Pneumonia recovery


Am just wondering if anyone else out there has continuing ache/pain/discomfort in their chest?

I was admitted to hospital with pneumonia 10 weeks ago, stayed for three days on IV antibiotics before discharge with more antibiotics. Took them faithfully but ended up back in hospital two weeks later for a nine day stay again hooked up to an IV with pneumonia.. Again discharged with antibiotics.

Have had a follow up X-ray which shows the infection has gone - yippee!! But I still have pain where the infection was... it is a hard one to describe. Mostly it just feels like there is something heavy there, a kind of dragging, dull ache.. sometimes it feels like my lung is stuck to something, sometimes it is sharp.. The Dr doesn't know...


19 Replies

  • Good morning coughdrops

    Welcome to the Site,

    It's good to hear that at last your infection appears to be clearing. I'm no expert but I imagine what you can feel is your body repairing has gone through a lot over the last ten weeks. I'm surprised your doctor has not advised you of your next step if you are worried, which you obviously are. To set your mind at rest ask for an xray? I had experience of double pneumonia a few years ago. In hospital for a few days and sent home because the beds were needed. It took a long time before I felt properly right, I suppose looking back I should have had the doctor in to see me as I was only sent home with the minimum amount of antibiotics and told to keep warm and drink plenty of water.

  • I had pneumonia three years ago and was in hospital for 14 days. I was on full strength antibiotics whilst admitted and then for 10 days at home. I also had a chest drain inserted for 10 days as fluid had built up in my lungs. I had aftereffects exactly as you describe. Mine lasted about six months then gradually decreasing intensity and frequency. After some 12 months I realised that I was no longer experiencing these discomforts. The majority of the people that I have spoken to say that it takes 12 months to recover from pneumonia. Hope you feel better soon.

  • Hi coughdrops. You are not alone. I had similar pains across my back mainly. I felt a line had been put in my body. It lasted for about 6 months. Hopefully you will start to recover more quickly as the infection has gone. Take care and don't overdo it.

  • When I had pneumonia it took me months and months to get better, I had a week in hospital on i.v antibiotics, sent home with them as well. My doctor kept wanting to see me every two weeks, but I think it took me at least 6 months before I really recovered. I returned to work in that time, but I really shouldn't have.

    Be kind to yourself, drink plenty of fluids and when your up for it take gentle walks. See the doctor if you feel you need to. Take care x

  • Hello, I also had pneumonia twice in the space of 3 months. X-rays showed the infection had cleared but I was suffering with severe pain afterwards. Anyway it turns out that I had pleurisy resulting from the pneumonia. It's a very painful condition and you will need something to manage that. Go back to your GP and ask to check you for this. It takes a long time to heal. Good luck.

  • Hi....I had exactly the same. Does the heaviness worsen after food? x

  • Hello, no it is there most of the time, was the best way I could describe it.. it really isn't the easiest thing to put into words 🙂

  • I have the same feeling but the heaviness felt worse after I ate. Been put on lansoprazole as Dr said it was gastric acid..x

  • I was admitted to hospital twice within weeks of each other it takes weeks to heal after pneumonia but sympathise with the aches in the lungs i get them too

  • Hello Coughdrops

    I had pneumonia in May ( cut my holiday short) this year, and although I didnt stay in hospital I had the 5 day course of antibiotics and x-rays, follow up x-rays and CT scan, all clear,(the waiting in between these were very worrying) with the last confirming it's just scarring from the pneumonia.,

    but I do still get this 'achey' like something stuck, feel as though there's something hard still there feeling, even now if the weather is damp or I've not quite cleared my morning cough, once I do this I find it eases, I'm not sure if this feeling will ever completely 'go away' but it reminds me to wrap up warm and steer clear of the grandkids and their germs, and it does get less frequent, I have lost many nights sleep sometimes from it, but I know the 'feeling' and hope in time yours eases. :)

  • Get yourself a "cisca salt pipe" this will help you to recover. Look up on line, I find mine is wonderful.

  • Very sorry to hear you have had pneumonia. I had it in winter of 2015 and had pleuritic pain for about a month and then lasting discomfort in the base of one lung. I was advised by a respiratory physio to make sure I was fully filling my lungs a few times a day which was helpful Also my consultant reassuringly told me that they tell a fit young man of 18 that it takes 4 months to pick up but of course if you are older and have other health issues it could take much longer as other members have already suggested.

    Obviously if you continue to be worried it is always wise to go back to your GP. Best wishes.

  • Hi Coughdrops - sorry you've had pneumonia, always horrid. But don't be downhearted by left over symptoms - it took me a good year to get back to where i was in fitness terms. It's annoying how long it takes but really its just par for the course. When you feel ready (and the doctor is happy), try to build up your exercise - that will help your recovery even if you start by walking a few steps around your home and increasing by a little amount each day.

    And re the pain you still have, the doctor SHOULD know. Don't keep it to yourself if you're worried, you've been very ill and are entitled to advice on any remaining symptoms. Good luck :)

  • hi i had this in 2014, was really ill. it took me 6 months to recover fully. we all heal at different rates, but i think 6 months is about the average. you've been through alot, let yourself take time to recover. hoping all goes well ..

  • I have End Stage COPD and I've had lung cancer in 2000, Post Pneumonectomy Syndrome, pneumonia, pleurisy, costacondritis ...................and other stuff too I only mention this to say that I'm no medic but I've been around the block several times!!!!! I think you may be suffering from pleurisy but then, your Dr would have noticed that would he/she?

    I looked up Pleurisy on 'NHS Choices' ....

    "What causes pleurisy?

    Most cases are the result of a viral infection (such as the flu) or a bacterial infection (such as pneumonia).


    It may help to investigate that you haven't got pleurisy (But I think you may have)

    I hope this helps and I hope you feel better very, very soon

    Good luck


  • Thank you all for your replies and advice, it is frustrating waiting for things to get better, I am normally a very active person so it has been hard adjusting to sitting around!

    I had an X-ray this week which showed things were clear, such a relief, the Dr at the hospital said the pleura might be inflamed, but that was a 'might' not a definite.. there doesn't ever seem to be a clear answer!

    Will have to work on being more patient 🙂

  • It has been said time and time again Pulmonary rehabilitation, gentle exercise and healthy diet is the way to go and without doubt giving up smoking has got to be the best health benefit you can get. Advice and support on this site has also been invaluable and reassuring that you are not alone especially in the early hours when it seems like you are the only one awake and worrying in the world!!!!

  • Hi coughdrops, I had double pneumonia in 2008 and In ITU, like you I also had pain in my ribs. I was told I had costochrondritis which is inflammation of the cartilage that sits in-between each rib. This can be caused by severe coughing. it's also known as Tietze's syndrome. I often get flare ups. I know mine runs alongside my kyphoscolliosis and arthritis. if it's worrying you or causing you alot of pain go and have a chat with your Gp. It maybe just your chest muscles repairing after a lot of exacerbated coughing with the pneumonia infection. big gentle hugs and I hope you feel better soon xx

  • It takes a long time to recover from pneumonia completely, especially if you also have previous lung damage, which I have. I felt exhausted for a year the first time I had double pneumonia following swine flu & often used to ache & feel unwell for nearly 3 years. I am an asthmatic with Bronchiectasis & contracted an aggressive strain of RSV last Christmas & got double pneumonia with that & very nearly wasn't here to tell the tale. I still feel tired a lot of the time , but it is getting easier because I am learning to help myself with a largely fresh & mostly vegetarian diet (plenty of salads with my meal that oxygenates our whole body, like watercress & also fresh juices high in vitamin C & dark greens with meals), which is organic as much as I can manage, (but washed thoroughly if not organic, even if it says pre washed) excellent herbal potions & an optimistic outlook. Good quality sea salt or Himalayan salt & freshly ground black pepper is a simple healthy change we can make to start us off. It's not easy, it involves a fair amount of research & a reasonable amount of discipline & as much exercise as we can manage. However, the rewards are more than worth it & so are we 😁. There is plenty of information online about foods that oxygenate our bodies & other tips, just type your questions in. This could be a new adventure, finding out how to keep ourselves well. Tai Chi is helpful with breathing as is gentle yoga exercises, but gentle walking is also good. I hope you get better soon, be gentle with yourself on difficult days rather than giving up, give in & rest well & remember the saying in difficult times- ' This too shall pass '. It is definitely helpful to try to & maintain an optimistic outlook & a sense of humour😊 laughing at ourselves & with others, helps us to be patient & kind with both ourselves & others. I still have a way to go & still have difficult days when I just feel exhausted so I rest, but I'm keeping my focus on good health. Hope that you will too, best wishes ClaraC 😃

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