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I've been diagnosed with a chest infection - advice please

(24 Posts)
imaginaryfriend Sun 14-Sep-08 22:17:01

I started to feel ill 2 weeks ago with a really agonising pain in my right side, all round my ribs, under my armpit and in the back of my shoulder. I also had a high fever but no cough. This happened for 2 evenings in a row then the pain seemed to go and I was left with just a high fever on and off.

I only forced myself to the GP last week and he sent me for a chest x-ray and some blood tests and the x-ray shows I have an infection in my left lung, the right side is clear. So I'm totally confused as to why I had / still have the pain in my right side. Also I'm not coughing an awful lot, just a bit, and I'd have thought I'd have a really awful cough with a chest infection.

Any advice? I'm still having bad fevers, taking nurofen and paracetamol to keep myself going and I keep getting the chest pain intermittently.

avenanap Sun 14-Sep-08 22:20:11

You can get what's called transfered pain, which is pain from one place which is felt somewhere else. It could be this. It sounds more like plurasy (sp?), then a chest infection to be honest. I'd go back to the GP if you are concerned.

imaginaryfriend Sun 14-Sep-08 22:27:35

Yes, I thought pleurisy as I had that when I was 17 but the x-ray showed infection on the left side. I will go back to the GP on Tuesday when my regualar GP is back. I had to see the rubbish one last week.

imaginaryfriend Sun 14-Sep-08 22:28:37

The whole of my right rib cage area is also very tender to touch. DP suggested it might be that my glands are up on that side?

avenanap Sun 14-Sep-08 22:36:46

Hmm. There would be a broductive cough with a chest infection. It can be hard to tell where the infection is on a chest film though. The antibiotics should start to kick in after a few days.
I'll take bets on it being pleurisy. smile You don't have glands on your rib cage, you have some under though.

imaginaryfriend Sun 14-Sep-08 22:38:42

Would pleurisy last this long though? And I wouldn't need antibiotics would I as it's a viral thing usually?

avenanap Sun 14-Sep-08 22:43:55

It could be both. You are more likely to get pleurisy with another infection, like pneumonia (chest infection). Antibiotics do work for pleurisy smile.

imaginaryfriend Mon 15-Sep-08 09:45:35

Thanks. Would pleurisy show up on a chest x-ray?

imaginaryfriend Mon 15-Sep-08 12:53:28

any other advice?

imaginaryfriend Mon 15-Sep-08 13:48:25


OrmIrian Mon 15-Sep-08 13:51:34

Oh I hope it isn't pleurisy sad . That is soooo painful. I remember getting past the point of thinking I was dying, and started wanting to!

I specialised in horrible chest illnesses when I was a child.

Sorry you are feeling so bad if.

imaginaryfriend Mon 15-Sep-08 13:56:52

Well it was excruciatingly painful the first two days it started but it's been quite diffuse and on and off since. But I can't shake the headaches, fevers and total fatigue.

anyfucker Mon 15-Sep-08 13:58:26

If it is pneumonia (sometimes called a "chest infection") then you may not have a wet cough until the antibiotics kick in and often not at all. Many viral infections will not be helped by antibiotics, but if they don't shift quickly, a secondary bacterial infection can move in.

If you have been coughing *at all* then the pain in your ribcage could be a muscle/rib cartilage strain. This happened to me earlier in the year and was bloody painful. It hurt on sneezing, coughing, movement and breathing. In fact, I still have a slight discomfort now, several months on.

Try to eat well, even if you don't feel like it. I lost a fair bit of weight which I still haven't regained. Although you might say that is an advantage as I can fit into some stuff I had "grown out of". wink

Hope you feel better soon.

TheFallenMadonna Mon 15-Sep-08 14:03:22

I had pneumonia and pleurisy back in Feb/March. I was surprised at how bad I felt, and for how long. Go back when you have finished your course of antibiotics if you still have pain and fever. I had I think 5 courses. And a series of x rays to check what was going on.

Take care.

imaginaryfriend Mon 15-Sep-08 14:15:42

af, thanks, that's useful to know. I had no idea you could have pneumonia / chest infection without a cough. maybe I have pulled a muscle while coughing but it seems so unlikely as I've been coughing fairly little, although not not at all.

FM, could you describe what you felt like with Pleurisy / chest infection? Were they both on the same side?

stealthsquiggle Mon 15-Sep-08 14:20:07

I have had both - pleuresy and a selection of chest infections.

Pleuresy - felt like a heart attack and/or borken ribs. It hurt like hell every time I breathed. It can be bacterial - mine responded to anti-biotics

Chest infections were, for me, usually characterised by fever, coughing and massive asthma attacks

BTW now my asthma meds are sorted I <<crosses fingers>> haven't had any chest infections for a few years.

imaginaryfriend Mon 15-Sep-08 14:33:53

My chest pain felt like that when it started but only for 2 nights. Did yours last at that rate of pain for long?

I've also had pneumonia twice before and the fever side of this feels similar but I had a much worse cough and also bad asthma.

I'm on such a strong inhaler now, I'm not sure they'd give me an even stronger one.

TheFallenMadonna Mon 15-Sep-08 14:34:05

I did actually think I had broken a rib. It was appallingly painful. Breathing, shifting position at all very very painful. It was on the same side as the infection for me. I also had fevers which came and went. So I'd think I was getting better only to get very feverish again. And exhausted too. Coughed a fair amount at the beginning, but cough went but x rays still showed infection.

imaginaryfriend Mon 15-Sep-08 14:35:32

FM how long was the pleurisy that painful for? Maybe I've got the aftermath of it and a chest infection on the other side too? How was your pleurisy diagnosed?

sadandscared Mon 15-Sep-08 14:36:24

Pleuresy is very painful. I felt like I had been permanently winded. It hurt whenever I took a breath (I could only manage little half breaths the pain was sooo bad). The antibiotics I had finally sorted it out. Mind you I had to be hospitalised first as I was 21 weeks pg, had been into A&E during the night and the A&E dr sent me home to have some paracetamol (pratt). The GP I saw the following day was horrified at my treatment. On doing (or more to the point failing to do) a peak flow he phoned the hospital straight away and made damn sure they were waiting for me!!!
Chest infections tend to be more coughy and 'wet'.

stealthsquiggle Mon 15-Sep-08 14:43:44

TBH I can't remember exactly how long it lasted. I was at college at the time (a long long time ago) and remember lying in bed thinking how absolutely impossible it would be to get down 1 flight of stairs to go get food, but I do remember the pain receeded within 48 hours of starting antibiotics.

imaginaryfriend Mon 15-Sep-08 14:49:14

Ok, well if I did have pleurisy I don't have it now from your descriptions as it's coming and going and not painful all the time.

imaginaryfriend Tue 16-Sep-08 13:29:53

I saw my regular GP this morning and she thinks the right-hand pain is transferred pain from the infection on the left hand side. She read through the x-ray report and also had my blood tests back - the inflammation markers were through the roof. She's given me 2 different antibiotics to take and is sending me for blood tests for atypical pneumonia - Legionella and Micoplasma.

anyfucker Tue 16-Sep-08 16:31:55

blimey, good luck

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