I’m not a doctor, but I play one on the internet sometimes. I’ve had a hacking, trailer-park cough now for over a month, and I can’t for the life of me figure out what’s wrong, or how to get over it. Thankfully, the internet is always a good place to go when you’re sick, to pin-point the exact cause of your soon-to-be death, and to get a rough calculation of how long you have to live. I can usually diagnose myself with something terminal within a few minutes of online searching, but this bought has been more difficult. My “I sound like a donkey when I cough” search yielded few, if any, helpful results. I might now be able to distinguish between a canine coughing (sounds like a donkey) and a smoker coughing (sounds like a dying donkey), except I’ve never heard a donkey dying before, so all in all, it’s a wash.
Fortunately, I have friends just as helpful as the internet, one of whom said to me yesterday “maybe you have whooping cough, it’s going around, ya know.” A very helpful piece of information that I promptly entered into my browser: “does whooping cough make you sound like a donkey?” Granted, that particular search wasn’t helpful, but as I started reading more about whooping cough, I became gravely concerned.
- Runny nose: Check.
- Nasal congestion: You bet.
- Sneezing: All the time, I thought it was the cat!
- Red, watery eyes: How did you know?!
- A mild fever: Maybe, I don’t know, should I buy a thermometer and double check?!
- Dry cough: YES!
Call your doctor if prolonged coughing spells cause you to:
- Vomit: Just a few times, like in that meeting with my boss just now (how embarrassing).
- Turn red or blue: Do green and yellow count?!
- Inhale with a whooping sound: I wish it were that easy!
The truly interesting thing about whooping cough is that no one seems to care if you have it as an adult, unless and until you are about to come near a baby. In that case—STAY AWAY and seek help, whatever that may be. If you have no chance of encountering a baby—a category in which I happily fit—then the internet doesn’t care and it has no answers for you, aside from good luck and KEEP AWAY FROM THAT BABY!
With the few answers I was able to find through my extensive online research on whooping cough, I have come to the following conclusions: 1) I probably have it and 2) I am probably dying from it. I suppose I won’t know about the dying part for another few weeks–the internet has given me six and so far it’s only been four. I hope I last through February, so I can meet my best friend’s new baby before hacking my way over to the next life.