Water doesn't seem to help. The puke will also happen during a cough and other times he'll stop coughing and puke silently 3 seconds later. What confuses me though is if I become serious with him occasionally and tell him he needs to stop NOW, he will, like he's got some control over it.

Because he's now doing it sometimes without any anger I'm thinking there may be something wrong and it's time to take him to the doctor. Does anyone else have any experience with this? Is he coughing to make himself puke like a stomach issue or is his puking because he's coughing so hard and it's a respiratory type thing centered around the cough? He's having plenty of wet diapers and is drinking a ton. He's pooping though they're a little more runny than normal.

I realize there's lots of "sometimes" in my post but none of his actions are really consistent. Oh, and I can not handle vomit. The sight or smell of it makes me sick and I'm newly pregnant so that makes it even worse. We're not getting much sleep.
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Old 03-31-2007, 03:22 PM
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Moongypsy,
Gosh, I feel like I am telling everyone to go to the doctor today. While it is possible that he is coughing to act out, it is getting out of control and causing vomiting. If the cough is that deep to make him vomit you may want to consider having him examined to rule out an underlying medical condition since you mentioned that he just got over croup. Don't hesitate to ask the doctor to culture the throat if a respiratory infection is suspected or at the very least a white blood cell count (elevated levels indicate a bacterial infection) to prevent needless antibiotic administration. Try to keep him calm and keep those fluids going, the last thing you need is dehydration. Best wishes to you and your baby.

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Old 03-31-2007, 05:08 PM
 
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I agree with Science Mom take your little one to the doctor.
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Old 03-31-2007, 07:07 PM
 
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i had pertussis as a child and regularly coughed til i puked
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Old 03-31-2007, 08:29 PM
 
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I don't think an unproductive cough ordinarily makes a person puke so if your little one is puking solely because of a cough it is most likely because the cough is producing mucus which causes your child to gag and to eventually puke. I agree take your child to the doctor.

good luck. let us know how it goes! hope your little one is feeling better soon.
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Old 03-31-2007, 10:19 PM
 
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this happens to my son frequently when he gets a cough and we give him the homeopathic remedy ipecachea (sp). it seems to work. does your ped do homeopathy? might be something to run by them. everything makes my near 4 year old puke and this helps
also just wondering but could it be all the mucous he is swallowing making the poops runny?
good luck and hope he is feeling better!
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Old 03-31-2007, 10:49 PM
 
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Eek...post this over in health and healing. Sounds suspiciously like pertussis. They often mis-diagnose pertussis as croup or asthma because the assumption is that vaccinated kids can't get it so it is unlikely (not true...).
Seriously, I think you very well might have pertussis. Which in my understanding is ok at his age but they can tell you what to do.

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Old 04-01-2007, 03:01 PM
 
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Wow!! Lots of big hugs for you guys. I agree with the other posters who mentioned whooping cough. My second ds had it (and had been vaccinated) at 2 1/2. He would be playing fine all day, but he'd occasionally stop playing to cough until he'd vomit. Then he'd go on playing as if nothing had happened. It lasted about 6 weeks.

We're currently dealing with this with my 14 month old dd. Her cough is a bit loose though, so not a typical whooping cough cough. But, she's been coughing for 2 weeks. Just in the last week, she started coughing until she threw up. I took her in to the ER once after a particularly nasty spell. I've never been treated like such an idiot!! The doc pronounced it a cold (after examining her less than five minutes) and sent us home. No suggestions or anything.

Anyway, I hope you find out soon what this is!!
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Old 04-01-2007, 05:31 PM
 
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Yeah, when my son had whooping cough he coughed until he vomited sometimes. It last for several weeks so that could be it.
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Old 04-01-2007, 07:56 PM
 
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We all got pertussis last fall. DD1 would cough hard and puke, other times she would barely cough and then vomit. She got it in Oct and still vomits once in a while.

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Old 04-01-2007, 09:22 PM
 
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I vote for 'Not Pertussis.' Both of my children cough until they vomit on occasion, and my son (when he was 2-3-4 yo) did so regularly. My children have both ben diagnosed with Reactive Airway Disease (you may want to google). It's basically situational asthma. Sometimes, ds gets it from playing vigorously outdoors in cold weather. Both of my children get it when they contract a regular old upper respiratory infection or virus. Their friends will cough for a day or two and get over it, but with my kiddos, it lingers awhile and there's daily vomiting to go along with it. Both of my children have required, at times, steroid inhalers (nebulizers) to kick it. My daughter has had this kind of cough for 3 weeks now, and she has puked probably 8 o 9 times total in the three week period. Not bad, for us! The other possibility is that yor son is gagging on llarge amounts of mucous, and this is causing him to throw up.
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Old 04-01-2007, 09:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all so much for your responses. It's given DF and I alot to think about. All of your suggestions are appreciated. Please keep them coming.
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Old 04-08-2007, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We took him into the doctor about 5 days ago when he spiked a huge fever that night.

The dr dx'd as bronchitis and a double ear infection and I have strep throat. The babysitter emailed me a couple days ago and said that she was told she had bronchitis as well.
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Old 04-10-2007, 12:49 AM
 
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Haven't read all the replies, but I was at the ped for this today and was told that since babes this age can't blow their nose they swallow a bunch of mucous which can irritate the stomache lining and make them cough till they vomit. (also causes more coughing at night while laying down.)

my dd wasnt vomiting as often as your ds, so err on the side of caution but just wanted to give you another idea to toss around.

good luck!

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