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Dr. Hive nailed the diagnosis again! (Was 'Pulmonology for me')


Tree Frog
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I have just started a notebook keeping track of what the doctors say and what my symptoms are. I don't have a lot of info for the past few years, including test results, because I'm rarely sick.

I have had a cough since Nov 4. It has sometimes caused me to throw up late at night to get the mucous out of my chest. The mucous seems to sit just below my sternum and I can't cough it out; throwing up was actually very helpful. I also had symptoms of bronchitis and general congestion, but no fever. Concurrently, dh was diagnosed with pneumonia and I wasn't, though our symptoms were identical. We both had chest x-rays done to confirm. My PA said the cough would take a long time to go away, but didn't give a ball park length.

I thought it was perhaps a mountain cedar allergy and it would clear up when we traveled out of state for a week at Christmas, but it didn't. When I thought it was an allergy, I put myself on Zyrtec and have been on it since mid November. The PA said she didn't know what I have and gave me referrals to an allergist and pulmonology. I saw the allergist last week. I had a blood panel done about 5 years ago that showed I didn't have any allergies, so she didn't think it was likely I'd developed them since. She ran a panel, though, and I should get the results this week. 

 

Update: Dr. Hive was correct again! I have whooping cough, or pertussis. I am spitting mad at my pcm right now because she has blown me off about the cough since it started on Nov 4. There's nothing to do at this point except wait it out, but had I known, I would have made different choices when I accepted subbing jobs. Am I unreasonable in expecting my pcm to run blood tests/labs to rule out various possibilities before she sends me off on referrals that take 3 weeks to get into?

I also have influenza B. Thankfully, according to the PA at the ER, I'm no longer contagious after I've been fever free for 24 hours without the use of Motrin or Tylenol. Since I haven't had a fever since Monday, I should be clear.

 

Edited by wilrunner
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1 hour ago, wilrunner said:

The mucous seems to sit just below my sternum and I can't cough it out

For me, this is an asthma symptom even if my breathing is fine. Albuterol helps, but it can take a while. If things are really bad, I have to nebulize it and do back to back treatments. Then it loosens and comes up. Once in a while, instead of feeling thick in my chest, it will be crackly, almost like there are bubbles, and when I take the albuterol, the crackling goes crazy until it's all coughed out. 

I have had bronchitis that was almost asymptomatic--I just felt really rundown, tired, and like my chest was just non-functional. Breathing treatments (presumably albuterol and steroid together) started me on the road to recovery. If I have a big allergy trigger for such an episode, oral steroids have helped.

I wonder if you have walking pneumonia. 

I would prioritize symptoms that seem like illness, and tell the PA that you have a longer list of things you aren't sure are related. I suspect the idea is that they are not prepared to handle multiple problems at a time, such as when people stack up reasons to go in, but they really have a long list! Alternatively, ask if you can be scheduled for more than one appointment at a time.

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7 minutes ago, kbutton said:

For me, this is an asthma symptom even if my breathing is fine. Albuterol helps, but it can take a while. If things are really bad, I have to nebulize it and do back to back treatments. Then it loosens and comes up. Once in a while, instead of feeling thick in my chest, it will be crackly, almost like there are bubbles, and when I take the albuterol, the crackling goes crazy until it's all coughed out. 

I have had bronchitis that was almost asymptomatic--I just felt really rundown, tired, and like my chest was just non-functional. Breathing treatments (presumably albuterol and steroid together) started me on the road to recovery. If I have a big allergy trigger for such an episode, oral steroids have helped.

I wonder if you have walking pneumonia. 

I would prioritize symptoms that seem like illness, and tell the PA that you have a longer list of things you aren't sure are related. I suspect the idea is that they are not prepared to handle multiple problems at a time, such as when people stack up reasons to go in, but they really have a long list! Alternatively, ask if you can be scheduled for more than one appointment at a time.

That's interesting. I've been asked at every appt if I have asthma, but I've never been diagnosed and really haven't had symptoms. However, your description of crackly bubbles is a good way to describe how I feel when I lay down. I sometimes/frequently have strange noises and movement when I exhale, but not when I inhale. The albuterol didn't seem to help, but the throwing up got rid of those noises. It's hard to sleep when your body is making funny sounds and feels weird when exhaling. :) I mentioned this to the PA, but she didn't respond. I'll definitely mention it tomorrow. When your asthma flairs, do you also have sinus congestion?

I agree with you about the appointments being scheduled. It was frustrating when I made an appt about what I thought were all related items (all of them started at the same time), only to be told she could only work with 3 issues. 

Thank you for your input. It give me some idea of what/how to talk to the doctor tomorrow.

 

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1 minute ago, PeterPan said:

The PA who can't tell you what's wrong also told you not to give the doc all your symptoms? Oh there's good advice.

Hand the doc what you just wrote out for us.

The PA was just referring to appointments with her (I think.) I've already printed out the list and will give it to the dr. tomorrow. Typing it out helped me clarify some things.

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The pulmonologist I saw was nice and wanted to hear everything and wasn't rushed. I hope he can sort it out for you. Is there anything in your house you could be reacting to that is aggravating it? Have you been abroad recently? I had a persistent cough and low fever like that after I came back from Russia in college. I think I just got into something and wasn't kicking it. Later I got diagnosed with the asthma, etc. I think I was just susceptible and got into something and it settled in. They even had a name for it, though I'm not sure what it would be in english. Cough that settles in from sleeping on damp ground, lol.

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DH and I have wondered if there's something in this house. When either of our daughters come home from college, they get headaches quickly that lasts nearly their entire visit. As soon as they leave, their headaches disappear. However, my son and our exchange student aren't having any problems. We had a system of tubing in the walls in this house for pest control and I'm wondering if it's degenerated and causing problems. Pest control has been cancelled indefinitely.

Thank you for your thoughts!

8 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

The pulmonologist I saw was nice and wanted to hear everything and wasn't rushed. I hope he can sort it out for you. Is there anything in your house you could be reacting to that is aggravating it? Have you been abroad recently? I had a persistent cough and low fever like that after I came back from Russia in college. I think I just got into something and wasn't kicking it. Later I got diagnosed with the asthma, etc. I think I was just susceptible and got into something and it settled in. They even had a name for it, though I'm not sure what it would be in english. Cough that settles in from sleeping on damp ground, lol.

 

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6 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Oh dear, that's concerning if people are getting sick when they come to your house? Is it possible you have mold? 

I think mold is unlikely, but it's a thought I hadn't considered. What kind of test would I need to see if my issue is a mold issue? Who would I ask to check the house?

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Well the times we've had mold you could see it. Like we had a leak in a pipe in a wall once, a damp ceiling at our old house, that kind of thing. Have you had any leaks or maybe a basement flooding or something? General dampness somewhere?

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21 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Well the times we've had mold you could see it. Like we had a leak in a pipe in a wall once, a damp ceiling at our old house, that kind of thing. Have you had any leaks or maybe a basement flooding or something? General dampness somewhere?

There's nothing we can see. No basement. We have a slab foundation. House is less than 10 years old.

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2 minutes ago, JenneinCA said:

I know this may be a strange thought, but is it possible you have whopping cough?  You said the cough sounded like a barking seal and I remember that being a symptom, I think.

I'll ask. It's only been a seal like bark this weekend. It's had a different sound the rest of the time. Despite the way the cough sounds, whatever I have doesn't seem to be contagious. No one else seems to have the cough or other symptoms.

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1 hour ago, Liz CA said:

Perhaps have a skin TB test done just in case. I know it's rare or was but evidently it's on the rise again. The skin test is a quick, painless procedure.

I'll ask the doctor about it. It's not something I would've thought of. I was vaccinated as a baby in Europe, so I wouldn't think I have it. Thank you!

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57 minutes ago, wilrunner said:

I'll ask the doctor about it. It's not something I would've thought of. I was vaccinated as a baby in Europe, so I wouldn't think I have it. Thank you!

 

I sincerely hope you don't! I had it 20 years ago and was rather surprised too. My doctor was so surprised that he misdiagnosed me for several months. Some of the symptoms you describe sound familiar but then they probably are very similar to pneumonia as well.

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My first thought was pertussis:

Pertussis in adults can present differently than in children. For one thing, you have likely been vaccinated at some point in your life,  so while you can still get pertussis, symptoms may be may be milder. 

 1. Paroxymal, violent, uncontrolled cough

2. Duration of cough > two months

3. Unproductive cough

4. Vomiting/urge to vomit after coughing spell 

If your kids have gotten the pertussis vaccine, their vaccinations are likely more recent than yours conferring greater immunity to circulating pathogen. 

 

 

Edited by trulycrabby
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2 hours ago, trulycrabby said:

My first thought was pertussis:

Pertussis in adults can present differently than in children. For one thing, you have likely been vaccinated at some point in your life,  so while you can still get pertussis, symptoms may be may be milder. 

 1. Paroxymal, violent, uncontrolled cough

2. Duration of cough > two months

3. Unproductive cough

4. Vomiting/urge to vomit after coughing spell 

If your kids have gotten the pertussis vaccine, their vaccinations are likely more recent than yours conferring greater immunity to circulating pathogen. 

 

 

It's interesting that whooping cough/pertussis is what jumped out to several of you. It's not something that was even on my radar. As far as I know, the family we spent Christmas with hasn't been sick with this stuff, but I'll text them to confirm. 

Thank you!

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9 hours ago, JenneinCA said:

I know this may be a strange thought, but is it possible you have whopping cough?  You said the cough sounded like a barking seal and I remember that being a symptom, I think.

I agree, sounds like whooping cough. 

6 hours ago, wilrunner said:

I'll ask the doctor about it. It's not something I would've thought of. I was vaccinated as a baby in Europe, so I wouldn't think I have it. Thank you!

If you have been vaccinated for TB I don't think the skin test works...ask the doctor. Pretty sure you can get a false positive if you've had the vaccine, but I could be wrong. 

2 hours ago, trulycrabby said:

My first thought was pertussis:

Pertussis in adults can present differently than in children. For one thing, you have likely been vaccinated at some point in your life,  so while you can still get pertussis, symptoms may be may be milder. 

 1. Paroxymal, violent, uncontrolled cough

2. Duration of cough > two months

3. Unproductive cough

4. Vomiting/urge to vomit after coughing spell 

If your kids have gotten the pertussis vaccine, their vaccinations are likely more recent than yours conferring greater immunity to circulating pathogen. 

 

 

Yup. Could also be pneumonia or asthmatic bronchitis that turned into pneumonia just recently (when you got the fever). 

Make sure to call and get those allergy test results sent to you or the pulmonologist before the appointment, or go by and pick them up. 

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53 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

I agree, sounds like whooping cough. 

If you have been vaccinated for TB I don't think the skin test works...ask the doctor. Pretty sure you can get a false positive if you've had the vaccine, but I could be wrong. 

Yup. Could also be pneumonia or asthmatic bronchitis that turned into pneumonia just recently (when you got the fever). 

Make sure to call and get those allergy test results sent to you or the pulmonologist before the appointment, or go by and pick them up. 

Yes, the skin test doesn't work. I've always had to have a different test done to check.

Unfortunately, the allergy results aren't expected in until later this week. However, the pulmonologist should be able to see the results when they're in.

 

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I had whooping cough once... I coughed for about 120 days.  I had to wear depends, I vomited several times... Dr did not dx me until my third visit when he finally ran the test.

In most cases you are not contagious once you really start coughing regularly...  I had no memory of being 'ill' before the coughing began. OH-- I rarely had the 'seal barking' cough... but I was miserable for months while I waited it out!

((HUGS))  Even in yours is not WC-- I have the utmost sympathy for you!

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This sounds just like my asthma when it’s OOC, except the fever.

The fever makes me think that an infection is in the mix with everything else.  My guess is that you have more than one ailment and that it will be like peeling an onion to figure it out.  I don’t know much about pertussis, does fever go with that?

If not,  you might have walking pneumonia, or bronchitis, AND asthma.  If so, you might have pertussis AND asthma.

I am very surprised that no one has given you antibiotics.  

Also, just in general, when my asthma is bad, reflux during the night is often a contributor.  

If *I* had your symptons, knowing *my* history,  I would ask my doctor for antibiotics and prednisone and a prescription cough medicine (for overnight).  I would simultaneously take prilosec for possible reflux and Allegra for possible allergies.  I would try hard not to cough, using Ricola cough drops often, and taking the highest strength Mucinex DM that I can find OTC.  I would use albuterol as needed.

That’s a lot of medicine, but you are at a point now where you seem to have an infection, and where although you are not aware of it as ‘shortness of breath’, your symptoms are those of someone who is marginally breathing—right on the edge of ‘shortness of breath’.  I don’t mess with not getting enough air.  It’s too close to the edge of safety.  

Also, if it got *any* worse I would head to the ER for a breathing treatment.  Those are amazing.

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Sounds similar-ish to what I had last year. Started w/ a cold, then bronchitis, then was diagnosed w/ walking pneumonia. I have asthma, though it's mild and I frequently forget I have it. I ended up with a Z pack, prednisone and an inhaler and I started feeling better within hours of starting the prednisone. My cough wasn't bark-y though, but it wasn't super productive either. 

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5 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

I agree, sounds like whooping cough. 

If you have been vaccinated for TB I don't think the skin test works...ask the doctor. Pretty sure you can get a false positive if you've had the vaccine, but I could be wrong. 

Yup. Could also be pneumonia or asthmatic bronchitis that turned into pneumonia just recently (when you got the fever). 

Make sure to call and get those allergy test results sent to you or the pulmonologist before the appointment, or go by and pick them up. 

 

Quite possibly so, however, a sputum test or x-rays should clarify it. If sputum is not produced easily they have ways to get it to come up so you have something for a sample.

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The vaccine for pertussis does not cover parapertussis.  Most disease activity from when we've lived in places with outbreaks has been from parapertussis. There is also a new bacteria called Holmesii which is similar to parapertussis.

My $.02, if I were to toss in, is that you have either pertussis/parapertussis or you have uncontrolled asthma. A swab and some spirometry (pulmonary function test) can help clear up some questions on that.  The fact that you have problems on the exhale makes me lean towards asthma/reactive lungs, fwiw.

 

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Also, be aware that asthma does not always present as wheezing.  I have had it most of my life, but it was undiagnosed until my late 20s specifically because I was used to coughing a lot, and because I did not wheeze.  When doctors asked me whether I felt short of breath, the answer was no.  What I felt like was like I had a tickle deep in my throat, and that if I could just cough a little harder and a little deeper I would be able to clear it, but I couldn't.  But it was asthma. NOT ALL DOCTORS KNOW OR BELIEVE THIS.  That's really crucial to know. 

Also, when I saw the pulmonologist, she was perfectly fine with me maybe having a crisis that would land me in the ER or dead, rather than giving me the means to do a breathing treatment at home or some other plan so I could maybe make it to the ER alive--this was when my breathing had gotten so bad that I felt like I was barely getting enough air through a paper straw that could collapse any time.  I was appalled by how heartless she was, and I heard that the other one there at Kaiser was known as 'the mean one' by comparison.  I will never, ever go back to that department at that place, willingly.  The point?  Even a specialist can be a gatekeeper to getting crucial care, and you have to take care of yourself.

What was valuable from the pulmonologist was learning that all of this coughing was hurting my lungs, and that I should try not to do it--I actually had a little loss of function, and that was the only reason we could come up with with my medical history.  I had thought that coughing was natural, and that it was neutral or maybe even helpful by working on clearing my lungs out.  That changed how I dealt with things.

I started to take Sudafed whenever I had nasel congestion from a cold or allergy.  I started to really try not to cough.  I started to carry cough drops with me wherever I went.  I avoided perfumed items like the plague.  I took allegra when I was allergic.  I took Mucinex when I felt like coughing.  I prevented reflux, largely.  (not eating too late or too much, not sleeping on my stomach, drinking a lot of steeped ginger)  IOW, I went after all the upstream stuff that was contributing to my asthma, and tried to prevent it from taking hold.

 

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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1 hour ago, prairiewindmomma said:

 

My $.02, if I were to toss in, is that you have either pertussis/parapertussis or you have uncontrolled asthma. A swab and some spirometry (pulmonary function test) can help clear up some questions on that.  The fact that you have problems on the exhale makes me lean towards asthma/reactive lungs, fwiw.

 

Yes, that was what made me think asthma as well. Also, if you have asthma going on, it could have been triggered to flare by the virus or bacteria you had back in november. And then with asthma you have mucus sitting in the lungs, and swollen air passages making it hard to cough that mucus out, which can lead to secondary pneumonia, which could be the new fever. 

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4 hours ago, Carol in Cal. said:

Also, be aware that asthma does not always present as wheezing.  I have had it most of my life, but it was undiagnosed until my late 20s specifically because I was used to coughing a lot, and because I did not wheeze.  When doctors asked me whether I felt short of breath, the answer was no.  What I felt like was like I had a tickle deep in my throat, and that if I could just cough a little harder and a little deeper I would be able to clear it, but I couldn't.  But it was asthma. NOT ALL DOCTORS KNOW OR BELIEVE THIS.  That's really crucial to know. 

I started to take Sudafed whenever I had nasel congestion from a cold or allergy.  I started to really try not to cough.  I started to carry cough drops with me wherever I went.  I avoided perfumed items like the plague.  I took allegra when I was allergic.  I took Mucinex when I felt like coughing.  I prevented reflux, largely.  (not eating too late or too much, not sleeping on my stomach, drinking a lot of steeped ginger)  IOW, I went after all the upstream stuff that was contributing to my asthma, and tried to prevent it from taking hold.

I like this description of symptoms--that's exactly what mine is like. If I'm wheezing, it's already all hit the fan, and you might ask if my will is up-to-date. 🙂 The exception is cool moist air--that's a huge trigger that can cause wheezing pretty fast. 

I have not been told to not cough. I have been told that if I am using albuterol to control any symptoms more that twice per week (except when I am ill), then I need a control medication and/or to fix a larger problem, such as an allergy. If I am experiencing the symptoms described above (though my tickle is usually a little more substantive--feels like tiny bits of mucous), albuterol fixes it. Sometimes one single puff is all I need for months at a time. If I am ill, I have been told to use my inhaler freely (though that would signal to me that I need a breathing treatment or some short-term steroids). For some reason, the preventive inhaled steroids don't seem to do much for me. 

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Thank you, everyone, for your help. My appt today went better than I expected. I took the spirometry and Diffusing Capacity tests, which the pulm said were mostly normal. The cough prevented the normal reading. He read the info I gave him, asked questions, and I'm now scheduled for a CT scan and a bronchoscopy. He requested labs for pertussis, TB, CBC, and inflammatory markers. He didn't define which markers. He thinks it may be pertussis. I didn't ask specifically about asthma, but I'll ask him at my bronchoscopy. I'm taking Sudafed 'round the clock, Benedryl at bedtime, and Ipratropium Bromide nasal spray a couple of times a day. I feel a lot more comfortable with my care after today's visit. He also had my allergy results. Everything but Juniper (Mountain Cedar) came back negative. I developed the Mountain Cedar allergy sometime after 2013.

I really appreciate your insight about asthma. I've never been diagnosed with it, but many of the symptoms ya'll describe I also have.

Have any of you had a bronchoscopy? He described it as a colonoscopy for the lungs. He said the worst part will be when he puts fluid in my lungs. I'm hoping to watch while he's doing the procedure, but my biggest motivator for no anesthesia is that I'm supposed to visit my younger daughter at college that same day. It's a 3 hour drive and between her schedule and mine, there isn't another weekend to visit this semester.

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I haven't had a bronchoscopy, but it sounds like it's going to be very fatiguing. Given that you're already fatigued, can you wait on the visit till spring break? It sounds like this doc is doing a really good job going through all the things it could possibly be! When will the bronchoscopy be? Sorry, but if they're offering anesthetic I'd do it. That just sounds awful. I nap through root canals, but it sounds like it will feel like Chinese water torture. Drug yourself up would be my advice.

On the peak flow meter and lung capacity stuff, yes they have charts, but also there's sort of what's relative to you. When we first got my asthma diagnosed, my numbers were only maybe 10% low per the charts and I went into the pulmonologist apolgizing. H's like I don't care about the numbers, only how you feel and how your lungs sound. I kept tracking the numbers anyway as I got better and as we got the stuff under control, and turns out my "normal" for me (and I'm short mind you, but maybe I'm mighty?) is literally DOUBLE what the charts say for my age. No joke. I think the charts for my age/height were like 250-ish and my normal is 540. So when I had pneumonia and was 220 and testing, it didn't seem really low per the charts but it was horribly low for *me*.

The one I use is only $14 on amazon right now and it's surprisingly consistent. Philips Respironics Personal Best Peak Flow Meter  I think I'd probably wait and see what those labs say. I don't think I'd want to be blowing TB or pertusis into it. Will they have the results in a day or two? And uploaded online so you don't have to wait? I sure hope they turn up something for you, something really clear and treatable. And your treatment plan till he has better info sounds good too. 

Well keep us posted! Your pulmonologist sounds really agreeable and thorough, so that's wonderful.

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Thank you everyone for you diagnosis. This is what I wrote in post 1:

Update: Dr. Hive was correct again! I have whooping cough, or pertussis. I am spitting mad at my pcm right now because she has blown me off about the cough since it started on Nov 4. There's nothing to do at this point except wait it out, but had I known, I would have made different choices when I accepted subbing jobs. Am I unreasonable in expecting my pcm to run blood tests/labs to rule out various possibilities before she sends me off on referrals that take 3 weeks to get into?

I also have influenza B. Thankfully, according to the PA at the ER, I'm no longer contagious after I've been fever free for 24 hours without the use of Motrin or Tylenol. Since I haven't had a fever since Monday, I should be clear.

Per the ER PA's instructions, I am waiting to hear back from either my pcm or pulmolonologist regarding notifying the schools I was in. I have contacted both of them. There is a chain of command apparently that needs to be followed.

Also, a PSA I learned: the pertussis vaccination we receive as children loses its potency as we age. The ER PA said adults should have another immunization (not a booster). Apparently  pertussis is on the rise. One of the things the CDC is watching for with pertussis are changes to the virus structure.

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So does the bloodwork and diagnosis mean you don't have to do the bronchoscopy? Or did they do that too? I just wondered how that was. 

Well I'm glad you good a diagnosis, even if it means it's going to be a while. And yeah, I'd be getting a new primary. That person is missing some marbles and the trust relationship is broken.

Oh my lands, you have influenza B on top of the pertussis? I hope you can get some rest! 

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I did know that our pertussis vax is no good in adulthood. I’m glad you got a proper diagnosis.

I switched docs after my last straw was depression/anxiety sent home as “your thyroid is normal, you’re just a tired mom of three kids, perfectly normal.” ☹️ Please switch, don’t reward sloppy work with loyalty. 

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4 hours ago, wilrunner said:

Thank you everyone for you diagnosis. This is what I wrote in post 1:

Update: Dr. Hive was correct again! I have whooping cough, or pertussis. I am spitting mad at my pcm right now because she has blown me off about the cough since it started on Nov 4. There's nothing to do at this point except wait it out, but had I known, I would have made different choices when I accepted subbing jobs. Am I unreasonable in expecting my pcm to run blood tests/labs to rule out various possibilities before she sends me off on referrals that take 3 weeks to get into?

You can get an updated pertussis vaccine lumped with the tetanus booster. I think it's called Tdap (vs. the kid one, which is Dtap?). Anyway, they will know you want the adult version, lol! 

I personally think it's worth going back to the primary and telling them what happened (over the phone, hopefully, or at a later appointment for something routine). One thing I have noticed about medicine (my DH works in that field) is that not seeing how less common things play out and not knowing what happens when a patient leaves the office does inform later practice in a negative way--knowing you missed pertussis is SO DIFFERENT than thinking you've never seen it. How the primary responds will tell you if you should stay or switch, lol! 

I am fairly biased about this in that I have not had good results with switching primaries, but I have had a good experience with my kid's ped when he's "missed" something (in this case, missed is not the best descriptor). My primaries seem to get worse when I switch, not better. My current primary is a joke. Her staff is even worse--they cannot accurately write down what I ask. It's horrid. 

My kid's primary missed a really big but unusual diagnosis, though he did give us a referral. It was a combo of "this is rare" and the fact that my son had a borderline number/combo of things that raised our concern. So, the ped was not obstructionist at all (super nice), but after my son's diagnosis, he clearly read up--he examined my son again with this new information, and I think he did so just to see what "it" could look like beyond what he'd seen in a textbook.

So glad you have an answer!

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1 hour ago, kbutton said:

I personally think it's worth going back to the primary and telling them what happened (over the phone, hopefully, or at a later appointment for something routine). One thing I have noticed about medicine (my DH works in that field) is that not seeing how less common things play out and not knowing what happens when a patient leaves the office does inform later practice in a negative way--knowing you missed pertussis is SO DIFFERENT than thinking you've never seen it.

This!!! Do tell them. 

I am glad to hear there is nothing really to do about it, as I think my daughter and oldest son may have had it/have it. No one did bloodwork, but extended coughs and do to their ages they are the two furtherst out from their vaccinations. DH and I and the baby and younger son have had them recently. The coughing ones, DD8 and DS19 both did see doctors, treated symptomatically (inhaler for DD, steroids and inhaler for DS) and are nearly better, so not going to push for lab work now I guess. But I have been thinking pertussis because of who caught it the worst - those with the longest gap since vaccination. Those vaccinated most recently didn't get it at all. 

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I would definitely tell primary doctor that you were dx'd with both pertussis and influenza B.  The aside comment you made about her telling you you'd keep coughing for a while makes me thing that she thinks it was possibly pertussis.  There's actually a fair amount of disease activity from pertussis and parapertussis in some areas--enough so that some high risk ob-gyn doc practices request that all pregnant women get a TdaP booster before delivering in each pregnancy between 27-36 weeks.  (It follows the new CDC guidelines.) Other adults only need one lifetime booster according to current guidelines. 

Let me see if I can dig up that link.... http://www.immunize.org/askexperts/experts_per.asp

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