Relentless Night Cough/Post Nasal Drip
I am desperately seeking information/advice about how to deal with my cough. I've had maybe 10 total hours of sleep sleep so far this week; fatigue is taking its toll and I simply don't have the time or energy for this anymore.
DH got sick with the flu last week and kindly passed it along to me. Started with the usual symptoms - fatigue, congestion, fever, aches, etc.
Current status is that the fever is gone, but I still have some sneezes and very plugged ears and post nasal drip that feels like someone poured a bottle of Elmer's glue down my throat. It just will NOT go away. I've tried everything- NyQuil, Sudafed, gallons and gallons of hot tea with lemon and honey, chicken soup, hot steamy showers, salt water gargle, baking soda, turning up the humidifier, sleeping sitting up, etc. Everything. Some of these treatments provide very brief relief, but typically just enough that I can get to sleep. Every time, I wake up a few minutes later coughing and hacking and gasping for air. All the snorting/nose blowing/spitting/hacking I can manage doesn't even budge the lump of mucus at the back of my throat. My throat is so raw from coughing that my voice has been nearly inaudible for days. My tounge has canker sores from all the cough drops. (Don't know why I have trouble with the canker sores and cough drops, but I have my whole life.) My stomach and ribs ache from all the violent coughing. I've had to cancel client meetings all week because I can't really talk, and I'm so tired that I'm not exactly at the top of my game anyway.
I've had trouble with night coughs my entire life. I've been to countless doctors; usually they just hand me a bottle of cough syrup with codiene and that used to put me to sleep deeply enough that I slept through the coughs. However, it also makes me vomit and have horrible nightmares, so I won't take it anymore. Plus it doesn't really solve the problem--it doesn't make me feel better, it just makes me feel stoned.
A couple of years ago, I was on vacation and developed a bad cough and DH called a doctor into the hotel. He basically said I'm experiencing very bad post-nasal drip; the mucus is just hanging out in my throat, creating a constant irritation/tickle that is exacerbated by laying down. His prescription was lots and lots of hot fluids. He said there is no real treatment but loads of liquids and time.
I am trying to be patient with this but I am falling way behind with work which is creating stress and possibly future financial stress if I start losing clients, and I'm afraid that my lack of sleep is making recovery even more difficult. I just want some rest! I'm not normally a sickly type, so I feel very whiny and impatient for even writing this. I'm wondering if anyone has any brilliant ideas or a miracle cure.
Each year when I get this I lose perspective at some point (like now) and panic and think I'm never going to rest again. This year, though, it really does seem especially hard to get relief for even a few hours.
Oh, finally, I live in a cold climate and I was a light smoker for about 10 years; quit a year ago. (Thought quitting would help this but it appears to be getting worse. Thinking about taking up smoking again. JOKING!)
I know there are much more serious illnesses out there and people here enduring real suffering; I'm not confusing this with those issues...just seeking some ideas/guidance/similar experiences.
Thanks so much for reading this and for any help you can offer.