I have emphysema, I have a chest infection,on steroids and antibiotics,

Hello, I am a newbie, have emphysema, moderate to severe,suffering nasty chest infection at mo,doc given me ten day course of antibiotics, plus seven day course of steroids,started them on Friday the 7th, don't seemed to be feeling any better, chest.quite painful,coughing up blood now and again,keep getting hot then cold,I finish the steroids tomorrow,but doc had given me extra prescription to keep at home, just don't know if I should continue taken the extra steroid I have,any advice would be a great help.

33 Replies

i should phone the doc asap, and explain things, [you can ask for a phone consultation]

the extra medication is the emergency steroids and anti-biotics , even if you take these you need to inform your doctor.

in scotland we have the nhs 24, maybe even worth giving them a call, i am not sure what the equivalent is in england but i am sure someone here would help.,,,,,but any "out of hours" surgeries would help/advice,

if things are bad, bringing up blood etc, really you should phone an ambulance, its worth getting this checked out.

does sound like a bad infection, but the quicker you are seen the better,,,,kind regards,, jimmy

its getting late now, most folks off line now,,,,,,,, iits an hour since you posted,,,,,on thinking further, best really phone an ambulance, theres no harm in this, i think you should really be seen asap,,jimmy

Hello and welcome

I agree with Jimmy phone your GP, but some infections do need a second course. Glad you found us.


glad you came online kimmy, i am just a bit worried puffpuff has not made any replies,

to me this does sound like a very bad infection, my thoughts now are,,,,, to be on the safe side just to phone for an ambulance,,best get medical advice when bringing up blood,, this is a duplicate of myself a few weeks ago, i did need hospital treatment,,jimmy

Hi puffpuff yes you do need to continue your meds and phone the doctor or present yourself at A&E you really dont sound to well my love.Please seek further help to be on the safe side.Please take care and keep in touch and let us know how you are doing.Thinking of you :) Janexx

hi puffpuff, both jane and kim have worded things better than me, but we are all concerned about you, it seems you have been like this for almost a week now, and no better now, if you havent done anything by now, please phone your g,p first thing in the morning or phone the british lung foundation on

0300 030 555

jane and kim have posted in the most lovliest concerning way, jane has posted things in a nutshell, in her usual lovely way, but please keep in touch,please take care, we will all be thinking of you, at this time, please let us know how you are, sincerest regards,,,jimmy

Thank you all so much for your replys,I have had this infection brewing for weeks,unable to get app with doctor,had to wait two weeks, I will call doctor when surgery opens this morning,I had a similar infection last April,which lasted till July,had so many different antibiotic,to try and shift it,eventually sputum test,took a while to get back on my feet,January did need to get emergency service's out,so much pain I could hardly talk,would not go into hospital,like most people I would rather be at home,I took some pain tabs earlier,sat upright on sofa with my dog at the moment, I am so pleased I have found this sight such,lovely careing people,who understand what you are going through,also the humour among all,it's 4am at mo as I am writing this,puff puff.

Hi Puffpuff, welcome to the site.

Just to say, when you have a lung problem you must go through the emergency appointment system at your GPs. Vital as you absolutely cannot wait two weeks for an appointment. You don't have to see you own GP, any of them can take 2 minutes to listen to your chest.

I've learnt this the hard way, probably further damaging my lungs in not being more assertive. Now I will never accept Amoxicillin because it has never worked in 5 years.

Drink plenty to keep the mucus less sticky and easier to shift.

What other meds are you on?? Did you get an emergency appt today?. xxx

Hello peg,I agree with you,I need to be a bit more assertive,also the Amoxicillin don't seem to work for me either, I do drink a lot I take a drink of orange with me where ever I go even to bed,as I get a very dry mouth,re my medication,I am on spivera,plus steroid inhaler, plus pain relief,xx

Hi, keep coming on here. Lots of lovely people sharing information you can pick up lots of titbits to help you.

I learnt about Carbocisteine here and now take it regularly. It keeps the mucus more moist and easier to get rid of. I swear it's helped to prevent infections this winter.

Good luck x

Hope you managed to get some sleep, I agree with what the others have said ...you should not have to suffer like this. When you telephone your gp you should be able to get an emergency appointment...tell the receptionist your symptoms,,,,being short of breath etc. the BLF helpline opens at 10am, or you could ring 111. Thinking of you...

Hi,knitter,you are a early riser,I did not get much sleep,although pain relief did help a bit,I will call doc as soon as surgery opens, point is I do not know what else they can give me !,I have inhalers spivera,plus steroid inhaler, just hope I can speak or see my own doctor, will let you know how I get on, thank you for your reply,xx puffpuff

hi puffpuff, i got up early to see if you have posted,, what a relief :) advice in previous posts, thank god your ok,,,,, think its me now :) wheazing like an old man right now [i am an old man lol:) ] well,,its back to the nebs, inhalers,and umpteen tablets umpteen and still on the nights oxygen,,,,,,,knitter,s right, "no one should really need suffer like this" but lets hope you are ok,,take care regards,,,, jimmy

Hello jimmyw123,it was so kind of you to get up early,I never meant for you to,Sounds like you are not having a great time either at the moment,roll on the warm weather,we could all do with some vitamin D, I will give the new A/B till the end of the week,if there is no change will re call doctor,I hope you have a good night,I did not realised how loud my dog snored till last night ! ,I will keep in contact with jimmy,xx

no problems at all puffpuff, but i must admit i was worried for you, as i had a similar situation myself before, but great to hear your sounding better, i am ok really, but really as the others have said the same, i found out the hard way,, its really better to be safe than sorry:)

if things are not checked out quickly. it can become real nasty, i certainly hope not in your case.

yes, were all looking forward to the good weather now as this certainly helps anyway, we actually had a beautiful day today here, near edinburgh, blueskies, like a summers day,,lets hope it lasts ,, kind regards ,, keep well now,, jimmy xx

Hi,again, jimmyw123, you were lucky to have a nice sunny day,here in Wiltshire was foggy and cold,but did get a bit brighter late afternoon, will be nice to be able to open the windows again,xx

hi puff puff,, yes i had heard it wasnt so nice down south, but must admit this was the best day weve had here this year, it was like a summers day,, just hope it lasts,,,,,,untill about september :) :) [well i might be asking for just a bit too much their lol :)] anyway,, summers on its way :)...jimmy :)

Morning, can you take a sputum sample to the gp when you go, or get a pot when you are there just to check you are on the right antibiotic. Hope your doctor doesn't mind you asking, just say someone suggested it and blame me ! Tis my cough that keeps me awake but it's so much better after the last ABs. Good luck

Morning Puffpuff

I hope you've rang your GP it looks like you didn't get much sleep by the times of your post. If you don't get an early appointment I would ring 111 for advice, don't you have a Community Respiratory team you can call on you shouldn't have to go on suffering. You might need stronger AB's I did, I always have a sputum test to make sure mine are doing the job. Make a fuss and get the treatment you deserve. Keep us posted

Kim xxxx

Morning Puffpuff - Cant imagine its a good morning - you look as if you have not had much sleep! Please ring your doctors and tell them you need to see a doctor, you have a chronic illness. If you cannot get an appointment ring them back and tell them you need a doctor to come out and see you. You need to see a doctor. If you still have no joy try ringing the BLF helpline (click on the red balloon) - they might have some advise on what to say to get action!

Do you have a nebuliser at home? When my husband gets bad chest infections they can take months to clear - four or sometimes five courses of antibiotics and steroids. The doctor did once tell me that if there was no improvement after 3/4 days on antibiotics to go back to see him. As your gp practise if there is a specialist respiratory team in your area and ask for a referral - I was able to do it through the practise nurse.

Its awful when you are poorly - you hardly have the energy or breath to get through the day without fighting for a doctors appointment - but it sounds like you are going to have to. Take good care and let us know what the Doctor says. TAD xxx

Hello Tadaw,I do not have a nebuliser at home,I have never used one ! I did not know about the specialist respiratory team, I will ask my doctor if we have one in my area, your husband has had a rough time of it,I hope he is feeling better now,at least the winter is nearly over,the warm sunny days will make all the differents to is all.xx

Hi Jimmy123

I went through a similar thing, bad infection coughing up sputum with blood in it, I was able to talk to my gp, he said it is not unusual with a bad infection. They took samples and sent them to the lab, but two nights later I woke up coughing up mouthfuls of blood, I thought the end had come, the paramedics took one look and said 'hospital now'. So with blue lights and sirens off we went, the duty doctor said he thought it was just a similar thing to a nose bleed and no panic. They kept me in for four days to ensure I was not coughing up any more as my sputum was still very red. In the meanwhile my consultant ran a load of tests for a fungus infection which can cause bleeding. I am still waiting the results of all the tests but as I have not heard anything I assume I was ok. It has not reoccurred, the really bad part was most of the blood landed on the new cream pure wool carpet, I was not the most popular person in the house.

Lessons learnt: if there is blood in the sputum keep a bowl close at hand, if you cough up blood the ambulance crew can see how much has come up, and the wife is not waiting with a carving knife when you get home

hi monal,,, its a frightening situation, no doubt about that,, and you are right what you say, save any mucus , blood in a bowl cup , as it can be tested right away,, your better going to the hospital with samples,:),,,,, than going to the police station with the wife lol:) and the carving knife as exhibit one:)...all the very best moneal,,,jimmy

No-one should have to wait 2 weeks to see a doctor - that's disgraceful. However, you need to make it clear when you phone them that you are in real trouble and will see ANY of the doctors. Failing that, just turn up at A&E - someone will always see you and prescribe for you. I do hope you feel better soon - these attacks can be quite frightening.

Hi Dragonmum,the problem with my surgery you have to ring at 8.30 am prompt to get an emergency app,the lines are always on hold or you are in a queue,I was waiting on the phone for 40 mins till I got my app for 2wks ahead,my nearest hospital is 10/15miles away,and this is called progress in our modern world !,xx

Hi PuffPuff, if you can't get a doctor's appointment for 2 weeks, request a home visit. They will suddenly find you an appointment the next day. If they can't insist on a home visit. It's your right to have a home visit if you are too ill to get to the surgery, only the doctor can say when he sees you at home whether you were too ill to get to see him. Don't be put off, it's their job. Hope your feeling better soon.

Hi, to all you kind people,i did get an appointment,doctor has change A/B,from amoxicillin, to doxycycline, I think I have had this A/B before,did not agree with me,but will give a go,I have also given sputum test,as I had a fungal infection not long ago,will continue with the steroids,I suffer with costrochondrtis inflammation of the cartilages of the ribs,I expect many of you suffer from this,makes it so painful to cough,usually end up with plurisy,I was diagnosed 8year ago with emphysema,beginning to catch up with me as I get older,I am a very positive person,and will not give in easy,I try and keep as fit as possible as you all do,xx

glad you saw a doctor.The doxy should shift it, I've read it's very good. At least you didn't have to run the gamut of more weeks of ineffectual antisBs before getting one that should work.

I get pleurisy, very painful. Is your costrochondrtis in one area or all over ribs and how did they diagnose it please? Get well soon and I hope you tolerate the doxy this time :)

Hi again peg,re the costrochondrtis,I explained to doc the pain I was getting in both sides of ribs,differ cult to breath as the pain is quite harsh,also differcult to lay down,have to sit upright,the doc pressed my ribs in certain points,there was swelling due to imflamation,also the sternum was inflamed,he gave me pain relief which did help,I have also found that wheat bags,that you put in microwave are very good for the pain,x

I Am glad that you managed to see your gp and you have some different ABs, hopefully you will soon feel better and if not go back.

I have had inflammation of the intercostal muscles between the ribs and that makes coughing painful too. Try and drink as much as you can to help thin the mucus. If you need more information ring the BLF helpline. I hope you have a better night tonight...the dog will miss you being awake!

Hi puffpuff, I hope you are starting to feel better now, its not nice when you have repeated infections, I have had 5 lots of antibiotics since January and just beginning to feel better, there are such a lot of infections at the moment. take care.

Jude xx

All doctors seem to have different ways of organising things - when I changed to the new practice it was a joy to be able to get an emergency appointment for next day. Needtobreathe is right about requesting a home visit, this option should be available but in this area at least they're inclined to tell you to ring an ambulance! Fact is they keep moving the goalposts on these things. Hope the doxy kicks in soon - you're right about the wheat-bags, very comforting.

Definitely see your doc. again re coughing up blood. It's quite common to be given a further prescription of steroids. Although antibiotics and steroids are the default medications for our predicament, I find I still have to wait about six weeks for a chest infection to clear. WHen my chest got tight, my doc. prescribed Spiriva inhaler, and this kicked in after three or four days and then I had much more lung capacity.

Hope this helps, and wishing you better....

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