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to think I have a flu virus and feel terrible but there is no point to seeing a GP about?

(25 Posts)
bigmouthstrikesagain Wed 28-Sep-11 13:58:47

I have been ill for a week and a half. Shakes and sweats, weak achey body head pounding alternating between paracetamol and ibuprofen to max dosage. I am getting slowly better but my cough has got worse and very violent keeping me up for hours at a time at night. I finally managed to get to sleep 2am this morning by propping myself upright. At the weekend I literally coughed myself sick (threw up the pint of water and paracetamol I had just taken.

I have avoided the doctor option to this point but now am wondering whether I am correct to continue doing that, I just don't hold out much hope for any help even if I have developed a chest infection.

feeling grim and vv sorry for myself, the house is a tip, I am a School Governor and had to miss three meetings this week, the laundry is massively out of control, when I think about all the crap I have to do when I am stronger than a kitten, I want to weep. The Doc won't be able to help with that will they!

worraliberty Wed 28-Sep-11 14:00:30

If you have proper flu or a chest infection then yes, of course they can..unless you're unable to take anti biotics confused

veryfedupatthemoment Wed 28-Sep-11 14:01:48

Flu usually lasts 7-10 days and does make you feel like shit. If you are feeling worse rather than better, and you may have a chest infection, no harm in letting GP listen to your lungs and check you over. People go with much less.

Coughing up any green sputum?

bigmouthstrikesagain Wed 28-Sep-11 14:04:08

Antibiotics are of no use in the treatment of flu because it is caused by a virus and not bacteria.

RainboweBrite Wed 28-Sep-11 14:05:21

I think it's normal to feel like that with proper 'flu, but maybe try to get an appointment for Friday, if you don't feel you're getting any better.

And for goodness sake, BE KIND TO YOURSELF! Worrying about everything you should be doing but can't right now certainly isn't helping. Rest up and forget about the 'to-do' list for once!

Sirzy Wed 28-Sep-11 14:06:37

If your sure it's just flu I agree not to bother with gp assuming your normally fit and well. But if you think it could be a chest infection then go to the gp!

bigmouthstrikesagain Wed 28-Sep-11 14:07:06

The outlook for acute bronchitis is very good. The condition is usually mild and self-limiting, which means that it gets better by itself without the need for medical treatment. The symptoms should pass within seven to ten days.

just cutting and pasting from the NHS direct site which makes it clear that I (an otherwise healthy woman in her thirties) should not go the GP even if it is clear I have developed a chest infection.

JemimaMuddledUp Wed 28-Sep-11 14:08:28

If your cough is getting worse then go to see a GP. Flu often leads to pneumonia, which can be treated with antibiotics.

LeBOF Wed 28-Sep-11 14:08:38

That sounds like what was bothering me. I went to the docs after five days, and it turns out to be pnemonia. So I think you should go.

Imnotaslimjim Wed 28-Sep-11 14:08:53

Bigmouth is right, anti-bs are useless for the flu. And even if it has "gone into your chest" unless you have other issues (COPD, asthma etc) then bronchitis is self-limiting and you should start seeing an improvement in a couple more days. Obviously if you feel very much worse, or breathing is extremely painful then go see the GP. you should be able to speak a normal sentence without gasping. I go through this every few months with my mum as she has COPD, and even a simple cold can end with a stay in hospital sad

Steam helps if you can tolerate it, as does sleeping upright. And vicks on your feet with socks over (feels very strange but for some reason works wonders)

If the cough is very painful, ask the chemist for codeine. Its a decent painkiller and works as a cough suppresant so you might actually get some sleep

Hope you're better soon

Imnotaslimjim Wed 28-Sep-11 14:09:45

sorry, that should say bigmouth you're right.

bigmouthstrikesagain Wed 28-Sep-11 14:27:49

but really I want you all to say you're wrong!!! Bigmouth the nice Doc can give you a prescription and make it all go away! Ignore NHS 'Choices'...

I will be instructing dh to get codeine and vicks vapour rub tonight though! Thank you all.

lashingsofbingeinghere Wed 28-Sep-11 14:47:05

You shouldn't still have sweats after 7-10 days if it is "just" flu. You may have a secondary infection on your chest and I would certainly go to the doc's to be checked out. Sure most flu/chest type illnesses are self limiting but if you can start to feel better sooner and avoid potential complications cu as pneumonia, it's worth going to GP imo.

whatsfordinnerthen Wed 28-Sep-11 14:57:27

I do think you are right because all you will succeed in doing is passing your germs around.

I know you feel pretty rough but it will go away. The best thing you can do is drink plenty of fluids and keep taking the paracetamol. A cough doesn't necessarily mean chest infection and can be part of a viral illness. If you are going downhill/not getting any better/coughing up loads of stuff or out of breath it may be worth going to the GP as you may have got a secondary bacterial chest infection.

piratecat Wed 28-Sep-11 15:03:06

flu can take a long time to go away. you must be so fed up. i had swine flu in march, and just went to bed for 3 weeks (when i could, as am single mum to child who also had it but not as badly).

It's grim. It wipes you out. If you are worried about your chest tho, you should go.

bigmouthstrikesagain Wed 28-Sep-11 15:32:01

mASSIVE empathy to all who have gone through this as it is totally crap and as I had never had the flu before I was totally unprepared for the whole dragged-out-ness of it.

I found some co-codryamol in my cupboard as I have regular back issues I have a store of painkillers and anti-inflam's. It has really helped pull back the coughing fits and I have the nice calm codeine head. So its all cool for now. Will revisit GP idea in the morning.

Tenebrist Wed 28-Sep-11 15:35:28

You're going to have to take a risk one way or the other. Either you assume it's still 'just' the flu (ie viral) and carry on feeling like hell at home, but slowly getting better. Or you say, this is not getting better at all and is probably bacterial by now (ie a virus which has turned to pneumonia or whatever) and risk the doctor. If you go to the doctor and it's not bacterial (and a good doctor should do a blood test to determine this for sure) you have wasted doctor's time, made yourself feel even crapper by dragging yourself out of bed, and risked infesting the whole surgery. But if you leave a bacterial infection untreated, you're unlikely to get better by yourself without AB help. So that's the risk.

And you have to decide when you think it's gone from viral to bacterial. I tend to go after two weeks with no improvement, and mostly it has indeed been bacterial by that point. On one occasion the doctor gave me a prescription for ABs but did the blood test anyway and made me promise not to start them until getting the results the following day, and it turned out to be a viral infection after all - I was relieved not to have taken the ABs for no reason.

bigmouthstrikesagain Wed 28-Sep-11 17:43:25

Hey guess what?! My period has just started and I get them heavy with lots of cramps I have been so out of it I did not even realise it was due. Joy :'(

bigmouthstrikesagain Mon 03-Oct-11 18:57:30

I ended up going to the docs on Friday and today twice! I have had my lungs xrayed and turns out I have pneumonia in one lung and have really big anti b's to take and an inhaler.

Lesson learned sometimes you really have to go to the doctors and take your need! That said nothing has worked yet but I am hoping the stronger prescription will v soon.

MoaningMinnieWhingesAgain Mon 03-Oct-11 19:22:21

Ah I hope you are feeling better soon, we were right smile was namechanged in an earlier post!

bigmouthstrikesagain Fri 14-Oct-11 22:09:49

Well if anyone remembers this thread - I am afraid I ended up in hospital for a week (got out yesterday!). I did not have Pnuemonia but Inflammatory Lung Disease which is being treated with Steroids after nearly two weeks of pointless anti biotic treatment, I have been on a drip and oxygen but am finally have progressed to breathing unaided again. Will be under treatment for another month or so though.

It has been a revelation spending a week away from my children, surrounded by mainly very elderly women at the end of their lives, experiencing the NHS in all it's 'glory'. Scary.

banana87 Fri 14-Oct-11 22:11:19

I would see GP simply to rule out pnemonia/chest infection. Another thought is that it could be swine flu.

microserf Fri 14-Oct-11 22:13:47

um, i was going to say. a good friend nearly died of pneumonia ignoring symptoms. she is ok, but if it drags on for a long time or you feel really rubbish, it can't hurt to have someone listen to your lungs and try to check if there's a bigger problem.

good to see you got the care you needed, although doesn't sound like much fun. hope you're much, much better now.

ike1 Fri 14-Oct-11 23:21:48

Ive had that fucker recently lasted a good 3 weeks on and off. Still coughing up gobs of crap 8 wks later. Didnt bother with docs. Just a horrible flu.

ike1 Fri 14-Oct-11 23:23:33

Lord big mouth just read your updates. Hope yr on mend!

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