A mother's story about the difficulty of getting a diagnosis of whooping cough
We live in Massachusetts, USA and after three weeks, including one hospital
trip, four doctors visits, and many, many nights of constantly interrupted
sleep, we finally got a diagnosis of whooping cough for my 12 year old twin
What made this particularly frustrating was the fact that I had brought up
the idea of the disease to the doctors over a week ago, and my kids were not
immunized against it, and the dr’s knew that – but they just didn’t believe
me when I described the severity of the symptoms. The boys were not very
“sick” when we visited the doctors. In the last three weeks the boys were
tested for strep (negative) and diagnosed with allergies (dog and pollen),
sinus infections and “cough” (what the heck does that mean!). They were
given an Albuterol inhaler, a Flovent inhaler, Singulair pills, Robitussin
cough syrup, codeine cough syrup, over-the-counter Sudafed (decongestant),
Rhinocort nasal spray and a pill called Hydrocodone to knock them out at
night to help them sleep. We also tried homeopathic Phosphorus 30C pills.
And we went out and got an air-purifier! I am sure you are not surprised
that nothing worked – not even the Hydrocodone.
Then the school nurse called (for the umpteenth time) and really encouraged
me to look into whooping cough again. I found your site and got the courage
to go back to the dr’s. I told the nurse and dr that we were NOT GOING TO
LEAVE the office until they heard one of my kids have a “whooping session”.
Well, after about 35 minutes one of them launched into a particularly
dramatic spasm with the coughing, whooping, red face, loss of breath, sticky
foamy saliva, vomit and all. They almost couldn’t believe it, because
otherwise, my child just looked and sounded a bit under the weather. I said
“See, I told you! This is what has been keeping us up at night for weeks!
This is why I have been afraid to leave their side because I thought he
would choke and die!”
Anyway, that’s our story. Thanks for the informative site. It was clear,
interesting and put my mind at ease. I am sure we have many more weeks of
whooping – but the boys were put on Zithromax and the school is going to let
them go on their BIG 6th grade overnight field trip next week. And our
doctor assured me that they won’t stop breathing!
PLEASE MAKE SURE PEOPLE KNOW THAT THE KIDS CAN SEEM “WELL” IN-BETWEEN BOUTS!
I know you cover this on the site, but it cannot be reiterated too strongly.
This has been a truly amazing experience…with the irony that it took a
school nurse and a Mom to get the doctors to listen.
I am going to take a nap!