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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: Possible Bronchitis ? Difficulty breathing sometimes

 jembaloo - Fri Jan 16, 2009 4:28 pm

Hello, I am a British citizen but I am on holiday in Bulgaria right now so I can't get to my doctor for any help.
The symptoms all sound like bronchitis but I would just like to double check for peace of mind until I can get to my doctor. I recently had quite a bad cold, and now I have come on holiday and I can barely breath. A few days after my cold went away, I developed a relatively dry cough, occasionally some phlegm appears but only through force (taking deep breaths, etc).
The cough has gotten worse and worse, the phlegm I cough up when I manage to is pale yellow with the occasional streaks of blood. I can taste blood when I cough but I haven't actually coughed up just blood (in my spit etc).
The problem is that I can barely walk anywhere without getting extremely out of breath, I can barely breathe and it hurts when I breathe in and out now (I assume because of the violent coughing all the time). It started off that I couldnt breathe properly when I exercised (I am on a snowboarding holiday) so I eased off that, I am a smoker but I stopped for the moment as I assume that it can't be doing my poor lungs any good ! But now I can't even walk down the street without having to take deep rapid breaths. I am constantly wheezing and whistling, it is worse when I lie down.
The coughing etc hasn't interfered with my sleep, it's only when I'm awake that I'm coughing and unable to breath properly.
Should I be worried ? My partner is, he is attempting to make me go to the hospital but it doesn't sound too serious. Thank you.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:37 pm

User avatar Hello -

While your situation might not be an emergency back home, you're in Bulgaria, and you either have severe bronchitis or perhaps even pneumonia, and it's compromising your breathing. This can sometimes get out of hand, and since you're in an area where you probably can't just go to a well-equipped walk-in clinic, the hospital probably wouldn't be a bad idea. You likely need to be on an antibiotic, you most certainly require an expectorant (like guaifenesin) to loosen secretions, and you probably would beneft from a breathing treatment (nebulizer). All these would be most readily accessable in the emergency department of a hospital.

I'd vote with your partner. Take care of yourself, please, and by the most expedient route. This would probably be a hospital given where you are right now. Sorry about the vacation, but these things happen.

Good luck to you and please follow up with us.
 jembaloo - Sat Jan 31, 2009 6:57 pm

Hello there. Thank you for you're response. Well, I arrived back in the UK and was almost immediately carted off to the hospital. They administered the usual tests etc and then concluded the same as I did after an X-ray showed an infected lung - severe bronchitis. They helped me with my breathing by using a nebulizer and then gave me a blue inhalor alongside a 7 day course of antibiotics (Amoxycillin/Amoxicillin).

To be honest, although I don't advise it, I didn't finish the full course of antibiotics as they sent me running for the bathroom rather frequently ! I had 2 days left I think.

The inhalor definately helped though (as of course did the antibiotics but I just got rather sick of the sight of my bathroom) and it cleared up within another week.

Overall I would think the bronchitis lasted 2 weeks.

Thank you for your help

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