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British Lung Foundation
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How do I insist on different treatment from my doctor?

My doctors keep giving me antibiotic after antibiotic (I am seeing a gp and a pulmonary Dr.) after I got pneumonia in January. I also have asthma. They have changed my meds, I've had 5 rounds of antibiotics since January, I've been to allergy testing, and none of these things have managed to help me much. So, last week I asked one of the Dr.'s for a new x-ray since it had been a few months. When he showed it to me, there was a cloudy area and the dr. said it was probably the pneumonia and gave me yet another antibiotic. I can clearly see that I have a pleural effusion, I have all the symptoms, but my dr. says he really doesn't know what it is for sure and sent me on my way. How can I insist on getting this drained! If I go to Emergency care, would they figure it out? Would they understand what I need? I just don't know what to say to my Dr. to get him to do something about my condition. It's brought my life to a standstill because of the severity of the shortness of breath, and also my family - they have to do so much more because I just can't. I can't go another week with this condition, can someone give me advice on how to get me fixed once and for all? It's very hard to talk to the pulmonary Dr., as he is always booked, and my gp sees me when I need him, but it seems as if he's waiting for the pulmonary Dr. to do something...Help! I'm stuck in the middle and still the same!

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14 Replies

i am a bit like you ,i take antibiotics one week and miss other week and i take different antibiotic so on for last 6 months . i have cold and the pain in my chest ,i don't know if i go to ring doctor or just ignore it , i have emphysema and chronic bronchitis, good luck, have a nice day

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I would advise you ring the BLF helpline (Click on the red balloon) and ask their opinion - do you have a consultant? Take care, TAD xx


I got hold of my pulmonary Dr. and he is making room for me in his schedule. Hopefully I will get things worked out today! Thanks so much!

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I would take myself to A&E. if your GP doesn't know for sure what it is then you need to find someone that does. Good luck x

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Yes, I agree, and I got in today. I believe it's a miracle because they are so very busy right now...

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Hi, I totally sympathise. You've told my story almost exactly but it took over 4 years of antiBs, 5 x pneumonia, endless chronic infections before I got a consultant (pulmonary) & the CT scan I wanted.

Do call the BLF helpline - are you in the US? If so you may be able to ring to make a time to call them back: 03000 030 555 they're there from 10am - 5pm British time.

Wishing you all the best. ........ By the way, it wasn't until I was prescribed Azithromycin that my infections cleared. ..... I'm sorry, cannot help with advice re pleural fluid, you need to speak to an expert although I think a ct scan is in order. P

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Hi peeg - good news...my pulmonary Dr. is making time for me today, and he is having me do one more x-ray beforehand. I am so glad I'll at least get him to look into this. I'll let you know what happens :) oh, and yes, I am in the states, Wisconsin to be exact (upper midwest) Thank you for your advice!

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That's good but do try asking him for the CT scan. It will show everything and then they can make a proper diagnosis. The damage on my lungs didn't show on exrays. Good luck.

( I have relies in Cincinati, Gt Lakes, Detroit & New York) :)

I would ask your doctor to refer you to see a Consultant that specialises in lungs as you are not happy with the amount of AB's you're having to take. Seeing a Consultant will be worth the wait, good luck from me too, huff x

I am in the same boat I have heart and lung problems along with arthritis to help things along. I had to get a bit rude and abrupt to get a Spiro test even though my cardiologist had mentioned that he was not happy with my breathing and it needs to be looked at, in the letter to my GP. Their answer to all my problems were because of my heart condition. I have a 57% lung function upright and drop a further 12.5 % when flat but my doctors before the hospital lung function test would not check my o2 when flat even I told him of my problems sleeping!

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Grrrr Offcut.

Well, now I'm in the Hospital, mainly so they can get my breathing meds back on track, get tests done and see what the underlying cause is. Luckily so far they said they didn't think it was my heart, but they were talking about my kidney function being down a bit. I just hope I will be out in a day and not a week, but mostly I hope I'm fixed up once and for all. At least they are listening to me now, even though it took months! I hope you get things in order also, Offcut. Doctors seem like they just guess sometimes

I hope they get you sorted out!

Thanks Offcut, me too. Still in hospital right now, they've done more x-rays and they're waiting to see if they look any different from yesterday. I'm starting to feel better now but still have a wheeze. Feels like it wants to come out, but I can't quite cough enough yet, so it looks like I'll be here tomorrow still. I don't know what I'd do without all of you nice people to help me keep my head on straight and help me ask the right questions. Thank you all!

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