Help! Is this even possible or all in my mind?

All day today I have struggled with my breathing, my shoulders are up with every breath and the pain in my chest is excruciating however my sats are 91%. I'm obviously taking in enough oxygen so why the breathlessness? When I came home from hospital in June they gave me a COPD rescue course of steroids and antibiotics which I have just finished as I was pretty sure I had an infection but I am feeling worse now than when I started the course. I thought I could hold on until I see the COPD nurse at the beginning of next month but this feels awful. My husband says he knows that I am not great as I have hardly spoken all day. How can I feel so bad but have such a good oxygen level? I'd be grateful for any advice. Gail

15 Replies

  • My oxygen sats always tend to be good. BUT my breathlessness can be severe. It sounds to me like you still have an infection. Think you should see GP asap or if you are still struggling this much you should maybe call an ambulance. Might need nebuliser treatment? Just because had one lot of meds does not guarantee you ok. My last flare up took 5 courses antibiotics and 4 steroids.....

    Having said that my breathing pretty rubbish today due to heat and humidity. Am very sob and had to finish work early and use my nebuliser.

    PLEASE seek medical advice. Ps 91 sats is not good but might be ok for you?

  • Thank you Bevvy for your kind reply. As the time passes I know I'm going to need help. I will phone the health centre and see if I can speak to a Dr. I'm just confused as they said in hospital that as long as my sats don't go below 88 then I'm ok and if they go below then take the rescue meds. I came home from hospital in June but cannot speak to anyone regarding the diagnosis before September. Thanks again and I will keep you updated. Gail

  • 91 isn't exactly a brilliant oxygen level, Gail. If you were admitted to hospital with that level, they'd immediately hook you up to some oxygen.

    Excruciating pain in your chest should not be ignored. Maybe it's pleuritic, maybe it's muscular or maybe it's something else. Either way it should be checked out. I know how casual doctors are about pain but if you're pain is that severe you should be going to your doctor or A@E. Good luck !

  • Hi

    Could be attributed to the weather, I'm similar today no infection good sats crap breathing.. At the moment I'm using my fan on cool which helps at home in the car I used full air conditioning. Shopping was hard work only went to one shop.

  • Breathlessness is not necessarily related to Sats. I am breathless all the time, but my sats are fine. However I do not have COPD. You know your 'norms' better than anyone else and it sounds as if things are not right. Get to a doctor. ASAP. If your shoulders are rising with every breath then you maybe need some help with breathing technique? But that needs to be looked at long term. Right now you some urgent treatment.

    K x

  • Hi agree with the others, please get help as soon as you can. If you rang 111, I am sure they would say to go to A and E. Don't try and struggle on .

  • Get checked out Gail and hope you feel better soon. Xxxx

  • Some good advice Gail, best get checked better safe then sorry xx Sonia xx

  • Hi gail123 you have been given some good advice and chest pain should never be ignored. I would definitely ring 111 to see what they suggest.

    Take care.


  • Hi you could well be suffering from the lows from the steroids. There's a reason they are known as 'devils pills'. I would give it a few days to see if you settle down but if you have any other symptoms then go back to your doctor.

  • Sounds like an infection brewing. Go to Doc and get antibiotic. If possible take a sputum sample and that can be tested then you will get the appropriate antibiotic. Do some steaming over a bowl.and if you have a nebuliser use it to help. If not using a nebuliser maybe chat to doc about the use of one. Try also getting to see hospital consultant asap.Sorry to hear you are poorly I know what that feels like.Hope things Improve soon for you. Good luck

  • Hello Gail.

    I'm sorry. That sounds dreadful.

    91? Isn't that a bit low actually? I get down to that on exertion and I'm fighting to breathe. gail123 I think you need to speak to the doctor soon. I really hope you get relief very soon.

    Take care.

    Cas xx 🌱

  • Ive been coughing for over a year. The cough eases a bit then comes back with a vengence. I have permenent mucus runni g down my throat but my nose is nasal drip? I have been treated with so many anti bios plus other meds but on past few months it has got so bad. The mucus is in my throat and chest and it will not shift. I cough till I retch and then some. I can't sleep but if i do i wake fighting for breath. So scary in the night not to be able to breathe. I already take steroids for another illness . i was given Mucadine some time ago to help clear mucus but one pill made me so ill i obviously have allergic reaction. This week i was so bad ie coughing non stop, fighting to breathe my GP came gave me different meds and said if no improvement in 2 days i would be in hosp. Well there is an improvement. He gave me Atrovent nebules to add to Ventolin ones. He gave me Bricanyl inhaler to add to Symbicort. Also Cefalexin anti bio plus Erdotin. And they have definitely helped. I've had 2 nights better sleep. Still coughing some but nowhere near as bad. Hope this info helps someone.

  • The healthy parts of your lungs will still be enough to get the oxygen into your blood.

    There is maybe some inflammation. Go back to your Doctor, maybe you need steroid inhalers and some extra medication added.

  • You can have more than one bacterial infection having a party in your lungs at the same time which was happening to me three years ago. I now take a maintenance about. three times a week and have back up absorbing a different kind for when my chest starts to hurt.

    Go sees your doctor you might need a different kind.


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