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Author Topic: Just been diagnosed with Pneumonia - can anyone help?  (Read 2685 times)

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Offline Delby

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Just been diagnosed with Pneumonia - can anyone help?
« on: January 06, 2009, 11:13:27 AM »
Hi All,

I've just been through a very dificult week. My christmas period was ruined as i was waiting for MRI scan results due to elevated Alakiline Phosphotase and GGT levels. My dr, thought that because i am HIV+ and have Ulcertive Colitis, that the raised levels could have meant i had Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) of the liver.

2 agonising weeks wait after my scan, i was finally given the all clear yesterday, for PSC. I then went out for a celebratory meal, only to be called by the Dr during the meal, and told that on the scan they discovered fluid on my lungs. I was told that this could be Pneumonia, and after an Xray or two and some more blood tests i have been told I now have Pneumonia.

The strange thing is, i have definately had this for over 2 weeks, and during that time I have climbed a mountain in - 4 degree freezing temperatures, gone to the gym and continued every day life. However, on Thurs last week, i began to feel very sick, no appetite, weight loss, diarrhea and night sweats. Now 4 days later i have been diagnosed with Pneumonia.

My question is how bad is this for someone with HIV. I am on meds, my CD4 (last done in Nov 08) was 465, CD4% 33, and VL is undec. I feel relatively ok, and have started anti-biotics today (Augmentin). Am i in danger of dying from this? The dr said its quite a mild form and so PCP can be ruled out. How long will it take to recover - i almost feel i could start the gym next week, or would this be too dangerous and place too much stress on my immune system. 

Thanks in advance,

Happy NY!!!

Offline minismom

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Re: Just been diagnosed with Pneumonia - can anyone help?
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2009, 05:14:00 PM »
I would wait to do anything until after your antibiotics are done.  Augmentin, in my experience, has never been strong enough to completely get rid of Mim's pneumonia.  In another post, I mentioned that she even caught ear infections while on Augmentin for pneumonia early in December.  Also, how long is your course?  I've found that the 5-day course is a waste of time and has never worked.  I always make sure we get a full 10-day prescription.  Don't forget your yogurt - a few bites after every dose - lest you end up with a yeast infection.

Did your doctor give you anything else such as an inhaler, albuterol, or a steroid?  Mim had all 3 and it really seemed to knock out the breathing issues quickly.  We continued her albuterol (through a nebulizer machine) 2x / day for 2wks after her other meds were finished. 

I hope you get better very soon.  I know what you're going through.  Just take it easy, eat what you can, drink lots of juice, and rest, rest, rest.

"Whichever way you throw me, i will stand"
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Offline RapidRod

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Re: Just been diagnosed with Pneumonia - can anyone help?
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2009, 06:00:17 PM »
Pneumonia is bad whether you are HIV positive or not.

Offline JaniceMark

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Re: Just been diagnosed with Pneumonia - can anyone help?
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2009, 09:33:57 PM »
I'm sorry for this latest issue and have nothing of value to add.  However, please talk to your Dr. about Probodics.  You can get that over the counter or there is a more powerful one that can be prescribed.  Also eat the yogurt to keep the UC under control while on antibodics.


Offline aztecan

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Re: Just been diagnosed with Pneumonia - can anyone help?
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2009, 11:08:13 PM »
Hey Delby,

Since you are on antibiotics, we can surmise you have bacterial pneumonia.

Complete the course of medication prescribed and then be sure to have the doctor check to make sure all is well.

Since your immune system (CD4 level) is relatively OK at 465, this initial course may be enough for you to get rid of it.

But, have the doctor check to be sure.

This begs the question, have you have a pneumovax?  That is an immunization done every five years or so that will help ward off bacterial pneumonia or, if you do contract it, prevent it from turning into a bad case.

If you had one already, I would wager this is one reason you were able to do all you said you did prior to feeling poorly without problem

Also, from what you say, you are pretty athletic. This could be a real benefit in your recovery too.

As JaniceMark suggested, you might want to start eating yogurt or taking a probiotic to rejuvenate your gut flora and fauna. Antibiotics are tough on them.

I hope you feel better soon.



« Last Edit: January 06, 2009, 11:10:14 PM by aztecan »
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
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Offline Delby

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Re: Just been diagnosed with Pneumonia - can anyone help?
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2009, 04:29:16 AM »
hi folks,

Thanks for all your replies!

Minismon - Im sorry to hear about Mini, she is a fighter from what you have said about her. The Dr put me on a 7 day course of 3 x 625mg of Augmentin/day. I began the course yesterday. I am due to see them in a weeks time for a chest Xray so I will ask them if 7 days is appropriate. I am athmatic anyway, so i always need my sebutonol. However, i've not really had a chest complaint. I've read that some people with Pneumonia, dont have a cough, dont producr phlegm and breathing seems to be normal. I've found thats been the case with me. My main symptoms have been awful nausea, diarrhea, no appetite (although thats returned over last 48hrs), night sweats, and feeling very fatigued and run down. I've not had the whole chest/cough thing. I've read somewhere that this may be because the fluid on my lungs may not be positioned close to my main airways.

Janice - thanks for the reply. I was just trying to get my head round my Pan Ulcerative Colitis when this reared its head.

Mark - Yes your right, I did have my Pneumonia and flu jab. So thats why i was shocked to discover i have Pneumonia. I understand that it doesnt completely protect you from catching it, but rather improves your chances. This may explain, as you said, why its not progressed so far into a case that requires hospitilization.

I'm a bit concerned as the dr hasnt asked for my CD4 levels to be taken. I had them done mid Nov and they were 465, so assuming i've had this Pneumonia for over 3 weeks now, could i be in danger of my CD4's dropping below 200?

This is all very scary.

Offline Ann

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Re: Just been diagnosed with Pneumonia - can anyone help?
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2009, 06:07:16 AM »

My doc usually avoids having my CD4s done when I'm not well. This is because while they might drop while ill, they will normally go back up to your usual levels once you're better. There's no point in getting what is essentially, a false reading. Far better to wait until you're recovered from something like this and then have a look at your CD4s.

For example, back in spring of 2004 I had shingles. We went ahead and did my CD4s anyway - for reasons I can no longer remember. Have a look at this:

Jan 2004 - 518, 28%
March 2004 - 281, 23% - this was taken around the time of my shingles outbreak.
June 2004 - 460, 27%
Aug 2004 - 568, 26%
Nov 2004 - 645, 28%

Hope you feel better soon!

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Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Just been diagnosed with Pneumonia - can anyone help?
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2009, 10:39:18 AM »
I agree with Ann.  You'll just get a false cd4 reading, so what your doctor is doing (or rather not doing) is fairly standard.  He will check your cd4s once you've rebounded a bit.

Sorry you caught this but it's not the scary kind of pneumonia and you'll recover, though obviously it's not like getting a simple cold.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline jennynyc7

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Re: Just been diagnosed with Pneumonia - can anyone help?
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2009, 10:49:48 AM »
Delby, I recently got over a bout with pneumonia and also felt generally well. I had initially gone to to the Dr for what I thought was a kidney infection and when he listened to my lung/chest he said he wanted to do a chest ct and it came back with pneumonia. It was news to me! I had the pneumovax last year so as someone said, that may be why I didn't get real sick with it. Your diarrhea and nausea sound unrelated to me. Maybe a mild stomach bug. My cd4 is much higher than yours, but nonetheless, I recovered 100% with just a little residual  productive cough. I am also asthmatic and take albuterol and Qvar.
1/3/08-ARS began
Initial Vl=99000
2/14/08-began Truvada/Reyataz/Norvir
3/01/08=Swapped Reyataz for Viramune
5/1/08:     vl= undetectable
10/24/08:  vl=undetectable
                cd4=1172 (55%)

12/4/08:    vl=254 (hopefully just a small blip)


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