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Aussie Flu or Bird Flu Bronchitis and Me!

Updated on February 5, 2018
Nell Rose profile image

Nell is a trained Psychologist and lives in London England. She has been writing since she was a child.

Aussie flu my story
Aussie flu my story

Aussie flu definition:

Aching, cough, fever, bronchitis.

Bird Flu definition:

Bleeding from the nose, vomiting, stomach pain.

For Asthma and Flu

Uniclife Portable Compressor System Kit Cool Mist Inhaler for Kids Adults with 1 Year Warranty
Uniclife Portable Compressor System Kit Cool Mist Inhaler for Kids Adults with 1 Year Warranty

I don't have this myself, but my sister in law swears by it as she has asthma and chest problems. After my flu episode I will definitely be buying one. Its the difference between breathing and not. The Paramedic who visited me said it was a great idea.

 

Aussie or Bird?

I had all the symptoms of Aussie flu. According to the paramedics that is exactly what me and my partner were suffering from.

Strangely enough though, after my husband had been rushed to hospital then released a few days later, on his release papers was the word Coryzal, when, after looking it up, it stated that it was a derivative of bird flu!

Of course the other definition was just another word for the lurgy! So maybe that was what I was getting confused with!

So, maybe a bit of both? A slightly different strain? Who knows? Either way, this is my/our story.

Aussie flu help
Aussie flu help

Breathless

You can't breath. Every single breath you take feels as though its your last. You grab your puffer, Salbutamol or steroids, sucking on the mouth piece like crazy just trying to get one more breath out of it so that it will open up your air ways.

You can't sleep. You desperately want to sleep, but you dare not lay down. By laying down, your lungs collapse then fill up with mucus. The Bronchi, and Bronchioles two parts of the inner lung will start to draw in and get narrower and narrower.

You are scared to move. In a sense you are lucky if you are asthmatic.

Why?

Because, on hand, you will have your life saving 'breathers' such as Salbutamol, steroids or something called a Spacer or Volumizer. This is a large plastic tube where you pump the steroids or salbutamol into it, then breath naturally from the other end. Its great for getting the med's to the whole of the lungs.

If you don't use any of them then it can be pretty uncomfortable.

Flu lungs what happens in the lungs with flu
Flu lungs what happens in the lungs with flu

2018 year of the Aussie Flu

This year, 2018, has brought a terrible flu to the whole world. Some say its Aussie flu, because it was first seen there with devastating results.

And it seems to be this one that I fell straight into! Aussie flu! I couldn't believe it!

How did I find out?

I was ill for over a week with those awful symptoms above. Not breathing, panicking and then desperately sucking in air while trying to lay in bed.

Two lots of paramedics, and one doctor came out to me. But because I had the asthma med's, and especially the Spacer, they told me that my lungs were staying clear. But not clear in the mucus sense, just luckily clear in the pneumonia way.

Thank goodness!

I couldn't breath! I know they were clogged. But evidently there is a difference between clogged, spasms and so on.

Do not wait until it is too late!

Its taken two weeks for me to breath properly. I am still coughing like crazy, but its not tight any more.

So what did I feel like at the beginning?

Well to be honest its pretty darn quick! And that is the scary part. Most people believe that if and when you get the flu, you will start to feel ill. Your temperature will rise, but you may feel cold. Sneezing and coughing follow.

But not with these flu symptoms!

For starters a lot of people have told how they felt slightly unwell, carried on working and totally ignored the whole thing. Only to find within minutes that their airways close up and they feel as though they are suffocating.

My son kept telling me that he was having trouble breathing. I nagged him to go to the Doctors, which he did, and luckily managed to get antibiotics, and inhalers.

And that is the point. You need to go Straight Away! Do not wait until it is too late!


Pneumonia, what's it all about?

Paramedics are the good guys! Never be scared to call them!
Paramedics are the good guys! Never be scared to call them!

The facts about the flu and breathing

  • The second, and I mean the second that you feel you have this, keep an eye on your breathing. If it starts to get tight then get straight down the Doctors, or call a paramedic. The reason why people are dying is because they are ignoring the signs of pneumonia! Do not be 'brave' and use over the counter stuff only! Your breathing can and will change in a second, and you could suffocate!
  • Phlegm constantly trickles down the back of your throat and drips into your lungs. If you try to fight it yourself you may manage to cough some up, but just one drop of the horrible stuff can and will get caught in your lungs. You need antibiotics. And not only that. You will need to go on a respirator inhaler that they paramedics carry with them. Do not be afraid to call them. You won't necessarily have to go into hospital. They will assess you and decide if your lungs are clear enough to cope on their own.
  • This is what happened to me. I could not breath. I was panicking, and called them out twice. As I mentioned earlier, I am 'lucky' enough to get asthma so I spot the signs and have asthma med's to help me breath constantly on the table, in my bag and in my pocket. This can make all the difference in the world.
  • The trouble is when someone has never ever suffered with shortness of breath before. The won't be able to tell the difference between a small flu, or bronchitis.
  • Sweating, shortness of breath, lips and face feeling clammy are all signs that your flu is taking a bad turn. Even if you don't feel too bad, your lungs can suddenly clamp shut with just one more drop of mucus.
  • Never be scared to phone the ambulance!
  • They will check your bloods, heart, lungs and temperature. All the things you need to know about pneumonia and bronchitis. I never went in because I had my own nebulizer breather at home, so had been using this. My partner on the other hand got rushed in for five days! Thankfully he is fine now. My son took a few days to listen to me, but eventually I got him down to the Doctors and he got the antibiotics. Luckily he wasn't too bad.
  • You can imagine how shocked I was to discover that we possibly had a strain of bird flu, which was confirmed on my hubby's release paper. Its called Coryzal, if you want to check it out. But as I said above, its possible that Coryzal is just a strain like bird flu. Either way, pretty darn scary.

How to look after flu at home
How to look after flu at home

The best way to cope with the flu and bronchitis if you are not taken to hospital.

  • If you have been given antibiotics and the all clear from pneumonia, but still feel breathless, then this is the best way to cope.
  • Always try to sleep sitting up. Literally sitting. Do NOT lay flat. Your lungs will fill up with fluid the second you lay down. Prop yourself right up.
  • Keep drinking hot drinks. Honey in hot water is great to stop the cough.
  • Talking about the cough, try NOT to use cough mixture. I was told by the paramedic that using cough mixture slows down the healing process, and stops you coughing up the bad stuff. Which of course can make it stay in your lungs longer.
  • Get a hot water bottle on your back. Heat is good for healing.
  • Try to keep the window open a little. Even if its freezing out there, fresh air will help to clear the germs and open up your lungs.
  • If you do use a nebulizer or breather from your Doctors, make sure that you use it properly. Puff the med's into the tube, then breath through the mouth piece gently for 10 breaths. (See below)
  • Back in the day we always used Vicks Vapour rub. And trust me when I say this. Its well worth slathering yourself in it again! It helped me breath, and that is what was important.
  • And last but not least, aspirin, paracetamol and other pain killing drugs. But not too many if you can help it. They slow down the process. And always take all of your antibiotics.

Asthma Spacer.

Asthma Spacer nebulizer breather, call it whatever you want, it does the job. Place salbutamol at one end, breath from the other.
Asthma Spacer nebulizer breather, call it whatever you want, it does the job. Place salbutamol at one end, breath from the other.

Par for the course.

The course being a long and arduous one. Well at least it seemed that way. I had what I would call an annoying cold for weeks before this actually hit me. I am not sure if this was part of the same flu, or whether my body was weak so I caught the unimaginable because of the state of my body.

The day before I became ill with bronchitis, I felt awful. Was that a one day flu hit? Possibly. And to be honest I think most people react slightly different from each other.

So, whether you have the full blown flu first or just a small cold, this is the result.

For me its taken over 2 weeks to recover. The first week was a nightmare. No breath, panic, still no breath, cough feverish then cough again.

I must have spend 90 percent of the time in bed. But after panic setting in I got up.

I would sit downstairs until I coughed myself silly then went back to bed.

So how long does it go on for?

  • Well the first week is hell to be honest. Two lots of paramedics, and one Doctor. By the end of the first week I was totally exhausted, still couldn't breath very well and the cough drove me nuts.
  • By the end of the second week (Today) I feel a hell of a lot better. But my throat still feels a bit swollen from the coughing, and going out, I feel really weak by the time I get back home. I still cough, but not so much.

If you need more antibiotics don't be scared to phone up and ask for them!

That may sound obvious, but if you are still coughing you may still have a bit of the infection. Do not cut the antibiotics short because you believe you are better.

And last but not least.

Rest!

I never knew air was so sweet.

Two weeks later, and I can breath with just a hiccuping cough. My poor partner who looked after me for the first week was struck down in the second. He was whisked off to hospital, but is home now. He is fine, but as he suffers with COPD (Lung problem) he now has a nurse who comes in every few weeks to check his meds.

My son, who had it the week before us is still wheezing, but can breath. He just needs to get rid of the cough.

I cannot reiterate enough that if you cannot breath, or are getting breathless:

Call the Paramedics!

Thanks for reading.

If you have suffered from Aussie flu, Bird flu or any darn flu, let me know in the comments how you coped.

© 2018 Nell Rose

Comments

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    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      9 months ago from England

      Hi Louise, thanks, it was pretty grim to be honest, lol! thanks for reading.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      9 months ago from England

      Thank you Nikki, I am sorry that your son is unwell, and glad to hear that he has the antibiotics now. To be honest I do think everyone should have the antibiotics for this, it seems that it just won't go without it, thanks as always.

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      9 months ago from Norfolk, England

      This is awful to get. Your article was really informative and helpful to read. Thankyou.

    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 

      9 months ago from London

      Interesting information on Aussie flu Nell,, my son had some symptoms and he’s been sick for 3 weeks.

      Finally had to get antibiotics to get him better.

      This virus of 2018 flu is really bad and worse than any other flu I’ve seen my whole life.

      You have given a lot of information on this to protect and treat it.

      Thanks for sharing dear.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      10 months ago from England

      Hi Kari, I do hope you don't get it, keep well.

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      10 months ago from Ohio

      I am thanking God every day that I do not have the flu. I do hope to get past this year's without it hitting me. I'm glad you are feeling better and I will remember your advice.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      10 months ago from England

      Hi Martie, yes definitely get the shot, I didn't and to be honest I am not sure how good it is, but because the rest of the world now know what the strain is, hopefully you will get the right one, take care.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      10 months ago from England

      Thanks Zulma, its a nightmare, but its so much better now. In fact I have gone mad and scrubbed everything with disinfectant! LOL! no more germs for me!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      10 months ago from South Africa

      Nell, I felt so sorry for you. Last winter South Africans had to 'arm' themselves against Bird flu, and this winter it will be Ausie flu. I better go stand in line for one of those injections against flu when they become available in March/April.

      I believe in those inhalers, or rather in whatever goes in it.

      Take care!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      10 months ago from United Kingdom

      Wow, if you really have been through the wars, haven't you. I'm asthmatic and I know how scary it is to struggle for breath. Hope you're 100% soon.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      10 months ago from England

      Thanks Flourish, well that was the weird thing. When I looked at the form to see what it was it did mention something that is bird flu! but I totally understand what you meant, and I feel sorry for you if you felt like I did, thanks as always.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      10 months ago from USA

      Back in 2009 when the H1N1 was going around there was a first wave of people who got sick from it and I was in that group. I’ve never felt so all-around miserable, unable to breathe, sit up, move. I developed strange neurological symptoms too — hands and feet automatically moving while I fall off to sleep— that persist to this day. All I could do is sleep. I went to the ER for fluids and was out of work for a week, and it took more than a month to fully recover. I’m glad you are feeling better. I hope nothing like that H1N1 comes back around.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      10 months ago from England

      We all had antibiotics Linda, even a friend who had full blown aussie flu, which made her pass out twice and her heart go erratic, she was pumped full of them. Evidently its not the flu that kills its the bacteria that causes pneumonia, so they pump people full of them before it hits. Thanks as always.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      10 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      What a horrible and scary situation! I'm sorry for you and your family, Nell. It sounds like your son may have had a bacterial infection as well as the flu, since he was prescribed antibiotics. What a nightmare! There are predictions that this year's flu season is going to be bad where I live. I very much hope that the predictions are wrong.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      10 months ago from England

      Hi Miz, yes the paramedics said it was aussie flu, but on the letter it had the tech name for bird flu! To be honest I don't think the hospitals really know which is which as long as they treat it, it can overlap. I do think you have had it, the paramedic said that some people have a milder form even though it feels awful, hope you both feel better soon, and thanks

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      10 months ago from Beautiful South

      Nell, thank you for such a descriptive informative article. The flu this year seems to be so schizophrenic that it would be easy for anyone to misidentify. I'm sorry that you had to go through this but I'm very thankful that you and your family pulled through. Being old folks with lung problems, we always get our flu shots each year, but one of the worst cases we ever suffered was with the H1N1 after getting our vaccinations. My husband has emphysema and COPD and I have lung damage from histoplasmosis when I was young so we both have inhalers, spacers, and nebulizers and the meds that go with them.

      I can't help but wonder if we spent the last couple of weeks fighting off the flu. We felt lousy and had very minor general symptoms. I guess I don't really want to find out. If we aren't immune your very descriptive article will help us to recognize the symptoms. Thank you!

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      10 months ago from England

      Thanks Barbara, that is awful! I am so glad that we have the NHS over here, thanks

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      10 months ago from England

      Thanks Dora, he is still pretty poorly but getting there thank you.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 

      10 months ago from USA

      My husband and I have been trying to avoid it. A lot of the schools have even closed, since it has been spreading so much. So, we have been staying home when possible. Since we are retired, we can do that.

      We don't have paramedics to call. At least we don't in our rural area. It is either the emergency room, which charges a fortune, (once I was charged $7000 for a kidney stone) or there are places you can wait in line to see a doctor. They are open more hours than the doctor offices. You don't need an appointment, but by the time they see you , you think you are dying, because you've waited so long. Our system could improve!

      I hope you spend the rest of 2018 happy and well.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      10 months ago from England

      Thanks Shauna, yes I had forgotten I had some, so glad I found it!

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      10 months ago from England

      LOL! man flu! seriously though it was pretty grim, glad to be on the good side of it now, thanks Frank.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      10 months ago from England

      Thanks Bill, yes so much better thank you.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      10 months ago from England

      Thanks Chitrangada, we are getting there thanks, still a bit of a cough and wheeze, but feel so much better!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      10 months ago from The Caribbean

      How you and your husband beat it fully. Thanks for sharing from your experience.

    • savvydating profile image

      Yves 

      10 months ago

      Nell...I honestly had no idea that the flu can block one's ability to breathe. How horrifying! Thank goodness you and you're family are all nearly recovered. Such an informative hub.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      10 months ago from Central Florida

      Nell, this year's flu has become an epidemic. I'm sorry it found you and your husband. I've been fortunate to not have contracted it.

      I'm glad you're feeling better and had the sense to seek medical help. I always keep Vick's VapoRub (or an equivalent) in my medicine cabinet. It works wonders in opening up the nasal passages.

      Continue to heal, my friend!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      10 months ago from Shelton

      damn.. knock on wood so far I haven't had any type of flu.. but If I do I know I'll have a bad go of it bcuz I'm such a baby.. LOL thank you for sharing this important hub... the cartoon guy in bed is what I'd look like,,,

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm so sorry you've had such a tough time of it, my friend. Let's hope you breeze through spring.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      10 months ago from New Delhi, India

      So sorry Nell that you had to suffer like this, due to the Aussie Flu. I came to know about this through your FB post. I hope you have recovered by now. Wish you speedy recovery.

      How difficult it must be, when more than one person falls ill in the family! Sounds terrible indeed!

      You did the right thing by sharing your symptoms, treatment and precautions with others. It will help others to be more careful.

      Take care!

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      10 months ago from England

      Thanks Paula, yes it was a nightmare! Mind you I have suffered with bronchitis since I was a kid so it was familiar if nothing else, lol! x

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      10 months ago from England

      Thanks Devika, much better now thank you.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      10 months ago from England

      Hi Mary, yes Vicks was the best! My bedroom smells like camphor! lol!

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      10 months ago from England

      Thanks Jackie, still got a cough but the rest is healing well thank you.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      10 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Oh, my poor, sick Nell! This sounds like a nightmare. It is extremely frightening to lose one's ability to breathe properly! I dealt with a severe case of pneumonia years ago and can still panic when I think about struggling to breathe!

      Please take care, heal completely and then stay well!! Keep us posted. Love, Effer

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      10 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Thank you for sharing your experience on this health issue. Sounds terrible and must take the necessary precautions.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      10 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      These are words of wisdom. I had been looking for Vicks as my Mother always used this when we were kids. This year, we have not had flu (yet). We have Vitamin C every day. Mind you, we have not been in closed offices or have kids who bring the virus in from school. For years now, I have given up on those cough syrups as they have often made my coughs stay longer but you are right, honey in hot water and ginger tea which we make ourselves with honey. But watch out for pneumonia.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      10 months ago from The Beautiful South

      Oh this sounds horrible. We have it over here too, don't know what kind, but schools are closing and all that. I haven't had it and going to try my best to stay away from it a few more days at least. Maybe it will go away soon!!!

      I feel so sorry for you. Hope you get back to normal soon!

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