I started coughing in 2003, and the cough never went away!
I was referred to a respirologist who did every imaginable test on my head, neck and throat before telling me that he felt it was a convulsive disorder. I apparently have a damaged nerve ending in my throat and it makes me cough or ‘seize’. I coughed every 90 minutes, 24/7 for about 4 years! Huge doses of codeine were needed just for me to sleep, and we were planning my funeral announcement when the coughing finally stopped.
I eventually started taking Gabapentin, and it eventually worked! It’s not a cure, and it doesn’t work all the time, but my quality of life is many times better, and most of the time I don’t cough. Any upper respiratory infection re-triggers the cough, and I choke convulsively – often until I vomit. Since I am a trainer by profession, this can be very inconvenient.
I take the Gabapentin at an overdose level in order for it to be effective. Everyone wants to know how I stay awake. That’s not a problem for me, but the suicidal thoughts I had for about 6 months were a BIG problem! It finally got better after I did a search on the Gaba and found out that ‘suicidal ideation’ was a potential side-effect. Once I learned that, it mostly went away. I’m fine with it now, but I can’t stop taking the Gaba, or I’ll cough!
Lauri Sue Robertson
© Epilepsy Stories 2015