Pneumonia Recovery: Hi. My dad is... - Lung Conditions C...

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Pneumonia Recovery

Pookyal profile image
23 Replies

Hi. My dad is currently in ICU with pneumonia (caused by triple whammy of flu, Strep A and staph) - been there 6 weeks, 4 of them on a ventilator/trachy. Was previously fit and healthy - no underlying conditions or hospital admissions so the severity was a total shock for us all. He was due to move to a ward yesterday but his breathing and SATs deteriorated again over past couple of days and the CT scan showed some lung collapse and further fluid. He is now on high dose steroids and oxygen. Most of the consultants and nurses have remarked on his progress and amazing recovery so far, but one consultant today suggested that he could end up with long-term lung damage/fibrosis. She told him he was lucky to escape death and when he responded that "he wasnt going to die now though?", she didnt answer! We thought he was doing well but this has got us a bit rattled. We knew it could have gone either way when he was on the ventilator, but felt he was on the right path now and this was a blip.

I guess I am looking for some reassurance from people who have had severe pneumonia and come through it, even if it took a while. Feel I need some positive stories right now. I can't gauge how common permanent and life-limiting lung damage is from severe pneumonia. Also, any tips on how we can support him and help him remain strong?

23 Replies
teddyd profile image

Sorry to hear your Dad has been so poorly. I have had pneumonia over 10 years ago but not hospitalised. I am sure others will come along and share their experience. Hopefully your Dad moves to a ward soon and makes a speedy recovery. Having a lung condition can mean you have to change or adapt your day to day living but for lots of people it doesnt. Follow the advice and support from the medical team. Wishing him a speady recovery

Greenwitch45 profile image

Hi Pookyal sorry to hear that your dad is so poorly. I am just recovering from my second bout of pneumonia and can say that it’s a slow process but after 3 weeks out of hospital I am beginning to feel a lot better. It completely floored me and even washing and dressing took so long and I had an awful cough which is just natures way of getting rid of all the rubbish that was lying in my lungs. I am now beginning to enjoy life and feeling stronger it takes time. I hope and 🙏🏻 that your dad will make a full recovery xx

sassy59 profile image

Wishing your dear dad a good recovery and thinking of you all. Sending strength and positivity. Xxxx❤️

Alberta56 profile image

So sorry to hear that your dad is so ill. I hope this is indeed a lapse and that he will soon be on the way to recovery. It comes as a nasty shock to change from being fit and healthy to finding you are very ill, but it sounds as if your dad is fighting back. I shouldn't worry about possible lung damage until you know more about the state of his health. I puffed my way up Mount Vesuvius before my lung problem was diagnosed. I hope it won't be long before your dad can start to plan his next adventure, while the rest of you pamper him and make sure he takes it very easy at first. xxx

CDPO16 profile image

Thinking of you all and wishing your dad well xx

peege profile image

Can only add that I've had pneumonia 5 times over 2 years, the last bout about 10 years ago. After that I was offered the pneumonia vaccination which of course I had. I obviously wasn't nearly as poorly as your father however, it did take months to fully recover from each time. I had asthma to begin with. Ever since I've had a regime of daily vitamins and supplements to ensure my immune system is as strong as possible plus over the years I've taken a high billions probiotic each time I've been on antibiotics then for 3 months afterwards.

Your father's immune system will be severely depleted so he'll be susceptible to coughs & colds for some time so avoiding people with bugs will be vital until he's strong again - thank goodness masks are now an acceptable form of apparel! Plenty of fluids, nourishing diet, warmth, very gentle rebuilding of exersise (but only when he's a lot stronger) and tlc - which you appear to have in spades.

The lungs are pretty large, many people live with a bit of damage in a lung or two.. it shows in CT scans.

As you probably know we're patients here with different lung issues and levels, there's a lelpline if you'd like professional advice. Number above. All the very best for your father's recovery. ×××

Mooka profile image

Ive had pneumonia three times. Not as severe as your Dads though. It will take a while for your dad to get over this. Plenty of rest and fluids and a gradual build up of fitness again. It’s important not to do too much too soon. Don’t worry about what the doctor said these things change all the time. Best wishes for his recovery.

Izb1 profile image

I dont have any advice to offer Pookyal but wanted to wish your Dad a speedy recovery. I am sure it must be a worrying time for you and the family but it takes time to recover from such a serious illness, be patient and help to build his strength with a good multivit and maybe probiotic, ask the doctor if its ok first so it doesnt interact with his meds x

Shirleyj profile image

I was hospitalised with pneumonia, it took me a good six months to start feeling normal. Hope your dad's ok, it takes time but I'm sure he'll get there x

Verbena_67 profile image

I'm so sorry he had this happen. My dad was not on a vent, but in the hospital for 2 months! They too told him he is lucky to be alive. And one doctor actually told him he would not get better.. for three days he came in and told him that. I could not understand why my dad's mood had gone downhill drastically... from one day to the next. He is better, but his breathing is still not great. He got off oxygen 3 months after leaving the hospital., but he uses it at night. He can't do many of the things he used to do, but he cooks, does laundry, and goes to the market, and drives. My dad was 85 going on 70. He remodeled my bathroom before he got covid. The very sad thing in our case is that the devils at the hospital sent him home the first time WITHOUT telling us he had pneumonia and nvr gave him any antibiotics, or steroids! When I asked about this, they told me that this is their covid protocol... do nothing. Everyday I wonder if they had given him something if he would have faired much better.

I hope he feels better soon.

Pookyal profile image
Pookyal in reply to Verbena_67

Thank you - this is exactly the experience he is having now. I'd definitely take laundry, shopping etc! He is on steroids at the moment which seem to be making a big difference to his SATs, but they are concerned about long term damage to his lungs.

Verbena_67 profile image
Verbena_67 in reply to Pookyal

He probably has fibrosis/scarring. I'm sure they will have home therapy for him. They will have him do exercises. Exercise is important. Did he lose weight?

Pookyal profile image
Pookyal in reply to Verbena_67

He was already very fit - no prior illness (ever!) or overweight. They said that is the only reason he is still alive tbh. He is keen to build up his strength through exercises and his respiratory physio was much more positive about his outcomes/optimising the lung capacity he has, so I am hoping she is right and the negative dr is wrong!

Verbena_67 profile image

Also, when he is home and able, have him see a functional medicine doctor or chiropractor. Mainstream medicine is in bad shape today. Especially when it comes to lungs. Id say more, but someone on here always runs to the moderator to report me if she considers something misinformation.

O2Trees profile image

Ive had several serious bouts of pneumonia, Poolyal, though never been put in ICU. I was in hospital each time for two weeks, and also had type 2 respiratory failure; I was on IV antibiotics and steroids. When I went home I was not discharged but under the care of the Hospital at Home team for a further week. They were brilliant and came each day to renew the IV ABs and steroids I was still on.

I was told by the respiratory team head physiotherapist that I would not regain my previous fitness but I did - it took about 4 months I think. We are all different but I hope my story gives some encouragement to your dad and his family. Sending best wishes for his recovery.

Pookyal profile image
Pookyal in reply to O2Trees

Thank you - it certainly does. The ICU Drs seem pretty downbeat about his prognosis but am hoping the respiratory team, who see it day in day out, will be more positive.

Patk1 profile image

I'm sure yr dad will b glad just to have u there.he will be on best meds and is in best place,for now.wishing u well+ hope yr dads soon well enough for the ward x

Caspiana profile image

Hello Pookyal. I am a lung transplant patient and my lungs were ravaged by disease, my smallest airways becoming completely destroyed. Whilst I could do nothing about it, I found that exercise was the way to maintain my lung function as much as I could. I find this the case with many lung disease patients.

When your dad is better please ask about physical therapy and pulmonary rehabilitation. This bout of illness will require him to work at maintaining his physical strength and his lung function. Recovery may take a bit of time but he is alive and thank goodness for that.

Best wishes to you all.

Cas xx 🙋‍♀️🐕

Karenanne61 profile image

Hello! I'm sorry your Dad and family are going through this. You wanted a positive story, are you sitting comfortably? In 2016 I was on life support following respiratory failure. One minute I was watching 'Open all hours' after walking to and from work, the next waking up in critical care. My husband and daughter were gently warned to prepare themselves for the worst. Of course I was out cold and have no memories of this time, apart from weird fragmentary drug induced hallucinations. Even as I recovered, very slowly, I was told my poor lungs would last no more than five years. And here I am! It's not all plain sailing, mostly it's hard work staying well, but by golly it's worth it! I did pulmonary rehab. I now do yoga and pilates. It's not the retirement we planned, much has had to change but I think its a positive story.

Pookyal profile image
Pookyal in reply to Karenanne61

Wow - that is indeed a positive story. Thank you so much for sharing. Dad was moved to respiratory ward today so am hoping he follows your trajectory. Can I ask, with a similar history to my dad, were you asked at any point whether you agreed to DNR? They have been pushing this hard with him on ICU before he left and we think it is now on his record because he didnt understand what they were asking. He says he didnt agree to it, but the Drs claim he did. I think they were basically saying that atm, his lung capacity is poor and he wouldnt survive another infection. We are saying, can we decide if an when that becomes a reality. While it is great he is out of ICU, he is now surrounded by visitors without masks and other patients close by, so it feels like infections are much more likely and we are all so worried! Its like hes a sitting duck. How did you feel when you moved to a ward after your experience in ICU? How long was it before you were strong enough to leave hospital completely?

Karenanne61 profile image
Karenanne61 in reply to Pookyal

A DNR has never been discussed with me or my family. When they decided to see if I cld breathe unaided they told my husband if I couldn't I wld be transfered to the JR in Oxford to an even more specialist ward , a long term coma patient care facility. I breathed! Sadly the general ward I ended up on after I was deemed well enough to leave ccu was not brilliant, although I was in a room with one other lady so less risk of infection and of course pre covid . After about a week my husband took me home , he decided he cld care for me better.😍 About 5 months later I was dragged to pulmonary rehab and I'm so glad. How old is your Dad? I was 57.

Pookyal profile image
Pookyal in reply to Karenanne61

He's 74 but was super fit. No underlying health conditions before now. Never been in hospital in all my life (or before) and I am 41! Tbh, I think that is why is is actually still with us. Pulmonary rehab keeps coming up - will need to look into that for him if its not mentioned. I think he is hating the ward already!! It is closed to visitors today because of an outbreak of gastroenteritis. Doesnt fill me with confidence. 😬

Karenanne61 profile image
Karenanne61 in reply to Pookyal

Still a young man!🙂 Please don't lose heart. Wards are often closed, and patients moved, cuz of winter illnesses. Your Dad and his visitors must of course be scrupulous in their covid/visiting hygiene when you do visit. Your Dad might be glad of a rest if he's had no visitors! 😂 I had surgery during covid and only my husband was allowed to visit for one hour a day, at 11am. It was fine really, gave me time to sleep and recover. I was more concerned about him as the hospital I was in is an hour away. My Dad too was fit and well till his old age and it was scary when he was finally ill. A lot of us on this forum have experienced pulmonary rehab, most positively.

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