Cannot breathe. Help!: I have been in... - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation
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Cannot breathe. Help!

stanns
stanns

I have been in and out of hospital all over the Christmas season struggling to breathe. I have cold but when I get up to go into another room I have an exacerbation every time. This is terrifying. I use nebulisers 3-4 times a day but still cannot get my breath. This is terrifying for me & my husband. I know that I have a lot of phlegm on my chest due to all the chest infections that I have. But how the hell can I get it off my chest, I have tried everything, I have a butterfly and that is not helping. I am desperate now, if anyone can help I will be most grateful.

10 Replies
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Try calling the BLF and speaking to one of the nurses and/or if you have a community respiratory team call them and ask one of the nurses to visit. They are usually very helpful and will call the doctor out if they consider it necessary.

Do you take anything for the mucous like carbocysteine or NAC?

Keep topped up with vitamins especially C .

I know opinion is divided on this and it’s also expensive but I’ve been giving my husband a spoonful of Manuka honey each day and I’ve been taking it myself and so far this winter no infections. Touch wood.

My husband has severe emphysema and suffers from severe breathlessness and I find it really scary to watch. He doesn’t find a nebuliser helps although I don’t think he’s given it a fair go and prefers to use his bipap machine.

Sending you my best wishes

Corin

Hidden
Hidden
in reply to Corin1950

Have you contacted royal brompton for new treatment or asked for referral

Corin1950
Corin1950
in reply to Hidden

Having read the reply to my post by Skis which highlighted the strict criteria and some of the difficulties and as we live in Leeds I decided to leave it as my husband is hopefully having endobronchial valves fitted here in April.

Take care

Hidden
Hidden
in reply to Corin1950

Ok just a thought x

stanns
stanns
in reply to Corin1950

Thank you for your reply, I do take carbocistein and have started taking Manuka honey, it is dire but I will do anything to feel better than this. At the moment I only have to move & I cant breath. At the moment I am waiting for the doctor to ring. What is a bipap machine?

Best wishes

Corin1950
Corin1950
in reply to stanns

A bipap machine ( sometimes called a nippy) is usually worn with a mask at night but can be used during the day too. It is used for people who have problems expelling carbon dioxide. The machine removes the trapped carbon dioxide and returns it to normal levels in the body. The machine registers all the information and is checked at intervals at the hospital . My husband now only needs to go annually. It was prescribed by his consultant as he has severe emphysema and very hyper inflated lungs and a serious problem with trapped carbon dioxide.

Gladwyn
Gladwyn
in reply to stanns

This will sound silly I'm sure but I eventually realised that some times when I was gasping for air/struggling to breath it was because I was retaining so much water it was squashing my innards making me extremely breathless Do you take diuretics? I know how scary it is struggling to breathe.

I have a lung condition (sarcoidosis) and produce a lot of phlegm every day. I wonder if the following would help you. To clear my lungs of phlegm every morning and before bed I do Active Cycle of Breathing technique (ACBT) - also known as huffing - which was taught to me by a physiotherapist to cough it up and then I don't cough during the day or when I lie down. If I don't do ACBT at nighttime my lungs "rattle" and can't lie down.

There is lots on the internet, especially Youtube, teaching Active Cycle of Breathing Technique (ACBT). I was taught by a physiotherapist to do it lying down on each side but it can be done sitting up.

Also you could ask to see a hospital physiotherapist who could assess you to see if you would be suitable for a nebuliser using 7% isotonic salt solution. You have to be tested to see if you are suitable. They are not very expensive to buy. After seeing a physiotherapist, I am prescribed individual ampoules containing 7% salt solution which I put in the nebuliser and which produce ‘steam’ to loosen the mucus and make it easier to cough up.

Or you could put your head over a bowl of very hot water with a towel over your head to loosen the mucus which I used to do before I had my nebuliser. I also have a Flutter device which I bought which helps if the phlegm occasionally gets stuck after I have done my ACBT (Look on the internet to explain what a Flutter is). There is also a device called an acapella which is similar. There is also an Aerosure Medic electric device which is similar, but costs a lot of money.

I never go anywhere without a packet of Fisherman's Friend (includes menthol and eucalyptus), as if I do feel the urge to cough I suck one (a very strong taste so takes some getting used to) and the urge usually disappears.

One last thing. My phlegm is white, but I have been told that if it goes yellow or green that may mean I have an infection and I should ask my doctor's receptionist for a little pot, cough in to it (in private!), and the doctor will send it to the local hospital for analysis to know which is the best antibiotic to fight it.

stanns
stanns
in reply to sarcoid123

Thank you I have tried all of those things.

Hi

I have been drinking mullen tea over a mth now and god does it work i have viral infection and the gung that comes up is awful dark grey green ive never had anthing like it as i dont useally have phelm so im guessing mullen tea is great get it on amazon also a lot if us suffers use pineapple juice

Hope it helps also pulmonary nurse can gave you exercise for to clear lungs

Good to practice it akso j fine sitting ti chi helps me as its controlled breathing as well as gentle exerice

Tonks 123

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