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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Miscellaneous Chest Diseases

Question: Coughing for weeks, now nausea and fever

 rednotdead - Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:19 pm

My girlfriend has had a dry, painful, periodic non-progressive cough for more than a month, and has also been congested. (running nose, some difficulty breathing...) Other than some cough relief medicine, she has not seen a doctor or been treated. She did not feel abnormally fatigued during this time.

Since several days ago, her body has been unnaturally warm around her face and neck, even while she complained of feeling cold. She is not sweating unnaturally. Yesterday, she began to feel nauseous while walking, and her body began to ache later that night, to the point that she was unable to get any sleep. She says it is worst around her face and eyes, and the pain seems to be coming from within (as opposed to from the skin). The pain is not throbbing. I feel that she has a fever, but am a bit unsure. She does not feel like throwing up, and has no appetite.

Some other things to consider:
She has had pneumonia before, and says that this feels different, in that she isn't coughing as much.
She had gotten a flu vaccine some time before acquiring the cough, and that had made her slightly ill for a couple days.

I would like to know what this illness probably is, and whether or not it is serious. Also, any home remedy/non-prescription medicine suggestions would be greatly appreciated, as she is not covered by any insurance.

I apologize if her condition isn't strictly pulmonary: I felt that her illness/nausea could probably be related to her coughing/congestion, so I posted in this section.

Thank you in advance, it is much appreciated!
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sun Jan 11, 2009 9:25 pm

User avatar Hello -

After a month of debilitating illness I'd hope your girlfriend is ready to see an actual MD, even if it requires a financial stretch. While it sounds very much like she has a chronic deep sinus infection (the dry cough, runny nose, congestion, nausea, etc., all fit the clinical picture, anyway, and especially now the throbbing pain around her face and eyes) the only way to be certain would be to be examined in real time by a healthcare professional who can then either prescribe antibiotics (which she by now may very well need) or give her some samples.

If she doesn't have pneumonia again it may be only a matter of time before she does, if not something worse, as untreated sinus infections can cause some serious problems inside the head as well as the lower respiratory tract when left untreated.

Home care for this would include inhaling steam (preferably cool steam as from a nebulizer, but steam from the shower would at least help), ibuprofin or naproxyn for pain, and guaifenesin (either generic or as Mucinex) to help loosen the secretions in her head and, if necessary, her chest also. This may help her feel better, but she definitely needs to be seen as this has gone on too long now, and could turn into something more serious and won't naturally just go away on its own.

I hope this is helpful. Best of luck to you. Please follow up with us as needed.

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