I want to start by saying I'm an American living in the UK for the last 4 years. I was raised to not go to the doctor unless you're unable to function. That's why I've put off going to the doctor for so long. I also fear the doctors scolding me for not coming sooner.
About 2 years ago I started coughing a lot. And sometimes I'd cough up clear phlem with tiny brownish/greyish specks in it. Sometimes it'd be worse than others. Sometimes seeming like it went away completely. I smoke cigarettes socially. Maybe 2 or 3 a week. Probably less. But I have smoked marijuana daily for many years. I also used to break into abandonned buildings that had warning signs for asbestos to take photos.
About a year and a half ago the cough was getting pretty bad. Coughing up the phlem with specks in it multiple times a day. I was at work and I guess I had a bit of a panic attack as my heart was racing, my breath was shallow and I felt light headed. Ended up leaving work and taking myself to the a&e they did a chest x-ray and said they didn't see anything wrong. I didn't mention coughing stuff up. They sent me home and felt like it must not be a big deal.
Now I've developed a really bad cough. Like nothing I've ever had. I obviously have an infection cause in the morning and evening I cough up green phlem (still with the specks in it). But the cough is so extreme I can't stop it. Sometimes feeling like I'm choking or coughing so hard I trigger my gag reflex and almost throw up. It's a dry cough and a chesty cough. And though I've been coughing non stop for 2 weeks I don't have a sore throat at all.
Anyway, I know this is a lot of information and I'm sorry. I am seeing my GP tomorrow afternoon and my biggest concern is that they wont take me seriously. That they'll see the chest infection, give me antibiotics and leave it at that. What should I say to the GP? What is most important to bring up? Also I'm only 27 so I fear that's another reason why I'll just be written off.
Thanks very much for your time. And I appreciate any thoughts, advice, personal experience.