walking pnemonia

April 16, 2008 at 2:31 am

Walking pneumonia is usually the name for an infection called mycoplasma in the lungs. It is characterized by coughing for often three weeks, but without an area of dense “consolidation” or inflammation seen on chest x-ray. Instead the infection is spread out in the lungs or airways. Usually people are treated with erythromycin (3-4 times a day for 10 days) or azithromycin (once a day for 5 days most often).

It can help to cough up the sputum by staying well-hydrated *drinking lots of water”. Guaifensin (an expectorant–that helps you to cough up mucus) can help. This is the active ingrediant in Robitussin or the newly popular Mucinex. It is often better not to take a cough suppressant such as dextromethorphan (DM) or codeine because you want to cough out the mucus so avoid Robitussin DM unless you cannot sleep at night, then take only at night. Coughing is a good thing because it clears the airways and helps prevent a “secondary” infection/pneumonia. The problem with us GBS/CIDPers is that we may not be able to cough effectively and will tire out more with the muscular effort of coughing. Try to make coughing effective to move mucus out and save energy–like breathing a couple of times a day in a misty hot room from shower steam. My sister had cystic fibrosis, an illness people are born with where mucus is really thick and hard to clear. She used to lie down partly upside down to help drainage and my parents used to pat her back to help. You can do the same by lying down semi-upside down by hanging your head off the bed or in an easy chair (if you can get up okay afterward). The real purpose of this is to let gravity help to move the mucus out of the lungs and it also helps to just turn from one side to the other without the upside down part. Your wife might help by patting your back or trunk with a cupped hand. this should not hurt or cause bruising, it just helps jar the mucus loose to help it to come out. This is done in the hospital with pneumonia (chest percussion and posural drainage). The best things are the antibiotics, fluids, and expectorant. Watch out for feeling worse–more trouble to breath, higher fever, feeling more ill with trouble eating and feeling wiped out. If these happen, you might need to see the doctor again.
I found that I cough much better since getting GBS/CIDP when I am sitting up in a chair and had to sleep in an easy chair when I had a cold because it was harder to breath lying down flat at night because of wimpy muscles.
WithHope for cure of these diseases.