As if Wegener's wasn't enough

71 year old male with Wegener's.

Sept 16th. 2nd infusion Rituximab. 4th cycle. As usual followed by cough... antibiotics... cough cleared.

Oct 9th. Cough again... one huge cough pulled/tore muscle in back. Pain went off the register but short lived. Pain only happens when I cough. GP appointment Tuesday 11th... increase pain killers.

Oct 13th. Rheumatology clinic. They are happy with the way Wegener's is progressing. Prescribed different antibiotics. Cough ongoing all the time accompanied by very bad pain. While waiting in blood clinic, I coughed again and felt my lower right rib move.... the pain was the worst imaginable. Only lasted about 15 seconds. That evening while preparing for a shower I found the biggest bruise on my lower right rib area extending from my back bone to my naval.... about 7 inches deep and going from black through magenta to red and yellow. Cough continuing and very painful in my back/rib area. I do my best not to cough but sometimes it comes when I don't expect it.

Oct 14th. Emergency appointment with GP. On seeing the bruise and examining me, I was sent to hospital for surgical assessment. In for 2 days. All manner of tests, scans, probings and still more tests carried out. My arms were covered with needles putting stuff in and taking stuff out. The last big cough had ruptured a blood vessel in my back. The CT scan showed it was not bleeding anymore which they were worried about. All tests etc were announced clear and I came home late on the 15th. I was never so pleased to be home... my own bed etc. Pain is diminishing now, down to ordinary painful when I cough, so I am recovering.

Anyone who criticises the NHS is crackers. I was handled with sympathy, respect and good old fashioned courtesy. Thank you very much to the staff and the NHS.

9 Replies

  • Hi there,

    I currently have a cracked 5th rib (front), did it when l fell over, again!! If your rib is still giving you a bit of pain what my Doctor suggested for me was that l grasped the area with the opposite hand, for me this meant putting my left arm across my upper chest, hand under the armpit and hold for duration of the cough.

    Although yours was a blood vessel, it may help to do the same, you never know.


  • Thanks Sally, I am already doing that.... and it does give relief. Sorry to hear of your trouble and pain. Best wishes and better health.

  • Sorry to hear you have gone through the Mill and back but it sounds you are through it now. Just wanted to say get well soon and totally agree the NHS are fantastic and I would never criticise them as they saved my life and still are! Take care xx

  • Thank you Alpsy. I only found out while I was in the hospital that the nurses work from 7.30am to 8.00pm. 12 and a half hours and then 1 day off..... angels.

  • It's unbelievable what they do and still have a friendly carrying smile on their face! This Government takes the absolute Pi@" out of them and has been for years. Under payed, under staffed and one day they will care for these MP's that are crippling this once envied fantastic free Service of ours which we were once proud to have. Sad times xxx

  • Hi,

    I managed to tear a muscle in my back coughing last week. I thought it was a blood vessel to be honest (from the sound it made rupturing) but no bruise. GP said a week to 3 months to heal. Pain is big when I move or cough.

    Glad the bleeding stopped. Inner bleeding can be dangerous. Hope cough stops soon!

  • Thank you zoe69,

    The pain at the moment is reasonable as long as I take medication. The cough wakes me up in the night and I find that holding my ribs and pressing on my backbone does give some relief. I can control some of the coughing but yesterday I sneezed twice and the pain was horrendous. Good luck with your recovery and I hope it is quicker than the 3 months.

    Good luck.

  • Dont know if this will help but, i had the dreadful cough that wouldnt go away even on 40mg on steroids. My consultant at the Rheumatology clinic asked if i would like to try some IV Steroid i said i would try anything. I was given 3 lots over a week and by the second one i started to feel the cough easing. By the 3rd one i was cough free.

    I still cough but nothing like the persistent one i had and it has saved me a fortune on Tena lady Ha Ha!!!!

    Like you i praise the NHS at every chance we have to do all we can to make sure we dont lose it.

  • Thank you Greenkit, that's very interesting. I will ring my rheumy and put it to him.... anything but this.

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