Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders Forum

Coughing when laying down

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On October 12, I did a stupid thing. At age 54, in terrible physical shape, I deadlifted an 80 pound ice chest full of soft drinks and ice up a lake cabin road over 150 feet long and at a 30 degree angle!

Result: Damaged muscles and ligaments in my lower left back, a subluxated L4 vertebrae and a dislocated right hip. That landed me on my back for almost 10 days in more pain than I have ever experienced in my entire life.

Toward the end of those 10 days confined mostly to bed, I developed a cough that I wrote off to the bed rest. Unfortunately, it developed into a chronic cough lasting over six weeks that eventually made it impossible for me to sleep flat in a bed.

Like others on this site, I could not lay down on my back or on my side without triggering a ticklish cough reflex. That forced me to sleep in a recliner until even the slight angle of the recliner made me cough. I moved on to my office chair in my home office, putting me sitting straight up to sleep. This impacted my back, neck and sides.

Last night, feeling a frightening amount of fatigue, I developed pressure in my chest that kept me from breathing normally and deeply. That led to a panic attack (why does it ALWAYS happen at night, and on weekends?) and four hours of hell while I struggled to calm the tense muscles in my upper pecs, arms and solar plexus just so I could breathe!

When I place my hands on a waist high table and push down, bending my torso over the table, deep breaths come deep and natural. Why?

I wound up taking a muscle relaxant tablet and, by 4 a.m., I came unhinged and fell asleep, as always, sitting up.

I am arranging a meeting with a specialist to discuss all of this and get to a solution, but I'm interested in any second opinions out there. If this was originally due to infection, I have been on Augmentin for nearly two weeks so any infection present should be in retrograde right now.

Upper body stress has started to build and if it continues, I'll be headed back to the medicine cabinet for another muscle relaxant. This is no way to live, and I am miserable. I need answers, and I need them now.

My original theory was that the chronic cough simply did its damage and the tissues in my throat couldn't heal from the coughing. Now, I'm about to entertain the idea of some involvement of stomach acid and GERD. I have no pre-existing conditions and do not smoke. I have no history of heart disease, and pluresy, congestive heart failure and pneumonia have all been eliminated.