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Symptoms, starting to get concerned...


bee

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Hi, I just joined here. I have been sick for about 6 weeks now, started with a cough,stuffed up, sinus pain etc... About a week later (5 weeks ago) I started having this really bad cough and after 16 days of that I went to the dr. and he checked my lungs and said that my lungs were wheezing and I had a touch of asthma as well as bronchitis. He prescribed me Biaxin xl (500mg) two times a day for 14 days. After 10 days on them I still had the cough, stopped taking them for two then started back to finish them up.

I have shortness of breath but thought that was because of the asthma, I didn't bother picking up the puffer. I still have this cough and it is worse at night when lying down. Below my eyes are puffy, maybe from lack of sleep not sure. My phlegm has tons of "bubbles" in it and is very foamy.

Anyhow, I just don't feel good but I started to basically panick today. This morning I coughed and went to spit in the bathroom sink and it was a bright red,not a bit but all of the phlegm, I thought I was seeing things and coughed again and it had pink red threads like threw it and when I coughed again it had brownish red spots in it.

I am in shock I think, I havn't told my husband who was a medic for 20 years about the blood today. I did say to him tonight that I hope this cough, shortness of breath etc isn't lung cancer and he said "no it isn't". I asked him how he could be so sure and he said it was because he refused to believe it. He has voiced his concerns however about my cough etc since I have gotten sick.

I have another dr.s appointment on the 18th of June.

I don't understand why the antibiotics didn't work, I am exhausted to say the least.

Has anyone here coughed up blood? was it everytime or only periodically?

Anyhow, it might not be anything serious but since this morning I have been going over so many things in my mind and odd as it might seem, I can't seem to voice my concerns / fears to anyone but I found you all here even though I might be overreacting.

Thanks for listening, it helps just to even write this down :)

P.S, I am a smoker and 43 years of age.

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Hi Bee-

It could be many things causing an irritation in your lungs but you really need to get in to your doctor Call and tell them your symptoms and get your appointment moved up. You are coughing up new and old blood so something is going on. The infection could be getting worse and you need another antibiotic. To answer your question about the blood, my husband had just a few flecks of blood in his sputum about 2 weeks before his diagnosis.

Let us know what the doctor says.

Rochelle

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"bee"...I can't seem to voice my concerns / fears to anyone but I found you all here even though I might be overreacting.

With this sort of thing, overreacting is much better than underreacting! I second what Rochelle said -- tell your doc's receptionist that you're coughing up blood and get that appointment moved up. Then push for a CT scan.

Actually, the persistent cough and shortness of breath are more concerning to me than coughing up a small amount of blood a few times as you described (I've never coughed up blood -- it was the coughing/wheezing and shortness of breath which led to my diagnosis). BUT, the receptionist would probably respond better to "coughing up blood," if you see what I mean.

Best wishes and Aloha,

Ned

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Hi Bee. I agree with all here. The not knowing is really scary. So push for moving up appts. My SOB got so bad that I eventually went to ER and then the system kicked in real fast. I agree wtih Ned, the coughing, and coughing worse at night and the SOB are more concerning than the blood, but the blood can also be an LC system. I hope you can get help quickly and get this thing nailed down. Because once you know what you are dealing with then a treatment plan can be put into place and you will start to feel a bit better. Take care

Sandra

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Hi Bee,

Shortness of breath, coughing up blood streaked sputum were exactly what happened to my husband. Most of his coughs produced varying amounts of blood and a heavy amount of mucus. Initial antibiotic treatment for bronchitis didn't do anything to reduce SOB, cough, or blood. Doctor ran an x-ray which told the tale. Then all the intensive testing began to get the lc diagnosis and a pulmonologist worked with him to determine his inhaler/oxygen needs.

Depending on what is happening with your lungs and bronchial tubes, coughing up blood can represent some benign condition, but it is considered a huge red flag for certain patients with lung cancer. I've found a great number of lung cancer patients never experience these symptoms, but that doesn't mean they aren't classic signs of something wrong.

Push and get more tests NOW. Better safe than sorry.

I wish you the very best of luck in pursuing this frightening issue.

Welthy

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Bee-

I agree with everything written so far - altho coughing up blood may or may not be a symptom of LC (Ihave never once coughed any up) it would make sense to move your appointment up ASAP. Many other lung problems require attention quickly.

Good luck and please continue to post and most of all, please let us know as soon as you go to the doctor.

Hugs - Patti B.

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Thanks so much everyone. I have not coughed up anymore blood since the other day. I just called my dr.s office to see if I could get in today between her patients but her receptionist said that she already has a long waiting list. I told her receptionist that a couple of days ago I had coughed up blood and she said it was probably from the irritation in my throat from coughing. I then told her that I went to the walk in clinic and had taken antibiotics for 2 weeks but it didn't help and that I have had this cough for about 6 weeks now. The receptionist told me that she didn't think that I could get in because of the waiting list but would call if something did happen to come up that she could fit me in to see the dr. I forgot to mention the shortness of breath,wheezing etc but I don't think that would have mattered either way.

I don't think that there is much more I can do unless I try to get back into the walk in clinic to see another one of the dr.s there. It is just so frustrating to have to see a different dr. everytime.

Last night was a really bad night for coughing, seems like I can have either a "bad"night or a "really bad" night.

I promise to keep everyone updated, thank you so much again for your kind words and support.

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Hi Bee. I had many of those nights and should have been into the system a lot quicker. A few suggestions:

-go to clinic again, give them all updates, and see if you can get a dr there to phone to hospital and tell them he is sending you to ER, that is what ended happening with me, my dr's office called ahead and that seemed to speed things up when I got there. But, I was really in bad shape. I ended up in hospital for about a week after that. But at least I got all the exploratory procedures done when I was there because things happen quicker when you are in the hospital instead of on an outpatient basis.

-just go straight to ER and see what happens

In any case, I would ask to speak to your doctor. Mine will ALWAYS see me and you need that if you are a cancer patient. The receptionists try and protect their schedules BUT. If you do end up with a serious diagnosis, and he is not the kind who will ALWAYS fit you in. Then I would start looking now for another GP. Much easier said than done these days I know. Maybe you have a friend that can give you a referral.

Bottom line, is keep pushing, and advocating for yourself. I wish I had pushed harder to begin with. I suffered for way too long.

Hang in there

Sandra

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I agree with everything said. GET IN NOW!!! Even if you don't have LC you most likely have something seroius going on with your lungs. I know many people "just listen" to what the MD (or receptionist) says, but 6 weeks in long enough! Nothing has made you feel better and you need them to do more investigaing to see whats going on. Dont just accept a "well lets try this antibiotic" speech either. You should ask for a Chest X-ray or even a CT scan.

I hope you get in soon to see someone, and please keep us updated.

Shelli

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Hi Everyone, thanks again for the kind words of wisdom and support .

I havn't been on here for a bit but I did end up waiting and went to my dr.s appointment yesterday...I just kept thinking that I would be ok and could hold off. I missed yesterday and the day before from work as I have been feeling nauseas and again shortness of breath.

Anyhow, I told the dr. that the antibiotics didn't work and that I was still coughing and had shortness of breath. She asked if I was still wheezing and I told her yes but not as bad as it was from before. The dr. asked me to breath out for her regarding the wheezing so I did and she said "Oh My!" took me to the back of the room and listened to my lungs. She also took my blood pressure which she said was high and probably from the coughing (I have been on blood pressure pills now for the past 5 years).

So, she gave me this inhaler(Symbicort) and I am to take two puff's in the morning and two puff's at night. She also said that she wants to see me again in 3 weeks. It took me so long to get this appointment as it was that when I told the receptionist the dr. wanted me back in 3 weeks the receptionist phoned the dr. in her office and told her there was no room that she was booked but the dr. must have said to fit me in anyhow cause I ended up getting in for July 3rd.

She(My dr.) had asked me if the dr. at the walk in clinic had ordered me chest exrays but I told her no and she didn't say anything but just prior to my leaving her office yesterday I asked her if I shouldn't go and get a chest exray or ct scan but she said no.

Maybe she is waiting until she see's me again on the 3rd of July?

I took my puffer last night and again this morning but even after taking it I still have the wheezing/coughing.

I wanted to give you all an update. I do not know anything about asthma really so I will search around for information to read on that, I do have a friend with asmtha and I can ask her questions.

Also, if I don't see an improvement with the puffer within the next few days I will go to the hospital or walk in clinic and see about getting chest exrays.

Thanks so much again for your kind words and support, I promise to keep you updated.

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Bee,

I am sorry to be so blunt, but what the he** is your doctor waiting for. One would think that you would at least have a chest xray to check for pneumonia. You need to go in and demand a chest xray at the very least. This has gone on long enough! I know it can be hard to stand up to the Dr.'s because "they know everything". But truely they dont. Please dont wait anymore. You need answers now. Even if it turns out to be nothing.

Let us know how things go.

Shelli

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Bee, your doctor sucks.

GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM AND GET A CT SCAN!!!!

I'm sorry to be blunt. Even an x-ray is not sufficient.

Time to go the the ER!!!!!!!!!

I can not stress this enough, you need to never go to this doctor ever again.

Coughing up blood is not something a doctor should hand you an inhaler for and say, "good talk, see ya" for.

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Bee-

I have to agree with what you have heard above. You need at the least, an x-ray NOW!!!! Go to the ER, go somewhere and get one. And then get another doctor.

Trust me, I just went through something with my doctor in the last few days. I knew something was wrong, and noone would listen. We all must put aside this feeling that doctors are infallible - they're not and we must learn to be our best own advocate.

My husband has a saying kind of like what Nick said - theres a doctor out there who finished last in his class - and someone has an appointment with him RIGHT NOW!!!

Good luck - please press for someone to do something for you NOW!!!

Hugs - Patti B.

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I, too, think you should go to an ER NOW, tell them your symptoms, and nicely demand an XRay and/or CT scan. If nice doesn't work, then try not-so-nice.

I can't imagine that all of the doctors in Canada finished "last in their class." So, keep pushing until you find someone who will see that you get some attention. I'd also look for a whole new team of doctors.

Best wishes. Keep us informed.

Muriel

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Just chiming in late here Bee. I also live in Canada and I have found with our system that sometimes, just sometimes, you have circumvent the regular process and move in a different direction. Going to the Emergency department is one very good way of doing that. It is true that asthma can present as cough and sob; however, the fact that they haven't done any further testing other than to send you on your merry way with inhalers is not due dilligence as far as I am concerned.

When/if you go to the ER don't request an x-ray at first - explain your symptoms and the onset, etc. They may just decide to do a CT scan to rule out any other possible causes other than asthma. At the very least, they should perform an x-ray.

Anyhow, I am not trying to scare you; however, it seems as though you haven't been tested thoroughly for anything - even the asthma.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Linda

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Just to throw my lot in here:

You have coughed up blood, persistent wheezing/coughing nausea, the antibiotics are not working and you have a significant smoking history.

That your doctor is not now pushing for at least an immediate X-ray is borderline malpractice.

Bee, you NEED to go to the ER --- perhaps TODAY. Obviously, we don't know if you have LUNG CANCER or not, but all of us agree that the delay here has to come to a stop. This doctor's pushing dates off isn't bad for HER health, and she has pretty much demonstrated that she doesn't care. But this could have HUGE implications for yours, time to take control. You go to the ER and don't leave until you have an X ray or better a CT taken.

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Hi everyone,

Thanks so much for the support you have given me. I am finally going today for an xray. Went to the dr. yesterday. The Puffer she gave me helped some.

My blood pressure was good, pulse is high though. I still have the wheezing so now she wants me to take two puffs three times a day opposed to the two times a day. and she is sending me for an x-ray.

I go back again in three weeks unless something show's up in the x-ray, she said she would call me sooner. On the form for the radiologist where you can leave a comment she put what looks to be Infection with a question mark.

I am still coughing up white foamy stuff but no blood since that one day. I am also not coughing as much which is good.

So I would think if there is a spot or anything I would know by today? I will ask the radiologist if he/she found anything to please call my dr. today so that she can contact me immediately.

Will keep you updated and thanks so much again.

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I went through 2-3 months of back and forth with the doctor and xrays. I was being treated for pneumonia (found on xray) and when that cleared the nodule showed up. From that came the CT scan. From first symptoms to CT scan was 4 months or so. I am uneasy using an xray as main diagnosis tool, but maybe you can check with Dr West?

gail

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I don't understand what the big deal is about getting a chest Xray... You have to keep coming back every 3 weeks. What's wrong with this picuture? Maybe you have walking pneomonia(sp)... or it could be something serious.

All you have to do is go to the ER they will do all the tests. At least you would het piece of mind.

Don't understand doctors at times. These symptoms are still there they must be checked out... period!

Maryanne

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Hate to beat a dead horse, but usually the horse doesn't complain.

In my humble opinion, coughing up blood is worth a CT scan. My mother always got x-rays as a breast cancer survivor, and nothingever showed...and I still don't like this doctor. I still vote doctor switch and a CT scan...sorry to be a pest on this...you can tell me to beat it ... I'd understand...I'm just relentless on a point sometimes.

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