Chest infection recovery ..again

Hi there, haven't been on here for a while but I wondered if I could have some advice or probably more of a rant!?

Last month I had a chest infection from which I had recovered.

This month I started with terrible joint pains, a fever, chills and sweats and a chesty cough.(much different to last infection) After 3 days I saw the gp who said I had another chest infection, and gave me antibiotics. This time my peak flow dropped to around 350 from 570. Again I took the antibiotics, doubled my preventer and used ventolin as necessary which was quite frequently. After 6 days of antibiotic I returned to the gp as I felt no better, 9 days now of the symptoms. He said this was obviously a more severe infection so changed my antibiotic and gave me oral steroids. I've now had 4 days of this new medication and whilst the other symptoms have gone, I'm left with the chesty cough and reduced peak flow. I can't lay on my back or my left side as I feel as though I'm drowning, even at rest I can hear my lungs popping, wheezing and gurgling and even short journeys have me out of breath. Will the cough take longer to go? Should I wait until I've taken all of the antibiotics before going back to the gp? Am I really going to get infections this frequently?!

Sorry it's a bit of an essay! Thank you in advance.

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18 Replies

  • I would go back to your GP. He will probably tell you to finish your antibiotics, but you don't sound well. If you get worse in any way, ring your GP or out of hours. If it is even worse, go straight to A&E. As for frequent infections, I think if your asthma is not under control, it leads to frequent chest infections. At least that is what my consultant said. Are you under a consultant or asthma nurse? If not, ask to be referred. If so, speak to them about it because the GP won't necessarily understand. Hope you feel better soon. x

  • Thanks for your reply. I will get back to the gp on Monday, I'll have just about finishes the antibiotics and steroids by then anyway. My lungs feel and sound so very full of gunk, it's not pleasant! I'm finding it very embarrassing how much noise they are making especially if I have to walk places as I get so out of breath which makes the rattle and wheeze worse.

    No I just see the gp for my asthma and don't see them very often, only if there's a problem! Do you think I should ask to see a consultant, I don't think my asthma is usually that bad?

  • I would ask to see a consultant. If your GP won't refer you, ask if you can see an asthma nurse through the surgery, if the post exists. It doesn't matter if your asthma is usually fine, you should still have someone who you can go to in order to address any concerns you have about your asthma care. I hope you get some joy from your GP. x

  • Ah ok I see, I shall see what the gp says then thank you. We did have an asthma nurse at the surgery but it's some time since I saw her so I'm not sure I if she is still there.

  • I have similar experiences and have had chest infections triggering severe asthma that have needed 4-5 weeks of antibiotics and steroid treatments. You must go back to your GP.

  • Oh dear 4-5 weeks of steroids and antibiotics! I will get back to my gp on Monday. Thank you for your reply.

  • I'd go back. Maybe a chest X-ray and if you re able a sputum sample to the lab?

  • I will go back on Monday. What would a chest x-ray show (sorry if that's a dumb question!). I'm having trouble actually getting anything up, it's all just stuck in my lungs but I will try. Does a sample need to be kept in anything particular? Thinking I could take it with me to gp. (Nice!)

  • A chest x-ray would show if you have pneumonia. There are other things it shows in regards to the lungs but I'm not sure of the details.

  • An X-ray will shows signs of consolidation (infection). It'll also show if your over inflated which can happen if not breathing right. A specimen should be taken as near as possible to your appointment. It should ideally be in a proper lab pot so if you are able to collect one before hand that would be best

  • OK I see thank you. I shall see what I can do then. Hopefully the gp will think that a chest x-ray is a good idea. Why would they have not thought about doing that already?

  • It's not the first line. Taking a history and good clinical assessment would be the first thing you do.

    In Primary care getting a X-ray, having it reported and then speaking to the patient is not as easy as in hospital. Means the patient has to go to X-ray department adding to your " journey".

    Hope you feel better soon.

  • OK I see. Yeah I don't really have the energy at the moment for going back and forth to different places!

    I would however, like to get this sorted!

  • I would speak to your gp, I had this and it last for 4 months, ended up on iv antibiotics in hospital for a week. If it gets worse call the 111 service.

  • I will be sure to ring 111 if it gets any worse. It doesn't seem to be any worse, just no signs of getting better. I really don't want to have to end up in hospital so will hope the gp visit tonorrow is useful.

  • Perhaps if you have to wait until Monday to see a GP, it would be better to go straight to the hospital. "Feeling as if you are drowning" while on your back or left side sounds like it is time to get X-rays or further tests which are better done at the hospital.

  • I did describe these feelings to the gp when I was last there, he said that it was understandable given how congested my lungs are and suggested that a sleep sat up.


    I saw my gp today, well a different one to who I've seen previously for this chest infection. They were particularly rushed and not very thorough. Apparently there is a lot of noise still in one lung and the infection clearly hasn't cleared. I explained again about the drowning feeling but this was dismissed. I also said how even though I've been on oral steroids, I'm still having to use my blue inhaler a lot and my peak flow is only around 55%, the gp didn't seem too alarmed and just said what did I expect with an infection, just keep using the blue inhaler. I asked about a chest x-ray but he just said, the results of that wouldn't change the management so would be a waste. So I have another week of antibiotics and steroids.

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