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Chest x-ray for 8 week long cough?

(8 Posts)
LMonkey Wed 28-Dec-16 23:14:54

I have now had a cough for 8 weeks. Started off as cough on its own. After 4 weeks I developed fluey cold and went to Drs about cough who said I had a chest infection. Given antibiotics but after 5 days no improvement so then had second course of antibiotics. Definite improvement this time but still cough however went back to Drs who said my chest actually sounded clear so the infection must have gone and this cough is just part of this cold and "series of viral infections" that I have had. I still have this cold and have now had it for 4 weeks and have only started feeling better really in the last few days. On my last visit to the Drs they gave me a form so that if I wanted to I could go and get a chest x-ray done at the hospital. This is because I voiced my concerns about the duration of this cough, I also had a pain in my shoulder and have been worried this could be lung cancer. Pretty drastic, it might sound! But I work for a lung cancer department in hospital so yes, I am probably more paranoid about it than most, but at the same time I also know it's not just older people and smokers who get lung cancer. I'm 34 and an ex-smoker so it is unlikely but not impossible. One GP put me off having the chest x-ray by telling me there is a slight increased risk of cancer with these types of x-ray so I don't want to take it lightly but at the same time don't know how long I should leave it before I go ahead with it. There is this horrible cough and cold going round at the moment but I so rarely get coughs and have never in my life had a chest infection until this one. Any thoughts? Or am I crazy?!

lovingmyginandiphone Thu 29-Dec-16 16:51:55

Get the X-ray done fo peace of mind!

I've now had a cough for 18 months and my asthma deteriorated, after about 8 months I had an X-ray to rule out anything obvious and have since had lung function tests, blood tests, CT scan and sputum tests (while awaiting the results of the latter I am now on a month of antibiotics.... had two sessions in past few months and last winter 3-5 courses)

Coughs are either easily sorted or notoriously difficult to resolve as per mine but do what you can to eliminate possible causes....

Are you asthmatic? If not, might be worth asking your GP whether a short period of ventolin could help? DD has this each winter....

LMonkey Thu 29-Dec-16 20:09:33

Thanks for your reply lovingmygin. I am not asthmatic but the first gp I saw who prescribed my first lot of antibiotics did also give me a ventolin inhaler. To be honest I really don't find it does anything for me.

Wow I had no idea a cough could go on for so long, you poor thing. And I'm guessing all the tests you've had so far have come back as normal? It just blows your mind when there is no obvious cause!!

If you waited 8 months for your chest x-ray maybe I should wait a bit longer and am being a bit impatient (or freakishly paranoid).

lovingmyginandiphone Fri 30-Dec-16 08:44:30

I wouldn't wait. I had a slow doctor but luckily moved surgeries and my new one is much more efficient!

I was also told that if my cough was particularly bad of an evening and keeping me awake, to take codeine, just at night for 2-3 nights and it helps but don't take it continuously

LMonkey Fri 30-Dec-16 20:15:32

Went for my chest x-ray today so now have to wait about a week for results, even then it won't necessarily show anything even if there is something there (I.e. lung cancer) as chest x-rays apparently aren't the best for showing this up but I suppose will see what happens from this and what the doc says. Still very anxious though. Fingers crossed.

lovingmyginandiphone Sat 31-Dec-16 17:31:48

Glad you went and at least it starts the ball rolling and will help rule out some causes or ID something simple! Could you ask to do sputum tests whilst waiting?

BagelDog Sat 31-Dec-16 17:34:59

Wouldn't fret about the radiation side of things much, one plain film chest X-ray is the same as a days background radiation... so less than you get from a plane trip or spending a day in one of the more radioactive bits of Cornwall... high resolution CT maybe would give me pause but not a chest X-ray.

LMonkey Thu 05-Jan-17 20:11:03

Had a phone call from the gp today to say that the chest x-ray has shown an area of what looks like residual infection and has recommended that I go on another course of antibiotics. I really need to go on doxycycline which is the best antibiotic but haven't been able to as I'm still breastfeeding my 2 year old!! Had I not been breastfeeding still then I would have had doxycycline first time round and who knows I might have been in the clear by now. There is another 'safe' antibiotic I can try but I really just want to knock this on the head as I'm so sick of worrying. I'm still worried that this is something more serious and I won't know if there is an improvement until 6-8 weeks time when I have a repeat chest x-ray. And between now and then I need to give up breastfeeding a nearly 2 year old who still breast feeds quite a lot and practically assaults me in order to get what she wants, finish a course of antibiotics, have the chest x-ray and wait for results. I feel it is time for us to stop breastfeeding as she relies on me a bit too much and can get pretty cranky over it. I will miss it though sometimes and I really have no idea how long it will take. Might have to start a separate thread for this!

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