I have had two types of exacerbations: acute bronchitis and non-bronchitis

Last updated: December 2022

I was diagnosed in 2021 with both bronchiectasis and COPD (Emphysema). But my coughing history started in early childhood. I had bronchitis every couple of years. I'm 71 and the pattern persisted until 2020 when I contracted COVID-19. I should also add I've had pneumonia three times. In 2017, I had a particularly severe case of acute bronchitis that resulted in pneumonia. I was hospitalized for five days. I broke five ribs during coughing spasms.

My COVID-10 infection lasted about fifty-five days. I had acute bronchitis and flu symptoms. Every time I have acute bronchitis, I have violent coughing spasms. I cough between 300 - 500 times a day. Codeine slightly lessens the coughing spasms.

My COPD journey

I smoked 1.5 packs a day for 22 years. I started when I was 15. I grew up in Durham, NC, the home of American Tobacco Company and Liggett-Myers. The cigarette factories churned out their product 6/24. I've read that 60% of the adult population in in NC smoked in the 1960s. I quit for good in June of 1987.

I had a bad bout of bronchitis in January of 2021. My family Doc referred me to a Pulmonologist, and I was diagnosed with both COPD/Emphysema and mild Bronchiectasis. The COPD is the prominent illness. I am currently in the midst of my 4th COPD acute exacerbation since May 2021.

Dealing with an exacerbation

My current exacerbation is different. It is the first time I have not had acute bronchitis. I have not had any of my typical coughing spasms. My symptoms include: mild cough, hoarseness, lightheadedness, headaches, fatigue, weakness, and diarrhea (from the Amoxiclav). I am taking Spiriva, Prednisone, Amoxiclav, Mucinex D, and Delsym.

While I feel like crap, I am still able to babysit for three of my grandkids 3 days a week. My biggest concerns are how long is the exacerbation going to last, that they seem to be happening closer together, and that I have the Bronchiectasis-COPD combo.

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