Case Quizes

The Weirdest Cough Ever!

Maria has a suffocating cough; can you guess the right remedy?

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! 

I got you a present.

 I know, Shana!  Thanks for the apron!

 Now you won’t have to get all wet when you’re washing dishes!

 If only I had a baby who could do the dishes for me….

 Mom, we can talk about that later!  Right now we have a very important Death Report to get to!  Sadly, at the beginning of May, singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot died at age 84. 

Natural causes, apparently, and it seems his health had been declining to the point where he had to cancel the rest of his 2023 tour in mid-April. 

But anyway, it’s kind of ironic to me that Gordon Lightfoot died the same year as another person connected to his song.  Guess who plays drums on “Sundown”?

 I have to guess?????  Um…. Don’t tell me… don’t tell me….  Tell me!

 A session drummer who was in Derek and the Dominos.

 That was going to be my next guess.

 He played on tons of famous albums.  His name is Jim Gordon and he died in March.  In prison.


 The story of how he ended up there is a sad one too.  Declining mental  health but he will always be remembered for his contribution to music.  Jim played on the Soundtrack version of the Muppet Movie. 

 Oh good grief, I should have known!

 I thought that was really interesting since I didn’t have the album and thus never would’ve read the liner notes.  But “Rainbow Connection” is famously known as the song associated with Kermit The Frog when not on Sesame Street. 

 Oy vey!

 It’s even in the National Recording Registry and in case you didn’t know, that’s where songs deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress are preserved.

 Dear God.  Rick!!!!!!!!!

 But anyway, look at how cute Kermit is with his banjo!

Shana!!!!!  We’re losing half our audience!!!  You know, the half that doesn’t watch The Muppets?  (By the way, I didn’t realize that Kermit was left-handed.)

As you know, Mom, Derek and the Dominos are most famous for “Layla.”

 Aha!  Yes, what a great song!  Are you saying WhatsHisName played drums on “Layla”?

Yes, Jim was in the band and wrote the song with Eric Clapton.  Derek and the Dominos only lasted 2 years (1970-1971) so once they broke up, that’s basically how Jim became a session drummer where ever he could find work, but he ended up on some great stuff.  He plays the on-going piano part on “Layla” as well.

 You mean the part I don’t like?

 It apparently belonged to his ex-girlfriend, Rita Coolidge.  He never gave her credit for it.

 So he stole it from her?  Well that’s just great!  No wonder he’s in jail!

However, one year before “Layla”, he played drums on “Marrakesh Express” for Crosby, Stills, and Nash’s debut album.

Then there’s the Summer Breeze Album by Seals and Crofts.

 He played on that too?

 Yes.  Two albums by Hall and Oates and the bass player (Leland Sklar) on the second album is also worth mentioning.


 Because he’s from James Taylor’s backing band.

 I knew it!!!!   Shana!!!!  Have you noticed that James Taylor is in every issue of the Hpathy Ezine???

Is that a problem? 

Well, it’s just a bit odd, given that this is a medical journal!!!!

And just to round out the list, Jim Gordon played on two George Harrison albums, plus John Lennon’s “Power to the People” which was also Bernie Sanders’ campaign song when he ran for President in 2020.

 OK, I think we’ve established that an unknown session drummer has left his mark on music — sort of.  Do you have anything else to report before we start the Quiz?

 It seems we lost the last surviving member of The Coasters at 92:  Leon Hughes. 

Bottom Row (l-r): Leon Hughes and Billy Guy

Top Row: (l-r): Bobby Nunn and Carl Gardner

 He was with the group for only three years.  (1955-1957)  Apparently he was the tenor and according to his daughter, the reason why Leon left the Coasters in 1957 was due to an illness that affected his singing voice.  Given the timeline, he’d likely be on songs such as “Down in Mexico”, “Young Blood”, and “Searchin'”.

 I believe “Searchin'” went to #1.  I was lucky enough to find a live version of “Searchin'” from The Dick Clark Show; it’s not easy to find any live footage on the Coasters, or any black group from the ’50’s and ’60’s for that matter, and often, if you do, it’s of poor quality, the lighting’s bad, the audio is out of synch with the video… and, you know, for all the hits the Coasters had?  To have so few live performances on tape?  It’s just jaw-dropping!  If I had to count all their hits….

You could start with “Along Came Jones”, “What About Us”, “Charlie Brown”, “Yakety Yak”, “Wake Me, Shake Me”…

“Shopping For Clothes”, “Girls Girls Girls”, “T’aint Nothin’ To Me”, “Run Red Run”, “Wait A Minute”…  You know, they called them the “Clown Princes of Rock ‘n’ Roll” for their eccentric, whimsical lyrics.

 Let’s not forget “Poison Ivy”, which I think should be declared the Rhus Tox theme song!


Also, in school, we had to read The Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963, it took place during the Civil Rights Movement and “Yakety Yak” was mentioned in the story.  (I’m sure by now Governor DeSantis of Florida has banned it!)

 Oh, for sure!  DeSantis is on a book-banning tour; anything that puts white people in a bad light should not be allowed to be taught in the schools, according to him (he thinks it will help get him elected president in 2024), and apparently, he can’t tolerate anything positive written about gays either.  OK, OK, we’ll change the subject, we wouldn’t want to offend any Nazis or members of the Ku Klux Klan who might be reading the Hpathy ezine!

Exactly!  So, getting back on track….while we’re talking about the Coasters,  I bet some people didn’t know that “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” by The Robins was an earlier version of the group.

 The link between The Robins and The Coasters is Bobby Nunn and Carl Gardner.  

 Just like The Exceptions, who did “Down by the Ocean”, later became The Trammps.

 The link between The Exceptions and The Trammps is Earl Young and Jimmy Ellis. 

Earl Young, 2nd from left, Jimmy Ellis, far right.


Jimmy Ellis 10 years later:

THE TRAMMPS-hold back the night - YouTube

 But wow, you know what?  What a great doo-wop song “Down By The Ocean” is!  Let’s play it and we’ll see if anybody can recognize the great Jimmy Ellis—famed for his distinctive lead voice on “Disco Inferno” ten years later:

 You know what Mom?  We’ve gotten so far off-track, we never even played “Searchin'”, the song Leon Hughes’ voice is on!

 Right!  The Dearly Departed, the last surviving member of The Coasters.  OK, now listen people, pay attention:  We’re lucky to have this video of The Coasters even though Leon Hughes isn’t in it; but his VOICE is!  See, this video is from 1960 and “Searchin'” came out in 1957 and apparently, even though this song went to #1 in ’57, no one bothered to film it.

 What’s so distinctive about “Searchin'” is that whimsical “plinking” piano running all the way through, which is being played by Mike Stoller, the co-writer of this and all the Coasters’ songs; and, you can hardly mention The Coasters without giving a shout-out to Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller, the 2 geniuses behind the group:

 Lieber and Stoller

 We could spend all day talking about The Coasters; but, sadly, we have to move on; in February, we also lost one of The Exciters—Lillian Walker-Moss—famous for “Tell Him” from 1964.  Lillian is on the left.

  They opened for The Beatles on their ’64 tour—how exciting for them! 


 And now, ladies and gentlemen, it is showtime!  Time for the Hpathy Quiz!!!!!

We are fortunate to have a guest presenter with us today!  Welcome please, if you will, to the Hpathy Quiz, the one and only…

Maria from Greece!!!!!



Why did we have to meet at the Hanging Gardens of Babylon?

Maria, Hpathy just bought it!  It was on sale, they were practically giving it away!!!!

That’s because no one can find it!!!!

Didn’t you use Google Maps?

I’d like to start my case if you don’t mind, I have a taxi waiting and the meter’s running!

Oh.  So you won’t be taking the tour?

No, I don’t think so!  OK, so, this is all about my cough.  It was the weirdest cough ever!  I filled out the Questionnaire:


  1. Describe the complaint

It came on gradually.  A stupid cough for almost 10 days.  It started very mild with very little cough 3-4 times per day producing very thick and hard phlegm easy to expel.  But for the last 6 days I have been coughing so often because of tickling in the low throat pit/larynx and I can’t raise the phlegm easily.

I noticed this tickling occurs when phlegm needs to come up. When I spit it out, the cough stops until more phlegm needs to come up and so on. When I am awake the phlegm is clear, but after sleeping in the night it is usually pale yellow.  I don’t hear any sound in my chest at all.  Even the doc said it is a dry cough, but it isn’t.  I can feel phlegm in lower throat pit and he heard it too with the stethoscope.

I went to the doc to hear my chest and he said that my lungs are clear and only hears something near the larynx/trachea.  He said there is an infection going on around here and that it is nerve- breaking because it is going away very slowly.  He prescribed me antibiotics, cortisone, codeine and ephedrine syrup, which I didn’t buy, of course.

When I enter a closed stuffy room, a paroxysmal cough starts, ending in sneezing and tears from my eyes, my nose starts to run clear mucus.  The phlegm tries to exit from every opening of my head.  It is suffocative when it is occuring, I can’t even speak or breathe properly.  It resolves only if I expel sufficient mucus.  Today I went to the library and they had the heater on.  Very dry atmosphere in there and as I was talking the coughing attack came.  I had to go to open air and use tissues to clear the mucus.

  1. Etiology–

No idea.  Generally it is a stressful period with the garden, my father’s health etc.  Before the cough I had an injury in my back.  I was stooping to get some leaves from the garden and I felt a tearing pain in my lower back.  Or I strained it at the gym, the day before.  It is still hurting when I stoop and have to walk very carefully.  Seems like sciatica.

  1. Sensation–

I feel that the phlegm is never ending.  I have used over 5 rolls of tissue paper.  I feel a tickling in lower throat when I have to try to raise phlegm.

  1. Appearance–

Nothing to report.

  1. Location–

Throat pit, lungs.

  1. Modalities–

Moist atmosphere is good for the cough, fresh air.  I have windows open all day and all night.  Outside temperature is 15 degrees C. Better sleeping with 2 pillows.

Worse in closed spaces, warm rooms, without fresh air.  Worse talking.  Worse lying in right side, I may never stop coughing.  Worse on waking, all the phlegm gathered at night needs to be expelled I think.  Worse dust.

  1. Concomitants

Frequent urging to stool (3 times a day) and urinate, though I drink very little water.  Irritability, I use bad words for the cough (this f-ing cough).

Whimpering in my sleep for some nights, it has stopped now.  It happened every two minutes and it was waking me up.  Like a puppy.

Very dry lips, I apply liposan.  Today for the first time I woke up from my afternoon nap with very dry nose and mouth (inspite of rainy weather outside, it is quite humid).

  1. Discharges–color, odor, consistency and sensation

In early days the phlegm tasted salty.  Now it tastes like sunflower seeds.  It is a little stringy, though.  Also I feel I am salivating more than usual.

  1. Generals–

I am f-ing tired of this cough!  Also irritable, I don’t want to talk.  I want my life back.  All I do is cough and spit, grrrrrrr!

  1. The mentals:

I was feeling fear of coughing, that it won’t stop ever, but I took Aconitum and it is ok now.  The cough is still there, so I am mostly irritable.

  1. What have you been saying?

I am saying, “don’t make me talk” or showing my throat to people, to understand that talking can trigger cough trouble.  Also I am thinking constantly “f-ing cough!”  I miss the gym and to workout.

  1. What are you doing?

Reading materia medica, repertory trying to find out what the remedy is.  Avoiding conversations, because of cough.  Watching Chinese series with fairies and dragons 🙂

  1. Describe your thirst and appetite–

Thirstless.  When I drink water it is always at room temperature, usually sipping.  I also drink warm bitter cocoa, no sugar.  I crave salty and spicy, for example yesterday I ate some salty chips. Normal appetite.

  1. Fever?


  1. Sweating?


  1. Odors?


  1. What is most striking

Cough suffocative violent attacks, never ending creation of mucus, my inability to expel them naturally without these cough attacks.

Also the urging to stool and urinate.  I don’t drink that much so where on earth this urine is coming from!  Also the stool, it seems that I expel more than I eat.

  1. Is there a diagnosis?

Seasonal virus or infection, circulating the neighborhood.

  1. Describe your energy–

I am quiet, after Aconitum, I even smiled 😛  Also I sleep more deeply, because the cough is exhausting.

  1. I need to know what you eat, drink and “take”.

I usually do 16 hours fasting.  I eat lots of salads and fruits, cooked vegetables, soups. I take vitamin D3, C and E every day.  Also propolis.


Hi Elaine, before you reply to me about a remedy, I had already tried Allium cepa just minutes before to test until you answered and it worked!  I slept even on the right side with no cough at all!  I still have traces of minor cough 2 times per day to expel some clear mucus, but overall it is going very well.  Tickling is gone, paroxysms are gone, I even sat for an hour in a very warm room with no cough attack.

Talking is easier now, but I am still careful, yet no cough came during talking.  If it stops working I will let you know.

Also the All-c I took was from an empty vessel with no pellets in it, it’s been empty for three years!  I just added some water and sipped it!  Literally homeopathy is magic!

This is what I try to tell people, you can’t run out of your remedy, just fill your empty bottle up with water and the remedy is back!!!  Also, this is why I warn people, don’t use the good glassware for remedies!  The remedy never goes away!  You can’t wash it away with soap and water!  As soon as you fill the glass back up with water?  The remedy is back!  Use paper cups or plastic cups, etc. for remedies.

Anyway if things don’t go well I will let you know, but so far things seem going towards cure 😀

This is the weirdest cough ever!


Hi again, Elaine, I guess I spoke too soon; need your help again.  Allium cepa seems to have stopped helping.  I tried the 200C also.

I am without a cough during the day, I even went to the gym today.  I am totally normal until I lay down to sleep either at night or for an afternoon nap.

When I go to sleep I start to cough again as soon as I lay my head to the pillow – both left and right side.

So I start to cough and raise phlegm from my mouth and nose which is transparent, clear.

Cough won’t stop until I clear all the mucus raised up.  But after maybe 2-3 hours I start to cough again.

Last night I managed to get to sleep on my abdomen, apparently the cough doesn’t start in this position.

If you have an idea I will gladly try it.  I tried lachesis yesterday during the cough attack in the middle of the night but it did nothing.

Thank you 🙂


Maria, take a dose of _______________30C in water and let me know what happens.


Maria, any coughing news yet?

Elaine, it worked like a charm!  I used the 30ch potency, just one dose, and slept undisturbed!

Thank you Miss Sherlock!!

OK, everybody, that’s it!  If you know the remedy, write to me at [email protected].  The answer will be in next month’s ezine.



Elaine Lewis, DHom, CHom

Elaine takes online cases. Write to her at [email protected]

Visit her website:

About the author

Elaine Lewis

Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom.
Elaine is a passionate homeopath, helping people offline as well as online. Contact her at [email protected]
Elaine is a graduate of Robin Murphy's Hahnemann Academy of North America and author of many articles on homeopathy including her monthly feature in the Hpathy ezine, "The Quiz". Visit her website at: and

About the author

Shana Lewis

Shana spices up the Hpathy Quiz with her timely announcements and reviews on the latest in pop culture. Her vast knowledge of music before her time has inspired the nickname: "Shanapedia"!

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