Can't get rid of phlegm

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Bestfriends14

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Hi all,

We are in the U.S. currently, so going into a walk in clinic us not an option. Wayne has a ton of phlegm that is not clearing. He coughs and coughs, but it's been about 3 weeks now. I've given him mucinex and pineapple juice to no avail.

His respirologist back home was forward thinking enough to give him strong antibiotics should he get a chest cold. He's on day 5 of 7 and things do not look too much better. We do have pre-existing travel insurance that he had before diagnosis, so I believe he could be covered if he goes to the doc. Has anyone's PALS or any PALS experienced this? Not sure what to do. We've had two friends die in the past week from pneumonia, so I am a bit worried. They were way more progressed then him, though.

Thanks in advance.
 

lgelb

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You can still go to an urgent care clinic or ER if it comes to that -- just pay cash. In your situation, if you do try urgent care, I would go to a clinic affiliated with a hospital. Where in the States are you?

Do you have a suction machine? Does he use humidification with his BiPAP? Other things to consider:

Clean/replace furnace/machine filters, hoses
Use a room humidifier
Encourage him to "spit" into a paper towel rather than cough
Use a baby nasal aspirator
Try soda
NAC
Give him a non-sedating antihistamine like fexofenadine
Try a nasal steroid
More here

Keep us posted!
--Laurie
 

Bestfriends14

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That's awesome, Laurie. Thank you so much. He's not on Bipap yet because he's just in the high 70s for breathing and high 50s for sniff test (?). We are in Palm Desert and go home in 7 weeks. If it comes to it, I can send him home ahead of me and drive back on my own.

To start, I'll start getting him to spit in a paper towel, and try a humidifier. He's been coughing ever since he took a flight back from Calgary two weeks ago, so probably got something from there. Argh, it's just stressful. Thanks again : )
 

KarenNWendyn

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Increase fluids and try drinking Coke.
A nasal steroid such as Nasacort is really helpful.
 

Bestfriends14

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Thanks, Karen!
 

affected

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So sorry, how scary when you are not at home.
Please keep us updated and get to an ER if you have real concerns. 💗
 

bigmark1954

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Sounds like he is a good candidate for cough assist. Positioning matters...when lying flat we can't huck up logies efficiently. Try sitting him up slightly forward. The Mucinex is a good idea, I learned this from Max.
 

lgelb

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Thanks for reminding us of the importance of positioning, Mark. That includes raising the head/torso slightly lying in bed, to help breathing as well, even though Wayne's sounds pretty good.

Since BF and Wayne are on the road in the US, though, I'm assuming a CoughAssist is something they'd need to get when they're back in Calgary, bearing in mind it works better for some than others.

Another thought, esp. in a dry climate as you're in now: hot drinks, including anything with lemon, apple cider, etc. It's kind of a combo of thinning the mucus and general hydration. End of day, sometimes being able to swallow the stuff if it's not coming up is the best you can do.

Nasacort is also available as generic triamcinolone (if you like it, buy in bulk on Amazon, at Costco, or somewhere; drugstore prices are up there). If a steroid is contraindicated for some reason, there are also saline sprays. Nasalcrom can be good, too.
 

Bestfriends14

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Thanks so much everyone. We are in PD until April 1, but if need be, it's a short flight to get home and get a cough assist. We are waiting on the ALS clinic to call us today for any other suggestions they may have. Lemon trees abound here so lemon tea, water, lemonade will be no problem to get.

Sadly, I had deluded myself into thinking his arms would get weak before his diaphragm but his diaphragm seems to be weakening quite quickly this year. This disease has no rhyme or reason, it's just plain old cruel.
 

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This disease has no rhyme or reason, it's just plain old cruel.
Indeed and no matter how much we say the only thing predictable is how unpredictable it is, we still find ourselves amazed at some turn we didn't expect 💗
 

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Another way to cough that I use (for me it works better than my cough assist ) is that I sit up as straight as I can and take as deep a breath as possible and have someone give a nicely timed shove on the chest while I try to cough. I use a bipap 24/7 and am very weak at coughing on my own. With the right timing and techniques it's amazingly effective
 

bigmark1954

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Another way to cough that I use (for me it works better than my cough assist ) is that I sit up as straight as I can and take as deep a breath as possible and have someone give a nicely timed shove on the chest while I try to cough. I use a bipap 24/7 and am very weak at coughing on my own. With the right timing and techniques it's amazingly effective
 

Jimi

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That could be dangerous for some people. Does the puncher wear goggles and a tarp?
I was assuming due to the current world health crisis that everyone would already be appropriately suited up and be wearing their N95 mask and face shield 😀
 

affected

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you have been missed terribly Markie, so glad you are back in force 💗 🤗 🥴
 
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