Coughing: I'm sorry, I seem to be... - Asthma UK communi...

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-Butterfly- profile image

I'm sorry, I seem to be posting lots just lately!

So, for more than 4 weeks I've had this chest infection, numerous antibiotics and 2 lots of steroids haven't helped and now I've caught a head cold to go with it. Peak flow is around 65% and using ventolin every day.

During the day my cough tends to be very chesty but last night it became very dry and I coughed and coughed and coughed. Every breath in made my chest itch inside which made me need to cough again. My chest was tight and i was out of breath. I wondered if it was my asthma so had 2 puffs of ventolin but this didn't help, so 10 minutes later had 2 more, still no help so wondered if it was actually my asthma, or just the chest infection. Over about an hour I had 10 puffs of ventolin and after half an hour the cough seemed to subside.

This morning my chest is very sore and my cough is back to being chesty.

I'm still taking last lot of antibiotics and awaiting chest xray results so can't go back to the gp until after then.

Anyone ever had this chest itchiness and constant coughing before?

21 Replies

after 10 puffs of ventolin in 1 hour, you should have gone to A&E for a nebuliser at least. That should help the tight and itchy feeling in your chest.

They should be able to see your last x-ray results and may probably take a new one to see how congested your lungs are,

-Butterfly- profile image
-Butterfly- in reply to TuckBox2

I did consider ringing 111 last night but at the time I just wasn't sure if it was my asthma or not, and didn't want to waste people's time if it was just a cough. I've had a tight chest before but not this itchy kind of feeling with constant coughing.

Never thought that they'd be able to see the xray results though. Still waiting to hear from my gp.

Yes. In fact I'm writing this from my hospital bed. It is just like me. Been ill for over a week. Pf 63% on steroids and still no better. On Monday the GP called an ambulance as he thought I had sepsis. Disagreement as to whether to keep me in or let me out. I hope you feel better soon. The cough is the worst isn't it? Itchy right inside.

-Butterfly- profile image
-Butterfly- in reply to Jenhcat

Oh no! Sorry to hear you're in hospital. Have they decided if it is sepsis or not?

Yes the normal chesty cough is bad enough but the constant dry itchy cough is awful and I think I must have pulled a muscle or something as it hurts in one point in my rib cage now with every cough grr.

Hope they sort you out soon xxx

It wasn't sepsis but the GP was worried about how fast I was breathing. Duh! I've been in 3 nights. Allowed home this afternoon to a longer course of steroids...

-Butterfly- profile image
-Butterfly- in reply to Jenhcat

So it was just your asthma?

Yes. That's all. I didn't think I was all that bad. I've been worse but was prepared to submit to expert advice. Sometimes I think we know best though.

-Butterfly- profile image
-Butterfly- in reply to Jenhcat

Yeah I sometimes think 'hmm maybe the gp actually has a point' ..... then think 'or maybe not' when they spout some rubbish about your asthma being fine because you're not wheezing!!

I think this whole episode with me stared as a chest infection but is now just my irritated lungs that want a big chunk of steroid and a step up in preventer .... but what do I know?!

What you know is your body! I am now lucky that following a long exacerbation 4 years ago (which included being sent home from A&E with the words "you're not having an asthma attack, there's no wheeze, your sats are 98% you've probably got a cold") I had taken 20 puffs of inhaler just to reach A&E in one piece -next time dial 999 and maybe don't take as much inhaler in case it actually works?! Anyway I was ill for 12 weeks back then so I'm allowed to keep a box of prednisolone at home and my GP is actually quick on the uptake. He put me on them last Tuesday when I was thinking of waiting a few days. Not that it worked out after this week's stay in hospital, but we know ourselves best. May be worth asking about a rescue pack of prednisolone at home if you have a few exacerbations like this. They should look at your history and realise you are right!

-Butterfly- profile image
-Butterfly- in reply to Jenhcat

Oh my goodness, that's awful and how very wrong that could've gone for you! It scares me that that happened and will happen all the time! And at a time when you're unable to argue with them. 😣😠

Having a pack at home is worth an ask, I will be going back on Monday as I've now finished this lot of antibiotics ... and surprise, I'm still no better, so will ask then. If anything, what started in my left lung is now upsetting both 😕

Hmm, me and you on opposite sides of the scale now. You can't get the steroids you need and I want to not be on them but am looking at a possible long haul that I might not need. Frustrated with doctors receptionist playing God this morning and not only demanding that if I want a sick note I have to see the on call doctor today despite them phoning an ambulance on Monday, but also that I can't even speak to the doctor I want to talk to before next Wednesday! I want to get off these steroids before the 2 weeks mark if I can as the withdrawal effects 4 years ago were horrendous despite a reducing dose. I spent a day thinking I was dying. Oh these drugs...the best thing and the worst too! Hope you get what you need. Keep making a nuisance of yourself! It tends to work eventually!

-Butterfly- profile image
-Butterfly- in reply to Jenhcat

Oh that sounds like the circus at my gps!!

Yes maybe we could swap places ha ha.

Good luck getting yourself sorted out once you've battled the receptionists!!

Yes, I must remember to be more assertive!

-Butterfly- profile image
-Butterfly- in reply to Jenhcat

Chest xray results back, need to see gp to discuss.... soonest I can get in is a week on Monday. Good job the gp comment was make a routine appt 😣

I could ring on the day next week but then I risk seeing a useless locum

According to the notes I'll need a repeat xray doing too. No point yet, no change!

Jenhcat profile image
Jenhcat in reply to -Butterfly-

A week on Monday! OMG what do these doctors do to us?

You could have been in and out of hospital by then. They just do not get it do they? I would be inclined to insist you see someone today and you might just drop on a good locum. My preferred GP was a locum the day they sent me home from A&E with "it's a cold" and luckily he ended up staying at our surgery. Now I am reluctant to see anyone else but will always make a nuisance of myself if need be. Not leaving the house today. I've bugged my asthma consultant's secretary instead even though I got discharged from there in May.

I'm sure it's cheaper to prescribe something than the cost of emergency admission...

-Butterfly- profile image
-Butterfly- in reply to Jenhcat

Oh tell me, I'm not happy!! By a week on Monday I'll have had this issue for 6 weeks, I have no idea what potentially irreparable damage is being done to my lungs not to mention the rest of my body which is having to try and manage on lungs working at 65%!! The last gp I saw even commented that my hands were shaking and probably from the extra strain my body is under! Argghh

Anyway I thought I'd wait until this Monday ( then I've had the weekend off antibiotics so they can't say 'they might still work yet') and then demand to be seen and I'll keep the week on Monday appointment incase the locum I see is rubbish or if they say to come back in a week etc.

Any hint of it getting worse and I'll be ringing 111 or 999 .

😔 sorry, rant over!!

Wise move. Please take care. It's so frustrating for you I'm sure. Let me know how you get on. Hope there's no frantic out of hours crisis over the weekend but if there is do not turn up at A&E in a car, from my experience you are taken much more seriously if there's an ambulance involved...let's hope there won't need to be, but if they had got their act together at the docs you wouldn't be at this stage!

-Butterfly- profile image
-Butterfly- in reply to Jenhcat

Thank you for your support and I will keep you posted. My fingers will be firmly crossed that there'll be no weekend mishaps either 😊

Hi Butterfly yes you need to go back until you get seen and are satisfied with the treatment. it is unfortunate I know..sometimes it is not the right antibiotic for the bacteria you have, did they give you a mucus test? they do a culture and know what antibiotic is the best option..also sometimes the steroids dosage is not adequate which is why you are still inflamed and the antibiotics cannot get to the bottom of the infection if the lungs are full of mucus..Ask for urgent referral or something, go and squat A& of luck dear.

-Butterfly- profile image
-Butterfly- in reply to

Thanks happy London. No I haven't had a mucus test done yet although I don't actually get much up so might be hit and miss!

I'm not on any steroids apart from inhalers at the minute and I think that's what I need. It makes sense what you say about the mucus preventing this getting any better.

I'm hoping to see ANY gp tomorrow!

How you doing today Butterfly? I'm back in the green zone (some of the time) but the prednisolone is driving me mad. Feel so ramped up. Hope you're managing through the weekend OK and get something sorted tomorrow. Roll on Monday!

-Butterfly- profile image
-Butterfly- in reply to Jenhcat

I'm not so bad thank you for asking, no improvement but no deterioration either which is good.

Yay glad you've made it green, at least some of the time!

Yes roll on Monday 😊

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