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Hi, ive just been diagnosed with bronchiectasis and finding it hard to deal with. I cough so hard that i sometimes vomit. My chest muscles ache and the mucous makes me feel nauseous as i can't always spit it out. The wheezing and whistling at night drives me crazy and i don't sleep too well. I am seeing a specialist at the end of november. Will he be able to prescribe anything to ease the coughing? Any help will be greatly appreciated as i can't see a positive side to this.

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  • Posted

    Sympathies with the diagnosis and your current predicament. Your depression about this likley will not last once you get a better understanding of what is happening and what remedies are available.

    I am a bronchiectasis sufferer of 3 years standing but my own condition is not marked by regular and intense coughing so there will be others who come along who will be better able to advise on their experience with intense coughing and thick mucous.

    To help them out it will be helpful if you tell us which country you are based in, who has diagnosed your symptoms and what medication have they given you along with your diagnosis. I'd like to say I cannot believe that someone would be diagnosed but not treated - under no circumstances should you be left like that with no help for a month for 5-6 weeks.

    Help should be at hand in the form of:

    * Simple physio excercises to let you take control of your mucous evacuation and relieve the pressure on involuntary coughing

    * Ultimately other supporting devices to help you drain your lungs at times under your control

    * Low impact drugs that thin your mucous to make it easier to clear out

    * Inhalers (low impact but can have mild to moderate longer term effects if you are unlucky) that will help with the wheezing/whistling (technical term 'bronchospasm'wink and any inflammation in your lungs that is contributing to your discmfort and stimulating mucous production

    * Other specific drugs to reduce the imact of bronchospasm.

    Might be helpful to know how you got this point - history of childhood pneumonia? History of recurring chest complaints/infections (bronchitis etc). Smoking record? Any mention of asthma or COPD along with your bronchiectasis? What testing have you been through (XRay or CT scan?/breathing tests?/other) We are not doctors on here but if your free medical care is not coming up owth the goods we can at least pass on some experiences and get you on the road to positivity. Clearly we can't recommend that you take certain drugs but maybe we can give some suggestions for you to take back to your General Practitioner and see if he is comfortable at taking a stop-gap route.

    If you really can't get proper medical attention for 6 weeks and your condition is as described then personally speaking I would beg borrow and steal the money I don't have from family to buy a consultation with a pulmonary consultant having first established pricing with them. I'm afraid we hear a few stories on this website where public healthcare is slow to react and this disease is not so common for all non-specialists to feel comfortable at taking intermediate steps with you.

    Best of luck. You are at the bottom now and the only way from here is up.

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    • Posted

      I live in Perth Wedtern Australia. My gp sent me for a ct scan and this is how ive been diagnosed. I have a specialist apt at the end of november. I have recently made another apt with my gp as i cant wait til november to get this sorted. I have been reading up o n the internet and find "huffing" works well but i cough on and off all day. I get very short of breath doing anything physical. I have for a ventolin inhaler which helps a little bit but doesn't get rid of the wheezing. Its not sleeping at night which really gets me down.

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    • Posted

      While you are waiting for your specialist appointment I would suggest something that makes the mucous thinner. A salt pipe which you can buy online, mucolytics or linden (lime flower) tea are all things which help without a precription. 

      My mucous is very thick and makes me vomit too if I start coughing after breakfast. Thinning it down helped a lot. You might want to avoid dairy products as they make the mucous thicker and I find they make me vommity too. 

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  • Posted

    Bev,  your mention of whistling and wheezing got me interested.  THE END OF NOVEMBER, YOU SAY??? Maybe you are not in the USA.  I don't know what you have to do to see a dr. earlier but that's what I'd try to do because if you do not have inhalers and nebulizer etc. you need them.  But you say you have been dxd so I would think you've got the scripts for necessary inhalers.  It sounds like you have asthma thus the whistling and wheezing and nebulizing with Albuterol or whatever is equivalent to that will help with that problem. And then your steroid inhaler which hopefully they prescribed for you will fix you up for the next 12 hrs.

    I too have usually been sitting down when an episode of trying to cough up mucous has hit me and I've actually almost vomited altho I don't - but it's like a gag reflex or something because you're probably trying too hard to get it up.  I'd also take a mucolytic drug - in the States we use Mucinex - and even tho I've read some people like the cheap generics with 400 mg, the brand name does work better because it is 600 mg which has been said to actually work. It  breaks up the mucous or liquifies it to make it easier to come up and it's time released so it's always working.  I've tried the cheaper drug store brands and never found they are as good, probably because they are not time released.  

    So, not knowing what you have been prescribed or what you already use I submit all that information and hope that some of it helps you.  The other thing is that I'd not try as hard to get that mucous up.  It will come up in its own time esp. if you take the mucolytic drug up to 4 times a day. 600 mg. ea. and do your inhalers as prescribed and that Albuterol  to open your airway. You can also gargle with strong salt water before going to bed and it will cut the mucous that's in your throat which is probably the reason you are coughing.  I've also eaten a couple of crackers and they will cut the mucous to stop the cough. (Make sure it's crackers you don't love or you'll gain weight!)  If you live here in the States and can't get an appt. til end of Nov. I'd go to another dr. or a walk in clinic to get the prescriptions.

    That's ridiculous.

    Let us hear how you get along and whether some of those suggestions help.


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  • Posted

    Forgot to include in the list of help...

    *antibiotics - some of which can be taken in small longer period doses (prophylactically) and some of those which can control inflammation as well as protect agianst infection

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  • Posted

    Beverley, sorry to hear about your 

    diagnosis. You will find plenty of help here.

    I was diagnoses ten years ago,

    My condition is mild.

    I now live a good active life because

    I was referred to a physio. She taught

    me the breathing exercises which you 

    too can learn.

    I do mine at the end of the day.

    Sometimes during the day.

    Clears the lungs and gives to an increase in

    lung capacity etc etc

    There are also early trials of Stem Cell therapy 

    for COPD patients. So, keep a look out for developments there.

    You can have a normal life and sleep.

    I am in UK.


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  • Posted

    Hi Beverley

    I'm on the North Coast of NSW and it took 8 months for me to see a respiratory specialist !! if that makes you feel any better wink

    The people on this site were SO helpful to me last year when i was first diagnosed so you'll find plenty of support here while you adjust to this diagnosis.

    I cough a lot - some days are better than others.

    Wishing you all the best.

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