British Lung Foundation
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Need help friends regurgitate and trapped air in chest

Hi my friend s need desperate help n advice again back in hospital again with a touch of pneumonia so not feeling good but the reflux is horrendous as well as the gel getting stuck in chest and esophogus also mega trapped air : painful puts so much pressure on my breathing also mucus sticking fast after food,im trying to keep moving after food and o encourage it o go down but it just seems to want to be wretched up, no one on ward staff can tell me what’s best to do , I’m trying to move but it’s so hard , the air is awful , does laying on tummy or anything like that help , appreciate any help out there xx

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Hi Carol, no - lying on stomach would put pressure on it and encourage acid to leak upwards. Best thing is to prop yourself up on pillows (though the darn things tend to move around) and sleep on your left side which will place the stomach sphincter higher up on the right and gravity will help keep the acid in your stomach. Try to keep off your front, back or right hand side when sleeping - you can use a pillow as a bolster against your back to help stop you rolling over.

Im so sorry you have this. My situation was a bit different as I couldn't move at all after eating as moving around would bring on dreadful bronchospasm, which I think was also partially caused by reflux. But I did have the hyperventilation and air trapping, big time.

Have you mentioned this problem to your consultant? There should be a ward consultant round each day, or you will have one of your own, depends on the type of ward. You could ask if it would help for your reflux medication to be increased. If possible try not to lie down until 3 hours after your meal, though I know the timing of eating when you're ill is difficult - I was terrified to eat as it always complicated my breathing.

Is there a respiratory specialist nurse available? One came to see me when I was an inpatient. S/he would be aware of the problem of reflux with chest infections, or any situation where you are suddenly taking more meds like prednisolone or ABs, since they make the stomach more acid. So ask one of the nurses if you can see the respiratory nurse.

Let us know how you go on. I know this is horrid but it's very normal. My Asian ENT consultant on my last visit for a nasendoscopy (endoscopy via the nose down the windpipe) left me saying these wise words: You'll be ok, just remember, no worry, no hurry, no curry! Good advice for when you come out. Works for me - when I remember :)

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Check out Donkster's reply on Mavary's post, Carol. Good tips re using Gaviscon and things not to eat.

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Thank you 02 I knew you would at least put me at a little ease because I think it is more scary trying to figure out what’s happening and in a busy hospital they don’t really explain properly and I get terrified thinking it’s completely blocked caking my airway then panic sets in I know you know the drill, thanks so much..l Carol xx

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Hi 02 , they put me on a saline n salbutamol nebuliser to try help get the stuck mucus in the back of my throat but it was horrendous it went sort of like thick white fam froth , I nearly started chocking after they calmed me and got me breathing better the nurse said don’t neb if it has that effect on you . Sometimes don’t know what’s right or wrong what are your views on nebuliser sometimes it does make me feel worse, they are upping the morphine as the pain sometimes stops me from breathing deep , sorry I’m barraging you with questions , I hope you don’t mind, but I really appreciate everyone’s help it’s such a desperate situation to be in , I’m only 62 and really don’t want to lave just yet, ... sorry a bit morbid today but having such a rough few months .,,, just want a bit of respite. Once again many thanks xx

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No problem Carol, what's the point of going through this stuff if you can't spread around what you've learnt along the way?! Ive been doing this for 18 years and you pick up a lot in that time lol.

Re nebulising - like everything else its different strokes for different folks and inhaling ventolin via inhaler does nothing, nada, for me. That frothy stuff may be what I also get - when Ive been having spasms, the spasms themselves seem to create mucus which has lots of bubbles in it. Ive always assumed that was to do with my asthma. I was nebulising ventolin, ipratropium and saline in hospital and have a nebuliser at home. Don't have to use it often but what I do use it for is when the mucus which collects in my throat won't be coughed up but causes spasms instead. I tried the ventolin neb first and it worked pretty quickly, loosening my airway and allowing the phlegm to be coughed up in that noisy rattling loose way that tends to alarm other people.

Try and remember to breath in through your nose if you can - I find that way the air bypasses the irritation caused by the mucus so Im less likely to start spasming/choking.

So I wondered if it was the salbultomol (ventolin) which was doing the job, or just the inhalation of moisture. I tried the saline to see if it would work as well, and bingo - it did. Less drugs you can manage on the better. I had so much morphine in hospital I was virtually comatose and the consultant halved it which was better as I was so out of it I couldn't begin to manage my breathing. I have Oromorph at home now and sometimes if Im out or have friends round and the spasm thing happens, I take a shot of Oromorph and that will open the airways more quickly. Never even knew it existed before this last admission.

Seriously Carol, you're going through a hard time, really hard, but 'leaving'? No reason at all why this should happen. Im 72 and going strong and there are many many more on the forum who will reassure you. Seems to me that you need to get your medication sorted out and your reflux taken seriously. You've got a good load of tips here too. :)

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Hi 02, thank you so much for your time it’s such a complex illness so so scary the anxiety is horrendous I’ve always been a positive confident person , not anymore I shake terrible with anxiety, apparently the jackhammer esophogus I have cannot be operated on because I am not fit enough to withstand surgery..... so with that , the copd , bronchiectasis and emphysema, last ct scan showing several nodules looking suspicious one In particularly which is 8mm they are considering radiotherapy but at this moment I time with the pneumonia I’m not fit enough for that either so I’m up against it at the minute , and yes I do have like you those spasms like tight blockages and on days like today it’s like I’ve been moving up all day till finally I go to bed then next morning it all begins again.,,, il say an extra prayer for us tonite thanks so much, xxx carol

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I didn't know you had nodules, that's hard but it sounds like they are monitoring them properly and may treat the 8mm one when you are better. The pneumonia will pass and you will get fitter. It must be horrible waiting for possible radiotherapy when you aren't well enough for it yet, nothing like worrying about the future for bringing you down. Ive not heard of jackhammer oesophagus - is that a term for it, or just your own description?

When you are anxious try hard to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, taking longer on the out-breathe. You need to slow down your breathing and this in turn will make you a bit calmer.

I hope you have an ok night. Keep in touch Carol.

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Hi o2 , no jackhammer esophogus is a medical term I had to google it when consultant told me what it was after I had the monitoring process with recorder into your gullet, not very pleasant, very painful spasms lots of reflux not always acid , a lot of people can have the damaged valve that stays open but because of my condition again !! They said too risky to operate aren’t I blessed, xxxx

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Morning Carol - yes, totally blessed - if it's not one thing, it's another. So is it bile and pepsin which is getting into your oesophagus? I will google that myself. Sorry you're lumbered with so much. We are all here for you :)

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It’s like jell mucus and mixes with reflux and my gullet/esophogus doesn’t get rid of It the valve is almost almost open so along with the chest mucus it’s like a bottle filling up pressure I can barely breath clogs my lungs airways so have mega clearance issues or I can’t breath, doesn’t seem to matter what I eat, I take donperidone to try and aid it thro my system, but the trapped air confuses things because that’s painful too sometimes can’t tell if it’s air or mucus, I do have esonophilic asthma maybe that’s why I make so much mucus just wish I could stop that production line lol, I honestly don’t know where I’d be now if it hadn’t have been for the likes of you and this site, hope you have a good day, I’m feeling a little better this morning it’s all quiet on the ward, but the horrid pain is there reminding me I can’t breathe normal.... that is one thing I could stop thinking about 24/7.., I suppose we all get like that... take care xx

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Hi 02, I’m just sat mulling over my miserable day lol hope u don’t mind you mentioned earlier something about your sinuses, for months I have been suffering with like really bad PND and noticed that I’m sort of sniffing snorting from the back of my nose quite chunky globules as if coming up from what feels like a very clogged up nose, I get the sensation on mucus flapping and clacking at the back of my throat, is this similar to your symptoms, I’ve had a very tiring day with it today thank the lord it’s nearly lights out on the ward .... , think they are going to let me home tomorrow if bloods have improved xxx carol

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Don't think I mentioned my sinuses Carol. I have no idea where my mucus comes from - though I guess it could be PND. But maybe it's actually chronic bronchitis, or an effect of bronchiectasis. No idea why sometimes it chooses to come up easily with two small coughs, and other times I need a neb, or Oromorph, and it will take half an hour, preventing me from moving much or speaking in case this causes more bronchospasm.

Hope you get home tomorrow if that is what you want - at any rate I do hope your bloods are improved. Sleep well. :)

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Hi 02 , yes you sound just the same symptomatically like me , I’m just the same sometimes daren’t move because of the bronc spasms, I’m home from hospital now in oral antibiotics not as much mucus today at all I’m praying it’s becau they have tapped in to the infection I do feel a lot better today still very anxious but this last. Episode has left me terrified of chocking so I’m going to have to work on that, thanks for all your help, il keep you posted , keep well xxx

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Ask them to lift the head of your bed so that it is at least 6 inches higher than the bottom. The easiest way is to put a block of cement, bricks or books under the feet of your bed at the top. This means you are sleeping straight but in a tilted position if that makes sense and has helped me enormously. Read about it here: inclinedbedtherapy.com/

Also avoid any food with fat in it.

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Yes I’ve actuall done that Mrs mummy, thankyou xxx

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Try sitting up right and put your hands above your head I found that helped me

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Hi donkster, 02 has told me to check your reply to mavara which Ian going to do if I can find it you have put some good tips in she says. Thanks for the reply xx

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Here's the link: healthunlocked.com/blf/post...

Donkster's posts are near the end, and there's a good one from Peege too. Someone also mentioned diaphragmatic breathing, where you breathe into your stomach, NOT higher up in your chest. Try it by placing one hand on your stomach and one on your chest and make sure the one on your stomach is the one to move outwards as you breathe in and the air goes into your lungs.

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If you are already in hospital you could ask for carbocystein to help ease coughing up. drink plenty of water to help keep mucus fluid also. Ask for meds for the reflux, ask for anything to help ease your symptoms. I would say having the upper chest slightly raised would help. I would not think laying on the tummy is a good thing.

Hope you are feeling better soon.

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Without having your problems carolg1,I haven't had any problems re reflux after spending 2 nights in hospital last September due to gall bladder problems and was put on a fat free diet. No more Gaviscon or Omeprazole, no more 9pm sickness. I don't eat pastries, anything in batter eat smaller portions more often and feel so much better. Hope you soon recover from the pneumonia and are back home to sleep in your own bed💐

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Thankyou Joyce xx

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Hi carol I just wanted to say I’m sorry your having such a hard time and youv got pneumonia and these nodules that need radiation , ill keep you in my prayers 🙏🏼I’m sorry I can’t help with advice but my heart does go out to you suffering so much . Take care I hope to hear how your doing over time x🌹🌹

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A difficult one It seems a visit to the GP would be in order. Also there is help with BLF site as well as support from us all !!!!

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Hello carolg1 . 😃

I'm so sorry you are in hospital. I cannot add to all the excellent advice given here, but I will just say, I hope you get better very soon.

*hugs*

Cas xx 🌸🌻

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Thank ou caspina hope you are as well as can be too xxx

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