Long term cough, dry throat, low white blood cell, frequent urination

Patient

Q: Dear Dr.
First I want to thank you very much for your volunteer services.

I have a mixture of symptoms.

First, about 9 years ago, I had unprotected sex with a woman I knew. It was of course very stupid. Anyway, I was tested after that, and subsequently several times, and show no HIV or other know sexually transmitted diseases.

However, I was told a few years later (about 7 years ago) that I had a slight, but not serious, low white blood cell count.

6 years ago, I moved to Korea for work. I often went outdoors, and was exposed to a lot of air pollution. I was also under a lot of stress, and around other people from various nationalities and environments. I had absolutely no sexual contact. But, for some reason, I had 2 serious health problems in Korea.

First, I somehow got a serious ear infection. I had to have fluid removed at the hospital and take antibiotics and pain killers. After that, I had another long term sickness. For about 1 month, I had night sweats, a deep cough, and a fever. I again went on antibiotics and pain killers, and recovered.

However, after this, I left Korea (about a year intotal).

I have been living in another Asian country since then. Before my time in Korea, I was quite healthy, and did not get sick very often, even a flu.

Since then, I have several times became sick, with a long term cough, 2-months, during the winter times.

I have learned to manage this cough through deep breathing, dressing extremely warmly in the winter, and taking large doses of vitamins all through the winter.

However, this does not cure me, but only manages the symptoms.

I have had chest x-rays and blood test, but was told that I am all right, except for a continual presence of low white blood cell count.

Another symptoms I have are very excessive (for my age of 33) urination. I do think that somehow I was passed this infection by the woman I was with. Because, I recall here having to urinate more often than average. And, after being with her, I had to urinate more often than normal, every year, until lately it is quite bad now, definitely not normal.


Another symptom I have is constant dry throat and excessive, unnatural thirst. However, this has happened only since my sickness in Korea (6 years ago).

Also, I produce excessive phlegm, all year round, but particularly in the winter.

All of these symptoms: cough, phlegm, thirst, and also shortness of breath , occurred after my sickness in Korea.

The only symptoms that were present before Korea were a slight need to urinate more often than normal and also a very slight low white blood cell count.

I have tried for 5 years to find a local doctor here in this other Asian country to give me a good answer what might be happening, but so far I have not been taken seriously. I have not had the opportunity to return to the USA, so any thoughts on what might be the cause would be much appreciated.

Also, please do not spare my feelings. If it is possible I had contracted a serious std, or infection from the woman I was with, I would need to know. I have not been very sexually active since that time, and would like to get married someday, but obviously need to know before I take that step with someone.

Thank you very much again for your time and help.

Doctor

A:   This question is currently in queue and will be answered shortly by one of our doctors. In the meantime you may browse our library of answered questions by clicking here.

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