Going on holiday

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I was diagnosed with bronchiectasis one month ago after a chronic cough for years. I am on my 8th course of antibiotics since March. Still coming to terms with the condition and trying to remain positive. I am flying to Vietnam next week and am worried how I am going to cope with my continual coughing which lasts 4 hours per day. It is going to be so embarrassing. Has anyone any tips. I feel like cancelling as I am worried but I can’t let my husband down . I hate how it effects everyone else’s life not just your own !

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Alison

    I have felt the same in the past, especially on a plane, in that close environment for many hours.

    Think positive. You have as much right to go where you want. If people could see your disability they would accept it. If people don’t like it, tough. I am sure you will be as discreet as possible, as am I, and funnily enough my husband and I are off to Vietnam soon too. So, together, we shall have as good a time as possible.

    I have had this condition for many years now and you have to get on with your life and if anyone gives you “the look”, give then a nice, sweet smile back. 

    Have fun fun on your trip

  • Posted

    Hello Alison

    As a fellow sufferer but for years now, no longer really suffering, as I saw a top consultant and found the answer. It was azrythromycin, an antibiotic. It is in the same group as clarithromycin but that did not work in the same effective way.A long course helped and pretty much solved it, except when I had pneumonia, years later. but others worse off take it several times a week long term. On a flight, make sure you take your inhaler(s). My symptom was.a chronic cough for many years. Even now I get phlegm which I cough up but no real problem but I now have other health problems, a brain tumour, which may in some way influence that. For several years I had little phlegm and even now except when coughing up phlegm, with a single cough just a few times a day, it’s no problem because of the magic azrythromycin. I have a rescue pack but that gets unused and expires. I was tested at the time of my major consultations for all the nasty bugs, as bugs breed even more bugs. It was my consultant who co-wrote the guidelines. See them on the British Thoracic Society website.

    My advice is to enjoy your trip. Even with it, but symptom free, we spent weeks over a few years in Thailand and nothing, flights, humid air etc. , made it worse. Everyone is different but have a good break.

    Remain positive, it will help.

    Best wishes


  • Posted

    The guidelines differ from those I originally saw. Years fly by. Under section 5 Antibiotics Amoxicillin is now given with clarithromycin, also. Neither worked for me, hence my mention of Az.
  • Posted


    I can only say Ditto to Brian's reply, AZ has been a Godsend for me ever since I started 1 1 / 2 years ago,Talk to your GP and get on it,just go and enjoy Vietnam I would love to go back again.




  • Posted

    I live 200km from Vietnam (Brit expat retired in the far north-eastern area of Thailand).

    You will not get any dirty looks form SE Asians. They are very forgiving of people who have any kind of infirmity - still very family orientated out here and every large extended family has at least one and usually more that needs caring for in one way or another.

    On top of that the weather is far superior for people with breathing difficulties.

    Go for it.

    BTW meds are not a problem if you run out, provided you can get to one of the larger cities (probably means Hanoi plus Ho Chi Min (Saigon) only. I can buy everything I need (Azithromycin, Symbicort, mucolytics, bronchdilator) over the counter with no prescription in Thailand. Guide books will tell you whether Vietnam is the same but may be an idea to carry a prescription for what you are on anyway; in theory customs can stop you and ask for proof of your medical need for what you are carrying though in 40 years of international travel - the last 5 of which has been with a stack of meds - I have never been searched/asked and I don't personally bother with protecting against low risk events.

    Bring what you need though and I don't advise buying any locally manufactured 'serious' pharma. My personal experience with Thai-made azithromycin and levafloxacin has raised my suspicions (but European/US mades are generally available)

  • Posted

    My husband and I have done a lot of traveling these past few years and I always worry about my health (I also have Bx). 

    Before each trip, I always:

    Gear up my immune system by eating healthy, keeping up with my exercising and taking AirBorne (otc vitamins and mineral supplement) each day.

    I usually get an emergency prescription of antibiotics to take alone with me.

    Make sure I brought plenty of my meds and my flutter valve.

    Bring cough drops, peppermint drops and/or cinnamon drops to help with the coughing. Cold water helps me when I start to cough. 

    And relax!!! Stress can make the situation worse.


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