British Lung Foundation
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A COPD episode??

Hi was diagnosed in Oct 13 with COPD put on seritide and ventolin. Had severe cough on Monday and went to Dr.My oxygen level ok but given Prednisolone 30mg a day for 10 days and antibiotics and sent on my way. No phlegm just cough. I feel wheezy and tired and blooming miserable. Feel like a small child is sitting on my chest but cough is a bit better. It's a struggle to be very active - like had to sit down whilst changing the sheets. Is this it? How often will it happen and will the episodes become more frequent? I havent smoked for two years but am over weight and dont exercise..... I know I should but no motivation at all. No lectures please my family dont stop!

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26 Replies

Hi omg11, you'll get no lectures from me, only support and encouragement! With your doctor prescribing steroids and antibiotics, it sounds as if you have a chest infection. Chest infections are rotten, so plenty of fluids, keep warm, and pace yourself. Do what you can, when you can, and when you can't, then rest.

I've gotten myself into an awful rut since my last infection, so am now doing the exercises I learned from the PR course at home. I know it sounds daft, but it actually gives you a little more energy.

No one can say how often anyone will experience chest infections, so your job is to keep up your general health, by eating a healthy diet, (sorry but it's got to be said - not a lecture) exercise, and a positive attitude helps enormously. I do hope you start to feel better soon :) x


Thank you initial. What is home PR - I know what PR is, im not bad enough for it apparently but how do you get it at home?

Poor grammar - sorry. I meant doing the exercises at home, learned from the PR course. :) I never knew there was a level you had to reach before PR was offered, but then I was diagnosed when I was stage 4. There are some good exercised on youtube on PR, or what about gentle Tai Chi

Hi omg11, I asked my respitory nurse if I could go on the PR course and she arranged it for me. She didn't say that it depended on how bad I was. There are people on the course at many stages of the COPD from mild to severe and they are all treated in the same caring way. Best wishes - George ....

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Hi, am in the middle of an exacerbation myself at the mo, no infection, just a very tight wheezy chest and very breathless, so just on the steroids, so I know how miserable you can get. Have been in the kitchen to wash a few pots this afternoon, three attempts and still not finished! Initial has given great advice that I can't add too. Good luck, I hope you get over this quickly but would say that sometimes it can take quite a while before you feel an improvement. Be kind to yourself, get the family to sort your housework! Libby x


I'm sorry to hear you are not well too. I feel so guilty when I'm not doing anything. I've hardly been at work all week and fear I will lose my job - I have a massive mortgage so have to work. I'm giving a major presentation tomorrow and not written it yet AND my COPD is mild so what will happen in the future?? Sorry... better now, thank you for listening x

I know, I had to give up work five years ago and still feel guilty about not doing things It's taken so long for me to swallow my pride, I do have a cleaner an hour a week but I have become very untidy. Hated it for so long, but barely notice it now! At mild, the longer keep on working and looking after your general health will be all to the good for the future. You should have many productive years yet. One thing for making your breathing worse is stress, so try and chill before writing your presentation. Libby x

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Please don't say your sorry, there is no need for that. We are all in the same position just at different levels.

I was mild and now I'm moderate, I don't really see too much difference, there just numbers.

I am trying to slow the emphysema down, by giving up smoking and exercising.

There are a lot of people on this site that have had COPD for years, so lets be positive here and say we are going to be like them and still be doing what we are doing now in 20 years time.

Keep in touch with us here, there is always someone around to support you.

Hi omg11 sorry to hear your suffering at the moment I agree with the others all great advice given.No lecture from me,whilst your not well look after yourself and rest,this will pass and your feel fine again.When your back on your feet then you can see if there is anything you can do to help yourself.For me coming on here helps me to motivate myself,there are so many people i admire and find that encouraging for me.Nice meeting you omg11 keep in touch and I hope you get well soon. :) Janexx


Hi dont get too down on yourself. Being on steriods and feeling low any way will lower your mood so wait till you feel a little better then perhaps try a little exercise it will help to make you stronger and better able to cope with the odd exacerbation. I hope you feel better soon best wishes Irene

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Hi sorry youre not too good. Unfortunatey infections seem to be part and parcel when you have lung probs. Im recovering from my worst ever been off work since before xmas still on antibiotics and steroids as maintenance till i get results from scan . Alot of people get antibiotics to take 3 days week and emergency meds . The PR is down to your dr to refer you but im not aware of people being told they arent bad enough. Im waiting to go on one . Before xmas i trained with personal trainer and rode my horses every day so im looking forwards to doing that again. Eat well pay attention to hygiene i take antibacterial wipes and spray out to use and i use a first defence nasel spray when going in public areas. Manuka honey 25 everyday. Best wishes Judith x

Me too on manuka daily ... not had a cold or chest infection all winter .... that's the proof of the pudding:) xx

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I have found a good priced Manuka from a well known Geman store "I like" just started taking it.

ooo, does it begin with A or L? I'm running out of my 15+, thanks Offcut

A ;)

Argh. I don't know where my nearest is. Will look it up. Was it less than £20? Was about to order 15+ from Amazon.

Hope you're okay Offcut - thank you for info :)

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Mine is 10+ and it was £3.99 but I am sure the 15+ was less than £7.00 but I cannot remember. I am going on sat so will confirm it then.

I feel Like I have been hit with a baseball bat on my left side today it has been aching for just over a week:(

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Me too. Manuka and infection free.

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Morning OMG 11, I care for my husband who has severe COPD and lung function of 25% having said that he still works full time, we still have a great life just a bit slower than most!

I had written this post a while ago - and thought it might be helpful......

There have been a number of posts from very frightened people having just been diagnosed. I have been answering posts and putting in my thoughts when I think they could help. But it occurred to me that the most worrying thing about COPD is the chronic element. Usually we go to the Doctor and get a tablet which makes a vast improvement or cure (simplified but you get the gist!) - COPD is a different beast altogether.

Each patient is different, each patient has to become an expert patient by listening to their bodies, learning what triggers an exacerbation or makes you more breathless or starts the coughing and to keep asking the doctors. If you don't feel right go back to the GP - our lovely doctor agrees that my husband and I know more about his illness than she does.

If you have been diagnosed please talk to the BLF helpline and ask questions of your gp and nurses. If you think the medicines aren't helping go back and ask them to be changed. Come on here and ask questions. If you don't feel well ask for advise. These would be my top tips:-

1) Stop smoking

2) Keep fit - ask for a referral to pulmonary rehab. from your doctor/nurse and keep asking!

3) Get a flu jab

4) Get a pneumonia jab

5) If you think you are starting with an infection - go to the doctors don't wait

6) Take your meds. If you are having side effects go back to the doctors, if they aren't working how you hoped - go back and ask. There are lots of meds available.

7) Listen to your own body and learn - you will know best


8) ENJOY YOUR LIFE - things may change and alter but they would anyway - enjoy each day. The good memories will keep you going when things aren't as good!

Take good care, TAD xxx PS My husband was diagnosed about ten years ago!

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My thoughts word for word Number ! to 8 Good Luck. Mattcass

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I have RLD but my consultant hit the nail on the head I have to make Lifestyle changes. I have good and bad days. On the Bad days I just take longer to do things or if it is not important for that day leave it!

IE: Jump out the way of a bus but have a rest between cleaning.

Be Well

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I have had a chest infection for 3 weeks now. Just waiting for next prescription from Dr. I think he is giving me a stronger antibiotic (had 2 x amoxcylin) The Manuka honey had just come out too.

Is it my imagination or are we all going down like 9 pins at the moment?

I am on a PR course (when I am well enough to go) and have mild COPD and Bronchiectasis. Our council was holding 2 courses 1 at 1pm and 1 at 2pm but funds have just been reduced so they have had to combine the 2 classes,not ideal but better than nothing.

We have all levels on the course some bring their oxygen with them and some like me appear fit until they start to exercise.We all benefit enormously. In an ideal world everyone with lung problems should be offered this.

I do hope everyone starts to feel better soon and that these infections don't make anyone's disease advance to next stage. `Keep well everyone! PTxx

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No lectures omg11, leaving that to your family. Pete has had lots of wheeziness for a few weeks now. He has been on antibiotics as he was coughing up old and fresh blood and has upped his pred for a short time but back down to 10mg per day now. I am just hoping that as the weather improves, so will his breathing. I think this winter has thrown up lots of breathing/wheezy problems for quite a few people.

Try and do some gentle exercise when you can, even sitting in a chair you can do arm and leg movements maybe. If things do not improve soon then go back to your GP. Well done on giving up smoking too. Take care and wishing you well. xxxxx

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Sounds like a stubborn chest infection - prednisolone always had a downing effect on me. If you can get weight off it will help a lot, but don't beat yourself up. Won't necessarily get worse - I have asthma as well but am now off Seretide and just two puffs of Atrovent before bed to be on the safe side. My probs were down to smoking mainly plus carrying too much weight. I dropped two stone but the smoking was hard to kick so I switched to electronic four years ago and in all that time have had no antibiotic or oral steroids. I have to do housework with lots of "sits" in between, but that's fine, and what doesn't get done will still be there tomorrow. Don't pressure yourself, go with the flow, and if anyone doesn't approve of your housekeeping just tell them where you keep the cleaning stuff!!!!


Hi omg, you were only diagnosed a few months ago. Don't despair, it is depressing when it's like this.

And don't give up. It takes quite a while to learn manage the conditions. For instance there are different ways to take different inhalers. I learnt at PR that I'd been taking my Seretide with spacer wrongly for three years!

It also takes a while to get tailored for you personally. I've finally got it after 5 years.

One thing that's helped recently is when a GP told me to take my blue inhaler 4 times a day during an infection. I thought it was only for when you get an attack.

Do go back to your medics to request a PR course. There's no such thing as 'not bad enough' anymore. The recent thinking is to get people on PR for the education about the lung conditions, breathing techniques and how specialised exercise can help with your strength and stamina. Ask GP, respiratory nurse and consultant.

I'm ill at the moment with infections but it's only 2nd in 9 months.

Also build up your immune system. Good luck omg11. Peeg

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I think we are in the same boat at the moment I'm on steroids and ABS yet another chest infection no energy having to sleep siting up and have had this dry cough now for weeks I feel as if I have broken my ribs coughing so much hope your feeling well soon

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