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British Lung Foundation
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Can't stop coughing

Hi everyone , I have cops asthma and reasently told I had multiple blood clots in both my lungs I'm now on apixaban , for the past 5-6 weeks I can't stop coughing Day night during the night my gp gave me antibiotics 4times and steroids 2times they made coughing worse I bring up an awful lot of phlegm and end up I'm choking during the night I wake up with terrible fright when this happens . I don't know what to do to try and help myself and now for about 2 weeks I'm coughing blood and it's very frightening . My gp sent away sample said it came back ok I'm worried about coughing blood . My whole body is so sore with so much coughing but the pain I'm in iver past few weeks in my lung area has had me in tears I was told last week the pain is coming from the blood clots so all gp can do is give me pain killers to try ease it. I'm exahsted can hardly do anything for myself anymore and just feel hopeless I'm no good to anyone. It's all getting me so down as I've never been so breathless I'm so scared . I seen Physio at long last and she just said nxt time I see her she will teach me some exercise to get rid of phlegm and agreed the pain I'm in is because I've got so many blood clots . I can hardly go to bathroom without gasping for air can anyone suggest anything I could do to try and help my recovery . Sorry this has turned into long post of me complaining didn't intend for that to happen I'm stating to feel so alone with my illness so than you all for listening . I wish you all a great day and easy breathing best wishes 🌹🌹🌹

4 Replies

Poor you..sorry you are having such a hard time..physiotherapy will help with breathing and cough I go once a week. Hope you will soon feel the benefit. Take good care x


Thanks for your kind words, I hope the Physio will help it's very difficult to see her but I'm hoping for the best , wishing you well have a nice day x🌹

1 like

You don't mention seeing a consultant so if you haven't been referred to a hospital you should be.

I have a lung condition (sarcoidosis) and produce a lot of phlegm every day. I wonder if the following would help you. To clear my lungs of phlegm every morning and before bed I do Active Cycle of Breathing technique (ACBT) which was taught to me by a physiotherapist to cough it up and then I don't cough during the day. If I don't do ACBT at nighttime my lungs "rattle" and can't lie down. Before i learned ACBT I slept sitting up in bed with pillows behind me; this may be possible for you.

There is lots on the internet, especially Youtube, teaching Active Cycle of Breathing Technique (ACBT). I was taught by a physiotherapist to do it lying down on each side but it can be done sitting up.

Also you could ask the hospital physiotherapist to assess you to see if you would be suitable for a nebuliser. They are not very expensive to buy. After seeing a physiotherapist, I am prescribed individual ampoules containing 7% salt solution which I put in the nebuliser and which produce ‘steam’ to loosen the mucus and make it easier to cough up.

I do ACBT afterwards.

I used to put my head over a bowl of very hot water with a towel over my head to loosen the mucus which I used to do before I had my nebuliser. I also have a Flutter device which I bought which helps if the phlegm occasionally gets particularly stuck (Look on the internet to explain what this is). There is also a device called an acapella which is similar. There is also an Aerosure Medic electric device which is similar, but costs a lot of money. aerosure-medic.com/special-...

I never go anywhere without a packet of Fisherman's Friend (includes menthol and eucalyptus), as if I do feel the urge to cough I suck one (a very strong taste so takes some getting use to) and the urge usually disappears.

One last thing. My phlegm is white, but I have been told that if it goes yellow or green that may mean I have an infection and I should ask my doctor's receptionist for a little pot, cough in to it (in private!), and the doctor will send it to the local hospital for analysis to know which is the best antibiotic to fight it.

I am also on Apixaban to thin my blood as a CT scan with contrast showed I had had blood clots in my lungs in the past.

I hope this all helps. and I do hope the pain will go soon.

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Hi sarcoid1234 thanks so much for all your advice . I do see a specialist for my breathing I'm seeing one at the moment as my first respiratory dr wasn't helping much so myself and gp went for second opinion so I have seen him twice now the second time was on Thursday but I came away feeling very disappointed, my gp told me to tell him how I've been feeling so I did but in the end I just couldn't speak to him my mind went blank but thankfully my hubby was there and tried to get some help for me, firstly he said blood clots aren't dangerous ( before I went into see him I received a call saying my sister was in emergency at hospital she has blood clot and she had took a stroke) I was told last week how lucky I am to still be here by the Physio once she read out what the report said Reg my scan also he said blood clots shouldn't cause pain when I'm in so much pain I can hardly take it at times then he said at the end of consultation if the apixiban don't help there is nothing else he can do and my other half let him know how angry he was with this he said they should be helping me by now but has decided not to spend any more money on a scan to see if they are getting worse or clearing up as I've had 2 scans in 2 years. So I feel what am I suppose to do now he decided that he would keep me on apixiban for an xtra 2 months and see if they help last( thing sorry for long post ) was even though I told him how I've been he just nodded his head and said ok ! No answer on what could be wrong we'll then he said maybe it's not clots the scan have detected maybe it's something else but wouldn't say what he thought it would be no my head is running riot and I've decided to talk to my gp next week.

I thank you for all your advice and will look on internet for the thing you spoke about , everything is worth a try in my eyes. I do sleep with pillows and use a bowl for steam I also use nebuliser but I've got ventolin caps to put in it . Today I'm not as down as I was after leaving the appointment I'm trying to think of what can I do rather than whst I can't but unfortunately that's not much . Thanks so very much for listening and for all the info you've gave me. I wish you well and have a lovely day 🌹X


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