British Lung Foundation
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Feeling Frustrated

Hi all,

I have been coughing up the thick green stuff and blood since October. Four courses of antibiotics following a chest x-ray showing a consolidation made no difference on the follow up x-ray.

I had to send of a sputum specimen to check what would clear it and was signed off sick for a second month. A week later I was told the results were in but the GP had to see it today. I had a CT scan last night and told to expect 10 days for the results.

I phoned today re the sputum sample and was told it was 'satisfactory' and I don't need any follow up. In the meantime I am still coughing my guts up and have no energy. The coughing attacks are so embarrassing as I am forever gipping and my Tenas can hardly cope with the fall out! What now?!!

5 Replies

Hi Pinebunny, sory to hear you are having a tough time,, glad you had a ct scan, that might show up what s causing you to have a tough time,,, I was being treated for Emphysema for yrs, until i had a scan, that showed i had bronchiectasis and mild fibrosis,,normal antibiotics never seem to work for me,,i never get serious lung infections but sometimes my sputum goes green,,somebody on here takes a slightly different antibiotic for bronchiectasis so hopefully they will read this and tell us what they take,,,i can ask my Dr then,, It might mean you need something stronger, do you have Caboisteine capsules, they help keep the mucus loose, hope your feeling better soon,,,chrissiex


Thanks for the reply. No I have had nothing prescribed apart from the antibiotics.


Oh my goodness that sounds awful. How miserable I hope that they can find some help for you. A friend of mine who does not have any chest problems has been suffering from a cough for over three months and is now on her third course of antibiotics. It might be worth a call to the helpline - the nurses might be able to advise what other options are available - You can call the helpline on 03000 030 555 Lines are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Lots of luck, TAD xxx


Hi there ,I know what your going through,,,,I've basically been the same as you ,,,continuous productive cough,,,that becomes sooooo embarrassing ,,,,I am well taken care off by the pulmary rehab nurses and physio's ,who have always advised me to send in a sputum sample BEFORE. Starting antibiotics ,,,as they mask the infection ,,,this I did after a few months of ,,,,it's just a cough ( my desission ) andthat was on the Tuesday on the Thursday the results were in ,,,,I had one of the influenza bugs along with a chest infection,,,,so now the correct antibiotics could be prescribed ,,,I was put doxycycline for 2 weeks ,,,,that was a month ago ,,,,and yesterday was the best I had had for months ,and finally went back to the pulmary rehab gym and managed to do

an hours ( slow & low impact exersise) ,,,,,yes I've still got the cough ,,,but it's not as bad as it was ,,,,,and I think I'm on the up ,I also had a scan in December due to the continuous cough and low sats over a long period ,,,,,pleased to say results showed no sign of lung cancer,,,,

I do however fail to understand why you have had to wait soooo long for test results ,can I suggest that you ask for a referral to your local pulmary rehab team ,,,,they are brilliant and they also will get your results a lot quicker ,so action can be taken earlier therefore infection dosent get too big a hold before proper medication ,good luck with your results ,I hope you get good news,,,,best wishes,


Poor thing you must be feeling so dreadful, but have hope there are things to help. I have emphysema but deteriorated and was like you for a year. Scan showed bronchiectasis. I did not receive any different medication until I decided to see a cons. privately. He suggested a course of Azithromycin. They worked wonders for me. Now back under him on the NHS. I hope that soon they will sort out some new medication for you and don't forget to keep nagging for different ones if the first ones don't work. Thinking of you and wishing you all the best barnowl


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