Pneumonia last winter, compromised lungs now?

Hi all. Last winter (beginning of this year) I had a cold which turned into pneumonia. It took weeks to get a diagnosis as they initially thought bronchitis (maybe it was and evolved?) and gave me steroids and an inhaler and told to wait it out. Eventually I got an X-ray confirming pneumonia - but I was still told to just wait it out. They threw five different antibiotics at me as i couldn't cough up a sample for them to test. None of them worked. It lasted four months then I slowly became a bit more "normal". Problem is that it's winter again and I keep going kind of in and out of feeing virusy over the last few weeks. Whether I feel virusy depends on things like how much sleep, alcohol consumption etc. The biggest worry for me though is that I can feel that my lungs are somewhat compromised - slightly breathy and I can also feel it in my ear tubes etc my chest feels heavy. My doctor recently said I would be more prone to catching it again 😢 I am now SO fearful of getting another 4 month bout of it. I am going away next week to South Africa for four days and to Kenya in January for three weeks - all work and I need to perform well. The question is should I be pushing for something - anti-pneumonia drugs? Investigations to see what is going on? I haven't been in to the docs because my Lungs are clearly not quite right for three weeks but they aren't getting any worse, just staying the same? Will I always be like this in the winter? Can I do anything to prevent full blown pneumonia? Thanks so much

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There are anti pneumonia jabs you can have if it helps. I would have those if you haven’t.

Ask for rescue packs of antibiotics and steroids to keep at home or take away with you.

And should you get a cold treat yourself right away.

Before you fly away get a chest xray..

Take care x

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Hello there and thank you for taking the time to reply. I wonder if perhaps it IS going to escalate as I am a bit wheezy this morning. I'll get to the doctors tomorrow. How do you mean treat myself if I get a cold by the way? It took them ages last time to agree to an X-ray so am not sure they would give me one that quickly. But what if it shows pneumonia? I can't pull out of this trip as the organisation running it has paid a lot of (non refundable) money for me to go 😞 Can I still go if I'm not too compromised? I will fight to get the anti pneumonia jab. Bit annoyed I wasn't offered it when I spoke with my doctor last week. I was in with my daughter though, it wasn't my appointment so it was a bit cheeky of me to ask him about myself. I think I need a dedicated appointment. I'll also ask for steroids, antibiotics (even though they did nothing for me last time) and an inhaler. I guess he'll listen to my chest and only do anything else if it's not clear.

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Hi Leanne

I don’t know about IS, I have LAM a cystic lung degenerative disease but I am glad you are going to the doctor’s tomorrow.

I say treat yourself with a cold so don’t let it escalate to a chest infection..

I had Prevenar last year against pneumonia, they always offered the pneumo vac to me even when they thought I only had asthma so do insist.

The xray is to make sure your chest is clear before you take a long haul flight.

I can’t say if you can go it is up to you and your doctor..you have time yet..

Do make a list of all of your symptoms and your needs, you can even phone BLF before you go, they help you on how to go about things with GPs.. just remember you want him on your side..😊😊

Fran x

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I just wanted to add that what I have learnt about doctors was that my health was my responsibility..

My GP had 2,500 patients..I go to a Consultant who takes care of 250 LAM patients, a rare disease..so I’ve learnt to be proactive..I was reminded to be actually..so now I come prepared and make his job as easy as possible because I know he has little time, he would have more time and a better budget in an ideal world, but that’s how it is..and I want him to be as efficient as possible within that system..

Hope that works for you xx

Fran

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thank you Fran - about to phone BLF now, so let's see what they advise x

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Great Leanne let me know x

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I'd also be interested to know if others take natural supplements for prevention or treatment of issues. I have a daily green smoothie with spinach and pineapple and boost it with wheatgrass or spirulina powder. I have chaga tea most days (it grows here, I'm very lucky) and have been adding licquorice root as I understand it is powerful for lungs. I could take SO many things - garlic, ginger, raw honey, elecampane, etc etc but don't want to get carried away as I did last year

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I take a multivitamin one tab out of 2 and omega 3 one soft gel capsule out of 2.. vitamin D3 3 months on 3 months off ..

I say that because it suits me as a make but your favourite brand is fine..

Yes you can take too much..

Also if I am on antibiotics I take Acidophilus too.

It is all supposed to help my immune system as I take meds and daily steroids..

Otherwise I am strong believer of daily gentle exercises and healthy food without being boring..😃

Enjoy your trip abroad xx

Fran

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I always have colloidal silver on hand and take when needed. I will cure a virus. Nothing else will. Eat a healthy diet. I take vit C and D daily. I've got COPD and having a bad flare up. Had my flu jab. but am defo asking for the Pneumococcal vaccine.

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Good to know about silver, my physio told me zinc and copper but I have never tried..

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Please remain aware:

What the Science Says About the Safety and Side Effects of Colloidal Silver

Colloidal silver can cause serious side effects. The most common is argyria, a bluish-gray discoloration of the skin, which is usually permanent.

Colloidal silver can also cause poor absorption of some drugs, such as certain antibiotics and thyroxine (used to treat thyroid deficiency).

The FDA also warned in 1999 that colloidal silver isn’t safe or effective for treating any disease or condition.

The FDA and the Federal Trade Commission have taken action against a number of companies for making misleading claims about colloidal silver products.

nccih.nih.gov/health/silver... - Last Updated: April 2017

and

Colloidal silver is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth, applied to the skin, or injected intravenously (by IV). The silver in colloidal silver products gets deposited in vital organs such as the skin, liver, spleen, kidney, muscle, and brain. This can lead to an irreversible bluish skin discoloration that first appears in the gums. It can also stimulate melanin production in skin, and areas exposed to the sun will become increasingly discolored.

webmd.com/vitamins-suppleme...

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I see thank you

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thank you all. That is a bit worrying about colloidal silver - I think a few people I know have taken it, I will make them aware. Fran, the Vit D3 I keep hearing about, so I should definitely order some!

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Hello leanne_t. It is obvious that your badly treated pneumonia has left some problem which is also not being addressed. You have a busy life and cannot afford for your health to be compromised by neglect of the situation. Let alone the anxiety caused by the worry that you will be ill when you are a long way from home working. Tinkering around the edges with supplements and ( non existant) anti pneumonia drugs is not going to solve the problem.

I seriously suggest that you get to your GP now for an examination of how you are now and hopefully some medication to cover it. At the same time insist on a referral to a good respiratory consultant who is the only person who will be able to do the proper tests to diagnose if the pneumonia damaged your lungs and know how to proceed from here.

If the GP tries to prevaricate tell them that it has gone on long enough and you have to be able to carry on with a useful life, not continue to let things deteriorate.

Many GPs are hopeless with lung problems and we have to be very pro active in our own interests.

Do not take no for an answer. This is your ongoing health and well being that we are talking about.

Good luck.

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I think this all sounds very sensible. About to phone BLF now for some advice on how to handle the situation and what I should expect and insist on. Thanks so much.

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I know how you feel I was the same after my pneumonia terrified I woutdoor get it again. As soon as I felt a wheeze I'd be in Drs for a seven day course of amoxicillin. If you feel bit wheezy I'd suggest a week course to stop it from evolving. But 3 years on and I haven't had pneumonia again, I've also just had the pneumonia jab this year. I suggest the same to you. I would ask your GP for a chest x Ray to see if there's any scarring left from your infection, be insistent. And a blood test to check your immunity levels etc.

My probs are caused by something else not lungs, it's actually severe heartburn called GERD which caused my breathing problems.

Be healthy, vitamin C and D3 supplements, eat 5 a day and drink lots of fluids, herbal tea ginger is very good and camomile. Wrap up warm and couple of spoons of Manuka honey a day helps ward off infections an flu. Also get the flu jab!

Worrying always makes you feel worse too so try and relax, maybe try meditation and/or yoga. Just because you've had it once doesn't mean it's going to come back, but if you do feel unwell see the doctor and don't let them fob you off. Take care xx

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Excellent advice, thank you so much x

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Hi Leanne - Im also going on nearly 3 years now without any new pneumonia episodes - I had double pneumonia in March 2015. After that I had my second pneumonia jab (the first being 14 years earlier and they only last around 10 years which I hadn't known or Id have been back before then). I already had asthma, then copd dx 17 years ago, then bronchiectasis as a result of the pneumonia. Definitely worth checking about any damage caused by your pneumonia - this can happen.

Having had 5 exacerbations that winter, Ive had no chest infections since. I take Vit D3 and magnesium (this helps relax the smooth muscle tissue in the lungs), spirulina, coQ10, and Vit K2. Plus I do obsessive hand washing and never touch my eyes, nose or mouth when Im out as those are the main routes of infection into the body. Avoid touching public door handles, hand rails, etc etc. I use tea tree oil as a disinfectant, and First Defence which you can get at chemists and squirt up your nose, either as a prophylactic or in the early days of going down with a virus as it is said to shorten these. Opinions here have varied about how useful it really is but so far it seems to have worked for me.

And loads of sleep, good food and exercise.

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I used First Defence at lot at the start of the winter, but kind of stopped - I wasn't sure if it was just preventing a bug from progressing through to the end, if you know what I mean. Thanks for these ideas. What is coQ10? I put spirulina in my smoothies in the morning (or wheatgrass - tend to alternate - around a tsp).

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Co-enzymeQ10 (full name) works on the mitochondria in every cell in the body - they are sort of the cells' engine, they provide the power or the cells to function if you like. There's a very lay answer for you. No doubt you'd get a better definition on google. CoQ10 is one of the most frequently bought supplements.

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I'm being helped at the moment by drinks with a teaspoon of turmeric and a large pinch of black pepper. Great in lemon and ginger tea with added honey, and also golden cocoa.

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thank you - what is golden cocoa?

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I make it the way I make my usual cocoa, but add a teaspoon of turmeric, a bit of black pepper and a bit of ginger. It looks a golden brown colour - golden cocoa sounds so much more appetising than curried cocoa or "your concoction".

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I am surprised to learn that some people are being offered a second anti pneuminia jab as i have been repeatedly told, the last time only two weeks ago, that this injection is for life and as i had one approx 15years ago i would not be given a second one, even though i developed pneumonia recently.

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I think Prevenar 13 has newer pneumo viruses or bacteria, I believe it is a complement to pneumo vac which had 23, which I have missed out on anyway..

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I thought it was a one off jab if your over 65 and otherwise it's every 10 years, but that's what the NHS site says so I don't know?

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Well you know there are new drugs on the market all the time, having a chronic disease if they offer I say yes thank you..

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Hello leanne_t .

I know what you mean about feeling compromised. I recently had a bout of cold and although the symptoms have mostly gone, I am coughing more than I do regularly. My doctor also told me that catching cold will weaken my lungs so I need to be very careful not to. But it happens. Despite all my precautionary measures. 😱

I would see your doctor and explain to him / her what you've told us. I would always err on the side of caution when it comes to our health issues. Being away and flying long haul will be hard on you. And if you feel "iffy" now it's probably best to nip it in the bud.

I know how you feel. I didn't get on a long haul flight the morning of departure sometime ago, because I knew I felt too unwell. I should have taken action sooner.

Sending hugs.

Cas xx 🌿

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