- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Aussie Flu or Bird Flu Bronchitis and Me!
Aussie flu definition:
Aching, cough, fever, bronchitis.
Bird Flu definition:
Bleeding from the nose, vomiting, stomach pain.
For Asthma and Flu
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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© 2018 Nell Rose