Continual coughing

Hi, I last wrote on this forum a couple of years ago about my husband who has severe COPD, emphysema. At the time I had many positive replies which were all helpful but have not been back to the site since although I get daily news feeds. Everyone seems to be so kind and helpful, and I would like to be a part of your community again. My husband had a stroke last year and spent six weeks in hospital. This did not help his emphysema. His left side was affected, he can now walk with a stick, although only a few steps as he is so breathless, and his left arm is bent all the time and he can't move it though he can wiggle his fingers. I have to do most things for him and am his sole carer. I manage but it is hard work. He is on oxygen most of the day now and once downstairs, had to have a stairlift installed, sits on the sofa all day. He used to sleep well but now has this hacking cough every time he goes to bed which makes him more breathless and keeps him awake. He refuses to let me ring the doctor, saying "what can he do?" I gave him his rescue pack of steroids and antibiotics about a month ago. Can anyone tell me if coughing like he is a usual side effect of his emphysema? It is really getting him down. Sorry about this long post. Thank you for listening.

12 Replies

  • Hello and welcome back, I really feel for you, it's no fun being a full time carer. It does sound as though your husband is also depressed which isn't unusual after a stroke.

    What would happen if you called the doctor anyway? You really do need some help here. Do you have any family who would persuade him to see a doctor for your sake? Some areas have a community matron who will give a lot of support & medical help.

    There are some wonderful carers of spouses on the forum, I'm sure they will be along soon to give you more useful advice.

    Also, there are meetings called Breatheasy all over the country. They are for carers as well as patients with lung disease, many many people find them invaluable . I really hope there is one in your area.

    Thinking of you, please reach out to your GP for help. Very best wishes, Peege

  • Thank you for your very quick response. I really appreciate your advice. I think I will call the doctor. I know about the Breatheasy meetings and will check them out again. It is very hard getting him to leave the house these days as it is such an effort for him.

    Thank you. Carolyn

  • It's absolutely fine for you to go to the Breatheasy meetings without him Buzz, good luck x

  • Good morning Carolyn,

    Seems you are having worrying time with your husband, and I bet he hates it too to have to rely on you. I am not so well up on medication as all the others on here, but I do know that after being copd diagnosed I think it was a couple of years ago, and until my medication was tailored to fit, I was in tears every night, unable to breathe, never ending coughing, and thinking oh gosh, was this all I had to look forward to. After a few hiccups with a certain locum prescribing unsuitable medication over the phone which made me cough more than ever, ---- yes - prescribed over the phone, I pestered and pestered the surgery until they got it right - and after all that it was simple - common or garden Fostair twice a day and Salamol whenever.

    I do hope that whatever is causing the misery can be sorted very soon for your husband and then you will both feel the benefit.

    Jennifer xx

  • Jennifer, thank you for that helpful response, very grateful. I am pleased that you have felt the benefit of your new regime. I will look into it as a remedy. He is on two different inhalers at the moment prescribed by the chest physician, which he takes once a day and takes Ventolin through the day. He is adamant he does not want me call the doctor ... "give it another couple of days" is his response but it has already been weeks ... He is not very good at taking advice. Carolyn

  • Welcome back! I would fone doctor you both need your sleep to get thru the day also he may need another course! Always best to get it checked out! I understand he doesn't want to bother doctors but you need the help knowing your looking after him and tell him part of being his carer is foning doctor xx

  • Thank you. I am hoping to get him to the doctors later this week.

  • I am 69 with severe COPD and Emphysema and I only cough like that when I have an infection. Please seek medical attention soon.

  • thank you for your advice

  • Hi BuzzL, I'm so sorry about ur husband & the stress ur under, I really do feel 4 u both. my husband has emphysema stage 4, his doctor at the chest clinic gave him a small bottle of oramorph liquid 2 take a teaspoon when coughing, this really is the only thing that helps him 2 stop coughing. He said it was like a dry tickle cough, if that helps any. Please make sure u ar getting enough help, as it's a long hard struggle by ur self. my thoughts r with u both.

    Gentle Hugs. x.

  • Thanks for your response. We do actually have some oromorph and have not tried it for the coughing, thought it was more for the stress. I will give him some and see if it helps, I hadn't thought of it. We have had a bottle of it for a while so it may be out of date but it is on his repeat prescription so can always ask for some more. Thank you for your kind thoughts. It is only when you start asking for advice you find out how many people actually care, it is quite overwhelming. Carolyn

  • Your welcome BuzzL, Just hope it helps him. My husband carries it around with him, like if were in a cafe, & he feels like he's going 2 start coughing he will take a drink out of the bottle & try 2 hold in the back of his throat 4 a few seconds, then he just's sits quite until he feels he can talk again. I hope this really will help him. Good Luck. Gentle Hugs. x.

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