Friday, 7 November 2014

People with chronic, severe, disgusting coughs

So one of my recent posts described my life-long struggle with Misophonia, the intense hatred of noise. It's difficult to put into words how hard it is to deal with and if I could swap places with a deaf person, I honestly would 90% of the time and I mean that sincerely. 

Anyway, I didn't go into details on several factors of my experience with this horrible disorder that have caused me untold stress.

Now I still live in the family home with my dad and brother. My dad, 67, has been a heavy smoker since he was barely old enough to crawl - because, I can only imagine, his mother was some old whore who never found any time to bother with any of that boring "parenting" stuff. 

Throughout his life he has been the most dedicated smoker and his - and our - fate was surely sealed with some kind soul introduced him to roll-ups. Anyone who says these are somehow better or healthier is an out and out liar. They have wrecked my dad's lungs, body and mind to a murderous degree - although true to the c_nty smoker mentality, he has no idea there is anything wrong with him at all. 

It was around ten years ago that he found rolling up was better than merely lighting up and in that time it's no exaggeration to say my life has been turned into a never-ending nightmare. His tickly little smoker's cough that was unremarkable in its formative years is now a chronic, severe cough - a constant HURK-HURK-HUUUURK that permeates the whole house at least five times a minute, all the while he is here. 

I think it's the loudest, weirdest sound I have ever heard another human make. Fuck you, Golden Virginia. 

At best he might be able to go twenty seconds between sputum removing episodes but that's pushing it. It's like I've been living in a cancer ward for over a decade. 

When he takes a bath is the weirdest, it's like listening to someone projectile vomiting all their internal organs. You can hear it at full volume through the tracing paper thin walls all over the house and it's like "Jesus, is tonight the night to call an ambulance?"

Because presumably it's not going to end well, though I often think it can't get any worse, there must be a limit to the amount of noise one person's throat can make, and boom. The weather gets warmer, it gets worse. Winter comes, it gets worse still. Right now it's like he's got a litre of phlegm in his lungs. 

When the cough started it was dry, unproductive. Nowadays it's all too productive. It's loud, sharp, barking. I know he's going to do it but it still makes me jump out of my skin all day long. It's like my nerves have been wrecked.

When he gets out of bed, which is often (day and night), he does the whole "throwing up" routine for a good ten minutes, then has a fag, chokes on it, gets a bit of phlegm in his throat, the cough goes apeshit, reaches for another fag. Repeat. Hardly the way to live. 

Smokers are by far the worst drug addicts of all, I guess because it takes so long for it to kill them. The heavily addicted ones, I don't think they think about anything but when they can have their next fag.

Sometimes I wonder WTF the neightbours make of all the coughing, not to mention WTF a doctor would say if they could hear it. I imagine most people would feel deep pity for me for having to live with this for so long. 

Quite honestly, it has brought me to breaking point so many times that being in a permament state of high anxiety is my default now, and I can't imagine what I'd think about if I didn't have someone coughing in my face for hours every day. Merely writing a blog post can feel Herculean when you are undergoing sound torture.

It's difficult not to sit there Googling and obsessing over it. When you look at the lung cancer symptoms it's like "if you've had a cough for 2-3 weeks..." and I think, Bitch Please. 2-3 weeks is for pussies - try over 500 weeks. 

Using Google as my doctor's manual I've narrowed it down to:
Chronic bronchitis
Emphysema
Lung cancer

Take your pick, they all sound like tremendous fun. I can just picture my dad say there on an oxygen machine...with a fag in one hand. I just know that image will become reality one day. 

There's not much online for people like me who live with chronic coughers. It's mostly people with work colleagues who cough the shit out of themselves all day long and that must be awful. But there's something about living with it in my home that feels extra unfair and horrible. I wonder why I have to live with this terrible thing, and no one else I know does. It's like my home has been taken away from me and it's all because of tobacco. 

(I didn't want to make this post too depressing, so I didn't even get into what it's like living with the smoke of 50 roll-ups a day.)

If you work or live with an annoying cougher, please feel free to vent all to me in the comment section. Lean on me, babe.

May your weekend be quiet and the air fresh.

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