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Chest infection. Is it still 'running it's course'?

(15 Posts)
Justmuddlingalong Mon 14-Dec-15 20:52:54

Had a cold about 3 weeks ago. It cleared up pretty quickly, but my chest and back were painful, and still are. Wheezy cough and shortness of breath. Went to the Dr's last week, she listened to my chest and diagnosed a chest infection. No treatment needed, just to let it run it's course. Don't want to take up another appointment this near to Christmas, so will it just clear up on it's own? TIA.

TheCraicDealer Mon 14-Dec-15 21:05:16

This happened to me last year. By two weeks it was hurting to cough, I was exhausted and every morning I'd wake up with a head full of bright green mucus. Normally I'm pretty stoic but eventually I had to contact the out of hours doctor on Xmas Day to get a prescription for antibiotics, couldn't hack it anymore.

A good mate (26, decent health otherwise) had a chest infection which ended up as pneumonia and him being in intensive care last autumn. Not that that'll happen to you, I think if this was going to run its course you'd be feeling yourself turning a corner by now.

TLDR: go to the doctor.

Lyndie Mon 14-Dec-15 21:13:19

Have you got a fever? Asthma or COPD?? A viral bronchitis you can cough for weeks, and bring up dirty stuff, it does need to just run its course. But if you're unwell no harm in getting checked again.

Clarella Mon 14-Dec-15 21:24:57

It's a tricky one but if they listen to your chest they can usually tell if it's bacterial or viral.

I was told I had a small patch of pneumonia last week after a week of awful coughing but I only went as I recognised the cracklings I'd had 2 years ago with a similar thing. A bit like a bog in my lung. That time I actually didn't cough much just wheezed a lot. Pneumonia is basically a bacterial infection. Viruses can last for weeks unfortunately but can give way to bacteria layer on.

The big thing I've noted both times is being ridiculously drowsy and woozy, I didn't get a temp but felt a bit confused and delirious. Tbh ime you can sometimes cough more with a virus.

It is frustrating but perhaps go back in a week if still poorly or if you think there's some deep crackling (particularly when you laugh or breathe right out)

Lweji Mon 14-Dec-15 21:26:28

Sadly I've had a few of these and they last weeks. The bastard chest infections.

Justmuddlingalong Mon 14-Dec-15 21:27:51

Still a bit of a chesty cough but clear mucus. No fever, so I feel fine apart from the chest/back pain and shortness of breath.

Clarella Tue 15-Dec-15 08:32:31

I've completely pulled all the muscles in my lower back through the coughing.

I guess it's always worth double checking with GP as it depends what the pain is, but It could be muscles? Does ibuprofen help?

Justmuddlingalong Tue 15-Dec-15 08:46:04

Yes. Ibuprofen does help, but it's a tightness so don't think it's muscular. I sound like a burst set of bagpipes when I breathe! Fed up with it now. Do you think inhaling steam or olbas oil or something might help a bit?

Clarella Tue 15-Dec-15 13:50:04

Maybe you should go back in a couple of days?

The thing I had two years ago was an awful virus, went on ages so was turned away from GP. I felt better then the creaking/wheezing started but felt I couldn't go to GP! So went to walk in but that was the infection and it made me very ill. This time it all came together.

Definitely steam - my dad was told last year you should to help clear bugs from fine airways (though I think mainly sinuses) but I always find steam helps esp if viral.

I have always used Friars balsam (family tradition!) which can be got at chemists. I find olbas oil a bit much. But just plain steam is good.

I'm being sent for a chest X-ray which I'm not sure will result in much, but GP did say to make sure to take big breaths in and out. If you can. To stretch muscles etc.

(Not a GP but teacher with many coughs over the years! I seem more prone to them when not regularly swimming; I've wondered if the breathing helps keep things good)

Justmuddlingalong Tue 15-Dec-15 17:09:09

Thanks for all the advice. I'll get Friars balsalm tomorrow and give that a go. Might try and make an Dr's appointment later in the week if it's still the same.

Happythistime Thu 17-Dec-15 14:09:03

I feel your pain op. I've had a chest infection (or that is what drs are assuming for now) for some weeks. Was given a course of antibiotics last Tues in case it is bacterial as I'd been coughing for over 3 weeks. They haven't helped and in fact the breathlessness and tight chest are much worse. Feel like I can do anything as it is so hard to breathe. Went back in Tues and was referred for a chest xray. Still waiting on results. Went in for a third time yesterday as breathing so bad and given steroids. No massive improvement from them either. It is all a bit scary tbh and so close to Christmas all the GPs are going off one by one for hols so not great timing.

Hope you get yours sorted xx

SanityClause Thu 17-Dec-15 14:32:06

A burst set of bagpipes? Do you have whooping cough? I had it earlier this year, and it took forever to get over, even though I had antibiotics.

Perhaps record your coughing, so the GP can hear it?

Justmuddlingalong Thu 17-Dec-15 19:01:23

I had another appointment today. Chest clear, bp normal, temp normal, ears checked. But chest tightness and breathlessness still really bad. Dr gave me a Ventolin inhaler, if no improvement I've to go back again. Could cry, I feel awful. Thanks for all your advice, MNs. brew

Happythistime Sat 19-Dec-15 17:54:31

How are you feeling today Justmuddling? It really sounds like we have a similar thing. I'm so exhausted and breathless. But chest clear too.

Justmuddlingalong Sat 19-Dec-15 22:08:49

Still really short of breath. Chest not so sore to breathe, but the breathlessness is really horrible. It feels like my heart will burst out of my chest as I'm gasping for breath. Sorry to hear you're feeling rubbish too. flowers

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