Now I understand everyone has different experiences and many people who get whooping cough will get cases that people would not consider severe but when reading back through pages and pages of search results for whooping cough on here I am stunned by how many people say, "oh well they tell you its really, really bad but it actually isn't" as if that is a universal truth. I did not see one person say it was totally horrible and they wouldn't wish it on their worst enemy. I am confused by that. My son likely has whooping cough (as in - has every single symptom, sounds exactly like the sound examples posted online, but dr said bronchitis at the beginning of this and put him on zithromax so there is really no reason to go back in) and it is really bad. We are barely getting any sleep and he can't go to school because when he has a coughing fit he can't breath and he vomits. His coughing is so bad during the fits that his blood vessels in his nose are bursting and he is gushing blood and vomiting up blood while in the midst of the coughing fits. There are many times I am worried that he is going to stop breathing due to the severity of the coughing. It is not some minor cold, it is not something easy to deal with, like a litte flu that keeps the child out of school for a couple of days while we all cuddle under a blanket and read stories and watch funny movies. In between coughing fits he seems fine, this is true. But the fits are frequent enough and bad enough that I would not in any way call this a minor illness. Yes many children may have had a minor case. But please, please, please do not read on here and believe that all cases are like that. I have spent hours reading through the archives to find other stories of children going through what we are going through and I can't find any. Either all these children only had minor cases and this is the truth or people are afraid to say how really bad it is because they don't want to feel like they are scaring people into vaccinating. We do not vaccinate. Based on family history of reactions to vaccines I would not change that decision. That is not what I'm saying. I'm certainly not saying go out tomorrow and get the pertussis vaccine. What I am saying is own your decision. Own it, and realize that your child could get really, really sick. Then make your decision not to vaccinate with that knowledge.
Have you taken him in for a second opinion or demanded the WC test? I wouldn't take that diagnosis lying down..demand some answers for your son. If one person can't give you the answers you want keep searching til you find someone who will. Bronchitis should NOT cause coughing fits like you are describing...in my 47+ years of bronchitis and 4 kids having had it, we have never had any experience like you are having. Is your son on a nebulizer? Does he take anything for the cough?
I think most people on here use the information to make better judgments for themselves. I don't think anyone makes their decision solely on what they read on here by other moms, but take the info into consideration, when making a choice on what to do.
I am in Ontario, you can't go to a different dr for the same thing when you've already been given treatment (OHIP frowns upon it). He has already taken 5 days of the antibiotic used to reduce the contagious period of whooping cough and other than that there is no treatment (other than the natural stuff we are already doing). The test will not show up positive after you've had antibiotics. I will be recording some of his fits over the weekend and will likely go back to the dr next week just to make them aware of what is going on and see what they say. Because my kids are unvaccinated they are likely to freak out and blame us for causing an outbreak (but obviously he caught it from someone). As for treatment, yes they gave us an inhaler - it does nothing. We are using a natural cough remedy that is mostly honey and he is drinking lots of tea. Vaporizer in his room and many nights we have had to put him in the bathroom with the room filled up with steam from the shower. I know bronchitis doesn't cause a cough like that. He has had it 3 times and I have had it more than 20. He has every single symptom of whooping cough.
And about the latter part of your post - you would be surprised how many people view mothering as their prime source of info on these things. In my 10+ years here I've encountered this time and time again. In order to make an informed decision people need to be truly aware of what a disease can really be like, all fear-mongering aside, and then make their decision based on full knowledge. I'm sure there are many people whose child has had it even worse than mine does. This knowledge needs to be out there, yes, even on mothering.
I think no matter what it is, whooping cough or bronchitis, you need to speak to the doctor ASAP and get your son seen ASAP.
My kids have all had whooping cough, and one has had bronchitis and pneumonia. NONE of them ever coughed up blood. EVER. (Doesn't mean it doesn't happen, but I think you need to contact the doctor ASAP and make sure he knows this is happening, even after starting treatment.)
In the meantime, for whooping cough, our pediatrician recommended to run the shower on hot, and sit in the steamy bathroom with the baby for 5 or 10 minutes, and then immediately take the baby to breathe in very cold air, which meant either taking them out into the cold (WELL-bundled up), or opening the freezer door and breathing in. I thought he was nuts, but it did work--every single time, their cough would go away completely for about an hour, which let them get some sleep. So I did this every hour or two all night for a night, and then it would be over.
I have NO idea if this works with bronchitis, or if the opposite would be true (that it would make bronchitis even worse). Please ask your pediatrician. (Yes, ASAP.)
BTW, does your child not have the "barky" cough associated with whooping cough? Is that why your doctor diagnosed bronchitis?
If it is WC (and even if it isn't) you can lessen the severity a great deal by treating with Sodium Ascorbate to bowel tolerance. Many folks who have had WC here on these forums have tremendous results with this. As a general rule of thumb give 250-300mg per 2 pounds of body weight over a 24 hr period.(not all at once!) This is quite general for bowel tolerance and you have to play around with the dose. It takes alot more than that for me and my son to reach bowel tolerance and a lot less for my hubby- but it is a place to start. If there is no loose stool at that dose up it a bit every few hours until you get there. This should help immensely. I have never encountered a parent on these boards that did not have success with SA for WC.
Go to emergency. I am also in Ontario - just say he is presenting new symptoms, seems to have gotten worse or whatever is scaring you. I have brought kids with a previous diagnosis to emergency and no one cared or called me on it.
Ask specifically for a WC test. It exists. If it is WC, it would be nice to know in regard to treatment and to inform people accordingly.
I used to live in Alberta and there was never an issue with getting a second opinion. I hope you can see someone else.
As for the rest of your post, there are never certainties. I was fully vaxed for pertussis, got it in my teens, and was miserably ill. My husband had a booster, was up to date, had it in 2009 (when he should have still been "protected") and coughed for eight weeks. My unvaccinated DS got it from him, coughed for five weeks, but recovered quicker with no complications. He was on the SA protocol which made a noticeable improvement in symptoms.
Being vaccinated may or may not affect how one experiences the illness. So might overall state of health.
No one has a crystal ball and yes, we do have to own our choices, whatever they are.
I do hope your DS recovers soon...