custody, sick, sick toddler, sicky, single mom, toddler

Smoker’s cough

Last night was bad. LB hacked and coughed and moaned and groaned all evening. We snuggled up and watched Finding Nemo, while sipping chicken soup. Since so many 2-year-olds have OD’d on Dimeatap in the previous years, I bought some organic “all natural” cough syrup at the health food store. Its basically all honey with some marshmallow root in it, so really it does absolutely nothing, except make Mommy feel like she’s got control over the situation.

At bedtime, the cough got worse. I could hear her gagging and crying for me. I wrapped her in a blanket and rocked her to sleep on the couch. When she’s not coughing, her breathing is fine. She doesn’t even inhale sharply after its all over. But its definitely getting worse.

Last week while I was dealing with Strep, I took LB into the doctor to get her cough checked out. After listening to her lungs, the Dr. said, “They sound clear as a bell. Its probably just a cold,” and sent us on our merry way. Its been more than 10 days since the cough started, and I have no idea what it is.

I scoured the online symptom checker at and listened to the audio clips of “dry cough” vs “whooping cough” and “crop cough”. I went through other related symptoms for flu, bronchitis, pneumonia…all negative. No fever. No running nose. No congestion. No body aches. No spots on back of tongue. No pain in throat. No wheezing. No turning blue. No vomiting.

Then I looked at the bottom where it said “Smoker’s cough” and “Asthma”:

Inflammation of the airways is the common finding in all asthma patients.  This inflammation is produced by allergies, viral respiratory infections, and airborne irritants among other causes. Exposure to secondhand smoke is associated with increased asthma severity and worsened lung function in children with asthma.

The first time I met with Roofie, they both were smoking cigarettes inside, while the kids played in the next room. Rooferman has smoked since he was 14. I have witnessed him picking up our daughter from visitation with a cigarette in his mouth. I doubt he put it out on the way back to his car.

They both claim they don’t smoke around the kids. But honestly, I don’t think Rooferman considers smoking his his truck while our daughter is in the backseat “second hand smoke.”

LB has never come home reeking of cigarettes (just feces and urine). There is no real evidence besides the instances where I’ve seen them smoking. But what about this cough? What if she IS developing asthma? What if Roofie’s Camel lights are the cause of it? If this cough doesn’t go away, I’m taking her back to the doctor and asking for another diagnosis. If she’s getting Asthma (which no one in my family has ever had), you better believe I’m bringing it up in court.

Then again, everyone within a 30-mile radius of a cottonwood tree has been coughing. Maybe its just that time of year.


15 thoughts on “Smoker’s cough”

  1. I remember when I first got it I coughed, but I complained a lot to my mommy that I couldn’t breath good. Finally a night of wheezing and gasping for air terrified her and she rushed me to the emergency where they diagnosed it.

    Maybe you should get LB looked at again if you think that’s what it could be so she doesn’t have to be rushed somewhere for treatment if it gets worse? Sounds like so far she’s ok as far as that though and it probably is just that Smoker’s cough.


  2. Allergies?

    SD smokes. Outside of our home. Never with Son in the car. (But he does smoke in his car when Son isn’t in, which I despise)

    Whenenever Son gets a cold, when he got pneumonia, I freak out on him and his smoking.

    They diagnosed Son with asthma, but I don’t think he has it. (They don’t official diagnose kids with asthma until they are older, I’m told…) He had a cough where he needed albuterol earlier this year, but nothing since the pneumonia (fingers crossed).

    I don’t have asthma. But now I do have a lung disease.

    I’m not sure smoking has to do with any of it though. I’m more convinced it’s our environment. And that’s where I come back to allergies.

    Could this comment BE more confusing?


  3. Asthma, as I’m sure you’ve read, has become more and more prevalent for kids these days, so even if it doesn’t run in your family, it is a possibility. Definitely take LB back to the doctor and tell her/him your concerns.
    I smoke, so I’m not one to talk, but it doesn’t seem like smoking could be the cause of the rise in kids with asthma, since less and less people are smoking these days. I think it has more to do with the air and smog. I’m sure Durango isn’t as bad as L.A., but it’s not completely immune, right?
    Also try Vicks Vaporub. I hear if you put it on the soles of their feet at bedtime, along with socks, that’s supposed to help. And saline solution for her nose.
    Riley had croup a lot when we lived in the East, and I hated it. She still tends to get stuffy a lot.


  4. I was exposed to boatloads of secondhand smoke as a kid, and had terrible asthma during my childhood.

    As a smoke-free adult (both the first and second hand variaties), I have no asthmatic issues. No breathing issues at all. I can’t remember the last time I coughed.


  5. Lucky you. My kidlet reeks of smoke every time she comes home. (Thankfully) He doesn’t smoke inside or in the car. I’ve pulled up all of the info for him on how second-hand smoke includes any smoke that is absorbed into his skin and clothes and (what is left of his) hair and transferred to her, her clothes, her teddy bear, etc.

    The Mook’s dr classifies it as a ‘chest infection’ and warns me that if it continues past the age of 5, it will likely become asthma. She has 2 puffers to deal with it, including the one that is all steroids.

    Smoking around kids should be considered a form of child abuse.


  6. I hope she feels better soon and that it’s not asthma or allergies. Shiloh’s on allergy medicine now and it has helped her coughing and sneezing. (Allergies have been awful here recently.) But LB sounds like she might be worse than Shiloh was.

    If it’s just a cold I would recommend trying a cool mist humidifier. But I don’t know about asthma. No experience with that. I would probably go back to the doctor and tell them your concerns. Good luck!


  7. I completely agree with Bad Mommy that smoking around children should be a form of child abuse. There are not many things that get me fired up like people, especially parents, smoking around children.

    I hope what she has is just a nasty cold that goes away. If it is caused by cigarette smoke I would definitely be back in court.

    Hope she feels better soon!


  8. Ya know…. my niece had that exact same cough… it sounded exactly as you described it and seriously… im pretty positive its smokers cough…. if my niece is here all day it subsides because her mom isnt here, but once shes back with her mom it starts again. Clara had a cold last week and i bought a pediacare vapor plug in.. and let me tell ya, it works like magic… try getting one of those see if it helps, and tell them to stop smoking around LB… or else im gonna somehow find them and shove those cancer sticks down their throats!


  9. Ugh, allergy season. I’ve been popping Clariton already this season. It definitely could be allergies, I started getting mine when I was LB’s age. I (of course back in the day) took Dimetap and Robitusson for mine. They also (I think) make chewable mini Claritons now for kids that might help. Not that I want LB to have to take any meds, but it might help her feel better. They thought both my bro and I could have asthma and it turned out to be just allergies. I will also say that when we were around our grandparents who were smokers when we were little, that it irrated our allergies and made us wheezy because of the smoke. Anyways, I hope it’s nothing serious! I hope you both feel better soon. Love you =)


  10. we’ve been doing the rash dance this week. to go to the doctor or not that is the question.

    hope it improves.

    cigarettes, yeah, another thing that’s out of your control, sucks, so sorry.


  11. I hope it’s not asthma too. But all of my family members I know that have it have it because of secondhand smoke. Also their parents couldn’t think enough of their babies to stop smoking while they were pregnant. I hope it doesn’t turn out to be asthma and that LB starts sounding better soon!


  12. It might not be the smoke. Food allergies, especially lactose intolerance, can result in an unexplained chronic cough.

    If she is still suffering from a chronic cough, I would suggest taking her to get a scratch test to test for multiple food allergies. Aside from lactose intolerance other food allergies can mimic colds with coughing and sneezing.

    I hope this helps


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