Pneumonia : I was ill for 5 weeks, with... - Asthma UK communi...

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Pneumonia

Carriejen profile image

I was ill for 5 weeks, with a suspected chest infection and couldn't get time off work to go to gp. This turned into pneumonia, 2 courses of antibiotics, 2 courses of steroids and 2 weeks off work recovering. I went back to work on Tuesday but am still quite unwell. Im not relying on my reliever inhaler as much but still breathless in the morning and woke up through the night last night feeling quite wheezy. Still getting a bit out of breath, coughing a lot and my chest still feels heavy and quite wet? If that makes sense. I'm feeling much better than I was but still not quite well, and I don't know whether or not to contact my gp or nurse again, or whether this is me just very slowly getting better. Does anyone have any advice?

18 Replies

I would go back to your GP. It sounds like you have gone back to work too early. Maybe you need another course of antibiotics- your GP may want to do a sputum test. Maybe you just need more recovery time. Hopefully your GP will be able to advise

Carriejen profile image
Carriejen in reply to Troilus

I had amoxicillan and then doxycycline, plus 2 courses of prednisolone. I feel better today actually than I did yesterday but I will contact gp thank you!

Agree to go back to GP. You might need more time. pneumonia cab take many weeks to recover from. Also have a look at the breathing exercises on the British Lung Foundation site as these can really help post-infection/post-exacerbation.

Carriejen profile image
Carriejen in reply to twinkly29

They did mention I could be 6 weeks plus for full recovery which is why i was a bit wart about going back to gp. Last time I phoned the doctor because they was feeling a bit worse and the receptionist told me to finish my antibiotics and I ended up needing an ambulance and a hospital trip that night so i am super wary of contacting them as they are so strict and not very nice. But ill get in touch. I don't think work is helping as it's retail and a lot of heavy work. Thank you though!

twinkly29 profile image
twinkly29 in reply to Carriejen

I meant that the GP might need to sign you off if you're not well enough to work - sorry, I didn't make that clear before!

Carriejen profile image
Carriejen in reply to twinkly29

I'm just concerned that my gp might not do anything as they don't seem to be doing physical appointments at the minute.

twinkly29 profile image
twinkly29 in reply to Carriejen

They shouldn't need to see you in person. They can do it over the phone. But as they themselves said several weeks to recover I would hope they understand if it's too early to go back.

Carriejen profile image
Carriejen in reply to twinkly29

Got a call back from the nurse practitioner who wants to see me in person tomorrow, so I have an appointment at 9! Thanks for advice

Not sure why the receptionist is giving out medical advise? Also sounds like you have gone back to work very quickly when there are other options available? Apart from having more time off sick, there are also options for graduated return, doing different duties, working from home and I expect more. Have you got access to Occupational Health?

The receptionists at my practise are horrendous for gatekeeping getting access to the doctor and for giving out medical advice. I phoned once with breathing trouble (just after having a chest infection and steroids, I ended up getting a second lot of steroids) and she told me I sounded like I was breathing perfectly fine to her 🤣 I I have access to OH but am leaving this job in about 6 days anyway

Sounds particularly dangerous to me. Are medical and nursing staff aware! Does the practice manager know that receptionist are working outside of the job role and competencies? If you’re going on to a different job, all the best.

We've got a receptionist who won't pass it on to the doctor if you're still taking a course of antibiotics but having had no joy there I went to our lovely pharmacist and he said I needed to speak to a doctor so I rang the surgery back and repeated what the pharmacist had said and the same receptionist put me on the list straight away.

Yes you should go back to your gp. Sounds like you went back to work far too early from being so unwell.Don’t know where you work but I would be considering complaining that it is highly likely you became SO unwell because they wouldn’t let you have time to visit gp….. also by insisting you work with a chest infection put other colleagues at risk!

Carriejen profile image
Carriejen in reply to Bevvy

I have 12 more shifts in that place and I am leaving, partly related to this treatment and partly related to their handling of... everything really 🤣 so no point complaining as it won't make much difference. But that's good to know the general consensus is another gp appointment. My 2 doses of steroids were about 4 or 5 days apart as well. I'll give my gp a call today thank you!

After something like pneumonia I would be asking for a phased return to work. This means that your working day is split between attendance and sick leave. You slowly build up your hours over time, by agreement with your manager or HR. It's a good way to accommodate certain recoveries and get employees back to work safely. Enlightened GPs can recommend a phased return, but some don't like to become involved in work issues and will just sign you off. But it sounds like you've already decided to leave because of their poor treatment of employees. Take care.

Hi Carriejen - I agree with the others to go back to GP to recheck. I had severe pneumonia and was in hospital for 10 days. Had an Xray 2 weeks before but it didn't show anything so I thought it was flu. I also didn't have a fever. Pneumonia can develop quickly and can be tricky. It took me almost 3 months to feel myself again, but I hope you feel better soon!

Carriejen profile image
Carriejen in reply to Achoo84

My chest xray was clear last week and my blood test infection markers were also pretty low so they said I looked like I am infection free. I think that I might just be needing a but more time to recover. Am feeling better today though :)

I would strongly advise you take the time to sign up with Patient Access of NHS App which will give you the ability to book both phone and F2F appointments on line with a GP of your choice and date/time that suits you. My GP is brilliant- lots of appointments available from Monday through to the end of the month- avoids receptionist gatekeepers!!!

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