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Katherine, Alumni Mentor
@katemn

Posts: 1501
Joined: Nov 21, 2011

(MAC/MAI) MYCOBACTERIUM AVIUM COMPLEX PULMONARY DISEASE/BRONCHIECTASIS

Posted by @katemn, Nov 21, 2011

I am new to Mayo online .. I was hoping to find others with .. MYCOBACTERIUM AVIUM COMPLEX PULMONARY DISEASE (MAC/MAI) and/or BRONCHIECTASIS. I found only 1 thread on mycobacterium accidently under the catagory “Lungs”. I’m hoping by starting a subject matter directly related to MYCOBACTERIUM AVIUM COMPLEX PULMONARY DISEASE (MAC/MAI) I may find others out there!

I was diagnosed by a sputum culture August 2007 (but the culture result was accidentally misfiled until 2008!) with MYCOBACTERIUM AVIUM COMPLEX PULMONARY DISEASE (MAC/MAI) and BRONCHIECTASIS. I am now on 5 antibiotics. Working with Dr. Timothy Aksamit at Rochester Mayo Clinic .. he is a saint to have put up with me this long! I was terrified of the treatment . started the first antibiotic September 3, 2011 … am now on all 5 antibiotics for 18 mos to 2 years. Am delighted at the very bearable side effects!

I wrote on the 1 thread I found: If you google NON-TUBERCULOUS MYCOBACTERIUM AVIUM COMPLEX PULMONARY DISEASE (MAC/MAI) you will learn a LOT about the disease. But PLEASE do NOT get scared about all the things you read .. that is what I did and nearly refused to do the treatment until after a 2nd Micomacterium was discovered! Educate yourself for “due diligence” .. but take it all with a grain of salt .. you are NOT necessarily going to have all the terrible side effects of the antibiotics! Good luck to you!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
January 2017 Update

One of our great Connect Members .. @Paula_MAC2007  .. had a wonderfully helpful idea that I wanted to share! Her idea .. as you read through the pages to gather information on our shared disease of MAC you can develop a personal “file cabinet” for future reference without the necessity of reading all the pages again!

If you have the “MS Word” program on your computer:

  1. Document Title Example:  Mayo Clinic Connect MAI/MAC Information
  2. Then develop different categories that make sense to you such as:  Heath Aids .. Videos .. Healthy Living .. Positive Thinking .. Baseline Testing and Regular Testing .. Antibiotics ..
    Tips for
  3. As you read the pages .. copy/paste/save things of interest into that MS Word document under your preferred categories for future reference.

Then as you want to refer back to something in the future .. YEAH!  You have now created your own personal “file cabinet” on MAC/MAI!  Go to it!

KateMN

REPLY

Hello, Kate

What a coincidence that my first name is Katherine/Kathy. I was just diagnosed with MAC, found out via a phone call from my Mayo doctor last night. I have been coughing for over 14 months and I just kept trying to get someone to tell me why….. Now that I have the diagnosis, what do I do? My first reaction was to try to get more information and that is how I stumbled across your posting. My doctor, Dr. Mullen at Mayo in Rochester, is a very nice man and he explained that some of the side effects of the treatment can be worse than the disease. So, I rejected the idea. When I saw your post saying that the reality may not be as bad as the hype, it gives me a different perspective. Would you be willing to share more of your experience with me? The doctors can only tell you what the books tell them unless they have had a patient who has gone through the process. Even then, different folks can have differing reactions. I am a 58 year old, recently retired (in part due to the coughing with the embarrassing results), I am overweight so the shortness of breath was attributed to that…..

Thank you, Kathy

@kathyg

Hello, Kate

What a coincidence that my first name is Katherine/Kathy. I was just diagnosed with MAC, found out via a phone call from my Mayo doctor last night. I have been coughing for over 14 months and I just kept trying to get someone to tell me why….. Now that I have the diagnosis, what do I do? My first reaction was to try to get more information and that is how I stumbled across your posting. My doctor, Dr. Mullen at Mayo in Rochester, is a very nice man and he explained that some of the side effects of the treatment can be worse than the disease. So, I rejected the idea. When I saw your post saying that the reality may not be as bad as the hype, it gives me a different perspective. Would you be willing to share more of your experience with me? The doctors can only tell you what the books tell them unless they have had a patient who has gone through the process. Even then, different folks can have differing reactions. I am a 58 year old, recently retired (in part due to the coughing with the embarrassing results), I am overweight so the shortness of breath was attributed to that…..

Thank you, Kathy

Jump to this post

Hi Kathy,
There is so much to chat about .. I would be willing to call you later this afternoon or evening if that is convenient for you? Send me your phone number .. if today is not convenient .. when.

By the way .. at the theatre or wherever .. I was proactive .. I said right off “I just want to tell you that I have a lung issue so I cough .. but it is NOT contagious .. I don’t have a cold or flu!” The usual response was a chuckle .. but appreciation and a note of comfort and understanding,

Keep your chin up!
Kate

Liked by lauriefrancis

@kathyg

Hello, Kate

What a coincidence that my first name is Katherine/Kathy. I was just diagnosed with MAC, found out via a phone call from my Mayo doctor last night. I have been coughing for over 14 months and I just kept trying to get someone to tell me why….. Now that I have the diagnosis, what do I do? My first reaction was to try to get more information and that is how I stumbled across your posting. My doctor, Dr. Mullen at Mayo in Rochester, is a very nice man and he explained that some of the side effects of the treatment can be worse than the disease. So, I rejected the idea. When I saw your post saying that the reality may not be as bad as the hype, it gives me a different perspective. Would you be willing to share more of your experience with me? The doctors can only tell you what the books tell them unless they have had a patient who has gone through the process. Even then, different folks can have differing reactions. I am a 58 year old, recently retired (in part due to the coughing with the embarrassing results), I am overweight so the shortness of breath was attributed to that…..

Thank you, Kathy

Jump to this post

Yes, I also had a standard disclaimer whenever I was going to be in public. We always knew it wasn’t contagious because my husband never had it after the intial cold in October of 2010.

I left a message for Dr. Mullen to call me again today on my home phone. He usually gets to his calls at about 5:30 or 6pm. I am so glad I found you this morning….. Kathy

Hi, Katherine

I wanted to thank you again for referring me to your doctor. I have an appointment with him in February. Hopefully this will be the beginning of my journey to better health. I hope you are enjoying your time in FL, I’m anxious to join you in warmer climes soon…. Take care, Kathy

Hi Kathy!
So glad you got in! I always make sure to set my next appointment while I am there for a 3 month follow up if needed as he is hard to get into.

I hope you like him as much as I do .. as far as I am concerned he just “walks on water”! At my age I’ve dealt with a lot of various doctors over the years .. without a doubt he has been the most caring, watchful and on the ball I’ve ever had. Of course as in all medicine you MUST be your own advocate .. EDUCATE yourself .. keep in mind that NO ONE knows your body as well as you do .. question until you are satisfied that you understand etc.

Hope your appointment goes well! If you are interested .. from various sources I put together a form to take to appointments to remind me of what questions to ask. If you are interested I could email it to you .. you could then adapt it to your own needs. Email me if you are interested .. I think you have my personal email.
Best regards,
Katherine (Kate is just my anonymous name!)

Hi. I had difficulty getting to this discussion as MAC was not on the list of things. I am on a three drug regimen 3 times a week to start. The day after i take the drugs, I have tremendous fatigue and do not feel like doing anything – at least until later in the day. I don’t see anything on line that would help me know what to do about this except suffer! They all tell you about side effects, but nothing about what to do to counteract them. I take probiotics twice a day, but also do not have much appetite.
I know it could be worse, but I need to get at least a little more energy.

Jill, Did you start the antibotics in July 2012? I just got my diagnosis last Thursday. What info is available on the internet is minimual. My sister found this site and I really hope to hear from others who have MAC.

Local South Florida pulmonologist has confirmed MAC. Treatment to be discussed at next doctor’s visit. Internet research has me worried about possible side effects affecting my ablity to get through work week & be care giver to sick husband. Am wondering if I should seek top notch specialist in local medical/university centers. A penny for your thoughts… Have Rheumatoid Arthritis & have been taken off 9 yr. treatment of Humira which is suspected of having compromised my already weak immune system. Any R.A./MAC patients out there?

I would love to add to this discussion or chat with either of you. I was diagnosed with this disease in 2008. I was on 3200mlg of high powered antibiotics for a year. I recovered completely. I am having some issues now and wondering how each of you are doing.

I was diagnosed with MAC in Feb 2008 (after having intermittent symptoms for 3 years that got progressively worse). For 4 yrs, 3 months (Feb 2008 – April 2012), I was on the 3 standard drugs for MAC . I had some side effects from the drugs but gradually they went away or I learned how to deal with them. If my routine got out of whack (like on vacation) I suffered.

Over the years, I grew to feel like my old self – although as a high energy person, I was somewhat sluggish from the medication. Last April, I negotiated with my pulmonologist to go off the drugs. What a relief! Was like a weight had been lifted . . . I felt much lighter and less sluggish. While my MAC was not gone, my lesions had shrunk over the years of antibiotics. I considered the MAC as hibernating or resting!

Eight months later (December 2012) I began experiencing the cough (which at times results in spasms) and tiredness. Since Feb, I have been on two different antibiotics from my Internist – to rule out a severe sinus infection. No dice! Yesterday (March 2013) I saw my pulmonologist who, before assuming it is MAC and resuming the meds, wants to do a lung lavage and CT scan. Will do this within the next two weeks.

Incidentally, my Internist did a lot of blood workup recently and my Vitamin D is very low. Am now taking 50,000 IU for 12 weeks and then repeat the tests. My pulmonologist yesterday mentioned there is some connection between Vitamin D and lung issues but it’s not real concrete yet.

So my MAC appears to no longer be ‘resting’.

I will follow this blog with great interest. I live in Wisconsin, in the part of the upper Midwest where MAC is found. Yet MAC is not found in some other Great Lake states. Sure is a mystery.

I WOULD LOVE TO GET IN A STUDY WITH OTHERS WITH MAC!!!!!

I was dx’d with MAC in 1998. During the diagnosis process I was subsequently infected with another more serious infection during a bronch.
I was on 3 to 6 antibiotics for 8 years. After 2 years I no longer tested positive (sputum) for the MAC.

After surgery to remove the lobe with the other, more serious infection, I have neither.

Good nutrition, daily EXCERCISE via workouts on my tread mill to keep lungs clear, have been key. Basically, I never let it interfere with my life. Yes, sometimes I was tired particularly after my morning ‘cocktail’ of meds, but my husband was good at gently coaxing me on, and I would eventually get over the ‘hump’ and enjoy an active day.

Also key, get an adjustable bed. They are expensive, but necessary so that you don’t sleep flat, I waited years, and found I should have followed my Dr.s instructions immediately. Also, eat light at night.

but really, the huffing, puffing excersize 4 days a week, keeps the lungs clear and seems to have been (and still is) my biggest help other than the meds.

Is this blog still active? I am suffering from the chronic MAC cough and desperate for some guidance. Many thanks!

I found this discussion while researching side effects for the meds prescribed for MAC, and possible ways to tolerate them.
I was diagnosed in March 2013 after suffering with a cough for approximately 18 months. When I started coughing up a little blood occasionally, I went to my GP and he sent me across the hall to a pulmonologist. After several CT scans and blood tests and finally a bronchoscopy he determined it was MAC. I started the meds about 3 weeks ago and am very uncomfortable the 3 days a week I take them. I had to stop taking the clarithromycin because it made me break out in a rash. I can’t imagine taking these meds for the next year or more!! I’m sensitive to most meds anyway, and this prescription makes me feel worse than the cough. Has anyone really gotten used to the side effects? Normally I’m a very healthy 56 yr old woman, vegetarian, work out 3-4 times a week and eat a lot of fruits, veggies and yogurt. Any suggestions on how to cope with the side effects is appreciated. *B

I am looking for patients that have MAC to learn about their meds and sidemeffects

My husband was just diagnosed with MAC and put on the cocktail of three drugs they give to treat the disease.
After day one on the drugs he was miserable he was fatigued couldn’t eat and was just miserable. He was suppose to be on these 6 pills three days a week . Any body have this experience

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