Mum is ill again 😔: Hey All, Happy... - British Lung Foun...

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Mum is ill again 😔

D0n49 profile image

Hey All,

Happy weekend! Just seeking some advice, acknowledging people are not medically trained.

My Mum had what started with a cold about a month ago, and after it moved to her chest she took her emergency care pack (amoxicillin and steroids) as advised by our GP, eventually.

We thought it had cleared, but she developed a barking cough a couple of days after the medication ended, but again left it as she was to have her booster this week. We asked the person administering the Pfizer jab whether it was safe for her to have, and he advised as long as she didn’t have a temperature it would be fine.

Yet again, the vaccination wiped her out, temperature, nausea, chills, headache and she has been in bed for the last two days which is not like her. But during this time her cough has got progressively worse and she was up most of last night coughing, and is now starting to bring up greenish phlegm.

To cut to the chase, she is reluctantly going to start yet another emergency care pack and follow up with the Doctor on Monday - reading other posts on here, Doxycycline appears to be a better antibiotic. But I wanted to know whether this was safe/would not effect her vaccination please? Has anyone else had the same experience?

Thank you as always xxx

41 Replies

I don't know if there is a connection between the jab and illnesses worsening, but it sounds to me as if your mum needs to see a doctor quickly. Green sputum means she needs treatment PDQ. Doxy certainly works for me, but you need at least 10 days of any antibiotic to get rid of our sorts of bugs. Is there any sort of emergency doctor out of hours service in your area? Whether or not, on reflection, I would first phone 111 and see what they say. Best wishes to you and your mum.

D0n49 profile image
D0n49 in reply to Alberta56

Thanks for your advice Alberta.

My Mum is very strong willed shall we say, and won’t let me call anyone. Not really sure she realises how dangerous her condition is 😔 But she is an adult, so I have to respect her wishes (even if it means more sleepless nights of worrying and listening for me!) If I can just persuade her to start the emergency pack, I am hoping I can convince her to get a Doctors appointment come Monday.

I actually just reached out to an old uni friend who retrained as a Pharmacist - it’s says online antibiotics do not react, but wanted confirmation about steroids and the efficacy of her booster. He just replied to say “As it is acute and a short course it shouldn’t” 👍🏻

Alberta56 profile image
Alberta56 in reply to D0n49

Oh dear. You do have a dilemma there. I hope you can find some way round it.

I would ring 111 for advice today , just explain to your mum your concerns .

D0n49 profile image
D0n49 in reply to knitter

Thanks knitter 😊 Problem is every time I have called them before they insist on speaking with her directly!

Hi D0n49, sorry to hear your dear mum is poorly again. Antibiotics do a great job but it’s important, if possible, to get the right antibiotics to do the job. A sputum sample is needed so it can be sent away by the GP and the correct antibiotics prescribed. I understand your mum not wanting you to call anyone but if her symptoms worsen over the weekend I’m sure you will dial either 111 or 999.

Hoping things improve and your mum gets the help and treatment she needs.

Thinking of you both. Xxxx

D0n49 profile image
D0n49 in reply to sassy59

Thank you as always sassy59.

I had mentioned sputum testing to the Doctor before, and was dismissed. Her breathlessness increased after her cold earlier this month and he put it down to her heart.

Praying rest over the weekend will help, and that I will be able to talk her around 🤞🏻

Really appreciate the advice and thoughts 😘

sassy59 profile image
sassy59 in reply to D0n49

Don’t let doctors dismiss your concerns, they don’t know everything. Hoping your mum feels better very soon, Take care xxxx🤗

Don. I am sorry that you and your mum are having such problems. I support what has already been said. Please get some more advice. The coughing alone will be using more energy and antibiotics need to be effective. Make sure that she remains well hydrated. Old fashioned lemon, honey and ginger won’t cure everything but it is comforting. My best wishes


D0n49 profile image
D0n49 in reply to Walkwalkwalk

Thank you Grace xx

I hope things get sorted and she feels better soon.

D0n49 profile image
D0n49 in reply to Dedalus

Thank you Dedalus xx

Damon1864 profile image

I would certainly ring 111and ask for advice, at least you will know what to do then. Please keep us updated on how your mum is. Have a good day and take care 😊 Bernadette and Jack 🐕 xxxxxx

D0n49 profile image
D0n49 in reply to Damon1864

Thank you for caring Bernadette and Jack as always! Managed to convince her to take her emergency pack, and she has been resting in bed all day, so hopefully it will the boost and rest her body needs!

In hindsight regret not cancelling her booster whilst she was so ill, but I keep hearing about so many breakthrough cases I just wanted to keep her safe xx

Damon1864 profile image
Damon1864Volunteer in reply to D0n49

No one can blame y poo u for that I would have done the same. Have a good night and take care 😊 Bernadette and Jack 🐕 xxxxxx

Has she had a covid test

D0n49 profile image
D0n49 in reply to Patk1

No actually we haven’t done one! Just put it down to a chest infection - next on my list of things to convince her to do 😉 Thank you xx

How have people managed to take control of their COPD please? The more I read, the more I am panicking about my Mum getting chest infections 🥺

sassy59 profile image
sassy59 in reply to D0n49

Pete takes10mg pred everyday and azithromycin antibiotics three times a week to help keep infections at bay. Speak to your mums GP about managing her condition if you can. Good luck to you. Xxxx

D0n49 profile image
D0n49 in reply to sassy59

Thank you so much! Good to know 😘 Feeling helpless stuck in a viscous cycle xx

If I were in your shoes, I would call 999 ASAP!!!! Coughing up green phlegm could be a sign of pneumonia! Even if my mother don't want me to call anybody her life is at risk by not getting the right treatment!Antibiotics also mess your intestine up as I have seen many times when working with elderlies! Do the right thing for your Mum and call 999 please 👍👍👍❤️and especially because your Mum has COPD 👍

As you stated we are not medically trained, but my brother is a doctor, and my Mum and sister have been nurses! 👍

D0n49 profile image
D0n49 in reply to Snowdrops_17

Thank you so much Snowdrops xx

You definitely need to take a sputem test in so it can be cultured. Then you will get the Wright antibiotics for the bug. Mine changes each time I have had 3 different types of rescue packs. Amoxacilin, co-amoxiclave and co-Trimoxazole. Each big might need a different med. Make sure Mum gets 10/14 days minimum to take as a while to clear up bugs. Good luck, hope Mums better very soon.

I’m sorry to know your mum’s not well. Sending good wishes to you both.

So sorry to hear that your mum is feeling so unwell.I agree with the others who have posted such good advice.

Are you able to discuss your worries with your mum?

When someone is unwell they are not always thinking clearly and may not realize how poorly they are.

My concern is both that your mum's lungs are already compromised with a chronic lung condition and if as green sputum suggests there may be an infection taking hold ,the sooner you get medical advice the quicker this infection can be treated.

Do you have an out of hours Dr service at your GP or local hospital?

Could you ask a pharmacist for advice(they would say get medical help but at least your mum would have someone else verifying your concern in needing medical help)

If your mum won't allow you to seek help after you have chatted with her there is not a lot you can do as she has free will however exasperating that is.

My mum was in denial -lying on the floor for 48 hours with a broken femur refusing help.

Thinking of you -let us know how you get on.

D0n49 profile image
D0n49 in reply to Cloudancer

Thank you Clodludancer! Whenever I try to calmly discuss this with her she gets so worked up, it’s almost not worth the extra stress I cause her!

Unfortunately I dread weekends, we have no out of hours service! But I plan on getting her an emergency appointment first thing in the morning. For now her oxygen levels are stable around 98, no temperature and she is sound asleep xx

Cloudancer profile image
Cloudancer in reply to D0n49

That's good that her SATs are ok and that she is able to sleep.Is it possible she is frightened in that she knows she is unwell and scared to seek help?

Obviously I don't know your mum

My mum lived alone when she had her fall and told the neighbour who peered through the letter box 2 days later to go away.She knew she was injured but wouldn't accept help.She had her fall less than 2 hours after we had visited and returned to the midlands.

Do hope you get an appointment tomorrow-maybe you could tell your mum it would ease your mind if she got checked over?

HelloD0n49, Sorry to hear your mum is so ill. Sounds like you need a bit of support too. It is not unusual for exsisting symptoms to worsen with the virus injections but it may not be that. You did what you felt was best. There is another option if you seek advice on line from 111 they will contact a community paramedic to assess if necessary or a locum doctor as next of kin you do have a right to ask for help although your mum might not approve as you said yourself. Hope she feels a little better today and you of course.

D0n49 profile image
D0n49 in reply to katieoxo60

Thank you so much Katie 😘

I am very like your mum and try to avoid doctors etc like the plague! However my daughter just overrode my instructions recently and I ended up in hospital. Its as well she did or I would be dead now!

D0n49 profile image
D0n49 in reply to Aingeful

Aingeful, I am sorry to hear you were so poorly! She sees it as “just a cough” but I don’t think she realises how serious COPD can be 🥺 xx

So sorry to hear your Mum is feeling poorly Don. I had my booster jab on Wednesday and must admit to feeling a bit off and have developed a cough, which I am sure is from the jab. The fact that your Mum was recovering from an infection I am surprised they gave her the jab. If things dont improve call 111 x

D0n49 profile image
D0n49 in reply to Izb1

Thank you so much xx

Your mum's oxygen levels sound good, which is promising. Yes, very difficult contacting 111 when they insist on speaking to your mum - I had the same experience with my mum. The advice you have been given is good, but I just wanted to say, with hindsight, that having had many similar panics to you, regarding my own mother, when thankfully Covid was not around, I eventually found out that her heart was probably more responsible than her lungs for her breathlessness and other associated problems. Having said that green phlegm is not a good sign and normally a signal to start on anti-biotics and maybe steroids, if prescribed. I am sure that your pharmacist friend is worth listening to, as they are so well qualified.I hope all goes well and sympathise greatly with the stress you are feeling.

D0n49 profile image
D0n49 in reply to anng18

Thank you anng18.

My Mum actually has a telephone consultation with the cardiac specialist next month (please God may it not get cancelled!). Not quite sure what they will be able to do over the phone, but hopefully it will help identify the cause of her breathlessness, noting her last infection travelled to her heart and she ended up back in AF.

Hope you and your Mum are keeping safe and well xx

Taking a big deep breath before I start.... firstly I know how you feel, you probably worry more about your Mum than she does and she gets cross because you fuss. Sometimes I want to bang my head on the nearest wall!!!

My Mum is 93 , she had Covid in Jan and got through( not allowed to call ambulance- would rather take her fate in her own bed), she also has bronchiectasis so again the breathlessness, fatigue, monitoring temperature, oxygen levels etc..

My sister and I can see her declining ages before she can, she says no wonder she feels rubbish if we keep telling her she is not sounding so good. It causes tension but all we want to do is keep her in her best health rather than letting problems develop and take hold.

Anyway, she too has been chesty and we have not seen a doctor but spoken to him, 1 course of generic antibiotics, no help, sputum sample shows candida colonisation, more specific anti biotic, no help. Called GP on Friday and said still no joy but meanwhile she is now 3 or 4 weeks in by the time she says ' let's see how I am next week'. New antibiotic until Friday so will see what happens and call them back then and GP will see her. A covid test came back negative.

I think my main thoughts are.. if you can get your Mum to agree to giving a sputum sample ( and tell the GP he must send it off - I battled with this for about 18 months until members here told me I must keep fighting) then at least a positive result will show her that she has got a bug/bacteria that needs treating. The sooner that is done the quicker a specific antibiotic can be administeredand she can start to feel better and stronger. My understanding is that each time these infections come the more scarring they can cause and it is hard to get back to your previous level of fitness . I think this is the conversation I will be having with my Mum this week assuming she starts to feel better. She is also due her booster in 3 weeks...

And plenty of fluids and eating anything is better than nothing!

Please let us know how you both are doing x

D0n49 profile image
D0n49 in reply to JetJet

Thank you JetJet, I really appreciate the support! And yes, our Mothers sounds like they could be Sisters 🤣

So... managed to get her an appointment this afternoon, went armed with my questions about stages of COPD and what’s the best things to do in order to slow progression. As per usual I come out feeling no more informed than when I went in, but on the plus side her O2 was 98 again and he said her chest was clear. Thanks to the clever peeps on here I asked that he test her sputum for antibiotic resistance, so managed to get that to the Pathology department at the hospital this evening.

She still has a barking cough, I can hear it now - it gets worse at night, but at least I will be able to sleep better knowing somethings being done! I am off work soon, so I plan on taking up the kind offer some of the BLF Moderators have made on my posts and I am going to seek their advice.

I hope you and your Mum stay safe and well, especially in these winter months xx

I'd ask for longer antibiotic course this time,to try clear repetitive infective flareups...providing mum will take also increase blue puffer( salbutamol).initially may seem like cough is worse,as airways widen mucous will be hopeefully easier to get up. If mucous is thick,go can prescribe carbocysteine to thin it. All the best - u r doing great x

D0n49 profile image
D0n49 in reply to Patk1

Thank you so much Patk1.

The Doctor said if I got the sputum sample to the hospital tonight hopefully they’ll get the results in time to identify what antibiotic is best to prescribe should she need it once the amoxicillin course ends 🙏🏻Just feeling a huge sense of relief tonight!

Take care, night, night xx

Any updates on your Mum?

D0n49 profile image
D0n49 in reply to JetJet

Hiya JetJet! Thanks for checking in!

We had the appointment on Monday, and Mum had started to feel better, so when we saw the Doctor she was all politeness and smiles. She went downhill again throughout the week, and was particularly bad yesterday with a hacking cough that was so frequent it had started to hurt her chest.

I chased Pathology today and they said the results were back at the surgery, so I emailed and requested they prioritise looking at them as I was worried about going into the weekend. Give him his dues, our Doctor phoned at 7.45pm tonight (had already put Mum to bed and she was dozing) and he said the results came back clear, no infection. He seems to think it could be her heart that’s causing the breathlessness, which anng18 has also suggested (thanks again anng18), but could that cause phelgm producing coughs?!?!

Oh well, that’s my Mondays to do item - chase the Cardiac Team 😉 The A&E department were meant to refer her to the heart specialist at the end of July went she was admitted with AF, but they didn’t. Our Doctor wrote to them and she has a telephone consultation in late December (think I may have already mentioned - apologise I have serious Covid goldfish brain these days), but he said that was not what he had requested and was too far away. He recommended she take herself to A&E, that way she’d be tested straight away!

She is feeling better this evening, and would be apprehensive about going to A&E for fear of being admitted. Will have to play it by ear, if her breathlessness gets worse will see if she’ll go! But for tonight she is not coughing, so feeling a sense of relief we all might get a much needed good nights sleep 😴

Hope you and yours are keeping safe and well!!!

Goodnight, God bless xx

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