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Message to Ellie

PCUK Nurse Jeni

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PCUK Nurse Jeni

" Thanks for the advice but, as it turned out, Brian's rib wasn't broken

after all. Two doctors had said it was but an x-ray showed no damage. He

has an infection on his lung, which he's had for a while, but that can't

have caused such a sudden, severe pain which appeared to be a broken rib.

Ironically, he later started getting severe pain in the other side of his

chest, but both sides seem to have eased off lately. It's hard to know

what is going on at the moment. What seems to be helping is some slow

release ibruprofen which he takes at night. He always used to wake up in

bad pain every morning, after lying on his back, but these new pills seem

to be helping. His chest, however, rattles and wheezes a lot during the

night and makes him cough, so not sure if this is the infection. He will

be seeing the hospice doctor tomorrow, so maybe we will get to know more


Hi Ellie,

Just following on from your above post. Good news that the slow release ibuprofen is working for Brian. Chest infections can cause pleuretic type chest pain, which is very severe. It may have been this?

How did the hospice appointment go? Has Brian had a bone scan at all? Is he on any other pain killers?

Hope things are settling down now. Sorry for not replying sooner, but I was on leave.


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Hi Jeni

Thanks for your message and hope you enjoyed your leave.

Brian has been put on penicillin for his chest infection. Doctor thinks the sudden pain was muscle getting trapped between his ribs. Yes, he's also on a lot of other painkillers too. Morphine patches, Abstral, OxyNorm, paracetamol, steroids, amitriptyline, pregablin, to name a few. It's all nerve pain he's getting from his spine, including a lot of shooting pains which can go around his chest or down into his legs. We are waiting to hear if he can have a nerve block at the moment. Don't think they are planning to do any bone scans, although he's had them in the past. He's had x-rays which didn't show anything in his lungs.

To be honest, I really don't think he would cope if he was told the cancer had spread somewhere else. He's really getting to the end of his tether with it all now. He's finding it increasingly difficult to walk, especially upstairs, and he hates losing his independence and dignity. We are getting help from the district nurses and OT staff at the hospice, but It breaks my heart to see him suffering and getting so upset.

Thanks again for your message.

Best wishes



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