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The Whole Coughing Rainbow….

Posted Nov 20 2010 12:00am

…. It’s an education in itself!….

So apart from the fact that the Locum GP made me quite unhappy yesterday, she did come up with some interesting and informative thoughts on the current state of my lungs! I thought I would share a little as I am trying to educate myself as well as my readers here!

Amongst the myriad of crackling and wheezing, how is it that I know that my cough infection is clearing up, when I’m coughing  practically as much, and now, apparently, wheezing more?

Well, of course, I don’t want to gross anybody out so I’ll be as tactful as possible, but  you may have previously come across that song, Brown Sputum , you know, the one sung to the tune of  the Rolling Stones, Brown Sugar! If not, you can find it here !

But during the last month, with my “mild pneumonia/chest infection/flu that wasn’t flu and now Acute Exacerbation of Asthma”, I’ve been through the whole Coughing Rainbow, more like the following colour splatter, ie, a more subtle and sligtly less gross to look at chart!

So why is it, that every time I cough, Julian or my Doctor, if I’m there, says to me, “What colour is it now?’

Believe it or not, it’s not the colour, but the change that matters. If your usual is one of the above, and you deviate from it then this is the indication for there being an infection, and not so much the colour itself. I was always told that having green phlegm meant your immune systen was working hard, and it doesn’t necessarily spell i-n-f-e-c-t-i-o-n. It could just as easily be a virus.

But I think with all chronic lungers, be they Asthmatics, COPDers, or people like myself who are a mixture of the two, knowing exactly what is going on down there, and keeping up with the bug busting remedies is very, very important.

I guess therefore, that having had this underlying Yeuch Couch going on for 4 weeks now, I am at least relieved that after 3.5 weeks on strong antibiotics it is somewhat less infected. But somehow, amongst the crackles and the wheeze I still have to shift the rest of the gunk, because, as my Doctor firmly stated yesterday, if it stays down there, it’s going to continue to feed the infection zone. And my lungs have fast become a one way road to Phlegm City…

So her ideas now are, try and wheeze less, therefore, extra ventolin nebs to open things up, extra saline nebs with the PEP to cough more up, and continue the bed rest to allow my body to heal up! Drink lots of  hot drinks to soothe my tight and twitchy little airways, and above all turn the heat up: warmth in the house will give myself the best chance to recover from this.

And so her prescription yesterday was:

….Another week off work….

(And that will be another post in itself)


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