It's been a bumpy start this year. Appendicitus aside, my son came down with a cough on the evening of my 40th Birthday. Of all the things I did not except a simple cough to be the undoing of me.
As you undoubtedly know, coughing is not ideal in any circumstance, but post covid - it's a complete no-no in public. After endless broken nights and not going out anywhere, my son became visably worse. But the cough did change, it became full bodied and violent, much much louder and frequent. It got to the point where he coughed every few seconds, it was awful. And what is worse, nothing worked to releave any of his symptoms. Every single puffer and medication made my son cough. What was going on?
What was the cause?
After 2.5 weeks and complete despair my husband googled 'Habit Cough'. And there it was - Psychogenic Cough. My son had all the symptoms.
What are the symptoms of a Psychogenic Cough?
- It usually appears after a respiratory infections caused by a cough or cold symptoms
- Habit coughs usually sound more harsh than the original cough
- No phlegm being coughed up
- No other symptoms
- Children cough more frequently, often every few seconds
- The cough disappears when the child is distracted
- The cough doesn't keep the child up in the night
- The cough doesn't get worse with exercise
The reason I am sharing it here is because: A - I had no idea this could even happen; B - it was a terrible, terrible feeling not knowing how to help my son. I honestly thought he would never stop coughing, like we were caught in a loop of helplessness. And this was only for three weeks, I can't even begin to imagine what families go through with much more serious illnesses.
One cough turned our life upside down. I wasn't able to work much, always being with my son and listening to his coughing impacted my mental health. I busted my jaw, likely from grinding my teeth of all things.
If you know someone who has a sick child at home, please bare with them. You just never know what someone is going through in their home.
Wishing you, your friends, colleagues and family health. It's true what they say 'A healthy person wishes for a thousand things. A sick person wishes for just one thing'.