HELP !" In trouble here

I have been asthmatic since the age of 5 (now 71) then diagnosis of COPD about 10 years ago. Get lots of chest infections in the winter, occasionally means hospital stay. However, this latest infection is different. Started about 12 days ago, I used my 'emergency pack' Amoxicillin and a course of prednisolone. After 4 days no improvement, started coughing up, so went to the doc. She prescribed a different antibiotic, Doxycycline. Three days later, still wheezing very badly, still coughing. She had said to go back if no improvement, so I tried to ring on Saturday and was transferred to 111, eventually spoke to a doc, who said I should be seen and made an appointment a our local health centre for me. OK, another doc, v.young lady, excellent, changed antibiotics and prescribed more prednisolone, higher dose. Have now had two doses of the preds, and 3 antibiotics. Breathing not improved. What I can't understand is that this seems different from other chest infections which usually improve with preds and antibiotics, my wheeze is noisy, which it isn't usually, and most surprising of all, I can still blow 150 on the peak flow - this is my usual score. I can speak in full sentences - which you can't usually during an attack. I keep feeling panic, pretty scared a the moment. What is going on and what should I do now?? HELP!! ANY ideas much appreciated people!

16 Replies

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  • Hi Sylvsmum, so sorry you're having such a bad time at the moment. My only thought is that if you can cope till tomorrow you could phone the BLF helpline, (03000 030 555) which opens at 9am. I'm sure they'd be able to give good advice. If you can't manage till then my only suggestion is A & E. Do you have someone who can take you?

    Try not to worry - I know, easy for me to say. I can see why you are so concerned. Have you been asked for a sputum sample so they can see which antibiotics would fight it? I’m sorry I’m not much help. I hope someone else will come along who is more use to you. Just wanted you to know someone’s listening.

    Try to rest. I find paracetamol helps me (alongside all the other stuff of course) when I get very breathless. I do hope you feel better very soon. Jan

  • Thank you so much for that. Trying to avoid hospital if poss, last resort. Will try the helpline tomorrow. Never thought of paracetamol, how can it help?

  • I find it helps with the aches and discomfort I feel around my chest when I'm coughing and wheezing. Maybe a bit of a placebo effect, but it works for me!

    I also use ibuprofen if I get muscular aches, but it's not really advised for asthma patients unless your doctor has approved it for you, so best not try that one unless you've taken it in the past without ill effect.

    Best of luck. Let us know how you get on tomorrow.

  • Hi Sylvsmum, jabber's advice are excellent! Another thinking is that you could ask your GP to have a sputum test and have it analysed. This would show what kind of bug there is. The difficulty for the microbiologist is you had AB all along which might hide the bug. I would ask to put this on your sputum request.

    Put more cushions under your head when asleep, that will help with the mucus not flooding you while asleep. If you have mucus, try to do some huffing exercises in the morning and evening to try to spit it out. Be gentle with this though.GArgle with salted water p including the nose. Gargle with something like Listerine which contains a mouth disinfectant; it might at least get rid of the bacteria that inhabit the mouth.

    Hope your visit to the doc is fruitful. Take care. Love, Mic

  • Hi Sylvsmum

    So sorry you feeling so I'll and frightened. I don't have any other advise everything I can think of has been said. hang on in three and keep posting so you don't feel so alone also trust your instinct and do call an ambulance if you are really frightened. They will send a paramedic who will do an assessment. Good luck thinking of you

  • Thank you all, will ring the helpline tomorrow, in the meantime I'm tring good old steam inhalation, with just a touch of Vick. People with good health should thank God e very single day. Bless you all x

  • Evening.

    Are you in any pain, high temperature or vomiting.

    Kim xxxx

  • can i ask what the last antibiotic was sylvsmum, ?

    the reason i ask is i had exactly the same symptoms as you some time ago, exactly the same antibiotics amox. then doxi. and 8 prednisolone, i was then prescribed amoxiclav, which seemed to help ,,

    anyway i hope you get some satisfaction in phoning the blf tomorrow,, and hopefully resolve your symptoms,, kindest thoughts jimmy xxx

  • Thanks again, all. Just waiting for the helpline to ring me back.

    Jimmy, my latest antibiotic is Clarithromycin.

    Kim, no pain or vomiting, temp normal most of the time, but occasionally get hot.

    Will update after my call.

  • I am sure the Helpline will be of help to you. Good luck :)

  • Now waiting for my GP to ring me!

  • Good to know things are moving for you. Hope your doc will be able to get to the bottom of the problem, so you can finally feel you are going to improve. Keep us posted! Jan :-)

  • Spoken to my doc, he says I am now on the right antibiotic, (Clariyhromycin) but it is one that takes quite a few days to work. Not sure how I feel about that, but actually feeling calmer noe and with the prednisolone I am hoping things will now get better.

  • Clarithromycin is a good one, so hopefully your doc is right and you're finally going in the right direction. Glad you're feeling calmer - it certainly doesn't help with the breathing when we're feeling anxious and scared.

    Hope you manage a good night's sleep now you feel you're getting somewhere positive. I'm off to a pub quiz now. Probably not ideal for keeping clear of bugs, but it's great fun and I do enjoy it. Once we won! :-)

  • Have made an appointment with the asthma nurse next week, got a double appointment. Still very very breathless. Fell as if the people I've had contact with have listened without hearing me.

  • Hi Sylvsum, how have you been over the weekend? I hope the clarithromycin has improved things and that your breathing is easier now.

    Good luck with your appointment with the asthma nurse. I hope you've got a good one. It seems they are often better and more clued up than most GPs.

    Thinking of you and wishing you well, Jan

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