My special power…coughing up blood

Today I was sitting at a French Market enjoying a crepe at a table for one when I felt the ever so familiar gurgle in my lungs.  I started coughing and didn’t want to spit it out so I powered through my crepe and rushed out the door to my car.  When I got the car I took out a “spit cup” (aka the little 3 oz Dixie bathroom cups) that I keep in my console just in case.  I was still coughing and finally had a place to spit and sure enough it was blood.  Now when I say I coughed up blood some people would think that means I coughed up a little of red stuff with what I normally cough up.  Others think I am spewing blood out of my mouth.  It’s more somewhere in between but I assure you it is pure red blood.  I feel a gurgle in my lungs and then I involuntarily cough and up it comes.  There is no stopping it.

I was out running errands and was about 25 min from home when this episode started this afternoon.  It last about 15-20 minutes of my drive back home.  I would say all together I coughed up about an ounce to an ounce and a half of blood.  I got back home and did a few things and before I knew it, it was time to take the teenager to basketball practice.  I drove him there where his dad met me so he could take him home after practice.  As my husband and I were sitting in the parking lot talking once again I felt the gurgle come on and grabbed another handy dandy spit cup and sure enough it was blood yet again.  This was about 2 hours after the first episode.  This one lasted about 10 min and dwindled down to a trace of blood.  I probably brought up anywhere from a half and ounce to and ounce that time.  I came back home and ate some dinner and sat on my butt.

After coughing up blood I am always weary to cough at all because I don’t want it to start again.  When your lungs have a mind of their own and don’t play nice you can’t hold back a cough, it just doesn’t work.  Trust me, I have tried my best to master holding in coughs and coughing with only one side or the upper or lower lobes in my 34 years (35 years in 25 days) and have failed.  When I try to hold back a cough, I cough worse so I just get it over with, people will stare no matter.

This brings me to answer a question you may have right now and the question is, “why do you cough up blood?  Why does this happen?”  There are a few different things it could be.  The most common reasons for coughing up blood are when the blood vessels are irritated and burst thus causing the involuntary coughing bringing the blood up because that is your bodies way of getting it out of there so you don’t drown.  When you cough as much as I do your lungs are easily irritated and like to act up at times.  Another reason you can cough up blood is from infection causing irritation also.  Some inhaled medicines can cause enough irritation when in turn you cough a bunch then burst blood vessels.

Now what do I think is causing these episodes right now??  Good question.  haha  I did start the TOBI podhaler on the 1st and was feeling very irritated and coughing more so I didn’t do it yesterday or today.  It could be that.  It could be a combo of things.  I don’t really know.  If it continues I will call the doctors to give them a heads up.

However this isn’t my first rodeo with hemoptysis (coughing up blood).  It always seems to happen at the most inopportune times.  It has happened to me in the McDonald’s drive thru, while hanging out at a friends house, while driving down the highway, laying down to sleep, at restaurants, etc.  It is no fun and is very annoying.  All I want is for my lungs to play nice and be good to me.

Here’s to hoping that I can sleep tonight with no uninvited blood visitors.  Until next time…

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