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Mild flu with severe cough and inability to lie down

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I'm a 49 y.o. male over weight, no smoker, in pretty good health. I'm getting over a mild case of the flu. I don't wheeze when I breathe but once I start coughing it gets quite violent. Last night I coughed quite a lot while I was trying to sleep. I went to work from 2a.m. to 7 a.m. not much coughing but discomfort in my back on the left side. Came home, took a hot bath to help the aches, went back to bed. I tried laying down, but the pain in my back was unbearable. There was no way I was going to sleep laying down. I can sit with no pain, deep breathes have a minimum of pain, but laying down is impossible. What did I do?

Category: Family Physician-GP

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Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
 22 Doctors Online

Thank you for choosing DoctorSpring.

I have discussed your concern with our Pulmonologist Dr.Jacob George.

There are two possibilities here : The pain could be 1. musculoskeletal due the repeated coughing 2. a pluetic pain and possibly a pneumonia . Even the second possibility is unlikely it has to be kept in mind in view of your symptoms.

The pattern of cough suggests a viral infection mostly. For now I would recommend the following steps :

1. Steam inhalation with open mouth twice daily
2. Pain medication - OTC - Like Ibuprofen 400mg 2-3 times a day
3. Watch for any danger signs - breathlessness at rest, purulent sputum production, cough with breathlessness, fever, sever tiredness.

The pain should show response to pain medication. If there is not improvement in 24-48 hours a chest Xray is need to make sure that there is no development of pneumonia.

Hope this helps
Feel free to ask foolow up questions
Thank you

Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy
Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
MBBS from Sri Ramachandra University in December 2011
M.Med (Family Medicine) - TNMGR University, Chennai
MBA-MPH in Public Health in March 2016, SRM University
Finished AFIH in March 2016, SRM University
MRCP ( UK ), Internal Medicine, Royal College of Physicians, June 2016
Fellowship in Diabetology from Martin Luther University in January 2017

Currently Resident Physician, in MD Radiodiagnosis - Kamakshi Memorial Hospital, Chennai
Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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