Christmas now cancelled. I developed a sore throat on Thursday which deteriorated to non stop coughing and complete loss of voice by Sunday. Went to A&E sunday eve and given very short shrift?? Got worse and hubby called doc out this am after several nights of no sleep for either of us and christmas plans looming. Doc said I have a viral infection which has prob caused a secondary bacterial infection of airways ( coughing up phlegm) and that voice would take some days to recover and I would not be good for prob a couple of weeks. Large single dose of prednisolone given for the inflammation and 7 days of 3 x 500mg amoxycillin. Prednisolone seems to be helping already but still coughing but it is middle of night when worse. At least hubby is sleeping so relief of guilt there. For the last 2- 3years have suffered from severe depression and panic following a complete breakdown and am still on 40mg of citalopram daily. My father also had sçleroderma which eventually led to heart failure. For the last 12 months or so I have noticed that I become short of breath when walking uphill or stairs. Recovery is quite speedy but the feeling is that I cannot get enough air into my lungs, as if they will not expand sufficiently. I also yawn alot. I have had a consistent nagging cough but until this episode not really anything I would have drawn attention to. I also fairly frequently suffer bad choking fits when eating or drinking which can be prolonged and scary. My main concern is for me to recover from this incident and for hubby and I to have a restful and quiet christmas if not sociable. I would then like to look into what would appear to be a situation. Do I have COPD or GERD which has also been mentioned. Is the coughing, choking and breathlessness related - probably but how. Is scleroderma another possible influence? I am a 57 year old female, more overweight than I would like to be and prob not now as fit as I would like although I did alot of hugh level spirt and exercise through school, college and beyond. Scouring the internet is confusing but I have found this site and hope someone can give me guidance for my next visit to the doctors. Happy Christmas to one and all.