6 weeks and no improvement

Hi there, wondered if anyone can relate or advise? I'm a 35 year old female with asthma.

6 weeks ago I became ill with a 10 day fever, sweating, chills and chesty cough. My peak flow dropped from 570 to 350 and i had shortness of breath and chest tightness. After a couple of days I visited gp and was given antibiotics. Fast forward to now, I've had 4 different antibiotics (amoxicillin, 2 x doxycyline and clarithromycin) and 2 lots of steroids (1 x 7 days @ 25mg - no improvement, 1 x7 days @ 30mg - peak flow up to 450 but only have 1 day left) I've also now been given mucodyne too.

A chest xray a week or two back showed consolidation on one lung but a recent sputum sample came back as normal. Xray advice was to repeat in 6 -8 weeks but gp has ordered a CT scan instead as I had a chest infectuon only a month earlier too - still waiting for this appointment.

Last lot of steroids had obviously helped peak flow improve but I've still had daily asthma symptoms and continual chesty cough.

Sorry for the long post ... Any advice?

22 Replies

  • I'm sorry I can't help much but wen I get chest infection..I get amoxacillin, clarithromycin and prednisalone and I take them EVERY 3HOURS ..yes through the nite etc for 48hrs....this way got rid of my infection that had been lingering for 2 months. Hope your CT helps doc sort you out

  • This is quite unusual. All medications should be taken as prescribed by your doctor.

  • That's quite a commitment, but if that's what the doctor recommended .... and it obviously did the trick!!

  • The doctor didn't recommend it...believe me I've seen enough docs to bloody know....so after 2 months of doing as I was told...I did it my way and finally got rid of it AND stopped taking my carbocisteine pills for mucus cos I don't ave it anymore

  • Hi Butterfly, sorry you are going through this - its horrid being ill for so long. Your GP seems to be on the case ordering the scan, I hope the appointment comes asap. I'm not sure what advice to give - I was diagnosed with asthma in my 20s (70 now with copd too) and had a couple of hospitalisations back then.

    Sputum tests can be problematic as the mucus you coughed up may come from a different part of the lungs - probably a good idea to do another one but even so it may not touch the consolidated part. You could try inhaling steam which might loosen your airways a bit - you can buy steam inhalers from the pharmacist. When I was in hospital all those years ago I was brought a steam inhalation every hour or so.

    You could try calling your surgery and speaking to the GP and asking if there's any way the CT scan could be brought forward. You could also call the BLF helpline on 03000 030 555 - they are very helpful and will talk things through with you.

    I hope things improve - let us know :)

  • I did wonder if the sample I have was maybe from higher up in my lungs, I really struggle to actually get any up even though my chest is rattling. I only managed a tiny bit too!

    I will ring the BLF helpline tomorrow, and I will try the gp to see if they can expedite the CT scan. I know in the scheme of things, it's not a long time to wait but when it's your life that is on hold, it's a lifetime!

    Thank you for you advice and support.

  • Hi....I can relate to it.Christmas 2015 I went through the same symptoms, except my nails are clubbing too, same antibiotics and steroids except, I wasn't prescribed mycodyne. Negative sputum sample and bloods normal. My x rays showed consolidation of lungs, when I went for my c t scan results, I was told I had bronchiolitis which is inflammation of the small air ways. Was given symbicort inhaler which didn't help and and after seeing a different respiratory consultant in Sept I'm on a 3 months course of Azythromycin. Been getting chest pain and a pain in between my ribs and have been told I got gastric acid, so on lansoprazole for a month. Had repeat lung function tests last week which showed no improvement. Was told I dont have asthma after the lung function test. Feel better than I did I'm not back to normal by a long stretch but as someone on here told me theres no quick fix. it takes time. Rest when you feel you need to. Write down a list of questions you want to ask when you see the consultant.I had my sister come with me and she wrote down all the answers he gave to my questions. Hope you get the help you need and you start feeling better soon.

    Ebony x

  • Thank you for your post, and sorry you've had an almost year long battle with it!

    I'm not sure I will see a consultant will I, I'm not normally under one. I assumed the CT results will just go to the gp and I'd have to wait again if they decide to refer me?

    I do rest when I need to, but I also push myself as I play sport, and whilst I'm finding it very hard to keep up, I don't want to lose what level of fitness I have. I refuse to give in ... but I'm not sure if this is making things worse?

  • Hi.....my ct results went back to a Respiratory consultant. you obviously need to be under a specialist in Respiratory medicine. Ask to be referred if you haven't been already. I didn't even have the energy to walk upstairs I'd be out of breath. I can't answer if playing sport is making things worse for you.If you feel ok I suppose you can't be doing any harm. Hope you feel better soon and have good c t scan results.

    Ebony x

  • Ah ok hopefully then the CT results and resp consultant will come hand in hand. I just don't trust joined up thinking from the Gp and hospital, too cynical lol

  • Hi here I can totally understand how I feel I too i am he same. Since late June I have been poorly with chest infection and chest Infection. I am currently in hospital after having 5 different antibiotics and 21 days of steriods and still no better. I have been admitted twice and a/e 3 times. Chest X-ray showed infection and shadow so tbey said pneumonia. My worry is why have I been like this for over 16 weeks and th cough is that bad I'm passing out called cough syncope. I am too stressing that I have a ct scan to find out what's going on. Even after b big on nebuliser and more steriods and antibiotics via iv I am showing signs of getting better

  • Sorry to hear you're having a rubbish time too, I really hope they can begin to understand what's going on, and start to improve things for you. I'm obviously seeing some improvements on the steroids but not enough and today was my last day so I'm worried my peak flow is gonna crash again.

  • I am just getting over Cronic bronchitis this can take 2-3 months. And you get it back every year. I find a nebuliser helps a lot , helps clear your tubes for breathing. I bought my own and doctor gives me the liquid tube capsules to get the vapor mist.

    If you can also get tablets called Flemex these dissolve in warm water and you drink it. Good to loosen the mucus to cough up easier.

    Hope it helps.

  • Thank you for the advice. Is the flemex over the counter?

  • I am based mainly in Thailand and you can get anything over the counter here. It should be available O C there.

  • Carbocisteine tablets loosen the mucus too

  • Yeah that's what I'm taking but haven't seen any improvement yet. Does it take time to start working?

  • I can't honestly remember if they take time to work but you do need to drink plenty water as well..good luck hun it gets u down u know 😩

  • Meant to say I KNOW 😠

  • it's very simalar to the treatment I received last Dec ,Jan,Feb, ie; same medication for repeating chest infection ,my peak flow is averaging 350/400. But then I'm age 70 so I wouldn't expect high numbers ,best wishes,

  • Thank you for your support, whilst it's not good for you, it's nice to know im not alone!!

  • I can't believe how good everyone's peak flow is...mine was 150...now gone up to 210 😶

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