i suffered from a productive cough for at least 7 months, this is the 1st time i had a lung infection and my health is generally good. the cough developed while on holiday in australia. i was given several antibiotic courses which never totally resolved it. i was also never given a firm diagnosis. it began as an involuntary cough which produced thick sputum which varied between yellow and green, it progressed slowly and was not accompanied by fever. as it worsened i woke nightly from coughing, generally 3-4 times per night. the sputum from the lungs was never bloody. the cough was slightly painful, i never felt any sharp pains or rattling in my lungs. at 3 weeks i had a (clear) chest xray. after approx. 4 weeks i developed a sinus infection and my sinuses started bleeding, so i saw a doctor and was given 1 week of amoxyclav which cleared the sinus infection and slightly improved the cough, the sputum also turned white. the cough did not improve after this point though, i still was coughing up sputum regularly and i found it very hard to suppress my coughing fits if i ever tried to. when i returned to NZ i was still having violent and productive coughing fits, often set off by laughing or exercise, also at night. i visited a doctor and was given a 3 weeks of amoxycillin, this improved the sputum colour - it became clear, but i was still coughing uncontrollably during the day, most often triggered by laughing and exercise. this persisted several months until i developed an acute infection and was diagnosed with pneumonia and given 2 weeks of clarithromycin, when i visited the hospital i was told that my blood test indicated the presence of a bacterial infection. the pneumonia symptoms did not completely resolve so i was given another 2 weeks of clarithromycin which seemed to resolve the coughing to a manageable level. after this point the coughing gradually declined until it stopped completely. i have had chest x-ray since and there is no visible scarring present.
I can sympathize with the misery you have had with this cough. I can only suspect that you acquired a lung and/or sinus infection in Australia that never quite cleared, despite all the antibiotics. The question that remains for me is this: was the very slow resolution of your infection on the basis of a rather virulent bacterium, maybe one not seen very often, that was resistant or perhaps minimally susceptible to the various antibiotics or was the persistence of infection secondary to some type of impairment of your immune system or, a 3rd possibility, might you have an anatomic abnormality of one of your lungs that could predispose you to infection, yet not be evident on the initial chest X-rays.
I am delighted that you have recovered, apparently completely but what I have described above would be worth considering, should you have recurrent infection of your lungs or sinuses sometime in the future.
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