British Lung Foundation

Emphysema,chest infection,

Hi,I have emphysema,moderate/ servers, went to docs on the 7th march,for chest infection, given A/B,plus 30mg of steroids a day,had to go back to docs as A/B were not working plus was coughing blood,he changed A/B for doxycycline 14 day course,also booked emergency appointment for me to see consultant at Bath R.U.H,as said there was only so much a G.P, could do, I was diagnosed 8yrs ago,my question is from anyone is what to expect when I see the consultant,(as I am a bit scared), also I am still feeling pretty unwell, no energy keep going to sleep at odd times,and my chest just aches all over,I have taken pain relief etc but not doing much,everything is an effort,I am normally quite a fighter,has anyone else felt like this,any response would be a great help.

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Hi Puffpuff, Sorry you have been so unwell. When I went to see the consultant for the first time I was asked lots of questions about the my health. He took a detailed history and had already looked at my xrays, etc. that had been done previously because of my condition. He then booked me for a ct scan as the xrays weren't telling him enough about my lungs. Consultants differ a bit in their approach to lung problems but come to the same conclusions in the end I think. Hope this helps a bit. Good luck and look after yourself..

Hi, butter-fly, thank you so much for your reply,did you need to wait long for your appointment to come through,I no all hospital are different,I had a lung scan just before Christmas,as kept getting infection after infection,last year,mind you this year has'nt started off much better.

I was hospitalised with pneumonia and got a follow up supposed for 6 weeks. They kept cancelling so it ended up being 4 month before I saw a consultant! Not sure how long it is normally but two weeks is fast! You obviously have a good doctor who gets things moving along to get those infections in check. You're in good hands Puffpuff. Take care.

Hello Puffpuff, sounds like you are having a rough time of it! I too have severe to mod Emph., and an infection really knocks the stuffing out of you, your body is telling you to sleep to aid your recovery, so sleep when you need to as it will help. Water is good, try to drink plenty, I swear by a warm elderflower cordial with lots of Manuka honey, highest strength I can afford because I know it helps me if I have at least 3 big mugs full in a day plus plenty of other liquids and try to eat plenty of fruit and veg , juicing it is an option but it will help with the low energy ( it can take a long time,as you may well know... weeks, months even, to get back to where you were before the infection) Nutrition is vital and exercise when you are feeling well enough.

I have met a few Consultants since being diagnosed ten years ago, ( don't be anxious, you will be fine, might be an idea to write down any questions you might have for them.) I hope you get a good check up, they should get to the bottom of the blood in sputum ( I've found it's usually an infection and the ab's help it) Just you get better alright! ;) Please let us know how you got on, I hope you like your Consultant, the last one I saw was lovely, she sussed out I was an Alpha1 type. Fingers crossed, hope you feel better soon, Hufferpuffer x


Hello hufferpuffer, I agree with what you said about each infection takes its toll, this one I have has really knock me off my feet,I have always tried to keep as fits as possible,walking my little dog twice a day etc, re diet I never have eaten big meals,more a child's portion,but since I have had this infection,I am craving sweet things,chocolate etc,which has never happened before,I do drink plenty of fluids,take drink to bed as alway dry mouth when I wake,I have tried to rest as much as possible,which is unusual for me,as I'm one of those annoying people that always doing some think,even when I am sat down,I will let you know how I get on at the hospital. Xx

Hi, Puffpuff, you've really been through the mill haven't you.

At least your GP has given you a decent antiB for two weeks and thank god he's referred you to a consultant at last.

Bath should be good, you'll have a first sort of interview with cons and you can tell him just what you wrote above. My 1st was at a big Londonq teaching hospital and a medical student took down my answers to his questions (wrongly so his wrong notes are on my file which is very annoying, I wish I'd corrected them at the time but he was so obviously terrified of the professor/cons that I didn't want to drop him in it. Silly me.

Hopefully you will have a CT scan organised which is the best thing to properly diagnose you, you'll get thorough lung function tests, possibly skin allergy tests and possibly a blood test. Also they might refer you for PR course (if not, ask for it),

It's really great that you're seeing a specialist, be pleased not worried. All the best to you, Peeg

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Hi Peeg, thanks for your reply, I have had a C.T scan just before Christmas,due to having so many infections last year,my doc said sometime about them doing Gas test at hospital when I go to see consultant,I have'nt a clue what he was talking about,but did'nt want to appear clue less so never asked, also re allergy test, I do get hay fever when pollen is high,( never a suffer before) is that what the tests are for? , the most annoying thing for me at the moment is the discomfort in my chest,bottom and upper area of my lungs,go up my neck down my arms,I use wheat bags quite a lot,will be so glad when the warm spring weather arrives,xx

Hi your in similar situation to me ...ive had my tests scans etc and seen my consultant twice now. First time i was still very poorly with chest infection so wrote things down. I see him again beginning april to discuss management plan so im not felled as bad next winter. Currently been ill since before xmas im signed off till after Easter (which i told him its unrealistic for me to take five months off work every year!!!) Ive just had blood test for Alpha 1 so waiting for results. We know what i havent got but not what i have!!! Ive previously seen a consultant who did nothing more than give me another inhaler for asthma ....which for 20 yrs ive taken inhalers and i havent got asthma!!!! Best wishes let me know how you get on love judith xxxxx

H tigerhay1, thanks for your reply,do you have emphysema ? As you said you know what you have'nt got,but not what you have got,after 20 yrs of inhalers etc must be pretty hard on you,with chest infections since Xmas,I do know what that is like,takes so long to recover,I have been on antibiotics for well over a month,plus steroids, I had a phone call from the hospital in bath,got appointment to see the consultant this Friday,I am so lucky to get such a quick app,as was told there was along waiting list,I will take a note book with me to write down (if I can) any info he gives me,as I am bound to forget all the moment I leave,plus will ask as many questions as possible,must admit I am a bit scared,I am trying desperately to give up smoking,I have a Ecig,it is the best thing I have ever tried,will let you know how I get on Friday. X

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Hi hufferpuffer,I went to see the consultant in Bath R.U.H, he said I have severe emphysema,had lung function test,plus took loads of blood, I have got to go for another C.T scan plus a Bronchoscopy,as he said I should not be coughing up blood! said some nasty thing could be happening in my lung,(cancer)I was I bit shocked as I was not expecting that,I am not sure what the Bronchoscopy involves, bet it's no picnic,xx

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