Recurrent episodes of illness after bronchiectasis

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Hi, I was diagnosed as bronchiectasis way back in 2010. I was never a chronic smoker nor a drinker still I have no idea how I ended up with this I was 25 then. I used to fall ill recurrently since then vomiting, cough, weakness, depression. In 2013 I ended up having tuberculosis and I was treated for it . but my lungs were never normal like what it used to be earlier. My left lung lower and mid lobe are bronchiectatic. Now currently too I have lot of mucus production and crackles over chest I fall ill recurrently I have tried many things too remove the mucus but its very thick. I always end up every morning with a blocked nose and a congested chest with some wheezing..i face tried cupping, and inhalationals it works but temporarily ..again I am ok for a month or so and again I fall ill.its very troubling and the past tuberculosis sickness haunts me I dont want to end up with tb ever again..

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  • Posted

    Hi Francis,

    I am so sorry to here that you are not well;

    I was diagnosed with bronchiectasis, having been poorly for a long time, and it was in one way a relief to know what it was. Well, I now have a routine of antibiotics in place, but you need to sort it out so that you have the correct antibiotics by having a sputum test analysed to identify the bugs...there are a few. Your doctor needs to organize this, it isn't a problem. I have some antibiotics in stock and had a break from them over the summer and now have gone back on them as I am feeling a little under the weather. The cold air makes my lungs ache.

    I have a lay down after lunch and that moves the mucus and I can spit it out, then sometimes have a short sleep.

    There is only a certain amount of energy available for bronchiectasis suffers, and you need to work out how much you have and work within that envelope.

    Even if I feel well, I know not to do more than I can cope with; overdo things and I can feel poorly again.

    There are some good hints and tips on this site and also the 'bronchiectasis r us' forum is very good. There is a lot that you can do to manage the condition. Do let me know how you get on.

    Blessings,

    Lesley

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    • Posted

      Thankyou Lesley, I havnt tried antibiotics up till now as I hate to see meds after my tb episode. I try to keep my chest free of congestion by exercising. I will follow ur advice and hope it helps me.
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    • Posted

      And can you tell me what tests you do to know which antibiotic to take.. I have done several CT scans too but too much radiation exposure too scares me. What regular tests should we be doing and what drugs are meant to be kept by us . Sorry am asking you all these but I have seen 4-5 chest specialist and none where helpful. I dont know how they become doctors here in India when they dont know anything. I ask them a question and all they do is give me tons of medicines and dont even bother during the review. Health facility is very poor in my country.
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    • Posted

      Hi Francis,

      I find It really is quite straightforward to control my bronchiectasis with antibiotics. The doctor arranges for me to give him a sputum test which is just some of the 'muck'  called sputum, coughed up in a small container that he gives me at the surgery. I do it at home and take the sample in to the doctor later in the day. This is sent to the lab' at the hospital and they then test it and tell the doctor the name of the antibiotic that I need. You have to know the one to kill your particular bug.

      You will always have to cough it up every day to stop a build up in your lungs which can be most embarrising as can come up at the most inconvenient times.

      I am quite in control and have a good state of mind, not really needing any sympathy. The only irritation is the lack of energy and the need for a rest in the afternoon, but I am not complaining.

      Blessings,

      Lesley

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  • Posted

    Hi there,

    My name is David, I was diagnosed when I was 30 years old but its from a childhood trauma

    It is paramount that you see a respiratory specialist, not just your normal GP but make sure you are referred to some expert who can monitor & manage  you every 3 to 6 months

    Are you seeing both a GP and specialist? If not, get onto it now.

    Additionally you have to get working on an exercise regime & eating healthy, none of this fast food, fatty, takeaway crap. You will put on weight & it will make your breathing worse. I go to the gym 2 or 3 times per week even though I cannot be bothered 'cause I know it makes a difference.

    Also a smart doctor told me to walk 30 minutes each day, this will give you a measurement on how well or sick you are. I walk home from work & most days I can manage that quite nicely. Today, I am out of breath & have a fever & that tells me I am getting ill (well that & the fact its obvious!).

    Once you have bronchiectasis, its pretty much there for life & we all seem to experience different illnesses & feelings like poor Lesley whose very helpful with providing information.

    You have to take charge & get to know your limits. It's totally management with the right care!

    My respiratory physician has been a god send, I would be dead if it was not for him. The doctor I was seeing before him was not helpful but I got the right care & its made a difference.

    My bronchiectasis is centred on the top right & left lungs, not the base when it more commonly occurs. Some people have it at the base & an operation will remove the damaged lung tissue. They cannot remove my damaged lung tissue otherwise my lungs with disconnect with the bronchial pipes & then I'd be completely screwed.

    Keep us all posted. Regards,

    David

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    • Posted

      hi everyone     sound  advice and reasoning here..  im one of the lucky ones in that my disease had a very late onset,starting with symptoms  at  65yrs..      a lifetime of stupid health and safety practices in the building trade seems to be the instigator..  so  moral,    keep your lungs protected at all costs.  Unlike those who contract this  disease through childhood illness  or  acid  reflux,,  i am the author  of my own downfall..  so,,  i feel  extra   sorry for those who experience  this  debilitating and  often frightening disease  from an early age...    both the previous  commentators  are   true in what they say..  it can be controlled  with help  and  persistant monitoring, and a regime of exercise and,,, weight maintenance at  a  reasonable level...  keeping  a positive attitude is essential.  good luck to everyone 
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    • Posted

      Thanx David, I am from India so the health facilities are not so good as other developed countries and infection is prone here. I have seen many GP and Chest specialists till now may be around 4 but none of them where of much help. I wasn't satisfied with any . I had a tuberculosis episode way back in 2013 and that haunts me even now when I cough up mucus. I am going for walks, cupping chest, and doing all I can to keep my chest congestion free. I fall ill every 2 or 1 and half months and I am down with fever ,cough and weakness. I am tired of this I want to healthy and I independent. Can you pls share with me how ur chest specialist adviced you to go about it it would be of great help .
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    • Posted

      Hi again Francis,

      You must try & source excellent medical attention. Contact your hospitals & start speaking with respiratory experts. I am sure this type of leg work will pay off.

      As for me & my way of thinking, most doctors are pretty useless or not used to such disease & I went through quite a few of them until I met my "god", my respiratory physican.

      Like I said, I see him every 3 to 6 months - never 12 months. Yes I get sick every 3 months or 6 months. He has given me prescriptions to fill if I am getting sick, which sounds easy but it's not.

      I push through my infections & avoid taking antiobiotics unless I am truly on death's door. However it's paramount you stay home, away from work, the public, public transport & other people breathing their illnesses. Again sounds easy - but you can make this work.

      There is something you can do to help bring up the mucus. They cal this huffing - imagine standing in front of your bathroom mirror, it's all foggy & you open your mouth & huff onto the steam. Well try that on your hand, put your hand up to your mouth & huff onto it. Open your mouth wide, huff like you clearing steam.

      Do those huffs 10 times & repeat as often as you like. You will see what I mean, the mucus will come up quick smart.

      This also eleviates coughing & bruising  your lungs or pulling a muscle, even feeling like you have broken a rib.

      Another great little contraption is known as a "flutter valve". I breath into it 5-10 times & it helps clears rattles. When you call the hospitals, see if anyone knows what I am talking about.

      Not sure if this has been of any help so ask more questions if you need.

      So in summary, exercise, eat  healthy, find a great respiratory physician and GP, buy a flutter value, huff, stay home when you are sick.

      Keep me posted.

      PS. Love India.

       

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    • Posted

      Look up the Respiratory Foundation of India - just found their website - and contact them....

      http://www.rrfindia.com/?p=140

      Oh and remember, there is always someone worse off than us!

      We can deal with it. My friend's son has type 3 diabetes (I think its type 3) and he's only 15 and trying to come to terms with it.

      And what can you do about it anyway?

      Good luck!

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    • Posted

      ..".We can deal with it. My friend's son has type 3 diabetes (I think its type 3) and he's only 15 and trying to come to terms with it.

      And what can you do about it anyway?...."

      Diet and prayer my friend...

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    • Posted

      Thanx David, i have mailed them . Will discuss my case with them when they reply back. I know there are many people who are even in a much worse state than us and still carry in with their lives. But still the constant irritation in my chest 24*7 constantly bugs me and the fear of coughing up blood scares me a lot after my tb incident.life gas never been normal after this problem. anyways thanks a lot for ur support and advice and i hope to cope up with it.
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    • Posted

      hi francis, the coughing up blood is a sign of a lung infection that can be cured with antibiotics. It needs to be sorted immediately.

      Blessings,

      Lesley

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  • Posted

    I feel so very sorry for you feeling you do, bronciectasis is a terrible disease. I was diagnosed at the age of 7 with it after having whooping cough at 6weeks old, I had a lobectomy when I was 7 on my right lung I am now 62, I do postral draining every day to help keep my lungs clear and to stop infections building up,met doesn't always help but it helps to improve the breathing, constant sputum tests to check which infection you have and to be put on the correct antibiotic, plenty of rest and a good diet is  essential. Drinking plenty of fluids helps to make the sputum thinner and easier to move. I hope you feel better soon.
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