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on going cough

By Anonymous March 25, 2010 - 11:35pm
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hi, my mother has had this on going cough for about 4 years now, we keep trying to get her to see our family doctor but she refuses to go, a bit stubborn i know. she works in a dollar store, running up and down asiles, assisting customers and working with alot of cardboard boxes. she keeps telling me that it's a stress cough but i fear it may be more then that she is 54 years old, and i was just wondering if there could be another reason for her cough. she never get head colds, like running nosess, sneezing and or head aches, just the cough. can you help me find a answere or should i urge my mother to get a whole body exam?

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EmpowHER Guest

Hi Anonymous,

I know this feeling about trying to help your Mother without any results. If you are trying to talk her into seeing a physician, certainly try to go straight to a Pulmonologist, which specializes in lung disease and conditions. There are many lung conditions that can attribute to a persistent cough but as Susan stated, 4 years is way to long.

It is very important that she get treatment or at least a diagnosis since there are so many things that you can be exposed to that will cause chronic lung conditions. I happen to work in a field that specializes with work related lung conditions due to exposures. Since she works at a Dollar Store and may or may not be exposed to chemicals, there is always a chance that something in the home may be causing the condition as well, such as Black Mold.

Please keep us updated and continually talk to her and get your other family members involved to try to get her medical attention.

Good Luck!

March 27, 2010 - 8:58am
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Good advice Melissa - and Dollar Stores (no offense meant because I like 'em!) but they nearly always smell a bit damp (and maybe it's just me but they don't seem to put much stock in warmth because they are often freezing!) and are filled with about as cheap plastic as could possibly fit in one setting.

See if you can to see where she works and just have a sneaky glance around to see if you can spot signs of damp or mold.

Also, I think 'surprising' her a doctor's visit is not a good idea. Maybe you could talk to her about it over lunch, but you may risk making her really angry by this surprise and make her even more stubborn! However, you know her best so let us know what ultimately what happens.

I wish you the best!


March 27, 2010 - 11:09am
HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon

Thanks for your question and welcome!

I assume your mom is not a smoker since you didn't mention it? If she is, the answer to her on-going cough is right there.

It's very unfortunate that she won't see a doctor. Do you know why she won't see one? If she does not have an examination, all of you will spend your time trying to surmise why this permanent cough is here with absolutely no results.

Even if she is not having sneezing or runny noses etc, she still may have allergies, but she may anything from bronchitis to tuberculosis, asthma to lung disease.

Has she (or is she) exposed to asbestos?

She may also have a bacteria, virus or fungus that is undiagnosed.

The bottom line is that she must seek professional help. If she has had this for four years, it's important she gets this help straight away. Please encourage her to seek some help; the sooner this happens, the better her chances are for recovery. Tell her that a "stress cough" really doesn't make sense (I think she probably knows that already!) and that you love her and are worried. Play to her conscience if you have to. Ultimately the decision is hers though, and that is troublesome.

Stubborn is a silly excuse not to see a doctor. Too many people die or live with chronic illness because they are 'stubborn' and end up hurting themselves and their loved ones due to a personality trait that can easily be changed. I have seen this happen many times and it's incredibly sad.

Thank you so much for looking out for your mother. I can feel the stress in your post and I'm sure this worry must be difficult for you too.

Can you try another sit-down and see what she says?

March 27, 2010 - 6:30am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Susan Cody)

my mother is a non-smoker, she has never smoked a day in her life.... i live out in edmonton, but i can get my older brother to talk to her more, and all i can do is call her, i will be visiting her in june of 2010, so i can have a sit down with her, i cannot make an appoinment for herr due to patient confindentiality, so it gets hard there, maybe i can have my fiance' pretend we are drivieing to a restaurant and surprise her with out family doctor, thanks for advise.

March 27, 2010 - 7:34am
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