Back ache - Lung infection!!

Back ache - Lung infection!!

Ive not blogged for a while but while Its 3am and I cant sleep I thought I'd give it a go!

This time last week my back pain started to get worse, couldnt sleep with it pain killers wernt touching the pain, so I carried on went to work but by the end of a few hours I felt so fatigued I went home to rest, cant say I slept because from last Wednesday till yesterday I'd had very little sleep as soon as I got comfy, I nodded off then 5 minutes later I would wake in aggony just from moving etc. I put up with it untill Monday when I did concider going to A & E however I then changed my mind talking myself round to over reacting! and decided to wait untill Tuesday am and see the GP.

I phoned Tuesday morning and got an appointment with the duty doctor, who examined me and said I have a lung infection!! she then said it was probably down to the immune suppresents.

So apparently the increased back pain was my lungs hurting, when I thought about it, it is worse when breathing as well as when moving.

My ear that has felt a little warm and goey has a bad ear infection in it.

My leg pains and increased joint pains arnt a flare coming on they are all part off the lung infection.

The sickness and bad stomach also isnt down to lack off sleep etc its all been down to the Lung infection.

She told me I should never leave it that long before going ordered I have at least 3 days bed rest while taking the antibiotics she gave me if no improvment within 2-3 days I have to go back, even the slightest increase in symptoms she said to head straight to A&E! I tried to expain to her that because my pain is so bad each day I keep topped up with pain killers (as advised) so I wouldnt notice the milder symptoms, and to be honest I think the more pain we suffer the higher our pain tolerance is, I really did belive it was back pain, I probably made it worse because I didnt know it was an infection I had continued to inject mu methotrexate and enbrel, not advisable.

All this got me thinking if I did go to the doctors everytime I felt a bit worse or had a slightly different symptom I would be there everyday.

They really would get fed up off me then.

Today under my breastone seems to have swollen I really hope its not my costocondritis coming back and its just part off the infection, I am going to give GP a ring in the morning just to double check.

Fingers crossed it starts to clear soon.

11 Replies

Hi Julie what a god awful time you are having. Like you say it's dificult to know what pain is what, when there is so much going on. Poor old you. I really don'#t know how you have managed to get to work when there has been so much going on. It's like you say about having to go the doctor all the time. You start thinking they are going to be wondering if you are starved of attention because you keep making up new symptoms. But it just shows how in tune with your body you have to be to know, but how the heck do you know, especially if you are dosed up with painkillers all the time! I know when i was on the co-dydramols all the time I was pratically brain dead they made me so dopey. (I know it was hard to tell for some people because I am dopey anyways!)

I do feel for you, and the lack of sleep doesn't help. Unfortunatelylooks like you have got to rest now and give yourself chance to get better. Good luck. and take care

Julie xx


Ooh julie.. you por girl.. really should have stopped the enbrel and mtx.. but I know you carried on cos you are desperate to get to back to work and you have some other things to deal with..

I FEEL bad for being so pathetic at Drs and feeling sorry for my self.. with my very best wishes for a speedy recovery.. do not push your body til it breaks!, you have to rest.. think of all those other important people in your life.. they must be scared that you are so poorly do get well soon.. do not try to do too much at this time xxxxxxx Alison xxx


Bless you Julie, you really are going through it. I hope that you are now beginning to feel a bit better and manage to get some less disturbed sleep. We are all with you with .... when to (or not to) contact our GP's - my thoughts go along the line of 'if sleeping becomes a real problem then that's the time to shout'. Judi xxxx


Oh! Julie. So sorry you are having such a bad time right now. I know how you feel regarding contacting your gp or rheummy team. I think we all feel like we are being a nuisance at times but that's is why they are there. That is what they are paid for. Certainly your gp will be paid very handsomely so don't worry about contacting him/her. You need to be sorted out and quick style. Hope you feel better soon x


Thanks everyone for your lovley comments, I did this blog to highlight what we already put up with daily pain wise etc and we suffer so much that we dont always realise when we are seriously ill in other ways.

I did a silly thing last night too, I have one off those electric heat pads, I swear by it normally as an hour or so with it on and it really helps ease the pain, however last night I did the silly thing off because the pain is so bad and I couldnt sleep every time it cut out I moved it slightly and then turned it back on it was only when I got up to use the toilet I noticed I had red marks all over my back, Ive burnt my back it now feels all dry and crispy! Note DO NOT DO THIS AGAIN!! I really havnt noticed it hurting I was only feeling it ease my back pain, silly me well Ive got E45 slapped all over it now and just hoping it clears up soon.

Going to ring the doctors soon see what they have to say but hope if they want to see me they dont look at my back!

Julie it must be something in the name because as you can see Im dopey too lol xx


Hi Julie,

It really does highlight the importance of listening to your body doesn't it - and how difficult that is if you don't have a regular 'normal'. I learnt my lesson ages ago (in my 20's) when I kept going to work whilst taking anti-biotics - thought I couldn't 'afford' the time off work - turned out my body couldn't 'afford' for me not to stop:-( I ended up with a temp of 107, found semi-unconscious by my 8 year old daughter, had a massive fit and my heart stopped in the ambulance - I had septacaemia and it took me 6 months to get fully well afterwards:-( I was on steroids for kidney disease and this made me vulnerable to infection.

Ever since then I've kept a digital thermometer handy - know what my 'normal' temperature range is (we're all different) - and if in doubt/ got a new or different pain or symptom I take my temperature as a baseline check - If it's raised I go straight to the gp or walk-in service if it's out of hours.

Don't want to worry anyone but this is serious stuff and this was the advice that I was given at the time by my renal team for sussing out if I needed to get rapid medical attention.

If in doubt - shelve your big "Be Strong" and all thoughts of being a "nuisance" - get it checked out!

Lecture over,

Cece x


Hi Julie,

I hope you are better soon, I can't believe that, you poor thing, I would never have though back ache lung infection!!! You go straight back to docs if things not significantly improved after week end, you can't be too careful, that is the down side of anti tnf, won't go on, we are all just doing our best.

Is that a picture of an infected lung you have up? oh Julie, not a good image:(

Stay well & sleep away the rest of this infection.


Oh Julie, I really hope you're feeling better soon.Take care of yourself xx


Hi Julie, poor you your having such a rough ride lately one thing after the other it seems.

Your right though we do tend to just put up with things as we would be at the docs every other day, we hope it gets better on its own and before we now it it's back to the antibiotics.

Hope you start to feel better soon, take care and hope you can get some good sleep too that might help.

Lots a luv

mandy xx



I am reading this late but I hope you have recovered! I recently had a chest infection treated by antibiotics for two weeks. I now have pain in my chest area and down my back, when I rushed to a&e the doctor advised it was because the lungs were inflammed. He just advised to take some ibuprofen to take the edge off. The pain has lessened over the past couple of days, so fingers crossed I'm getting back to normal.

Take care



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