Colds and flu etc.
If we catch a cold or have some kind of flu or respiratory illness, how does that affect Bronchiectasis? Does it get worse? I’m always wondering how careful I should be. My family is coming in this summer I haven’t seen my grandkids in 6 years and I don’t want to wear a mask! Thanks for this forum and all the information. Carol Weinberg
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@carolweinberg Hello Carol – I completely understand! I get very unhappy when I can't see my little boys – or my nieces' and nephews' kids. During Covid, we did use face masks if we were indoors together, and if I needed to care for my grandsons and they were ill. But outdoors, where the fresh air quickly dilutes any floating particles and carries them away, we don't do masks. Nor indoors if windows are open, and there are a few of us.
As far as risk, a lot depends on the severity of your bronchiectasis and how healthy you are overall. I used to get VERY sick from every little cold or respiratory virus – they always progressed to at least bronchitis with intractable asthma, or sometimes to pneumonia.
Then I was diagnosed with Bronchiectasis, pseudomonas & MAC and went through almost 2 years of antibiotic therapy (which knocked the MAC down but did not cure it.) During and since the antibiotics, I started faithful daily airway clearance with saline. In the 3 1/2 years since, I have caught a few colds/viruses but none progressed to be very serious. As of my last CT, evidence of MAC infection was less than at the end of antibiotics, and the state of my bronchiectasis was noted as "stable" compared to 2 prior scans.
What precautions do I take? Stay away from sick people. Stay out of indoor crowds unless there is massive air circulation like warehouse stores, arenas, ballrooms and the like. Wear a mask in big indoor groups. Gather freely outdoors in large or small groups.
We live in a Texas RV community in winter, and when stuff was "going around" this winter, most people were excellent about self-isolating, but we chose to stay home or only gather outdoors to be safe. We managed to avoid Covid and a serious nasty respiratory flu that made the rounds while still socializing.
So you need to evaluate your own situation, but don't be paranoid. Take reasonable precautions. With our littles (Mom & Auntie are both RN's) we have always been insistent about covering coughs, blowing noses and discarding the tissues, and frequent thorough hand washing and sanitizing. I think this has helped a lot. Another thing to reduce risk – don't share bottles, cups and glasses – second-hand saliva is such a font of germs. And the hardest one for me – I don't nap with my littles when they have sniffles or coughs.
Thank you Sue. I was just recently diagnosed with Bronchiectasis and Mac and yes, I am paranoid although my symptoms aren’t bad. I have a slight dry cough, very tired and kind of weak. I’m 76 and have been healthy until about a year ago when I got very weak and short of breath. Good days and not so good days… today my upper chest feels heavy and I’m sneezing! Everything worries me. All my life I’ve had an anxiety disorder. Much therapy all my life and I’m better but always working on it.
I don’t want to miss out on the joy of seeing my family from Alaska. I’m willing to risk it. Thankfully they are coming in the summer and we can be outside.
Thank you for writing.
It means a lot to me to know we can catch something and it won’t land us in the hospital.
I am going to my first ID appointment this week in person and then to my pulmonologist in person.
I will not be taking the antibiotics. I’ve decided that for sure. I weigh 100 pounds lost 15 from the B.
Currently I’m just on a Symbicort inhaler 2 puffs twice a day. It helps so much and I’m grateful for that.
Be well stay that way.
After 3 years of no exacerbations I went to a family gathering with lots of little children and no masks. I was outside most of the time, but I picked up some little bug that lasted about 3 days. Then the pseudomonas flared up and I’m on 2 weeks of antibiotics and have fits of coughing. It was a very good visit, but I’m paying for the lapse in masking. I guess I needed the reminder. So socialize safely.