British Lung Foundation

Re-occuring infections

I have yet another chest infection, this happens nearly every other month my consultant has put me on maintainance antibiotic's but said it could take a couple of months to have any effect. Started amoxicillin yesterday so hopefully they will do the trick. These infections get you down, breathing is worse so hence at times unable to get to work it's a vicious cycle Val

The ability to reply to this post has been turned off.
72 Replies

Hi Val,

I used to be like this, now I get a once a year infection although lasts for 2-3 weeks. Do you get the Flu jab?

Yea get flu jab every year, someone at work had a cold coughing and sneezing all over I ended up with a chest infection urgh! Val

Hi Val i was like you and my medicine was wrongly dispensed. I got 7 tablets then break and i should have had every day morning and evening . Hope it helps hun xx

How did they 'get on top of it' ?

I take eyrthromycin twice daily as I have no spleen, he started Clarithromycin 3 times a week about a month ago hopefully will lessen the infections Val

Hi val,

I had 2 exacerbations this year,one in jan,and one in feb.the 1st one was treated by the out of gp hours clinic at my local hospital,I was given 2x anti biotics,and steroids.the 2nd one however I was only given a single course of anti biotics,and no steroids.being told that'steroids are bad for you"by my gp.therefore I was off my feet for 10 days.and have been off of work for 6 weeks now.and to top it off i am now waiting to go to pulmonary rehab.

I hope you start to feel well soon

Thank you Val

I have just been diagnosed with COPD last year but have not been told very much about it only what I have read on the internet. My breathing is not to bad and I manage to walk some, my husband helps me a lot with things I cant do but I would like to know how I will know when I am having a exacerbation, I get scared at just the thought of it, I am 69 and willbe 70 in July can you help me?

Hi Nancygirl, I missed this before sorry. In answer to your question about recognising when you are having an exacerbation, you may want to check out another blog post:

Hope you are feeling better soon Val.

Thanks Val visited the site and it makes interesting reading.I am keeping quite well at the moment just cant do as much as I use to and would like to do but will get use to it I expect, go no choice have I. thanks again

Many thanks everyone Val

My husband can be exactly the same - if he gets an infections it can take months and months to clear up. For him we have found that it is a must to take the steroids with the anti-biotics. He had a chest infection in March and has just finished another course of anti-biotics and I fully expect that he will be back on them in a week or so - it just has not cleared up properly. I started to keep a diary about three years ago and it seems to follow a pattern - that once he gets a chest infection he takes months to recover. I live in fear of coughs and colds!!! Take care and hope you recover quickly. xx

Thank you I try not to take the steroids I hardly sleep with them although they do help Val

In bed breathing is shocking this morning, I am due back to work Monday doubt if I will make it! CT scan on Wednesday so I must get myself pulled around for that. This is day 4 of antibiotic's hope my breathing improves soon Val.

I have had a cold for about a month which results in cough and sob even more than normal.Every morning I cough for about 30 mins as I am "clogged up"and my nose is full too.I never really feel well now but I know viruses must take their course and try to keep healthy in myself.I am lucky that I seem to fight or keep infection down as I hate taking antibiotics and steroids,but my chest seems to hurt all the time,cold and damp do not help either!!!!

Yes know the feeling, you feel as if constantly you are fighting off something, I hate letting people down especially work but with a flight of stairs to get up it's like climbing a mountain at times

Hi Val,

I also have had a number of chest infections in the last few months, they make life very difficult indeed, breathing is harder, the anti-biotics make me feel dreadful, the steroids help a lot but I don`t sleep and because I can`t do much I have got very depressed because I never seamed to get on top of the infections. Last time I saw my nurse practitioner my breathing was very bad following yet another infection, she put me on a nebuliser which worked like magic, I could`nt believe the difference in my abilty to breathe, she then decided to try me on an atrovent inhaler and I must say I have greatly improved so I hope I have at last seen the last of them for a while.

Regards Linda

Lets hope the atrovent inhaler continues to help, I have been ill this afternoon tried to do my tea micro wave meal! by the time I got back to sitting down was so breathless you end up in a panic. Couldn't eat it, was cold by the time I pulled myself around. What do you do for the best? I am ok sitting as soon as I move sats drop way down Val

Hi, after reading what you say, I fully understand where your comming from, thats exactly the way I feel most of the time, (i am new to the site, and all this info too ) could you please tell me what you mean by sats drop ? as I also am ok while sitting, but as soon as I start to try to do something, feel as if Im about to pass out.

Oxygen saturation drops, you can buy an oximeter this meassures how much oxygen you have in your blood.

copy and paste hope this helps Val

By the way I have a nebuliser at home they do help ++

Hi valmileham,

I`m sorry to hear that you are not feeling well at the moment, I would suggest if things are so bad that you ring 111 for emergency advice and explain your symptoms fully to them they will be able to give you up to date advice

keep your chin up

Regards Linda

Thanks if things don't improve will get help nothing else I can do my husband will be in later don't like bothering anyone really but if needs must will do. Seeing 2 consultants at the minute they are looking at transplant further down the line though thanks again Val

what's the 111 number ? not heard of this before .

Yes when I am at pc I am fine but some days trying just to move around I get so out of breath, am lucky cause my hubby looks after me but to be fair I want to be well for me so that I can do my thing.I find being sob is frightening and sometimes have mini panic attacks,its true it is like "drowning in your own body"I have meds but rarely go to docs as they dont really seem up to speed with COPD and now my consultant has discharged me to COPD nurses as at moment says my lungs a bit too good for a transplant !!!! Oh joy lol !!!

Hello Mypeppa, I'm a newbie here and thought I'd invented the phrase "drowning in your own body" :-O !! I have definitely come to the right site, thanks for that piece of synchronicity, brilliant stuff! :-)

Yes know the feeling will go to out of hours if no better though tomorrow, many thanks Val

Hi Vaimileham

Please please please never feel as if you don`t like bothering anybody it is so important that we act quickly when we are not feeling well. Do you have emergency steroids? if not contact the emergency number I`m sure they will help you


I do have steroids in but both consultants said to try and not take them, many thanks Val

HI Val,

I'm sorry you are haveing the recuring infections, have you had any sputum tests to determine which antibiotc is best for the current infection? I used to get recurring infections but during hospital admission just over 2 yeayrs ago I was treated with the correct antibiotics to get rid of a deep seated infections. I was dischearged with colomycin to nebulise twice a day to keep infections at bay. I also was given a sputum pot by my consultant and told that I should always do a specimin if I had discolured sputum.

If you have not had sputum test, ask your GP or consultant for one.

Best wishes


They have recently asked for sputums at the Freeman hospital was there a few weeks ago so it's in hand at the moment hopefully will get those sorted this week. He mentioned an infection that could be there all the time which keeps rearing it's ugly head they really knock me off my feet. They have had sputums previously but nothing was ever mentioned about them many thanks Val

Hi all feeling a little better today, sats improving but have not been out or moved very far, at the Freeman hospital tomorrow afternoon for my CT scan so that will be the test if I can manage ok my husband will be with me and we use a wheelchair it's getting in there and sorted for the scan to see how my breathing is. Val

Glad to hear you are feeling a little better. TAD x

Thank you Val

Glad to hear you are feeling a little better today, good luch for tomorrow, let us know how you get on.

Best wishes

Jo :-)

Thank you will keep you posted Val

Hi scan went ok, need to put the sputums in next, had a letter from the consultant to go a head and drop them off at the local hospital things seem to be looking up and moving now hopefully will get these infections sorted Val

I hope so Val :) hope you are feeling alittle better today from Sam

Thank you Val


I know exactly what you are going through. Since 23rd Dec 2011 i have had 6 lots of (different) antibiotics, and am currently on course 7, i had a sputum test and they discovered what the infection was, gave me antibiotics and it seemed to get better but as soon as they where out of my system i got another infection.

Went back to work on Monday after 4 months off but it is killing me-i am constantly tired and finding breathing difficult. My company have been brilliant and i can't complain about them but i am stressing coz i am scared i will either lose my job or have to give it up and i will lose my home.

I know it is difficult when your working I have a flight of stairs to get up to our office at times it seems like a mountain to climb! I feel the same as you about my job feel I need to keep working for as long as I can, put another sputum test in make sure the infection has completely gone or not they may be could leave you on the antibiotic's longer or a small dose of it all the time to keep the infection at bay. There has been several times I have thought I wouldn't get back to work at all went from full time carer co ordinator out in the community to part time in the office + doing on call, then part time 20 hours - 4hours a day Mon - Fri, you adapt you have to Val

exactly whats happened to me - i used to do 12 hrs a day, 4 on 4 off, in a very active job. they have put me in the offices, tell me i MUST use the lift and at the moment i am doing data entry, i'm working "office hours" something i havn't done in 10 years but i am just relieved i still have a job ( mind you i used to do 42 hrs a week but now do 35 and get the same money)

You are right, i need to adapt and i'm sure i will...............eventually

It's one of the hardest things I have had to do, you want to do what you used to, you just can't. I also feel awful letting people down, like this week off again with a chest infection at the back of my mind know I will not manage I would end up in a panic just trying to get up those stairs it's just not worth it. Do what you can at your pace you will get there Val

you are so right- i used to think i was letting people down but then realized by going to work when i was ill i was letting them down because i would get really stressed - at the moment i have a lovely quiet, peaceful , stress free job but because i am doing a "phased working" job and hours i don't know how long it will last for - all i know is i wont be going back onto the airport because the fumes don't do me any favours.

just hope when the time comes they let me stay on in this position ( heard today that the bloke doing it is leaving so fingers crossed!!!!)

Ah lets hope so, my office job came up by chance someone left but they were full time thought oh no but the company was happy for me to do my 20 hour's. I know there will come a time when I will not be able to manage work but for the time being plod a long ha ha Val

Must be getting better can't stop eating today ha ha Val

Sorry confused which anti biotics work

It all depends on the bug causing the infection - sputum tests usually show this. Val

Thanks for that Val it was talk of maintenance anti biotics without test had foggy patch

I am on antibiotic's 3 times a week plus take antibiotic's daily as I have no spleen, at the hospital Tuesday hopefully will get some answers many thanks Val

Thank you will let you know what they say Val

All the best for Tuesday,will be thinking of you Val.

Best wishes


Thank you x

Sorry replied further down about the Freeman Val

Hope it goes well for you though lack of a spleen seems a problem for transplant not that i know anything either

Yes that has already been mentioned they are looking to the infection's to see if they can help with those first Val

Can I just mention they must get referrals from all over the country, it is a rigorous assessment people have to go through it must be a very hard decision for someone to say yes I will go on the transplant list you need to be as fit as possible to give you a chance it's no good going a head if the person is not going to survive the operation. There is a great deal involved and not easy for anyone even thinking about it. I get to work at times knowing I shouldn't be there but I will not give into this until I have to Val

I was at the Freeman years ago due to having pnuemothorax's had both lungs operated on basically they stuck my lungs to my chest wall they take away the pluera. Just been referred back there due to re -occurring infections and possibility of looking at a transplant. They seem to be very thorough had my CT scan last week now just finishing sputums to be sent off to them today go back 15th June, as you say I may not be a candidate for transplant 1, infections 2 previous operations. They seem to know what they are talking about stitch there's no harm in getting another opinion. Val

Our local hospital is also good but they don't have the facilities like the Freeman has, I go to Hexham General this afternoon it's a new consultant hope they can help with this infection I have at the minute the antibiotic's I have had in and taken don't seem to have touched it been off work a week now Val

Gets you down though Val

Such a warm feeling knowing you are sharing your experience with Sitch you can understand each others thoughts must be a positive for you Val. you are both so brave

Don't know about being brave mind ha ha I think of my family I have a 20 year old daughter, one of the people at work said to me she will want you to be around for her, see her married see her children be there for her! It's right I still have my mam I wish I could do more for her but I think she understands visit when I can. So I said we would look into a transplant and yes I know may not be possible for me but at least we are seeing whats around and available thanks Val

Well back from the hospital - need to go in for IV antibiotic's probably tomorrow, and hopefully done as day care! Sputum samples show infection and the amoxicillin wouldn't have touched it!

Met the new consultant he seems ok he's organising the IV antibiotic's asked if I would be ok to come home said yes been like this for day's, just increase the oxygen if and when needed! I am not the world's best patient ha ha They are going to ring in the morning so thats me up sharp urgh! Val

That's good to hear that you will now get IV antibiotics, hopfully it will knock the nasty bugs on the head! :-) Glad they are doing it as day care, nice to be in your own home rather than stay in if at all possible.

Best wishes

Jo :-)

Thank you Val

Thank you Val

So much better to be near your own bathroom when taking anti biotics

Best wishes for tmrw

Many thanks Val

best wishes Val, will be nice to be there for the grandchildren too

Val, meant to thank you for your message the other day. Very much appreciated.

Hi just to let you know in hospital on iv antibiotics back asap val

go to a doc ;)

The ability to reply to this post has been turned off.

You may also like...