Chest pains when asthma asthma acting up

Hey, first of all this is nothing to worry about, it's an innocent question and my gp/team are aware of it!! so no need for worry or alarm :-)

I've had pretty horrible asthma for a while and it's never been great.

Over the past couple of months, I've been really quite unwell with my asthma and due to a number of factors I've been admitted to ITU twice in the last month - been before but it's an awful experience.

I've been struggling alot with both infections and allergies. And not really recovering properly before the next big attack.

Recently I've been struggling with pain in my accessory muscles and ribs as well as across my back and shoulders/neck. Having spoken to the team when I have been in hospital and my GP, we are of the opinion that it is because my lungs are acting up and I have been working hard for a long time.

The issue is I have been taking paracetamol and my GP has prescribed codeine. But it's not doing a lot and the pain is upsetting my breathing. I also suspect I have another infection brewing as the bottom of my left lung is really sore and I don't feel as though I can get a deep breath, as well as a temp etc.

I just wondered how familiar this sounds to others? I am seeing my GP tomorrow as she's checking up lots at the minute because of how volatile my asthma is being.

Thanks guys xx

5 Replies

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  • Sounds fairly normal to me. Have you been examined to ensure it's not pleuritic pain? (They will hear a 'rub' when they listen to your chest). The pleural membranes get inflamed and rub together when you breathe, causing pain. I'm surprised your GP has prescribed codeine for an asthmatic with chest infection... It's not advised in asthmatics as it's a cough suppressant and can cause sputum retention - the last thing you need with a chest infection!

    Hope you're feeling better soon x

  • Last time I was in I had the normal chest X-ray and then as always my chest was listened to lots as well. So with it at first being doctors in A&E and then doctors in ITU and lots of respiratory doctors, in guessing they will have listened/looked for pleurisy?

    I can't take NSAIDS or aspirin and I was given codeine whilst in hospital. Up until having it then my gp had been reluctant to prescribe as she said it can make asthma worse, but I must air if never asked for it. Both ITU admissions recently I've had several days of IV antibiotics, but this time whe. I was discharged my WBC and crp levels were muchlower than on admission, so was discharged without antibiotics as there was no indication :-)

    I'll have another chat with my GP tomorrow though ... She is so lovely, amazingly supportive. I'm so lucky! Xx

  • Hi Laurs!

    I get the same thing! My docs first time thought it was kidney pain but after lots of tests they found out its from the asthma. They were surprised as well as me but I even had morphine given to me (although only once) to relieve the pain as sometimes I cannot breathe AT ALL from the pain.

    Yes after ITU admission its usually worse now because my heart goes crazy the docs want to do an aniogram which I refused as they struggle to put a normal needle in me not something like this. The best way to get rid of the pain is by trying to control your breathing.

    I had breathing rate of 60. I do not know how I can manage that but I was a player. Basketball player. Maybe thats how I can do that. But generally my chest gets really tight. So thats the way my body compensates.

    Yesterday I rang the docs but they said use some painkillers for now or go to A&E if breathing is getting bad. And to mention this to the cons next week. But I haven't found a cure yet. Maybe sometimes tramadol.

    Sorry for late reply but was in hospital as usual. Hope you get better and if you find a solution let us know!

  • I'm at the point now where I have pretty chronic lung pain, it was getting to the point I was getting more infections and attacks going wrong as i was in agony if i made any attempt to take a full breath. Combined with the fact that since my catheterisation I have hadalmost constant UTIs which have headed up to my kidneys leaving them inflammed I have been given ridiculous quantities of opiates recently which i hate, im completely terrified and paranoid about getting adicted to pain meds and they knock me out, which i dont mind too much when im in hospital, but when I get home it gets pretty frustrating!

    Anyway,long story short, went to GP and we had an appt specifically about pain management. I have tried most non-drug type things that i can think of, i get a bit of relief from heat bags, but nothing else did much! We discussed Nefopam, and we've given it a go. I've only been on it about a week but its been AMAZING for me. My understanding is that it is very hit and miss, it can do nothing at all for some people, and it can have awful side effects in others, but for me I havent noticed any side effects at all, but my pain is dramatically better. I take one tablet three times a day maintainance, but can increase up to 3 tablets three times a day if my pain is bad. That on top of regular paracetamol has allowed me to completely stop the opiate based pain relief i was using which is brilliant! Not perfect for everyone, but worth looking into or discussing if you're struggling with pain!

  • Actually thats a good idea ! I might ask my doc for it but gp is refusing to me even salbutamol!

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