Not sure whether I should be going back to doctor (not emergency)

I feel I've been moaning a lot so sorry for yet another post!

Edit: everyone had a good and hopefully Costa-free Easter?

Not feeling so good after travelling back from holiday yesterday (lots of getting on and off buses with suitcase, walking round airports etc then not really good, even if all done at snail's pace).

It's not an urgent kind of 'go to hospital' feel bad, more a steady state of coughing and being breathless pretty much all the time, grrr, and not wanting to get up and go across the room because it makes things worse. I feel like if it's not immediately urgent (and I don't think it is) I can manage, but not sure if I ought to be looking for help while I wait to hear from the consultant (physiologist at repeat lung function tests, who knows her, assured me she would be in touch).

Might be just the Easter break, but I feel in limbo and there doesn't seem much point going to my GP when she referred me in the first place because she was out of ideas!

Don't think anyone can really give me advice on this, but has anyone else had the same thing of feeling like they're not bad enough to really push for help (I don't want to be annoying when I know they're horrendously busy) but still wanting something to happen soon, if that makes sense?

Maybe I should just wait till next week and things will start to move. Sorry for rambling, not really with it atm!

7 Replies

  • I know what you mean, it's a bit tricky sometimes. You're probably feeling rough after your hol (sorry, that doesnt sound right but you know what I mean) but I think you should still get checked by GP. It could be a chest infection brewing and it's better to err on the side of caution.

    The last time I had a bad chest infection I waited too long to go to the GP and it took me a long time to recover. Wish I'd gone sooner!

  • Thanks for reply! I do know what you mean, shame that a holiday does that really. I was surprisingly ok (or rather, no worse) after the journey out despite getting up at 5am, but think it was because I then sat around and did nothing! Journey back seems to have aggravated things, maybe because I did packing/unpacking and other stuff on the same day.

    Did the chest infection creep up on you? Atm this just feels like the same as ever, same cough, same breathlessness but more of it more often. I am finding though that a day like yesterday will mark a step downwards - after it I'll feel persistently worse. Makes it harder to do anything about it because I adjust, more or less - it's never what I call 'acute'.

    Ugggh, sorry, still moaning! I really wish they'd be more adventurous with medication, I'm sure there must be plenty I haven't tried yet, but they're not sure so nada.

    Meant to say I hope everyone else has had a good Easter and not been captured etc!

  • I knew I had chest infection but stupidly thought it would just clear the time I went to the doctor it had taken hold and asthma was really bad. I'm the opposite with my son, take him to the doctor all the time!

    That aside, I do think you should get GP to listen to your chest asap. Have a good rest over the weekend, I hope things improve. xx

  • Waste of time (apologies if ranting)

    Uggh, just feel like I wasted everyone's time!

    Felt worse this evening (or was I imagining it?) - seemed (even) more breathless and bit tight-chested, so ended up ringing NHS Direct. They contacted out of hours, out of hours doctor rang me (somehow all the stuff I told NHS Direct didn't get passed on) and she said 'You could have an urgent appt if you really want or you could just wait for consultant/investigations'. Really wasn't sure (she didn't give me any advice either way) but opted for the appt in the end as I used loads of blue and it didn't seem to help - though it often doesn't with me.

    OOH dr basically said 'well, you probably do have some kind of lung issue but nothing we can do this evening, PF, sats and air entry are good and you can talk, you may be hyperventilating a bit. Wait for investigations.'

    Fair enough, I can see his point (and he was really nice about it), but now feel like a bit of a drama queen plus wasted £14 on taxis (OOH centre is not near me). NHS direct did think I needed to see someone this evening. I might have waited till tomorrow if it hadn't been bank holiday but probably would have dithered. Dr did say he might have done the same in my position though.

    Ugggh, sorry. I know it's really good that I don't need Costa, it's not like some people have to deal with a lot and it's not urgent but feel a bit frustrated because am so stupidly breathless now, feel restricted in what I can do, and everything moves so slowly in the NHS!

  • Sorry no advice really, but just wanted to sympathise about feeling as if you're wasting people's time. A while ago I had my first and only bad attack, which lasted several hours, ended up taking 8 puffs of ventolin in a row because I had got to the point where I couldn't talk and went pale. That helped but started getting breathless again so OH rang NHS direct, who spoke to me on the phone and rang an ambulance as I couldn't talk properly as was so breathless and had pain in chest and ribs. I continued to take 2 puffs ventolin every 2 minutes while waiting and by the time a first responder and the ambulance arrived was feeling a bit better, scared and a bit out of breath but clearly ok. They completed all the tests but sats were 98 and picked up to 99 and could talk fine to them by then. Pulse was fast the first time they did it as had been a bit panicked but second time was fine. I felt really silly even though they were really nice about it and did say they would take me in if I wanted but I didn't feel I needed to.

    I also can't imagine what it would be like to be constantly breathless without ventolin to relieve it as it's bad enough having episodes of it on and off, so you have my sympathy.

  • Thanks spookymilo :)

    Glad to hear you got your attack under control - definitely sounds like Ventolin worked its magic there, but also good that the paramedics were understanding that you'd managed to control it before they arrived. I think it's also good you had someone with you, as I never know when I'm on my own if I'm exaggerating, or the opposite, and I had no idea what to do after NHS Direct said 'right, we're going to get you an appointment, you need to see someone tonight' but then when the doctor rang me she was saying 'well, up to you, you don't have to see someone'. Was so glad the OOH dr was understanding and not one of those who make you feel like a malingerer as those ones are bad enough just everyday at the GP without encountering one late at night when you're not sure if it's an emergency!

  • Yes I know what you mean about being on your own, if my OH isn't here I tend not to realise how bad I am because I'm not talking and if I sit still I can feel not too bad, whereas if I was talking to him I would realise how out of breath I actually was. Sometimes he actually asks me why I'm breathing so heavily when I haven't realised as well. It is hard to know how bad things are - at the time I didn't really think I needed to go to hospital but obviously seemed bad because he wanted to take me straightaway, hence compromising and phoning NHS direct. The paramedics did say that they nickname them NHS redirect as they always seem to call an ambulance.

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