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  • Recurring Pneumonia and pain

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    Old 01-07-2019, 07:58 AM   #1
    Blue180112
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    Recurring Pneumonia and pain

    Hello.

    My name is Lauren, I'm 27 years old. I'm in good health apart from this complaint. I rarely drink, don't smoke, but I am quite overweight. I have very mild asthma. I'm a stay-at-home-parent of two children.

    In December 2017 I caught flu, which developed into a chest infection. With it, I had a pain in my right side, which felt like a pulled muscle. I was prescribed abx and got better until mid-January (2018) when I developed tonsillitis and crackles could still be heard on my chest. More abx . I got better but in February, required abx for my chest again. The pain in my right side got worse around this time, and lingered after I got better. Then I started to get low-grade fevers every day and had raised CRP in my blood. GP referred me to respiratory specialist however before I got an appointment, my fever and heart rate went very high, the pain got much worse to the point it hurt to breathe in, and I was admitted to hospital with pneumonia. Strangely, the Drs couldn't hear anything on my chest, and I wasn't coughing. It was diagnosed by xray. That was in March. I had 3 days of IV abx followed by 2 weeks of oral. The pain in my side lingered for a while, but follow-up blood test and xray showed the infection had resolved. GP actually thought the pain was in my shoulder, not connected to the pneumonia, and suggested physio. All Drs I came into contact with were surprised I had become so ill given my age and general good health.

    Over the summer I was in good health and the pain gradually went away. In October, I noticed it was back. Its hard to describe, its like a strained muscle, sometimes it feels like its in my ribs, sometimes my shoulder and round my back, sometimes right inside my underarm. Sometimes it hurts to move, sometimes it hurts taking a deep breath. Some days its worse than others. It feels like it should be sore to the touch, but it isn't. I thought maybe I had slept wrong, or hurt myself carrying boxes (I had just moved house). With no other symptoms, I didn't think too much of it, especially as GP thought it was separate to the pneumonia.

    Mid-november, I went to the walk-in centre with a fever that was barely coming down with paracetamol, and a heart rate of 145, and worsening pain on my right side. They called an ambulance. A chest xray revealed that it was pneumonia again, this time more widespread, and I was kept in on IV abx for 7 days. I was told that I'd be referred to the respiratory clinic as an outpatient, to investigate why I had become so ill again. Initially, the pain in my right disappeared. However, when I started to feel better and do more things, I noticed it reappear on occasion. Now its there pretty much all the time. A couple of times, I thought I felt the same pain on my left side, but I'm not 100% sure. The pain in my right side is particularly bad today - I can feel it on every movement and it is sharper than usual. No other symptoms.

    I've got a follow up xray tomorrow, which I suppose will show if there's any infection still there. I haven't heard about my referral to the respiratory clinic yet.

    I'm just really fed up. I'm still so tired. The pain is concerning me. Would it be normal to still feel some pain 6 weeks after a bout of pneumonia? What will the respiratory specialist do? I've been tested for HIV, TB, Legionella already, all were negative. What could be the cause of all this?

    Any insight, opinions, stories of similar experiences would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

     
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    Old 01-07-2019, 12:51 PM   #2
    JohnR41
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    Re: Recurring Pneumonia and pain

    You said your GP thought your pain was separate to the pneumonia. From my experience I think he's right. When I was young I had double pneumonia and was sent to a military hospital for about two weeks. There were about eight of us with pneumonia in the same ward and I don't recall anyone complaining about having pain. I never had pain. No one even said that they felt sick, other than lack of energy and feeling somewhat tired all the time.

    We had certain instructions on what to do and what not to do. For example, we were not to try to do any kind of exercise other than casually walking around the ward. We were not to be in bed or sleep during the day. And we were supposed to drink lots of water.

    You said the pain moves around from your ribs, shoulder, back and underarm. That reminds me of something my mother used to say many years ago: "If you have a pain that moves around, that means it's not cancer."

    You said you are quite overweight. Excess body fat is likely to cause inflammation in the body. It could be anywhere including arteries. The next time you see your doctor, ask if the pain could be caused by artery spasms. I know that artery spasms do cause pain.

     
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    Old 01-07-2019, 04:49 PM   #3
    Blue180112
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    Re: Recurring Pneumonia and pain

    Hi, thank you for your reply. It is well documented that pneumonia causes pain. Certainly the two times I've been in hospital, I was in a lot of pain when breathing. Its just hard to tell whether this lingering pain is part of the same thing, or an injury like my GP suggested. Personally, I do think it's linked - it seems a coincidence that it started with a chest infection, and has been worse around each time I've been ill. I'm not sure if it moves around, its just very hard to pinpoint exactly where it is. I think certain movements can make it feel worse in certain places, giving the impression its moving around.

     
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    Old 01-07-2019, 07:50 PM   #4
    Titchou
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    Re: Recurring Pneumonia and pain

    Could be the asthma. What meds are you on for it? Do you have and make use of an asthma action plan when sick/had pneumonia? I'd see a pulmo.

     
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    Old 01-08-2019, 09:58 AM   #5
    JohnR41
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    Re: Recurring Pneumonia and pain

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blue180112 View Post
    Personally, I do think it's linked - it seems a coincidence that it started with a chest infection, and has been worse around each time I've been ill.
    If your pain is linked to the lung infection/pneumonia, perhaps it triggered something like Interstitial Lung Disease or Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. With so many possibilities, you definitely need to see a specialist.

     
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    Old 01-08-2019, 02:57 PM   #6
    Blue180112
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    Re: Recurring Pneumonia and pain

    Thanks, I'll look into those.

    Had my xray today, was told the result would be back by Monday.

     
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