Recurring Pneumonia/Spots on CT-HELP!

babysmaidApril 1, 2007

For the past three years I've had a chronic cough. I went to an allergy doctor, and was tested for allergies, and nothing.

For the last year and a half I've had pneumonia four times, the last two were double pneumonia. I had a CT scan done in October and they found vague cloudy patches on both of my lungs (scary). My pulmonologist doesn't think it's cancer, though they can't rule it our yet. I took Zithromax for three weeks in November when I had the double pneumonia, and the pre-existing cough went away, 100%. Now, four months later I am recovering again from double pneumonia (three more weeks of Zithromax), and now it's really getting scary.

The pulmonologist thinks I have a drug resistant bacterial infection, and I have to go for another CT, and bronchoscopy after I recover from this current bout.

Anyone experience anything like this? It's really unnerving. I am in my 40's, and have small children. My mind can't help but wander out to the dark side...

Any input would be appreciated!!

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My first thought you smoke...if you do stop!
It well may take several months of antibiotics to get rid of the infection....and we will pray that's all it is.
Linda C

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 2:26PM
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Linda, thank you for your post. I quit smoking over 16 years ago. I did smoke for 15 years unfortunately. I started as a young teen, wanted to be cool and all of that. Stupid!

Zithromax is very strong, and what bothers me most is why it doesn't seem to kill whatever has taken up residence in me. I am discovering that there are a lot of persistent, and drug resistant bacteria out there it's scary!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 9:46AM
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I had a bronchitis 2 years ago that Zithromax didn't touch. Strong has nothing to do with it...each bacteria can be killed by a different antibiotic. If you don't have the one that will kill the bacteria you have, it won't work.
Has no one done a culture of the bacteria causing your pneumonia? You should insist. Then you can be on the proper antibiotic. Perhaps you need an infectious diseases specialist.
Linda C

    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 12:47PM
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It might not even be bacterial pneumonia- could be viral or fungal- which you'll never be able to cure with antibiotics. I'm with Linda C- you need a culture and sensitivity (if it is bacterial) or otherwise a direct answer as to what is causing your ailment. A trans-tracheal wash or bronchial lavage would go a long way in determining what the causative organism is.

Good luck. Doctors can be so darn hard-headed! I can say that because I will be soon, veterinary doctor anyway.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 1:42PM
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You need to be correctly diagnosed. I wish I could offer you more help, but I can't. I'm not a doctor.

From our pediatrician I know the fact that after pneumonia it takes about 2 months for lung tissues to get restored. So it is very important not to catch another infection after pneumonia.

Once again, I'm not a doctor, but from my experience with antibiotics I can conclude:
If after 10-14 days therapy with broad spectrum, relatively new, injection antibiotic (bacteria are resistant to too many old antibiotics) you did not got rid of pneumonia, it may be a reason to get checked for other diagnosis.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 8:59AM
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My DD had double pneumonia in December along with a blood infection which she received 3 blood transfusions for.

The pneumonia stayed in her right lung and an abscess developed. She was put on IV antibiotics for about 3 months and was monitored by an infectious diseases specialist who I truly believe saved her life. This doctor worked closely with the pulminary specialist. It was harder on her because she has type 1 diabetes and gastroperisis. The abscess was small and in an awkward spot and thankfully got small enough that the doctors didn't think surgery was necessary.

I would definitely seek out a an infectious diseases specialist.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 9:37AM
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Thank you Linda C, Meghane, katben, and Marie for responding!

I got my CT scan results back (from Monday), and the "cloudy spots" are in a couple of new places on my lungs. I am scheduled for a bronchoscopy on Tuesday, so long as my pulmonologist doesn't have a conflicting meeting (according to her assistant). I am hoping that then we will know what the heck is going on for sure. This is a scary process, and it's really opened up my eyes, and heart to those that struggle with chronic illness. With that, I'm trying to keep perspective...

Thank you again for you responses!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 9:43AM
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Thanks for the up date....hoping they find the problem and fix it have my prayers.
Linda C

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 10:52PM
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Update: I had a bronchoscopy (biopsy) done on Tuesday, oh what fun that was, and will have to wait for 4-6 weeks for results. At least we are moving in the right direction...

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 9:48PM
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Keep us posted....
Linda C

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 10:19PM
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My friend's father has had very similar problems. He took 3 or 4 courses of antibiotics and was hospitalized for pneumonia and low blood oxygen levels. He was finally diagnosed with "farmer's lung" which is essentially a severe allergy to mold.

He was trying to save money so he had scrimped on his allergy meds. Once he started taking them as directed his breathing was much better.

I hope you find a solution soon.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 5:54PM
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deee, it's been interesting to discover how many everyday things that we are exposed to can make us sick. Things like: soil, dust, mold, bird feces, even bacteria in a hot tub. I didn't know any of these things until I was faced with this health dilemma. I really want to know what the heck has taken residence in me, I think... No, I'm kidding. I can't wait to feel like my ole self again. Thanks for your input!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 8:05PM
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Lobar pneumonia affects a portion of the lung...or both lungs. It affects one lobe of the lung, hence the name.
Bronchial pneumonia affecte one or both lungs in the area of the bronchioles.
All pneumonia is not caused by bacteria that is easily eliminated by antiboitics, some like Legionaires pneumonia can be very hard to cure and viral pneumonia can be especially stubborn, and doesn't respond to antibiotics.

Here is a link that might be useful: lung association link

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 1:59PM
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babysmaid, For the past 3 years I have had pneumonia many many times. In the last month I was in the hospital 3 times in 3 weeks. I have taken all the antibodics I think there are for pneumonia,sometimes 2 different ones at a time.I got off of avalox yesterday and am on levaquin today. I have gone to doctors ,specialist and had numberous test. Prednisone or other steriods seem to do the best.This time I am trying to do it outpatient instead of going to the hospital. My doctor is on call and I'm 5 minutes from the hospital. I also am looking for answers to why I get it so often

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 9:15PM
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Ask the Dr. to do a Petscan which is much better and more through that a CT. It is done with radioactivity and shows up way more that anyother scan. DH just had one done to see if there is any active cancer at this time. Results back within a week and thankfully all is clear at this time. Our Dr always cultures anything involving breathing tests. Since he is allgeric to prednisone he has to take other drugs. But then because of his medical conditions, he had another pneumonia shot, only this was a double shot with something else included to discourage cold, flue and pneumonia. I asked the Dr what was in it, but he did not give me an answer, he only said a good lung doc should know how to combine shots, depending on the person's health.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2009 at 4:31PM
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