Unremitting cough

Please forgive the urgency, but I am feeling increasingly desperate about the cough which seems not to be going away. (3 or so yrs) since diagnosis of COPD in general, and 6 days in particular for this latest bout of debilitating coughing, I have been seen by a specialist who diagnosed me with 'mild' bronchiectasis, and am on loads of medications and inhalers.. nothing seems to give me more than a weeks relative relief from the cough - not even the drainage exercises given to me by the physiotherapist. I would like to know if there is anything I am missing to help myself ?

10 Replies

  • Is it a productive ( bringing up sputum) or a dry cough ?

  • Mostly dry, occasionally productive

  • Geoffreddo

    Bronchiectasis is an enlargement of some of your alveoli in the lungs – don’t worry we have millions of them. If some are affected, yet you have many more that are not, so Courage, you can deal with this, even though this is scary now.

    That means that in some of this diseased alveoli, there is more mucus stagnating; this usually causes bacteria to develop; which ones is up to the doctor to test you with a sputum sample.

    It looks as if you have an infection. Have you had a sputum sample? Ask you GP for some sputum pots and a form so you can have your sputum analysed. I think you ought to see your GP so he can arrange a reference to your specialist again to test you and ask to be referred to a pulmonary nurse who is a person who can follow you more closely and advise you on bronchiectasis. The more you know about it, the better you are able to deal with it. She might refer you to more physiotherapist session. The physio himself can show you how to clear your lungs every morning, as stagnation of mucus occurs a lot during the night.

    Don’t be shy, ask your GP. You have a right to know more about your illness.

    Come back here for a progress report. I hope you get help soon. Especially as you can do a lot for yourself, like exercises. Exercises can be explained by your pulmonary nurse. After you had this bout controlled, you could ask for Pulmonary Rehabilitation which is a set of exercises for the lungs which you would be shown in a group.

    Get the help that you need. Regards, Mic.

  • Thanks, i think it is being alone with the disease that is tough. Not knowing how it progresses and feeling quite helpless sometimes. I have family though, so the alone-ness is just in my head.. G

  • Geof, the thing to overcome this disease is to set yourself a passion and go for it. Also do any exercises at all, be it walking, (walking on a treadmill is good because you are safe indoors, no wind or rain, you can control how fast you can go - I like it that way. Others prefer the great outdoors). Yoga, Tai Chi, cycling, playing any sport even gently, anything to keep moving and breathing. You can even emb ark in learning a wind instrument like the flute (I am doing it).

    Once you start, stop at any sign of breathlessness. Yet, exercise is the clue to improving your lungs and stay the progress of the disease (It's now medically proven that lung disease can be maintained and it doesn't need to go down hill).

    When I had TB, I decided just that, when I go out of hospital, I'll sign up for the gym. I had oxygen bottles and a concentrator at home. Within two months, all this had gone from my house.

    At first, my consultant rolled his eyes to the sky. in 2014, he said: "You are transformed!" Something to keep in mind. You too, you can be transformed with exercises.

    Get the pulmonary nurse to monitor you and enrol you on Pulmonary rehabilitation.That's a lovely start. Be confident, you can do it.

    Cheers, Mic

  • Thanks for the encouragement mic

  • Geoffreddo, Pleasure, Now go and do likewise!

    Cheers, Mic

  • Have you tried using a flutter and the huffing? It does help to clear the mucus.

  • Yes, both, not sure as to it's efficacy though.. I give up after a few days.. Should I stick to it come what may?

  • Geof, Flutter: Ask the pulmonary nurse ( if no nurse, ask the doc to refer you to her). Yeah, stick at it but very gently. Two or three puffs in it is enough at the start. Mic

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