Hi Maureenclayton and good morning. You probably saw my reply to shonamackay. The most important thing at the moment is to make sure that the consultant whom you are waiting to see is a bronchiectasis specialist as general respiratory specialista don't know much about it but I'm afraid that they often pretend that they do.You can find one on the internet, usually at a big teaching hospital. Take the name to your GP and don't leave until you get the named referral. My main relationship is with my consultant and her secretary because 64 years of bronch has taught me that GPs are ignorant of it and they need the consultant to tell them how to treat you.
I am not a doctor so can't give medical advice but from my years of experience of bronch it seems that the treatment you are being given at the moment is more that given to COPD patients than bronchiectasis. Bronchiectasis treatment consists mainly of emptying the lungs of mucus very diligantly so as to prevent further damage due to infection and aggressive antibiotic treatment, given orally, by nebuliser or by IV.
treatment by nebulised dilaters is usually used for COPD to open the airways. The concentration in bronch is on getting down infection and keeping it down. Sometimes with the assistance of daily hand held inhalers.
The physio should be able to teach you to do a cycle of breathing to loosen the mucus and cough it up. You can also get mechanical 'flutter' devices which can make this easier.
You say that you have been told that this runs in families. Actually it doesn't usually but comes about because of a trauma to the lungs - badly treated infections, pneumonia. Having said that there is a genetic condition called A1A Antitrypsin deficiency. This is a missing enzyme which usually coats the lungs to protect them from the proteins which rush there to attack bacteria but also attack lung tissue. This can be a factor in speeding up the progression of COPD or in the development of bronchiectasis from lung infections. It would probably be a good idea to be tested. Some GPs can have this done but then you will need to be under the care of a centre which is studying it. You can also be tested at one of these centres. Again, they are at big teaching hospitals. The QE in Birmingham is one.
Bronchiectasis is all about getting control. Expert and accessible medical supervision and daily self management. It seems like a mountain to climb but once you get everything in place it is easier to live a normal life.
Good luck. There are several of us on here who have bronch and are happy to support you.