Ok, well I'm going to call my dr tomorrow anyway, but I'm kinda freaked out so I wanted to post here... mostly to hear positive BTDT experiences!
I've had this cough that's been going on forever... like 3 months, but the thing is is that I've also had a terrible fall for getting sick with a string of colds. So, starting in Oct, I had a cold, then had a cough (and I always end up with a cough for a few days to a week or two after a cold), then before the cough was better I caught another cold which ended with a cough, then another cold, etc, etc. I just thought that I was unlucky with all the colds, but didn't really think about the fact that I'd been coughing for so long (doh). But then in Dec there were a few weeks when I was still coughing after the end of a cold. It was just a nuisance cough (unproductive) but had been going on long enough that I would have called the dr if it wasn't right before Christmas. Then (of course!) over christmas vacation (when we were out of town) I got way worse, was getting short of breath, feeling very tired, and started coughing up mucus. I started doing steam inhalations with a few drops of oil of oregano. By the time we were back from vacation (2 wks later) I was feeling way better. No longer out of breath, occasionally coughing up v. small quantities of mucus, but the cough is way less frequent, and generally I feel a lot better and back to a normal amount of energy. So I still didn't call and make a dr's appointment (doh again). Now I feel like an idiot and am freaking out because I just coughed and tasted blood and the mucus was rust-coloured. Like I said I will call the dr tomorrow, but has anyone BTDT? Any thoughts as to what's likely going on? I'm hoping the little bit of blood was because I'd irritated my lungs/breathing passages from all the coughing over the past weeks. Is that possible?
Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010
It's completely possible to irritate your throat and sinuses from coughing and cough up blood as a result. The rust color your describe is consistent with my experiences doing that. It would surprise me if the blood came from your lungs, because you say you are feeling better, and if your lungs were bleeding, you probably wouldn't be.
It sounds like you've had an awful winter for illnesses, though, and seeing the doc is a good idea. It wouldn't surprise me if you had walking pneumonia after being sick for so long. It sounds to me like you may have some kind of sinus problem that is leading to recurrent infection and making it hard for you to kick the infection.
When I have a lot of recurrent colds, I get hard core about my sinus issues - hydration, steamy showers, hot soup, advil cold and sinus (don't use with caffeine) or zyrtec, fluconase, basically I do anything and everything I can to keep the swelling in my sinuses to an absolute minimum and to move fluid out of there as best I can. If your home remedies and comfort measures for sinus stuff aren't working, you should talk to your doc about that as well.
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