I am 25 years old and have had asthma for as long as I can remember. Growing up with asthma was difficult because I was hospitalised on regular occasions. However, I was never teased or bullied because of it… In fact, my friends thought it was “so cool!” especially because “those steroids must make you well muscley”. If only! As I grew older my asthma died down, but I’ve always maintained a persistent dry cough. I hadn’t really given my asthma a second thought though, until now.
A couple of weeks ago I had a bad cold which unfortunately ended up on my chest (an asthmatic’s worst nightmare!). My cough got a lot worse. One day a guy at work asked if there was anything I could do to stop coughing because it was driving him insane. I said that I was taking my meds and that I just had to ride it out, but if it was annoying him I could sit in a different room for a couple of days. I thought that was it, conversation over.
I briefly mentioned it to my manager about a week later and he was horrified. He told me that this guy had come to him 3 months ago and showed him a document that contained the number of coughs I had done each day for a week! Apparently I’d already coughed 37 times by 10am! My manager told him about my asthma and said that he could listen to music to block out the sound but he had to stop this obsessive behaviour. He specifically asked that it wasn’t mentioned to me in case I took it personally.
Initially I was in total shock about it, but I am now totally paranoid at work and am trying desperately not to cough… I read somewhere in the forums about cough-variant asthma and I was wondering if anyone could give me advice on symptoms, diagnosis etc. Also, if anyone has advice on how to deal with the issue at work (boss seems to already be involved along with HR!) and gain my confidence back, I'd love to hear from you.
Thank you kind listeners