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

Posted by Katherine, Alumni Mentor @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

@jennifernicole

Hello,
I have been reading through these posts for the past several weeks and have learned a TON. I so appreciate the willingness of people to share their experiences.
I am a 37 y/o who was recently diagnosed with MIA (from BAL) and bronchiectasis after having four episodes of pneumonia since August 2016. I have had asthma all of my life and severe GERD that was fixed after a Nissen Fundoplication in 1999. Other than that I am a healthy individual. I was also diagnosed with a hernia after a recent cat scan.
It isn’t clear if the MAI is the cause if the pneumonia and related pulmonary issues or a consequence of already vulnerable lungs due to an unknowm cause. I didn’t have the bronchiectasis in February, per the cat scan, but it has since developed, per scan earlier in May. I started azithromyacin (sp?) last week and am beginning the second antibiotic tonight (Ethabutol?) and am a little nervous, as I have two toddlers and a demanding job. Any advice about anything would be much appreciated!
Thank you.
Jen

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Does Medicare pay for silver sneakers or is it your supplemental insurance? Thx.

REPLY
@jennifernicole

Hello,
I have been reading through these posts for the past several weeks and have learned a TON. I so appreciate the willingness of people to share their experiences.
I am a 37 y/o who was recently diagnosed with MIA (from BAL) and bronchiectasis after having four episodes of pneumonia since August 2016. I have had asthma all of my life and severe GERD that was fixed after a Nissen Fundoplication in 1999. Other than that I am a healthy individual. I was also diagnosed with a hernia after a recent cat scan.
It isn’t clear if the MAI is the cause if the pneumonia and related pulmonary issues or a consequence of already vulnerable lungs due to an unknowm cause. I didn’t have the bronchiectasis in February, per the cat scan, but it has since developed, per scan earlier in May. I started azithromyacin (sp?) last week and am beginning the second antibiotic tonight (Ethabutol?) and am a little nervous, as I have two toddlers and a demanding job. Any advice about anything would be much appreciated!
Thank you.
Jen

Jump to this post

It’s a benefit of Medicare. Here is the link: https://www.silversneakers.com/. There is a box in the upper right corner of the screen that allows you to check your eligibility. Linda

REPLY
@jennifernicole

Hello,
I have been reading through these posts for the past several weeks and have learned a TON. I so appreciate the willingness of people to share their experiences.
I am a 37 y/o who was recently diagnosed with MIA (from BAL) and bronchiectasis after having four episodes of pneumonia since August 2016. I have had asthma all of my life and severe GERD that was fixed after a Nissen Fundoplication in 1999. Other than that I am a healthy individual. I was also diagnosed with a hernia after a recent cat scan.
It isn’t clear if the MAI is the cause if the pneumonia and related pulmonary issues or a consequence of already vulnerable lungs due to an unknowm cause. I didn’t have the bronchiectasis in February, per the cat scan, but it has since developed, per scan earlier in May. I started azithromyacin (sp?) last week and am beginning the second antibiotic tonight (Ethabutol?) and am a little nervous, as I have two toddlers and a demanding job. Any advice about anything would be much appreciated!
Thank you.
Jen

Jump to this post

Exercise is essential. Glad you are doing it. I did a one hour cardio class
and a 4 mile bike ride yesterday. Was pretty beat last night for it, but know
that it is good for me.
 

REPLY
@jennifernicole

Hello,
I have been reading through these posts for the past several weeks and have learned a TON. I so appreciate the willingness of people to share their experiences.
I am a 37 y/o who was recently diagnosed with MIA (from BAL) and bronchiectasis after having four episodes of pneumonia since August 2016. I have had asthma all of my life and severe GERD that was fixed after a Nissen Fundoplication in 1999. Other than that I am a healthy individual. I was also diagnosed with a hernia after a recent cat scan.
It isn’t clear if the MAI is the cause if the pneumonia and related pulmonary issues or a consequence of already vulnerable lungs due to an unknowm cause. I didn’t have the bronchiectasis in February, per the cat scan, but it has since developed, per scan earlier in May. I started azithromyacin (sp?) last week and am beginning the second antibiotic tonight (Ethabutol?) and am a little nervous, as I have two toddlers and a demanding job. Any advice about anything would be much appreciated!
Thank you.
Jen

Jump to this post

Hi Linda, is your Silver Sneakers program an actual class with a
teacher? Mine is, but I have heard that some Silver Sneakers is just free gym
membership. I had to pay for a gym membership in order to use the Silver
Sneakers program because I am under 65 yrs of age. (well worth the price)
Doesn't seem fair to be on disability for the rest of my life and cannot benefit
from senior programs. I cannot even buy secondary insurance!
 

REPLY

It’s a program and a class. The program pays for gym membership but at the Y, almost every class held is free with your membership. I also belong to YouFit where I do my personal strength training. Silver Sneakers pays the $10 fee but I pay the training fee. Now that I know about the Y, I’ll be ending my YouFit membership and going to the Y for all my classes and workouts. There are Silver Sneaker programs at the Y but I don’t take them as they aren’t challenging enough for me.

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@lindam272

It’s a program and a class. The program pays for gym membership but at the Y, almost every class held is free with your membership. I also belong to YouFit where I do my personal strength training. Silver Sneakers pays the $10 fee but I pay the training fee. Now that I know about the Y, I’ll be ending my YouFit membership and going to the Y for all my classes and workouts. There are Silver Sneaker programs at the Y but I don’t take them as they aren’t challenging enough for me.

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Sounds like you are on a good regimen. Feels good, doesn't it?
 

REPLY

This is a question for Linda who wrote: “but had to stop from last Nov through Feb of this year when my MAC was so bad. Once I was on my meds for a couple of months and felt I could breathe again”. What were the meds you were on for those few months and when you wrote that your MAC was bad, what were your symptoms? It is good to know that one can control the MAC by taking meds for only two months, versus going back to the 18 month regimen of the Big Three meds… I just finished up with the 18 month regimen and so far so good. Pamela

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Hi, Pamela, I am on the big 3 but it took a couple of months before I saw improvement. I was diagnosed with MAC in December which is when I began to take them. I am still on them – Rifampin, Ethambutol and Azithromycin, but feeling and breathing much better. I have atypical cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis. I don’t have the CF gene mutation, but my body mimics the symptoms. I was coughing a lot and had a lot of mucous. I couldn’t walk to my car without getting winded so working out was more of a chore than a benefit. I’m now down from 2 breathing treatments a day to one in the morning unless I feel I need another one in the afternoon. Glad to hear you made it through your journey with the Big 3. I’m not doing too bad on them but I know it’s hard on my body and will be so grateful when I can get off them! Blessings, Linda

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I am on the big 3 also. Hopefully i will be coming off in july. At first the big 3 made my stomach hurt a lot. But now, no problems. I did lose weight though…..

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@jennifernicole

Hello,
I have been reading through these posts for the past several weeks and have learned a TON. I so appreciate the willingness of people to share their experiences.
I am a 37 y/o who was recently diagnosed with MIA (from BAL) and bronchiectasis after having four episodes of pneumonia since August 2016. I have had asthma all of my life and severe GERD that was fixed after a Nissen Fundoplication in 1999. Other than that I am a healthy individual. I was also diagnosed with a hernia after a recent cat scan.
It isn’t clear if the MAI is the cause if the pneumonia and related pulmonary issues or a consequence of already vulnerable lungs due to an unknowm cause. I didn’t have the bronchiectasis in February, per the cat scan, but it has since developed, per scan earlier in May. I started azithromyacin (sp?) last week and am beginning the second antibiotic tonight (Ethabutol?) and am a little nervous, as I have two toddlers and a demanding job. Any advice about anything would be much appreciated!
Thank you.
Jen

Jump to this post

I still recommend one I’ve posted a few times before: http://www.ntminfo.org – go to your state then city…how I found mine!

REPLY
@jennifernicole

Hello,
I have been reading through these posts for the past several weeks and have learned a TON. I so appreciate the willingness of people to share their experiences.
I am a 37 y/o who was recently diagnosed with MIA (from BAL) and bronchiectasis after having four episodes of pneumonia since August 2016. I have had asthma all of my life and severe GERD that was fixed after a Nissen Fundoplication in 1999. Other than that I am a healthy individual. I was also diagnosed with a hernia after a recent cat scan.
It isn’t clear if the MAI is the cause if the pneumonia and related pulmonary issues or a consequence of already vulnerable lungs due to an unknowm cause. I didn’t have the bronchiectasis in February, per the cat scan, but it has since developed, per scan earlier in May. I started azithromyacin (sp?) last week and am beginning the second antibiotic tonight (Ethabutol?) and am a little nervous, as I have two toddlers and a demanding job. Any advice about anything would be much appreciated!
Thank you.
Jen

Jump to this post

@windwalker, Terri, No I didn’t. Nan

REPLY

Hi all, it’s Jen Taylor, I haven’t been in touch with you via “connect” for 2 months. I was seen at Mayo in Minnesota over a 2 week period. I received so much info from all of the evaluation. I have been overwhelmed & scared & I have been trying to process all of this on my own. It hasn’t been going to great so I’m trying to reach out & thought what a better group to talk to than others who are going through similar life experiences. After have a positive MAC culture from my bronchial washings, I was told that I had MAC & need to be treated. Previously (Sept. 2016) they diagnosed me with bronchiectasis. Nothing was seen on my CT scan or X-ray that showed the colonies seen from MAC. One of the big reasons I was going to Mayo was to get an expert opinion from Dr. Askamit. After Dr. Askamit read through my many, many, many records over a course of 10 years, since I first got sick, he concluded that at this time I may have MAC but it should not be treated at this time because it does not appear on a CAT scan. I must tell you that I was shocked by his response as it was completely different than my pulmonologist locally. And to be honest, I seem to have met the criteria to be considered to have MAC & to start treatment. I have many underlying illnesses & it’s so hard to sort out what is what. Dr. Aksamit said to wait until it is seen on a CT scan. I have very mixed feelings about this. I am concerned that I should just wait until I become more infected to start treatment. Personally, I’d rather treat it BEFORE it gets worse. I guess I’m the only one who things that. My local pulmonologist changed his mind & decided not to start treatment at this time. Don’t get me wrong, I do NOT want take all of these meds that can cause such grief & danger!!! I also don’t want to just sit around & wait for things to get worse!!! Am I wrong in thinking that?? I value your opinion. Oh, and I have had the bronchiectasis diagnosis since Sept 2007 based on CT scan but now, when Dr. Askamit looked at a different CT scan, he said he didn’t see that. I’m SO confused. I know one thing to be true…I’m in a mess of a health situation with multi system dysfunctional & disease. I am sick every day of my life for 10 years now & without an underlying diaganosis of what disease I have in the lungs. They said I would not make past 2 years but here I am, 10 years later, alive & trying my absolute best to lead as much of a normal life as possible…mostly for my family. I’m back to a point where I am requiring supplemental oxygen again. I had been able to breath on my own for the past 3 years. What changed? We don’t know. I go into respiratory failure several times a year resulting in hospitalizations. We still can’t answer the question of why my lungs don’t convert oxygen from the air I breath in??? Anyway, I apologize for rambling on. I have been so withdrawn & sad, scared & lonely since receiving all of this new information. I also learned I have stage 1 heart failure & other metabolic syndrome that leaves me as the “perfect storm for a cardiac event” as the physician stated it. I ended up at Johns Hopkins a couple weeks ago with an excellent cardiologist who is trying to help my sort things out. My weight is a contributing factor to my alveolib hypoventilation &
We discussed having the stomach sleeve procedure to help me loose weight. There is so much on my mind & I apologize that I just rambeled on without even diving the long note into paragraphs!!! That’s just how my mind has been lately. I am in NO way trying to ask for self-pity…I’m just trying to get through my reality of day to day life the best that I can & with the most quality that I can. I’m just so confused right now. Oh, I had another bronch done on Wed. & we sent the washings for culture & this will probably be the ultimate testing to see if the washing show positive for MAC. We won’t know for 6 weeks! Again, I welcome your feedback… thanks for taking the time to read this!

REPLY
@pamelasc1

This is a question for Linda who wrote: “but had to stop from last Nov through Feb of this year when my MAC was so bad. Once I was on my meds for a couple of months and felt I could breathe again”. What were the meds you were on for those few months and when you wrote that your MAC was bad, what were your symptoms? It is good to know that one can control the MAC by taking meds for only two months, versus going back to the 18 month regimen of the Big Three meds… I just finished up with the 18 month regimen and so far so good. Pamela

Jump to this post

I have been on 3 big meds for 12mths with no radiology improvement..anyone else experienced this?

REPLY
@jentaylor

Hi all, it’s Jen Taylor, I haven’t been in touch with you via “connect” for 2 months. I was seen at Mayo in Minnesota over a 2 week period. I received so much info from all of the evaluation. I have been overwhelmed & scared & I have been trying to process all of this on my own. It hasn’t been going to great so I’m trying to reach out & thought what a better group to talk to than others who are going through similar life experiences. After have a positive MAC culture from my bronchial washings, I was told that I had MAC & need to be treated. Previously (Sept. 2016) they diagnosed me with bronchiectasis. Nothing was seen on my CT scan or X-ray that showed the colonies seen from MAC. One of the big reasons I was going to Mayo was to get an expert opinion from Dr. Askamit. After Dr. Askamit read through my many, many, many records over a course of 10 years, since I first got sick, he concluded that at this time I may have MAC but it should not be treated at this time because it does not appear on a CAT scan. I must tell you that I was shocked by his response as it was completely different than my pulmonologist locally. And to be honest, I seem to have met the criteria to be considered to have MAC & to start treatment. I have many underlying illnesses & it’s so hard to sort out what is what. Dr. Aksamit said to wait until it is seen on a CT scan. I have very mixed feelings about this. I am concerned that I should just wait until I become more infected to start treatment. Personally, I’d rather treat it BEFORE it gets worse. I guess I’m the only one who things that. My local pulmonologist changed his mind & decided not to start treatment at this time. Don’t get me wrong, I do NOT want take all of these meds that can cause such grief & danger!!! I also don’t want to just sit around & wait for things to get worse!!! Am I wrong in thinking that?? I value your opinion. Oh, and I have had the bronchiectasis diagnosis since Sept 2007 based on CT scan but now, when Dr. Askamit looked at a different CT scan, he said he didn’t see that. I’m SO confused. I know one thing to be true…I’m in a mess of a health situation with multi system dysfunctional & disease. I am sick every day of my life for 10 years now & without an underlying diaganosis of what disease I have in the lungs. They said I would not make past 2 years but here I am, 10 years later, alive & trying my absolute best to lead as much of a normal life as possible…mostly for my family. I’m back to a point where I am requiring supplemental oxygen again. I had been able to breath on my own for the past 3 years. What changed? We don’t know. I go into respiratory failure several times a year resulting in hospitalizations. We still can’t answer the question of why my lungs don’t convert oxygen from the air I breath in??? Anyway, I apologize for rambling on. I have been so withdrawn & sad, scared & lonely since receiving all of this new information. I also learned I have stage 1 heart failure & other metabolic syndrome that leaves me as the “perfect storm for a cardiac event” as the physician stated it. I ended up at Johns Hopkins a couple weeks ago with an excellent cardiologist who is trying to help my sort things out. My weight is a contributing factor to my alveolib hypoventilation &
We discussed having the stomach sleeve procedure to help me loose weight. There is so much on my mind & I apologize that I just rambeled on without even diving the long note into paragraphs!!! That’s just how my mind has been lately. I am in NO way trying to ask for self-pity…I’m just trying to get through my reality of day to day life the best that I can & with the most quality that I can. I’m just so confused right now. Oh, I had another bronch done on Wed. & we sent the washings for culture & this will probably be the ultimate testing to see if the washing show positive for MAC. We won’t know for 6 weeks! Again, I welcome your feedback… thanks for taking the time to read this!

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I am very sorry you are suffering so much Jen. Having little quality of life is hard. Having underlying conditions can be almost too much to bear. I am in agreement with Dr. Askamit. If the culture grows MAC in 6 weeks, then you might revisit treatment, but if it hasn’t shown on a CT scan that is significant. Never apologize for being honest about how you feel. Being sick day after day year after year is overwhelming and challenging for anybody.

REPLY
@jentaylor

Hi all, it’s Jen Taylor, I haven’t been in touch with you via “connect” for 2 months. I was seen at Mayo in Minnesota over a 2 week period. I received so much info from all of the evaluation. I have been overwhelmed & scared & I have been trying to process all of this on my own. It hasn’t been going to great so I’m trying to reach out & thought what a better group to talk to than others who are going through similar life experiences. After have a positive MAC culture from my bronchial washings, I was told that I had MAC & need to be treated. Previously (Sept. 2016) they diagnosed me with bronchiectasis. Nothing was seen on my CT scan or X-ray that showed the colonies seen from MAC. One of the big reasons I was going to Mayo was to get an expert opinion from Dr. Askamit. After Dr. Askamit read through my many, many, many records over a course of 10 years, since I first got sick, he concluded that at this time I may have MAC but it should not be treated at this time because it does not appear on a CAT scan. I must tell you that I was shocked by his response as it was completely different than my pulmonologist locally. And to be honest, I seem to have met the criteria to be considered to have MAC & to start treatment. I have many underlying illnesses & it’s so hard to sort out what is what. Dr. Aksamit said to wait until it is seen on a CT scan. I have very mixed feelings about this. I am concerned that I should just wait until I become more infected to start treatment. Personally, I’d rather treat it BEFORE it gets worse. I guess I’m the only one who things that. My local pulmonologist changed his mind & decided not to start treatment at this time. Don’t get me wrong, I do NOT want take all of these meds that can cause such grief & danger!!! I also don’t want to just sit around & wait for things to get worse!!! Am I wrong in thinking that?? I value your opinion. Oh, and I have had the bronchiectasis diagnosis since Sept 2007 based on CT scan but now, when Dr. Askamit looked at a different CT scan, he said he didn’t see that. I’m SO confused. I know one thing to be true…I’m in a mess of a health situation with multi system dysfunctional & disease. I am sick every day of my life for 10 years now & without an underlying diaganosis of what disease I have in the lungs. They said I would not make past 2 years but here I am, 10 years later, alive & trying my absolute best to lead as much of a normal life as possible…mostly for my family. I’m back to a point where I am requiring supplemental oxygen again. I had been able to breath on my own for the past 3 years. What changed? We don’t know. I go into respiratory failure several times a year resulting in hospitalizations. We still can’t answer the question of why my lungs don’t convert oxygen from the air I breath in??? Anyway, I apologize for rambling on. I have been so withdrawn & sad, scared & lonely since receiving all of this new information. I also learned I have stage 1 heart failure & other metabolic syndrome that leaves me as the “perfect storm for a cardiac event” as the physician stated it. I ended up at Johns Hopkins a couple weeks ago with an excellent cardiologist who is trying to help my sort things out. My weight is a contributing factor to my alveolib hypoventilation &
We discussed having the stomach sleeve procedure to help me loose weight. There is so much on my mind & I apologize that I just rambeled on without even diving the long note into paragraphs!!! That’s just how my mind has been lately. I am in NO way trying to ask for self-pity…I’m just trying to get through my reality of day to day life the best that I can & with the most quality that I can. I’m just so confused right now. Oh, I had another bronch done on Wed. & we sent the washings for culture & this will probably be the ultimate testing to see if the washing show positive for MAC. We won’t know for 6 weeks! Again, I welcome your feedback… thanks for taking the time to read this!

Jump to this post

Dearest @jentaylor, I’m so glad you had the courage to post when you’re feeling this way. It can be hard to take the time and try and write it all out. Thank you for just dumping it all out. And like Irene said never apologize for being honest about how you feel. And as you said, what better place to help get those feelings sorted out with your friends here on Connect. I know members will come in and share their support and thoughts about waiting vs action.

REPLY
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