I’ve had a niggling but not severe chest infection for a little while and here’s what I think on the matter and advice for others in similar situations:
it only really been minor but it’s been dragging on for the last month or so, hasn’t been that bad and I’m still going to work. started as a viral infection and now bacterial with a low-grade fever.
I have an assisted cough machine (clearway) from the Oxford respiratory medicine team, I also have a sleep apnoea machine during the night which helps with breathing deeply, most important thing is for the carers to have someone to learn how to do proper assisted coughs from (Ellen in my case). It’s very strange but people don’t really know how to do it properly, so best is probably for someone close to learn properly from a respiratory physio and then you can pass it on by doing it with people (two at a time as best for me, one person pushing on each side of the chest). It has to be gauged properly so you have to do hard enough but not too hard.
Absolute care must be taken to not aspirate if one has a tendency. I do a fair amount of inhalations with menthol or Olbas oil, this helps get secretions up.
Keeping chest warm at all times with extra layers on the chest, thermal vests, extra vests, sleeveless jackets etc. vitamin C (although my GP is not convinced!) seems to help. Antibiotics when necessary but not all the time, always follow a full course, don’t take half courses.
Hope this may be of use