Gp says it's just one of those things!

Well I went back to the dr today and was given ciproflokacin and steroids, he said these should clear it! when I asked him why he thought I was getting so many chest infs he said, Just one of those things. I explained I've had at least 7 chest infs this yr most needing two or more lots of anti to clear them. He says I've just been unfortunate. Should I make a app with the dr or copd nurse for a referral? Or is it just one of those things?

39 Replies

It is too easy for the GP to say just one of those things. How could he/she without further investigation and review of medication. Are you breathless. Have you been to the respiratory clinic for tests.

Coughing and breathless. I've had a spiro test by the copd nurse at the surgery

Oops replied in the wrong box! Lol

Hi Jeannaanne

If you are not already under a specialist respiratory consultant I would be asking your GP for a referral to determine the nature of your lung disease. Also a sputum sample with each lung infection would be helpful to determine what virus or bacteria is infecting your lungs.

Also if you have not yet attended one, I would recommend asking your GP or Consultant for a referral to a pulmonary rehabilitation course where you can learn more about how to manage your symptoms and how to help yourself avoid further lung infections.

You need to be aiming for stability of your condition, the PR course can help you in that direction, so can an accurate diagnosis through a specialising consultant which involves much more than a spirometry test.

Best wishes BC

Why is it do you think that I'm not automaticity referred. I've asked in the pass about a sputum test and they say, "we'll see how you get on" ...Right I'm on it ASAP I'll ring and book an app with the Gp I can't carry on like this anymore. Thanks for your advise.

Next time you're in the surgery, ask at reception for some sample pots. If they ask why, just lie and say the Doctor asked. Then you'll be able to take a fresh sample in for your next GP appt. plonk it on the desk and say "I've brought you a sample! I'd like it tested please ". Xx

Wish mine worked on the "3 strikes policy" I hopefully would have be sorted at long time ago. I'll ring tomorrow for an app next week! Thanks very much x

Do you see the same GP each time and are there others in the team? I would find out if one of your GP's has a specific interest in respiratory disorders and book an immediate appointment with him/her to talk over your concerns.

Ciprofloxacin is an excellent strong antibiotic which my specialist keeps in the background for serious infections of the 'pseudamonas' bug. Its presence is determined by a sputum sample which is sent to the lab before I start the drugs. I would not be given cipro 'on spec'.

7 infections, each needing 2 different abs (14abs!), in one year and no sample analysis? Do you have purulent sputum? If not - I'm not sure what the dr hopes cipro will do.

Flibberti says it all '3 strikes...' and THEY'RE out! Go back,see another dr and take list if all dates/antibiotics/doseages etc. Show you mean business.

Well with the reaction from all you guys it informs me I should push for a referral which I will now. THANKS It's hard when I've seen different dr and nurses and none have referred me especially after I was diagnosed with copd and I have questioned a few times the amount of chest infs I'm having and I just get the same more or less reply "see how you get on with theses" it makes me feel like I'm moaning for no reason then you feel guilty you could be taking the appointment someone more serious who needs it. I'll read through these again before I go so you are all in my thoughts.. Be positive and assertive lol


Absolutely agree with all your friend's comments jeannaanne. 'We'll see how you get on' (cop out - next please) - well you haven't got on very well. Just don't understand why doc isn't sending in samples to see what bug you are growing so he can get the right medication. Time to be assertive - ask for a referral to a respiratory consultant soon as hun and don't allow yourself to be talked out of it.

good luck

love cx

Thanks very much I WILL,

Hi Jeananne, I went to the GP this morning, felt so awful I could hardly speak sense.

We have an 'emergency appointment system' & get who ever is doing them on the day. She was running 40 mins late by which time I'd recovered from the walk to surgey (I lie I drove half way of a 10 minute walk), recovered from silently crying in my usual corrner seat & recovered from perspiring, feeling faint etc.

I had 5 minutes. Anyway she got it, gave me another 3 days of Azithromycin, a sputum pot with a form to ensure tests will show I'm taking the correct antiB, also gave me an x-ray form to get an x-ray on Thursday if I dont feel any.better then. She said "you must be so fed up but the answer will be in that pot and on the x-ray".

So there you are, a proper GP doing her proper job.

I started just like you. Over & over pneumonias & chronic bronchitis. I think that because every time I went in on the 5 min emergency appt that my treatment wasnt joined up until a particularly conscientious Doc asked for a CT scan on 19/12/12 (yes, I remember the date)! That was also the 1st time I was given an antiB that almost worked, Azith. This process took 4 years!! Dont let that happen to you.

If I had my time over I would have got a private CT scan instead of waiting the further 6 months it took to get one.

Hi Stitch, d'you mean the process or getting a private CT scan? R you any better yourself??

Bless you I hope you start to feel better soon. Your Gp sounds great. I hope I don't have to wait that long for a scan! I'm going to ask for a ct scan when I go.. Here's hoping. I don't think I've had pneumonia the dr says it's a chest infection. My chest feels very inflamed very hot. The side effects of these antib look very scary! :-( You Take care x

You take care too, drink plenty to moisten up the crapdoodle. Luckily most of the GP's are good at my practice, see a differnt one every time. Sometimes I wonder if I get decent attention because i'm British!!

Peeg I am so sorry to hear you are poorly again, but I am glad your GP is a good one, you deserve the best treatment, you are so kind to everyone that comes into this site. Get well soon

And Jeannaanne PLEASE insist that you get referred to a consultant lung specialist, You need to get this all sorted out so your doctor will get the info he needs from the Consultant about what treatment he wants you to have

Good luck to you too

Love Sohara

Bless you Sohara :). My flu like symptoms are gone today, phew. Just the chest to get sorted now xxx

Peeg - Morning! :-) I like the name crapdoodle Lol. Glad you have good Gps and that you have got sorted. I'm pretty good when it comes to water I drink loads of it, I think some of my inhalers make me thirsty too.

Sohara - I will! after reading the responses yesterday (from you lovely guys) I feel confidant that I'm not making a fuss.

that's the spirit. Start taking action now so you have a better future.

I cant tell you how my life has changed since coming on this site last Spring. Learnt so much from PR & lovely people here in understanding the various conditions & help myself. After over 4 years of continuous infections I've now got this one but it's after 7 glorious months of being infection free so I'm optimistic that I can get over this. :)

:-) Wow 7 months infection free sounds amazing forgotten how that must free, very pleased for you and thinking of you and a speedy recovery :-). I really hope I don't have to wait too long for the app to come through. Do you know if once I see a specialist, will I be helped there and then or is it lots of more appointments to the hospital? Sorry for more questions don't want to be a pain.

The specialist will probably want to run a series of tests and proceedures (can take a few months) to rule out certain conditions or confirm her/his thoughts. He/she may take a sputum sample there and then - not sure about prescribing abs - probably would want to see what bug is grown. I once had a blood test done by my consultant because I was feeling awful. She got an immediate result which showed I had an infection so she recommended I got an ab from my gp whilst awaiting sample result.

Thanks for the info!

Dont you worry, ask away. We've all been there and if we can help someone get results sooner rather than later ......

My 1st appt with cons took 6 months to come through, the 1st request for referral 'disappeared' but when I asked gp to chase it up it came through within weeks - lesson 1; if it's taking too long dont accept it, there could be a mistake somewhere -

Cons referred me for lung function and skin prick tests (because my gp had written that some of my sputum tests were positive for Aspergillosis) + plus a blood test, that took 3-4 weeks to come through.

2nd appt with cons a few weeks later wasnt very helpful he still refused to let me have a CT scan & insisted I'd never had pneumonia or chronic infections & that GPs dont know what they're talking about AND that there was nothing wrong!!!

3rd appt I refused to see con & saw a registrar who was wonderful, arranged a CT scan for following week (by this time I'd got copies of all my relevant medical notes & she was very symathetic. She ordered a 2nd batch of more involved lung function tests.

By 4th app she had my CT scan results, showed me the damage so far - by this time though I had been on here for a while & done PR to learn breathing tecniques & I'd not had an infection for 4 months so was much stronger.

All in all a good while since the first request for a CT scan on 19/12.2012!!

I'm sure it isn't always as long.I was unlucky

The CT scan is the key to a diagnosis along with the lung function tests.

BTW on my PR course I learnt I'd been taking asthma inhalers wrongly for 3 years. No-one showed me how to take Seretide with a spacer properly when it was changed from Symbicort leaving my asthma not properly controlled.

Hi Jean.It might not affect you but i took ciprofloxacin with steroids and i caught achilles tendonitis and could not walk properly for 10 days.Apparantly there is a 1 in 100 chance that you might get this side effect and i was the1.Be warned!!. Love Bengunn.xx.

Hi Bengunn oh dear that sounds painful it's scary to think of the side effects of these antib. The Gp did warn me they may keep me awake at night, I slept well!

Hi Jeannaanne, it took me two years of visiting the doctors every 6 - 8 weeks when I got recurring chest infections before I was referred to 'the chest clinic' at the local hospital. Luckily the consultant also worked at Papworth Hospital and asked me if I would like to go there to see the specialists. Of course I went, was admitted and given iv antibiotics etc. and have been under their care ever since. If I have a problem I just ring up, there is a specialist nurse on the end of the phone who will get your notes and advise what to do. So, based on my experience and all the advice others have given you you have to be firm with your doctor and ask for further investigations. Good Luck. Lizzy.

Hi Skinnylizzy59 it's really shocking that some Gp didn't refer you sooner. Can't believe I've just said that when I've let it carry on for years!! Lol I think they have this knack of making us feel inferior or could it be that we put our trust in them thinking they know best when actually they are human and make mistakes too, who knows. Maybe I should have researched more myself. Just don't understand how any Gp can make us feel we have to pressure them into caring for us (their patients) correctly?! Oops moan over. :-) for the rest of the day. I really hope I'm as lucky as you have been Lizzy I would be overjoyed!!! X

Make an app with doc and ask for appointment with consultant. Ciprofloxacin is indicatged in C.dif infection. You need sputum test to find out what infection you have so that he can give you th right ab.

Ciprofloxacin should not be given 'on spec' in my opinion ie without identifying the bug causing the problem. I relied on cipro for many years but can't take it now because the pseudamonas bug is now resistant to it. It is overused and now I have to go into hospital for iv antibiotics for 2 weeks when I have a flare-up.

Cipro can cause tendon problems and has other side effects. But I have been having it for over 20yrs and have had no side effects so try not to worry too much - just be aware that these problems might occur.

Thank you all for the advise. Taking antibiotics is worrying.

I have had two lots of flu which lead to chest infections my last one over Christmas I had steroids and two lots of antibiotics and it's still not clear I'm fed up not sure if I should ask for more antibiotics if I get another chest infection in the next few weeks the ab's might not work

I know it's worrying and boring sitting around. I think you need to do what others have advised me to do, request a sputum to be sent off! Hope you get better soon

Thank you but it was going to the GP's I got the flu I really do have a fear of going to places I might get a cold or flu it's a case of dammed if you do and dammed if you don't

YES, you should see a consultant and be referred to a pulmonary nurse. GPs give cipro because "it's strong". But that's not the point. Have a sputum sample taken and analysed. The microbiologist will determine which drug is effective. You must ask to whomever writes the form to include this question about which drug is effective, if not they will overlook it! You must do your pushing, if not that's what they'll answer you "Just one of those things", NO it isn't! You have every right to have your needs satisfied. Keep your confidence high and go ahead!

I've got to call at the surgery at 8am on Friday to get a app with the Gp I want to see so hopefully I'll be back with something positive to say! :-)

Hi Jeannaanne, definitely do not take no for an answer and ask to be referred to a specialist. after being diagnosed with bronchiectasis in 2010 after 18 months of coughing and complete misery I was given a bronchoscope and later discharged from my consultants care. However for the last two years I have had back to back infections all of which was treated with antibiotics. Feeling fed up and frustrated with my doctor who pretty much left me to my own devices and said the same as yours I decided to phone up my consultants secretary asking to see him again, and amazingly I got an appointment that very week! After a brief chat about my symptoms and upon my insistence he referred me to Professor Wilson at the Royal Brompton hospital who I saw two weeks ago. It was here that I learned that after my bronchoscope in October 2011 I had been discharged with a collapsed lower left lobe and a pus sump which was continually oozing out pus! I am due to go in to the royal Brompton on the 22 nd of this month. During my appointment with Prof Wilson he stated that I have two to five years left if I go on as I am!!!!!! So please insist on being referred back to your consultant.

Follow your instincts, you know your own body, I knew there was something very wrong but I trusted my doctor who kept telling me that this is the nature of bronchiectasis. I wish I'd have made that call much sooner. Good luck, hope you get sorted soon xx

Wow, what a story Kissi, blooming horrendous. Thank goodness you rang back your consultant and were assertive enough to demand referral to RBH.

A friend of mine is a Professor of Medcine, he did some research for me and told me Prof Wilson is the best. You'll be in good hands.

All the best for the 22nd :)

Thank you Peeg! Yes I looked him up he is an expert in bronchiectasis and infection of which I have both. But it's fantastic to have his reputation confirmed by your specialist friend. And thanks for your good wishes for the 22nd I can't wait to get myself feeling better :)

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