Passing Out - Fainting from hard cough

Hello Friends,

We have a situation here. Christmas day my husband was coughing ---- he was standing at the time. He seemed to have coughed so hard that he actually passed out. He hit the floor hard, bending his glasses and scrubbing his nose and forehead.

This happened one other time about three weeks ago or so. My brother-in-law was driving us home from my husband's chemotherapy. During the drive on the interstate, my husband coughed so hard that his face turned red, he clinched his fists and appeared to have stopped breating. We pulled over, I jumped out and opened my husband's door. By the time I opened the door, my husband was back with us and was wondering why we pulled off the highway.

I called the physician after the first incident and was advised that the first incident was nothing to be concerned about due to it lasting less than 20 seconds.

Now that this has happened a second time I think there is something wrong. I can't imagine him driving or even be left alone until we get to the bottom of this.

Thank you for your thoughts.

Karen

Edited December 26, 2011 at 11:19 pm

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Hi kjhv,
I'm dealing with the same thing. My husband has passed out from coughing long and hard, it's happened alot in the last 2 weeks. I called an ambulance the first time it happened, i thought he'd had a seizure. The emerg doc and his family doc are saying it's not as big of a deal as it looks, only no driving until it settles down. I'm freaking out, and everytime it happens I'm afraid of what it means for the future. He goes for his regular scheduled scan tomorrow so we'll know more and also get to talk to his oncologist. I've not been sleeping well, I watch him breathe,

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Its called syncope. Unfortunately, we have had to learn to deal with it. Looks like seizures sometimes. That is how Dave got diagnosed with lung cancer. He had four episodes in an hour and I took him to the ER. Recently he had one and fell out of his chair with his glasses on. Broke all the bones behind his eye. We have been dealing with this for 15 months. It is terrifying. The children have learned to stay away from daddy when he coughs (I (nor he) want them to get hurt if he falls on them). I tell him to keep away from the stairs. I have taken his car keys.....which really hurt me... On the good side, the chemo makes the syncope go away. It shrinks the tumors in the chest so that more air is moving. Dave only has the seizures when the cancer is back. He has sclc-ex diagnosed 9-15-2010. Was NED from Jan-Aug 2011. That is when the cancer came back...and the syncope. No episodes since the second chemo treatment in October. Good luck.

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Karen,
As I read your post and the other replies, it breaks my heart knowing what you are going through. My husband was diagnosed with nsclc in March, 2010 and he also was coughing so hard he was passing out. The only thing that would bring him any relief until he started treatment was Halls Honey Lemon cough drops. He kept them in his mouth literally 24 hours a day to keep the coughing episodes under control. When his treatment began it was the radiation that finally got rid of the cough, but all the nurses at our oncologist's office still remember how bad the coughing was. It was very hard for my husband to hear that he couldn't drive....I think men have a harder time dealing with that for some reason. Hopefully you both can find some relief soon. I wish I could offer more help.

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This also happened to me...I had maybe 10 episodes-broke my nose and a bone in my face, scarred up my lips and head from falling. It always involved the most horrid of coughing.
I told the oncologist and he said when coughing to hit the floor. So I did and i havent had an episode since-I have also had a couple times when I was fuzzy brained,dizzy, and nausea..this was accompanied with loss of taste and smell-I had a hard time eating.this lasted maybe 5 days each time,last one was last week.it had to be bland bland bland--I am embarrassed to say but I lived for a week on mcds chicken nuggets-salty things were horrid,sweet things were completely out of the question,.
I usually bake my heart out at Christmas- giving as presents--the smell of cinnamon/anise/nutmeg,(the typical Christmas smells) made me hurl. I was tired tired tired--My taste and smell came back last night,I did lose about 10 lbs-BUT!!! I had gained 30 on steroids--so now im feeling GREAT! and Look Great!!!! I have juiced and gotten back on my nutrition today-I worked all through this doing petcare and dogwalking.
The rad onc said all of this is side effects to pci--Im still glad I did it.
If you start coughing HIT the FLOOR--it really attracts some strange looks from others that dont know whats going on.
Happy Holidays
dom

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Hitting the floor? Huh, that is so interesting. I think everyone that has posted here should have their spouses try this. I know I am going to strongly encourage my husband to do the same. It will not look any more strange than the bruses on his face and nose caused by the falling.

WendyFo--- how did your husband's scan turn out?
Davesgirl03----15 months is too long to deal with this. I am glad to have a name for this disorder.
anon74--thank you for your kind words.
Thank you all for taking time to share your experiences. I have learned a great deal for each of you. ...

Karen

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I was diagnosed with nclc-IV last April and I am still up and running after 8-9 months. I was coughing hard the last 4 days and emailed my onc to prescribe me another medication as Benzonatate was not working, I was given anti-biotic and cough syrup and as of this writing my coughing subsided. I did not have any fainting spells though. But I was scared the other night as I might have a heart attack because of hard cough, so I grabbed my rosary and started praying. And aside from chemo every 3 weeks (done 10 already) I pray the rosary every day and go to healing masses (just had 3 sessions with Fr. Fernando Suarez (you can google for info). So medicines and prayers are very good combination.

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Obet, I believe more than anything in prayer. Everything else is out of our hands, really. I pray we are all guided to the right doctors, the right treatments, then I pray we can "let go and let God." Thank you for reminding me who is really in control." Karen

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Hi Karen,
Yes, when I was diagnosed with Lung Cancer-IV, it took me just a few days to accept my fate. I broadcasted my illness to all my family and friends and I got an overwhelming prayer support. It allowed me to be closer to GOD than anything else. I asked my oncologist how much time I have and he said then that with Stage IV, normally 6 months tops, but he added that it really depends on the real BOSS up in heaven.

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Update..... We told the oncologist today of Bill's coughing, passing out. The doc prescribed Tessalon Pearls for the cough. He said the medication should stop the coughing, and hopefully the passing out. Thank you all.

Karen

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We have not seen shortness of breath or much coughing yet. Husband diagnosed 7-2011 Lung Cancer IV in the spine and in right lung. We trust God to direct us in treatment and give us more time. We hope the same to you.
Chris

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Dear kjfv,
Well, my hubbies CT scan came back as stable with no change from his previous scan. His O2 satuation tests also came back as normal. His coughing has subsided and is almost gone. He apparently had a dry cough cold/flu. It's been going around our community, just most people didn't cough til they passed out. Over a 2 week period he must of passed out 20+ times. He even got a gash on his head from hitting the floor.
How's your husband? I hope it subsides for him.

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