Ok So I Broke...and smoked

Hi everyone

This is my first post so a little introduction: I'm Anne, I'm 36 and have struggled with my lungs for a long time. Diagnosed with asthma for years but I've been suffering with infection after infection over the past 2 years. 8 months ago I went down with severe pneumonia and then pleurisy and really scared my daughters, aged just 1, 3, 6 and 13 and really scared myself actually. It took 6 months to really recover and then 2 weeks ago I got pneumonia again ๐Ÿ˜•. I'm bloody minded so I took my girls camping anyway,with my antibiotics and steroids..in the rain...and am still struggling to really recover properly. These infections come on so fast it scares me.

Anyway I have a blood test on Thursday and an Asthma review the following week but only because I cried at the doctor and begged her to find out why my lungs hate me so much. I'm at my wits end and so low that I'm afraid I smoked, even though I KNOW it's the worst thing to do. By the way it tasted foul and I put it out...! Can't even enjoy that now.

Has anyone any advice on what to ask at my asthma review? Or if its normal for my brown inhaler Clenil Modulite 100 to instantly make me cough?

My doctor seems to think it's just because of my children that I'm ill so much. I'm 5 foot 2 inches and now terribly underweight at just 6stone and I'm worried I just don't have the body mass to fight off infection. I'm run ragged with school runs and kiddies so I can't just rest up but I'm worried my lungs'll kill me at this rate.

Any support or advice would be very much appreciated...x

43 Replies

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  • It's not normal to have 2 lots of pneumonia in such a short time ... Clearly having young kids puts you at risk AS kids are natruly germ magnets.

    Pneumonia hijacked my immunty SO I had kids pneumonia vaccine as adult one never worked.

    Anyway I had IGM antibody issues AS probable causes of why adult pneumonia vaccine never worked and why I to kept getting infections.

    Might be worth asking your doctor to check IGM antibodies & Pneumococcal Stuff as it's not covered on normal blood test.

  • Oh ok thanks Jeff. The doctors just seem to keep prescribing antibiotics and making out like this is all normal. I'll definitely ask though as what you've suggested kind of makes sense.

    I hope you're feeling better there days x

  • Defo worth a ask AND if i had four kids i would just bowl down doctors with them all :)

    Thats what i use to do with brothers kids AND was seen quicker.

    Anyway hope ya get it sorted and start feeling better.

    As to me gosh where would i start WELL am still kicking it SO thats plus plus :)

  • Yeah thats an idea! I could just let them run riot and the doc will do whatever I say just to get me outta there!๐Ÿ˜‚

    I'm glad you're doing ok x

  • Worked for me :) i just use to sit there SAYING stop it .

    O and gosh :) lol

  • Hi ๐Ÿ‘‹ Sounds to me you could do & prhaps need a referral to respitiry local hospital consultant he will defo rule asma or copd out ask & have the tests lung function tests & your brown inhaler makes you cough it's signs off sensetivity like maybe ? Am not a doctor but lungs inflamed from your history off infections . You have Nothing to loose only gain plus if you was admitted into hospital the staff usually do discharge &arrange an outpatient appointment to follow you up . please do request a referral & dint suffer in silence you sound realy poorly & self worried . Plus also ring adult vulnerable social services regarding your health tell them you had no follow up from community you poorly & don't want to go to hospital that you believe you missed out on follow up tests & believe me they are helpfull & communicate to doctors on your behalf & offer you Support with the childrenyou just trust accept support as they are dead good & they do sort your medication out have community nurse check on you & offer support while your ill lack energy & history off illness dies takes its time to get in your feet & your strength back also put you in touch with childminders registered to help around the home pick kids up bring them back home to you help prepare meals while you have down feel lowsey . Hell you be hospitalised at home without their bed comunity team they put to get her is there you need to reach out stop being wounder women but a sick wounder women . Once you get your energys back etc they keep you well aw best wishes hope I've helped even in the littlest off ways . You can approach me anytime all the best x ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜˜Bernadette x

  • Thanks a lot Bernadette. It's so hard when children just won't stop ha ha. I think I get so ground down and exhausted that my lungs then strike.

    The big pneumonia started with a burning sore chest and within 5 days I was in agony with pleurisy so it scares me how fast it gets serious.

    Amazingly I rang their schools and they said they were unable to help. I couldn't even get them into school. But maybe you're right if Id approached community support I may have got somewhere.

    I seewhat I can find out about referral to Hospital Respiratory Department too.

    Thanks so much for your advice ๐Ÿ˜

  • My children were teenagers when I contracted pneumonia and pleurisy and that was difficult enough, so I can understand that you are really struggling to meet their needs and your own.

    But as Bernadette writes try and get as much help as you can, starting with your GP and respiratory nurse.....and do you have any family and friends to help, get as many people on board as you can. You may feel like you are losing your independence for a while but you need to recover your physical strength first so you can meet your children's needs in the long term too.

    The blood test on Thursday will help them find the right antibiotic for you. I use Clenil as my preventer and use a spacer which helps get the medication into the lungs instead of hitting the back of the throat and causing a cough. Ask your asthma nurse to check your inhaler technique too .

    Have you a babysitter for your younger children when you go for your appointment so that you can concentrate on yourself?

    Tell them about your weight worries as well, you may be prescribed Fortisip but they are expensive, and given dietary advice.

    Remember the BLF has a helpline you can contact during the working week, I wonder if they could arrange to talk to you when your young ones are napping during the day. One of my now adult asthmatic daughters has a baby and I know she finds it difficult sometimes ....they both have a cough at the moment.

    Don't be afraid to get all the help you can, it's not a sight of weakness but think of it as building up your resilience and health .

    Best wishes to all.

  • Hi Knitter ๐Ÿ‘‹

    It's true I hate the idea of losing my independence but I guess I can't ignore my health anymore. And if that means asking for help then so be it.

    I'm trying to arrange babysitters for the blood test, yes great idea, especially as with 4 we hardly fit in the nurse's office these days! And I'll ask about a spacer too as at the moment I'm just using the inhaler and it feel like my lungs are rejecting it or something.

    I appreciate your advice, thanks so much, and I hope your daughter and her baby get better soon x

  • Hi breatheeasy and welcome. I am sorry that you are having such a terrible time. Having repeated pneumonias and infections like this is not right. Your children will bring home viruses which certainly do not help if you have an underlying lung condition but they don't bring home pneumonia. To have two pneumonias so close together indicates that something else is going on.

    Your GP is obviously not managing your condition properly.

    Now is the time to see a good respiratory consultant. There is a condition called bronchiectasis which leads to repeat infections and pneumonias if not controlled properly. It is often missed and I have met many people who have been diagnosed with asthma for years when it was either bronch or combined with bronch.

    Your GP cannot rule it in or out because it needs a specialist and ct scan to diagnose and a bronch specialist to oversee continuing care.

    Find a good consultant in your area and tell your GP that you want a referral because you want to find out why you are susceptible to these infections. The same consultant could also diagnose any other conditon such as COPD which may be developing.

    Do not take no for an answer.

    Once you have a proper diagnosis and ongoing management life will be easier, whatever the condition.

    I have had bronchiectasis all of my life. I only brought up two children but I can testify how exhausting it is.

    Good luck x

  • Hi Littlepom

    Well now that's food for thought... thank you. Slightly scary to think there may be something more serious going on but I guess I can't carry on like this.

    I've looked up bronchiectasis and COPD and some of the symptoms do fit, so I'll have a look to see if there are any specialists around and definitely mention it to my doctor for a referral.

    How is your condition now?

  • The thing is that it is better to get these thing ruled in or out by a specialist because as you say you cannot go on like this. It is no life.

    I was diagnosed at 3 and am now 67. I have had a very full life, lived abroad, helped my husband set up and run a shotgun cartridge manufacturing company, went back to uni in my 40s and attained a degree and MA. I rode horses for years and have only recently given up clay pigeon shooting.

    I still socialise, volunteer at a heritage attraction and am more active than a lot of my 'well' friends whose joints are giving up. I have never known what it is not to manage my condition. This takes a combination of drugs, self administerd physio, specialist care and a cooperative GP.

    First things first. Let's get your problem diagnosed and take it from there. It can only be better than what you are struggling with.

    By the way you have had some very good advice from the others about resourcing help with your children whilst you are poorly. Pneumonia knocks you out for months and you need to be able to let your body recover, which, on your own with four little ones is almost impossible.

    I do hope that your GP listens to you. I'm afraid that we have to be our own advocates. Keep smiling but insist insist insist. x

  • Thank you. You've given me a little hope that even if it is more serious I can still live a full life like you!

    I'll definitely push my doctor for a referral to a specialist. Even if it comes back as nothing at least I've checked thoroughly that way.

    I'll also see what I can find regarding support with the children. I've found very few people want to baby sit 4 ๐Ÿ˜‚ Wonderful as they are of course!

    Take care x

  • yes, my son has four, including terrible twins in the middle. Luckily he has a wonderful sister in law who looks after them so that he and his wife can have the occasional date weekend. Good luck. If everything comes back that you don't have an underlying condition you will know that you are just going through a bad patch and hopefully everything will eventually settle down. We are all here for you.

  • Lucky him! I have accepted that by having 4, life is all about the children and (when I'm well) I wouldn't have it any other way๐Ÿ˜‰Thanks for the replies and the support x

  • Hi breatheeasy and a very warm welcome.

    It does sound to me too that you need to find a good respiratory consultant and be assertive with your GP that you are referred. I am also a person who has had bronchiectasis since babyhood and so my thoughts automatically think of this condition, but ionly a ct scan can give you a definative diagnosis of any lung condition. Loss of weight is fairly common in lung conditions.

    Lung symptoms can improve with the right management but you need a proper diagnosis.

    Good luck


  • Thanks cofdrop

    I'll try to summon some gumption and get tough with my GP as Im starting to think she's fobbing me off a little. Ive had repeated chest infections for years, at one stage 3 in a row, and I just figured if the doctor said it was asthma then she must be right! Silly me.

    Though the sound of something like bronchiectasis scares me, I suppose we must face our fears!

    Thanks for the advice, how is your condition at the moment?

  • Not too bad thank you.

    I always think ?bronch when someone has repeated chest infections but many GPs don't. That is not to say you have it and I would hate for you to get ahead of yourself and think that is what you have. It could be a number of things and you GP could well be right, but s/he won't know for sure without a scan.

    Please let us know how how you get on.


  • Hi Breatheeasy1{Anne},

    Sorry to hear about your problems with your health, can i just say that i also have COPD and Emphysema and Bronchritis i have had many times problems and am also now suffering with Pleurisy, i can recommend that you ask the doctor to have an ultra scan or x-ray as i did quite a few years ago and they found that i actually have a hole in both lungs,and they gave me better meds and advice, i hope this may help you, take care and please get well soon

  • Hi Delboy sorry to hear you're so poorly right now.

    I had been just chugging along assuming this was all normal ish but having had so many supportive and informative replies on here I can see it's not. I'll definitely be pushing for scans and specialists when I see the doctor as I'm tired of living in fear of my lungs๐Ÿ˜‚

    Thanks for taking the time to reply when you're so ill. I hope you feel better soon x

  • Hi breatheeasy,

    Your very welcome and thanks for your kind reply too, do not get down to much as you need to try and stay strong and fit, get all the help you can and if need be go to ambulatory care at your local hospital they may be able to help you more.

  • Thanks Im afraid I don't have much faith in my particular hospital. It was recently highlighted in the news as the worst hospital in the country ha ha...

    Perhaps I should move...๐Ÿ˜‚

  • Well i hope that you do get sorted soon and find the right help, maybe you could get a referral to another hospital.

    Take care and best wishes


  • Thanks and yes there is a better one not so far away ๐Ÿ˜†

  • Hi great to meet you. The thought of 3 children under the age of 10 and a teenager would be enough to send me running to the hills! I can't add to the excellent advice given just wanted to say hi.

  • Hi! ๐Ÿ‘‹

    It's true I'm in a fun stage where they are all prime numbers...one is gearing up for terrible twos, one is in toddler tantrums, one has always been an Enigma with her tricky behaviour and my eldest is definitely flexing her teenage muscles...but where they are all girls they are actually a LOT of fun! It's the perfumes and nail varnish smells that make me run ha ha.

    Nice to meet you and thanks for the reply! x

  • You sound great :) Keep up the good work. xx

  • Thanks! Like everyone on here I'm doing my best ha ha x

  • Please ask them to test you for Alpha One Antitrypsin Deficency, something is not right, it is more than asthma and your young, you appear to be showing signs of this genetically inherited disease. If you need info pm me, you can send for the test kit yourself to Birmingham free of charge. All the best.

  • Gosh that sounds serious. I may have to look that one up.Thanks for the advice and I'll do a spot of research then pm you. Thanks again x

  • Hello I'm foxy79 my advice to you will be to tell you bit about me I'm 36 I have copd respiratory type 2 bronchitis emphysema I'm on oxygen bibep nebuliser for you what meds are you on first need to review it then take bit of load of your self like kids time may be school runs make a time table for yourself like rest time then check your diet that's very important as your right your body gas to take your own weight it's soo much I rest 8 hours 6 hours on meds 6 at mums rest sleep or do appointment kids are part of bit stress but not cause of illness and remember one thing with copd etc we have limited energy to use then we are our of breath use it wisely sorry if it sounds harsh and if there is anything else I can advise will be happy to and don't smoke won't forget any good only harm won't even taste like cigarette trust me done it before will push backwards are on striods maintenance or bibep before any one tells you how what etc

  • Hi Foxy

    I'm just on Clenil 100 brown inhaler, 2 puffs twice a day and I have a blue reliever for if I get wheezy.

    Each time I get an infection or pneumonia I'm prescribed Amoxycillin 500 for 7 days and more recently I was given prednisalone 5mg (i think that was its name) steroids tablets to take 6 a day which made me feel very odd...almost wired like coffee or something and detached from reality. Coming off them was almost worse tho!

    I have found the last two years (since my last baby) truly exhausting and I've been having to pace my energy and breathing more. If I have a 'housework day' or muck out my chickens I feel wiped out for all of the following day and that's a new thing for me. My lungs are either damaged from repeated infections or there's something in there getting worse.

    I'm hoping to push for as many tests and specialists as it takes to find out what's going on now, so I think your right that I have to go over my current diagnosis and meds before I can move on...

    With your medication is your quality of life back to normal or are you restricted with what you can do?

    I really appreciate your advice by the way xx

  • Hi I don't know how worse is your copd and hiw long you had it for but if you do but if research you will see predislone helps a lot but for you it's good why I say it I was 52 pounds 7.5stones know I'm 90.6pounds 12.5stone it's cause of predislone and I'm on maintaining dose 10-15mg daily I hadn't had chest infection for 7 months if I do get it I know what to use mainly it's Co amoxcillive and clarytimisen with 40mg predislone for 14 days or ciprofulxcin main with punimniea these meds kills the bug but again it's all where when what your illness hiw bad it is what meds your on what your takeing etc but I'm sure you need review cause you only got inhalers you said blue and brown

  • Hi thanks for your reply. Don't you find prednisalone makes you feel weird? I felt very very odd in it...

    Yes I'm only on brown inhaler and I'm sure there's something else going on. My eldest especially is sacred now every time I start to cough and that's not right. I should be caring for her not the other way round ๐Ÿ˜‚

    I'm glad your meds are controlling things tho and thanks for your reply x x x

  • "...By the way it tasted foul and I put it out...! Can't even enjoy that now...."

    GOOD !!!

  • ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ God I wish I could smoke...๐Ÿ˜ญ

  • Hello. I don't have much to add to the advice that these lovely people have given to you. I do know from my experience that once I got a bad infection I then got another one then another one. January, March and May 2016.

    Many years ago when I was younger, I worked with young children and I spent so much time catching their infections and trying to get over them!

    I just don't fight infections very well. A life filled with antibiotics and steroids! Even more recently.

    I've terrified myself looking at stuff on the internet. I now just don't look.

    Congratulations on having your girls. Such hard work even if you're feeling well. You must be exhausted. I don't have lots of young children and with my pleurisy in 2016 I could hardly stagger to the loo!

    Maybe your doctor can help with dietary advice and foods that are good to boost you up physically.

    It's also mentally tiring when you're worried. I'm sure everyone in here agrees. I'm 'trying' to distract myself to stop myself worrying unnecessarily.

    Hopefully you'll get some answers and reassurances very soon.

    Big hug. Take care of yourself xx

  • Thanks so much for the hug...I'm feeling it ๐Ÿ˜†

    And thank you for your good wishes. I can't believe how lovely everyone is on here๐Ÿ˜ข. It humbles me.

    I hope you're feeling well now and, either way, you're in my prayers and thoughts. Thanks again x

  • Hi is it just you and the chidren or do you have a partner? You need time for you to relax and not having to run around after everyone else. Your body needs to recover. In terms of the weight thing. You need to eat small but regular meals which inlude high protien content. Meat cheese fish eggs beans or pulses. You need ro get your weight up a bit to give you some leeway.

    I am similar to you with asthma all my life and a couple of boughts of phnuemonia. The biggest hurddle is the feeling of not being able to do things. The loss of confidence and feeling down and depressed. This will pass when you are feeling better. Try and get into a pulmonary rehab class.

    I hope you a feeling better and more in contrl of things soon. Take care

  • Hi thanks so much and points to you for asking! No it's just me and my beautiful girls. My boyfriend left me when I was expecting out most recent daughter as he'd alway wanted a son.

    He was also tried of me being so 'unenthusiastic and lazy' when I just couldn't breathe.

    I guess the 'feeling down and depressed' passes? ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜ญ

  • Sorry I meant 'tired'. Couldn't see for crying.

  • Sorry to hear that. I did not mean to upset you. Are there any parents at the schools that could help with the school runs. I find first thing in the morning can be dificult. I know keeping up friendships can be dificult. But getting to a pulmonary rehab class might help you will meet people in a similar position.

    I hope you can get some help and support. Take care happy to chat if you want to pm me.

  • Hi you didnt upset me Im just low from being poorly I think.

    To be honest if their dad felt that way then we're better off without him ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I've got a couple of friend through school runs who may be able to help. Problem is I live out of the area and where we're rural there's no public transport so it's tricky from a school run point of view but Im sure it'll be fine.

    I do appreciate your kind words tho thank you xxx

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