C.O.P.D Bronchiectasis and Holidays

Hi Gang

Me again.

I have an appointment to see a chest specialist in August,and my main question will be can I start going on Holiday again.

My GP won't give me a supply of Antibiotics or Steroids to take with me,they always say,"This practise doesn't do that",yet I know there are a lot of you who get supplies,and go on holiday.

GP has not banned me from holidays,but always gives me a lecture about bugs in aeroplanes,etc.

Yes,I could go on a cruise,but I love flying.

Anyone care to comment on my situation?



21 Replies

  • I always have a supply of antibiotics and steroids the consultant gave me them, then the GP replaces them for me when needed. I have just had the same conversation with the consultant and bugs in the plane was hoping to go to Australia. Both consultants I see advised against this Val

  • Get another Doctor, they should always give you an emergency supply to keep at home. how about going to Spain, you can buy just about anything in the chemists over the counter and they are under half the UK prescription price.

  • Thanks for the replies.

    I live in a village so changing Doctors is not an option.

    As regards Spain,I like Tenerife,wife prefers Fuertaventura,I am told Antibiotics are not available to buy over the counter because Brits were stocking up on them as they were so cheap and readily available.

    I don't believe I am so ill I can't go on holiday,I am a member of the gym,I can do Treadmill for 15 mins Rowing Machine for 5+mins Bike for 15 mins,and weights,I hope the Specialist has a different opinion.


  • Hi I have Bronchiectasis and have just been advised the same don't fly bugs etc. I have to fight with the receptionist everytime I need antibiotics so nothing constructive to add but it seems the treatment varies around the country.


  • Hi All

    Keeping a positive outlook will lead you to a solution to this problem assimd keeping your belief in your own abilities to persuade your medical team of your requirements.

    kind regards Robert

  • Don't know what to suggest to you Alan, short of reading up on all the NICE guidelines which I can't remember if they reccommend this or not. The idea is to keep us as active as possible and have a quality of life. Sounds like your GP is not up to that( are they paid for each visit?).

    I am off on Friday to Spain and have had to prebook my oxygen for the plane and the hotel, all of which rather takes any spontenaity out of going away - and my gp has just filled my prescription to take all my meds including antibiotics and steroids and wished me a happy holiday!

    Just shows, but it should not be a postcode lottery on something as simple as that. You could try having a chat to the BLF helpline to see if any other avenue is available to you? I would hope your specialist will have a more enlightened attitude when you see him in August.

    As regards bugs on the plane - wear a mask, most Chinese people I have seen on flights do this and have I been known to wear one myself before I was put on ltot 16/24. ( wearing a cannula and a pair of glasses doesn't leave a lot of room behind the ears for anything else!)

    Good luck


  • This may help in choosing a protective mask.


  • Thank you for the replies.

    The main reason I have been referred to the Hospital is because I get chest infection after chest infection,and my GP is reluctant to put me on regular low dose Antibiotics,so has referred me to the Hospital for guidance.

    I asked the question,is the infection a new one,or the same infection that had not properly cleared up.

    I find it difficult to believe that I am so unlucky that as soon as one infection is treated,within a week or 2 I am back at the Doctors with the same complaint.


  • That sounds miserable! My husband goes through bouts of regular chest infections! - once he gets once then you can almost guarantee the cycle of antibiotics and steroids carries on for about four months. I had to ask our Doctor but after my husband was taken very ill, they do automatically give us a prescription for steroids and antibiotics and we keep them just in case. Our practise nurse gave us really good advise, she maybe able to help you - perhaps find a specialist respiratory team in your area. Perhaps if you explained that it would help with the stress levels ! just whilst you are on holiday. The sooner you can see a specailist the better! Take care. Good Luck. TAD x

  • Hi assimd, so sorry to hear you are having this problem, my doc is great and I have steriods and antibiotics at home in case of emergency as when I am ill I can go down hill fast. Do you have a consultant? if so ask him/her for help. If not and I have to ask why not. Make an appointment with your doctor and explain how you feel. I go on holiday every four months or so as I find the air is clearer on the spanish islands, yes I am ill most times, but I have my medication and the clinics are great if you need help. Don't forget your travel insurance though. I your doctor does not help after you have requested it I suggest you ask friends and family for help in finding a more helpful doctor. After all, in my opinion, if the doc does not care about your mental wellbeing as well as your physical he/she is not much of doctor. Good luck Maximonkey

  • Thanks for the encouragement everyone,I am seeing the Specialist on 29 May.

    I have a list of questions for them,and I don't want to be fobbed off with excuses.

    If no one will give me a positive answer,I think I will just take it upon myself to book a week somewhere,just to see how I do,making sure I have the necessary insurance,just in case.

    My wife is very good,but even she gets frustrated with my cycle of Doctor - Infection - Doctor etc.

    I will post the outcome of my visit,lets hope it is to confirm a holiday reservation this summer.Majorca will do.


  • Well I have TWO spare courses of antibiotic and steroids - one from my GP and one from my consultant! Never mind holidays, it's just in case I need them at home when surgery is shut. This is quite routine and normal, as I understand. Perhaps when your consultant writes a report to your GP, he/she could recommend to your doctor that you have spare supplies?

    I don't like the sound of your multiple infections - poor you! Hope you don't mind me asking but have you had phlegm samples checked to see what's causing your infections? Only I was in possibly a similar situation a couple of years ago, when no antibiotics seemed to clear up my infections - very draining and difficult for all the family. A phlegm sample showed up that I was infected with a nasty bug resistant to most oral anibiotics (pseudomonas) but after a couple of weeks of intravenous antibiotics, I have been hugely better ever since. I don't suggest for a moment that you have the same thing as I am not a doctor and don't know you! But I just thought it might be worth raising the question about phlegm testing. It always helps to know your enemy!

    Now a holiday somewhere warm does sound like a nice idea....

  • Hello EmyH

    Many thanks for the reply.Problem with sputum test is that it is very difficult to produce a sample.

    The sample I can produce is not enough to be analysed.I asked if I could keep it in the fridge overnight until I could build up enough,but I was told it didn't work like that.

    I was under the impression that blood tests would show an infection,but no one has suggested a test while I am not well.

    I am hopng the Hospital will do all the tests,and if not I will ask why not.It's not good enough that I was diagnosed years ago,I need an update on my condition and some answers.

    The list of questions is getting longer.

    My wife is off to Egypt tomorrow,thursday,with her sister,Grrrrrr,that could have been me.He He,soon perhaps?


  • Went to Turkey 2 years ago my GP gave me steroids and anti biotics to take he also gave me extra inhalers to take with me , i keep a supply of steroids and anti bio's here at home all the time , your GP is being ignorant of the facts a lot of GP's generalize and do not know or care to know enough about COPD , change your GP and when you talk to your consultant ask him about this matter he should write to your GP and inform him that you need this medication .

  • Hi gillwigan,thanks for the reply.

    It amazes me that some GP's will give these meds and some,like mine will not.

    I wonder what guidelines the GP's that DO give them are following.

    There must be a guideline if only to cover GP's in cases of misuse,but to simply say "We don't do that",is not acceptable.

    I will certainly be raising it with the Consultant when I go,along with a few other things on my list.


  • When i first started getting breathless my GP told me to lose weight i was 9 stone at the time and go for long walks, two days later i was in hospital on a nebuliser, my husband told the doctor at the hospital what the GP had said , the Doctor said there are far to many GPs who are ignorant of the facts of copd and he is right Alan , do not wait get rid of this GP he is not worthy of you .

  • I just can't believe this Alan. Most of us bronchiectatics have antibiotics in reserve at home. Infections often kick off during the weekend or holidays and we don't have the luxery of time and need to get cracking with the abs, nebbing and physio. Have you seen your consultant recently. I have had infections since Christmas which are sensitive to amox and doxy and yet a couple of days after finishing it kicks off again. My consultant thinks I am colonised with HI.and has given me high and lengthy doses of abs. I think it might be an idea for you to speak to you consultant about your gps reluctance to give you a reserve and he may write to your gp requesting that this should be part of your treatment plan.

    Good luck

  • Hi cofdrop

    I saw my consultant for the first time in over 4 years on the 29 May.I had been asking my GP for ages if I could go and see someone but the reply was always

    the same,"They can't do anything we can't do"/

    The consultant said my condition was not being managed very well,and changed 2 of my meds,one of which my GP said I could not have,namely Mucodyne.

    He also gave me a supply of Antibiotics and Steroids while at the hospital,and said he would be writing to the GP regarding the non issuing of these meds.

    Let's hope the GP will now realise that he didn't know as much as he thought he knew about my condition.


  • Really pleased to hear that Alan. We have all come across gps with unjustified inflated egos. They have to have knowledge about so many illnesses and if they knew as much as a specialist it stands to reason we wouldn't need the specialist.

    I've had a stand in gp (who had my notes on computer) who gave me a prescription for 5 day course of 250mg Amox. I stated (very nicely of course) that I might as well use them as a suppository for all the good they would do. Luckily he laughed and I then I softened our conversation by saying 'as you know with bronchiectasis and from my repeat prescriptions...' well he's not gonna admit he didn't know, which he clearly didn't. So hopefully when he next meets a bronchiectatic he will prescribe appropriately. It may sound as though I was being cocky, but I wasn't - you learn occasionally you have to be assertive and be your own advocate.

    You may want to ask your consultant about refering you to a respiratory physio who may be able to help you find a technique which will help you to get the gunk out of your lungs. It it's lurking deep in there the pool will just become infected. The physio will also go through various gadgets i.e. acapella: flutter and help to find what suits you best. You could ask if he/she thinks nebulising a bronchodilator and saline or hypertonic saline would be beneficial to you, if you don't use one already.

    Good luck Alan - let us know how you get on. X

  • Thanks cofdrop

    I didn't mention it but I am being referred to the Respiratory Physio as well.

    I do Postural Drainage at the moment,and my wife does the Percussive Taps to help with the clearing process.

    Luckily,since being on the Mucodyne and the Spiriva Inhaler,my lungs have never been so clear.


  • Brilliant - really pleased for you. I do posutural drainage myself with percussion and shakes but I also use an acapella at the same time. I find it's a great little gadget as it can be used whilst doing pd unlike the flutter. Not that I'm knocking the flutter, some people love it - we all find what works for us. I not only stick with pd because I've been doing it for 60+ years but because I find it most effective for me. Although I am aware with arthritis etc I will have to try harder with other methods - kicking and screaming I expect. Mucodyne doesn't suit me, but I know lots of peeps who sware by it. Glad it's helping you get the gunk up. If your interested in the acapella your physio should be able to give you a trial and may loan you one. If they don't and you want to purchase one you need to get a VAT medical exemption form from the company - it will save you a bit of cash. X

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