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Signs of a chest infection?

(40 Posts)
PavlovtheRedNosedReindeer Fri 12-Dec-08 09:41:15

I have a Drs appt in a bit. It has screwed my day right up, I have been unable to get one in the last two days so had to take it.

I have not been to the Drs for weeks, as I am sick of being told there is nothing wrong other than a bloody virus/its going around/go and rest/drink fluids etc, have been ill almost permanently for the last 10 months.

I have had a cough since before I last went about 5 weeks ago. Then, it was not a chest infection. It has been getting tighter, and more barking as the weeks go on, and on the odd occasion I have been sick with it. Over the last two weeks it has become more 'productive' but not clearing. Then at the beginning of the week it lifted a little and I felt positively better. for one day.

Then I developed a high fever, but thought oh well, just got DDs bug. Cough instantly changed, and as well as becoming more productive is now 'rattling' and sort of fuzzes after the cough as finished. I am having majoy coughing fits, am sick every day with it, and yesterday and this morning had a coughing fit so long and hard I was hyperventilating. I have a vague pain on one side of my upper back, my muscles hurt through coughing so much and i am having waves of slight heat and sweat come over me.

Sorry it is not a pleasant post, but, someone at work told me that Dr surgeries in Cornwall are saying don't bother to see the GP if 'xx' are the symptoms, some of which I have, as its 'going around' and there is nothing they can do.

I do not want to wait at the Drs for an hour for nothing. I am missing training at work for this, on a day I was not meant to be at work, therefore have arranged childcare for, and also arranged another two meetings today seeing as I was there anyway. If I do not go to the GP, I can still make it to work.

I am so sick of being sick. I was in tears this morning with the frustration of it all, I just want to be well, but am afraid of the Dr just dismissing me. Again.

Sorry, its more of a rant isn't it? blush

LilRedWG Fri 12-Dec-08 09:46:34

Sorry to tell you but I had a cough that lasted around two months and yes, "It's a viral thing that's going around". I did have ABs about a month in and they did bugger all. It sucked.

I felt exactly as you say.

That being said, DD had had the cough for three week and the doctor said she had a chest infection and gave her ABs. He said that in the previous week he had seen dozens of people with this cough and only DD's had actually turned into an infection, which was strange 'cause she seemed fine in herself (was happily playing with the toys in his room) and I only took her as it'd gone on so long and I was after ABs for my sinus infection.

LilRedWG Fri 12-Dec-08 09:47:43

Don't know if that helped or not - sorry.

I do so hope you feel better soon. Really lay it on with the doctor and make sure he really listens to your chest.

PavlovtheRedNosedReindeer Fri 12-Dec-08 09:49:56

LilRed sad. Is your DD better now? Kids are very resilient aren't they. My DD is braver than me. She has been poorly too, but comes up to me and says, 'ok mummy?' 'aw poorly mummy, i make you better' and hugs me. I hate her seeing me so pathetic.

I have just had enough of it. I have also had sinus infections, one after the other this year. This is just the last straw.

I cannot cope with being unwell any more sad.

PavlovtheRedNosedReindeer Fri 12-Dec-08 10:10:46

So only lilred has an opinion for me?

Any words of sympathy then? Cup of tea? back rub? hmm grin


<walks off unloved>

zazen Fri 12-Dec-08 10:16:14

Pavlov, if your lungs are rattling ans you are crackling when you breathe in a long breath, and your high temp this all suggests to me you have pneumonia.
Get your GP to take a sample of sputum from you, ask her to listen to your lungs for ages, especially at the bottoms of them as it sounds to me like you have a good deal of fluid there.
Insist on a chest xray also.
your GP may not prescribe anything for you until the results from the lab are back - ask her when that will be to keep her on the ball.

I'm sorry you aren't feeling great. I had a chest infection turn very nasty and I had pneumonia from july till november - was on 4 courses of anti bods to shift it, then had a horrendous sinus infection, and have now developed adult onset asthma.

I hope you fare better than me! Keep warm - wear a gilet. Good luck

TotalChaos Fri 12-Dec-08 10:22:32

I put off going to the doctors with a horrible cough for same reasons as you - but coughing up blood one morning gave me the push, and yes, turned out I had a bacterial chest infection. And I wasn't as ill as you - I had the back ache, hacking and vomiting through coughing, but not a high temperature/fever. So I would take your symptoms very seriously.

Btw the abs didn't start to touch it until day 4 or 5 of the 7 day course.

PavlovtheRedNosedReindeer Fri 12-Dec-08 10:23:16

Zazen - I don't have a temp now (or rather cant tell as thermometer has bust) but I get hot sweaty flushes that come in waves as/just after I cough, but I had a fever on Monday and tuesday (tuesday night at 103, then sort of 'broke' and settled).

And getting the GP to take a sample of anything is a joke. How will I ask them to test the sputum? I am struggling to bring it up, for some reason I am not able to 'spit' most of it, or get it further than the back of my throat - it sort of gets swallowed (which is why I think I have been sick). I told DH it is because I am too lady like!

I hope it is not pneuemonia - I am to USA in a week hmm

TotalChaos Fri 12-Dec-08 10:24:55

Pavlov - GP didn't bother taking a sample (did refer me for an X-ray due to the blood), he was happy to give me abs on the basis of listening to my chest.

LilRedWG Fri 12-Dec-08 10:27:15

If it is pneumonia and you are planning on flying in a week then you need treatment. Believe me, having to be administered oxygen by babin crew with people stepping over you is VERY embarassing.

Make sure your GP understands that you fly in a week. Insist on ABs, "just in case".

Good luck. BTW, if you have no luck at your GPs get DH to take you to A&E after a nasty coughing/hyperventilating/vomitting fit. If you could hyperventilate to the point of passing out that would be helpful too. wink

LilRedWG Fri 12-Dec-08 10:27:43

cabin not babin

zazen Fri 12-Dec-08 10:37:14

Yes insist on abs - Avelox is a good one if you are still having sinus trouble - it's the last one I had for my sinus infection. I took penicillin also to kill the pneumonia bugs. Wrecked me for a few days as all the bugs were dying off and releasing their cell contents into my system - toxin overload, but after that i felt much better.

I didn't have much to cough up when I had pneumonia - that's why I thought I had got over the chest nasty infection myself see?
BUT fluid was in my lungs and there were pneumonia bugs growing in it - yummy yummy! The wandering fevers and sweats sound all too familiar. I'd bet a fiver you have pneumonia, and I don't normally bet.

Get your GP to help you - bring your DH if she's a battle-axe. You need to be well. Insist on treatment, you deserve to be well.

TisTheSeasonToBeSolo Fri 12-Dec-08 11:03:24

My Ds had the '100 day cough', it went on from mid August until about 3 weeks ago.
I took Dd to see the nurse practitioner who said her chest was clear ~ that was on a Wednesday. I took her back for a doctors appointment on the Friday and it had become a chest infection. Her chest was rattling and she was wheezey too.

It sounds as though you are really unwell, so I'd go to the doctors and see what is happening with your cough. I know though, that I have to be dying to go to the doctors for myself and even then, I leave it 'until toorrow' to see if I'm any better.

I hope you are ok and feel better soon...

PavlovtheRedNosedReindeer Fri 12-Dec-08 11:31:11

So, lets start with what my Dr does not know
'what this is'
'what is causing it'
'why I am so sick so often'
'what I can do about it'
'whether or not it could be asthma'

He checked my lungs, albeit briefly, and said they sound clear. However, I also had a coughing fit as he checked them, and he acknowledged there is wheezing (ffs he did not need the stethascope to hear it, you can hear it on the other side of the room). He did not notice rumbling, which I could feel as he was listening hmm.

He said he would give me a course of antibiotics anyway 'just in case' and he asked some questions about history of asthma and said he thought I should use an inhaler again (he says again like I use it all the time. I had it for a year when I was 11 - 20 years ago!) and that I should use it over winter.

I asked him why? Does this mean that I have asthma - he said he did not know. But he thinks it is more to do with the airways than the lungs itself, hence nothing on lungs and the subsequent inhaler.

I asked him if it could be anything to do with my sinus' as I keep getting infections, could this be affecting my chest in some way (ie mucus dripping) he said, it could be. He looked back the the notes and said 'yes, you have been a bit unwell, clearly it is upsetting you and getting you down'. Not sure how he could tell, perhaps it was the tears streaming down my face hmm.

He said try the ABs and inhaler for two weeks, then go back, hopefully by then I will be clear from chest problems and then he can look at my sinus issue - refer me to ENT but wants to get chest thing out of the way first.

So, well I came out of there feeling very very frustrated and upset and confused.

I have an inhaler for some reason I do not know, and Penicillin, which while good incase it is for a chest infection, I don't know why I have that either hmm.

I guess I should be pleased it is not pneumonia, or somesuch. And he now finally realising he has to help me sort myself out. BUT I just did not come away thinking, oh good, not a chest infection. I came away thinking, he has got it wrong, I do not have asthma (and would like a second opinion)

(Lilred - was your flying tip from experience shock )

PavlovtheRedNosedReindeer Fri 12-Dec-08 11:32:00

Sorry, that was really really waffly.
I just needed to get it all out. I am still not able to stop crying as I just feel so shit.

And I still don't know what is wrong sad

PavlovtheRedNosedReindeer Fri 12-Dec-08 11:35:24

Oh and when I told him I am being sick with it he said 'why are you being sick?' WTF, your the DR!!!!!


LilRedWG Fri 12-Dec-08 11:42:10

What crap - he sounds like one of the GPs at our practice who I refuse ever to see again.

The flying thing, err, yep from experience. Wasn't pneumonia though. We went on holiday post MC as we needed the break - I was feeling crap and collapsed, Ttbh I think it was more emotional than physical. Not my finest moment, but everyone was very nice. blush

LilRedWG Fri 12-Dec-08 11:42:52

Can you see another doctor at the practice before you travel? bokk an appointment for a couple of days before, just in case.

PavlovtheRedNosedReindeer Fri 12-Dec-08 11:47:58

To be honest Lilred - there are two Drs are they both pretty much the same. I am pretty sure she is him in a dress. Really, they don't do anything they don't have to. However the female is probably a bit more clued up, happens to be off long term sick too right now. Just this Dr available.

However, I am reluctant, as, in many other ways they have been fantastic Drs. When my parents died, and me being pg and then a new mum, and I had horrendous work trouble just before and for a while after, they were both really supportive, gave me time off work, listened, offered tissues, gave me sleeping tablets (but not ADs) and talked about why I was feeling the way I was, sleep cycles, how to get back into sleep routines that kind if thing. They assured me I was not depressed but suffering from PTS of some kind, took time to explain, reassure etc.

It seems they are better counsellors than GPs!

At least I have the ABs, so if it is something horrid it will be sorted by next week whether its identified or not. Penicillin is good for many things isnt it?

TisTheSeasonToBeSolo Fri 12-Dec-08 11:49:31

I hate doctors like that! Mine once said 'Well, what do you think it is'? hmm eh?!!!!

PavlovtheRedNosedReindeer Fri 12-Dec-08 11:52:53

Tistheseason - usually, thats how I go in 'i have a sinus infection, can I have some ABs please' 'I think I have a throat infection can I have some ABs please'. But then, these days I only ever go in once I get to the point that I have no choice.

PavlovtheRedNosedReindeer Fri 12-Dec-08 11:57:11

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchi. Symptoms include:

Coughing up extra mucus, sometimes with blood
Difficulty breathing
Runny nose
More specifically, it may refer to:

'Acute bronchitis, caused by viruses or bacteria and lasting several days or weeks
Chronic bronchitis, a persistent, productive cough lasting at least three months in two consecutive years.
Chronic bronchitis can be caused by cigarette smoke. Acute bronchitis is often a symptom of the common cold.

In bronchitis, the membranes lining the larger air passages (bronchi) become inflamed and an excessive amount of mucus is produced. The person with bronchitis develops a bad cough to get rid of the mucus. Sometimes it can lead to pneumonia.

Airflow into and out of the lungs is partly blocked because of the swelling and extra mucus in the bronchi. [1]

Bronchitis is commonly treated with an antibiotic called Amoxicillin or with inhalers as with asthma . A rescue puffer, Ventolin, Salbutomal or Novo-Salmol, is commonly used for a respiratory emergency (dyspnea). Other inhalers can be prescribed for daily therapy use'

FFS - its fucking BRONCHITIS. This is what HE said it was - it is more to do with your AIRWAYS !!!

So, why did he give me penicillin - not amoxyllin - does this mean penecillin will not work?

I am so fed up. It is so obvious this is what I have. It is EXACT.

PavlovtheRedNosedReindeer Fri 12-Dec-08 12:05:28

OMG I am just so stunned. I have just done my Drs job for him. He gets paid £100k a year, for me to do his fucking job for him.

Does it matter if I have penicillin instead of amoxyllin? I have had amoxylin about 4 times this year, maybe this is why?

In reality I should not get annoyed, he has prescribed for me exactly as if it was bronchitis, so does it matter about labels? <calms herself down>

TotalChaos Fri 12-Dec-08 12:14:38

at least what you've found out about bronchitis means what you got given (both ABs and inhaler) makes sense now! would not have thought it would make much difference that you've got penicillin rather than amoxycillin - since amoxycillin is going to be some sort of variant on penicillin judging by the name?

PavlovtheRedNosedReindeer Fri 12-Dec-08 12:21:01

Total - that is what I am thinking. I was going to phone up the Dr and ask him why he did not just say 'you have bronchitis, and possibly a sinus infection, lets sort out the bronchitis, then come back in two weeks and we will do something about your sinus'.

It would have taken 2 mins, not 15, and I would not have been so upset, all morning, and I would have known what it was from the start.

But I decided against. I have the right medication, even if it is for the wrong (or not sure what) reasons.

(Its not like I need a definition on Drs cert, as I have been and am going to work regardless).

I am calmer now and off to get prescriptions in a second. I hope they don't make me ill like they did zazen - I have too much to do between now and our trip to USA, and have to work full time next week too sad.

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