A short rant about coughing

cough medicine

I’m going to give you a little summary of what I’ve been doing over the last few days.


And then a little cup of tea.


Are you getting the idea?

I’ve always been prone to coughs, and actually I’m pretty lucky as they’ve got much better as I’ve got older. When I was little I used to just cough and cough until I was sick, and I had to leave most of my university finals half way through because I was coughing so much and worried about putting everybody else off. (Fortunately I am super speedy at exams, so it turned out okay.)

I remember going to my doctor at the time and asking if there was anything he could give me that would stop me coughing just for a few hours for my exams.

“Sure,” he said, “I could give you a general anaesthetic?”

Hmmm, not very helpful.

These days thankfully, they aren’t quite as intense and don’t last the three weeks or so of the good old days, but they are still really annoying. 

What makes them especially annoying is that I can be totally fine for half an hour, or even an hour at a time, and not cough once, and then suddenly I feel like my throat’s about to explode and I can’t breathe and I’m red in the face, eyes bulging, and I’m coughing and coughing until I’m making very unsexy wretching noises. It can happen out of nowhere, and so you can’t really go anywhere, just in case.

Which is a pity, because I really like going to places.

And of course once I do cough, it’s hard to stop, because the act of coughing really aggravates my throat and makes it sorer and scratchier. I have a headache and all the muscles in my chest and stomach are sore. I’m tired, but if I try to lie down, I cough, so I have to try to sleep for brief chunks, sat up, listening to Radio 4 podcasts in between to distract me.

Nothing makes any difference at all of course, cough medicines are all useless. 

And that’s it. I am very grumpy and tired and fed up. So there.

Image – Africa Studio/shutterstock




  1. 2 February, 2016 / 8:57 pm

    I am also prone to these long lasting coughs with uncontrollable coughing fits, but have never had an answer as to why. Our youngest however who has had coughs on and off for months has just been given a steroid inhaler and it’s already giving great results. Could you be an undiagnosed asthmatic? You may or may not know asthma is strongly associated with coughs that just won’t clear up, or return frequently. It also often improves, if not disappears as people get older. Worth looking into?

    • Jo Middleton
      3 February, 2016 / 12:35 pm

      I did have an inhaler when I was little, but the doctor has done that thing where she makes me puff into a tube and they don’t seem to think there is anything there that looks like asthma. Very annoying!

  2. 2 February, 2016 / 9:12 pm

    I hope you feel better soon…..
    When I get a cough I can be not too bad and as soon as I go somewhere with other people there I start coughing like a maniac….So annoying x

  3. 27 February, 2016 / 7:29 pm

    It’s that dreaded time of year! I’m with you, this wrenching cough is keeping me awake (my other half too lol) can’t wait for it to go!

  4. Lucy
    7 July, 2016 / 10:20 pm

    If you have a dry unproductive cough, codeine linctus suppresses it. You can buy it in chemists OTC.

    • Jo Middleton
      8 July, 2016 / 12:55 pm

      Yep, doesn’t work for me unfortunately – I’m a hopeless case!

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