(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!

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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

@gaelawree

Hello group, my name is GaeLawree, I was just diagnosed with Mycobacteria Avium Complex (MAC), I haven’t started treatment yet, appt with doc next week. I am 66 & have had shortness of breath for a few years. I was diagnosed with COPD & got progressively worse. I had to really push to get doctors to find the MAC. I don’t seem to have other problems. I am active as much as I can be. I have horses & ride three times a week & I like gardening. I have a stationary bike to ride too. This diagnosis gave me hope of getting over this but as I researched it I got worried, I’m worried about the long term antibiotics. I have hypothyroidism & Hoshimoto’s & went through a 9 month protocol & got that under control. Now I think the treatment for MAC will really mess that all up. I have read a lot of previous posts & learning a lot. I am glad I found this group because I think this treatment is going to be tough.

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Wow @windwalker that is a beautiful painting, very clever! Sounds like you are kept very busy.

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@gaelawree

Hello group, my name is GaeLawree, I was just diagnosed with Mycobacteria Avium Complex (MAC), I haven’t started treatment yet, appt with doc next week. I am 66 & have had shortness of breath for a few years. I was diagnosed with COPD & got progressively worse. I had to really push to get doctors to find the MAC. I don’t seem to have other problems. I am active as much as I can be. I have horses & ride three times a week & I like gardening. I have a stationary bike to ride too. This diagnosis gave me hope of getting over this but as I researched it I got worried, I’m worried about the long term antibiotics. I have hypothyroidism & Hoshimoto’s & went through a 9 month protocol & got that under control. Now I think the treatment for MAC will really mess that all up. I have read a lot of previous posts & learning a lot. I am glad I found this group because I think this treatment is going to be tough.

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@gaelawree beautiful work, the horses are so realistic & beautiful, very talented.

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@boomerexpert

@hallann we all understand that scary dx! Read through postings here…you'll find many folks, like me, who are asymptomatic and don't as yet require treatment…you'll find others who found great docs and treatments far less problematic than simply taking the "big 3"…first step is to find the finest doc in your area for MAC…just any pulmo or infectious disease doc won't do. If near a Mayo clinic, go there. Are you experiencing symptoms?

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this is so true…

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@jspremich

I was diagnosed with MAC and another bacteria over two years ago. Apparently, one is not good enough. Out of the ten antibiotics that were capable of working wonders on my bacteria, only 2 would be effective and only 50% of the time. Lucky me. Fortunately, my infectious disease (one retired and another took over) specialists, both discouraged me with starting the cocktail of drugs. They advised me to stay clear, because of obvious side effects, of the medicine as long as I was feeling o.k. Over the years the symptoms would come and go. For the last 6-7 months, I have (knock on wood or maybe gold) had minor flare-ups. For whatever it's worth (And I'm not claiming anything here), I'm a vegetarian and have been for 45years. (I'm 81)
MAC periodically reminds me that its still there, waiting to strike at any moment.

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@jspremich Thank you for telling me that.

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@1478

wow, This is good to know! My mother want into the hospital at 7000 ft because she started coughing up blood via a capillary bleeds and they set her up for a lobeectomy within 8 hours. She refused the lobectomy and they went in and cauterized her capillary; stopped the bleed. She came back down to 2000 ft and has been fine since. This makes me even more thankful she refused. I know this is a VERY different senerio, but the message for a lobectomy is still the same. Thank you for sharing.

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I had some very occasional bleeding from the lungs.  It was just a few drops in my throat and stopped almost immediately. But the last time it happened the blood soaked several tissues. Fortunately it stopped quickly. My Dr. said if it happened again and the bleeding didn't stop, I should go to the ER. I would need an interventional radiologist. 

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@gaelawree

Hello group, my name is GaeLawree, I was just diagnosed with Mycobacteria Avium Complex (MAC), I haven’t started treatment yet, appt with doc next week. I am 66 & have had shortness of breath for a few years. I was diagnosed with COPD & got progressively worse. I had to really push to get doctors to find the MAC. I don’t seem to have other problems. I am active as much as I can be. I have horses & ride three times a week & I like gardening. I have a stationary bike to ride too. This diagnosis gave me hope of getting over this but as I researched it I got worried, I’m worried about the long term antibiotics. I have hypothyroidism & Hoshimoto’s & went through a 9 month protocol & got that under control. Now I think the treatment for MAC will really mess that all up. I have read a lot of previous posts & learning a lot. I am glad I found this group because I think this treatment is going to be tough.

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@gaelawree Wow girl, you are very talented! I love your jewelry. I bet your customers really treasure your pieces.

Liked by tdrell, gaelawree

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@gaelawree

Hello group, my name is GaeLawree, I was just diagnosed with Mycobacteria Avium Complex (MAC), I haven’t started treatment yet, appt with doc next week. I am 66 & have had shortness of breath for a few years. I was diagnosed with COPD & got progressively worse. I had to really push to get doctors to find the MAC. I don’t seem to have other problems. I am active as much as I can be. I have horses & ride three times a week & I like gardening. I have a stationary bike to ride too. This diagnosis gave me hope of getting over this but as I researched it I got worried, I’m worried about the long term antibiotics. I have hypothyroidism & Hoshimoto’s & went through a 9 month protocol & got that under control. Now I think the treatment for MAC will really mess that all up. I have read a lot of previous posts & learning a lot. I am glad I found this group because I think this treatment is going to be tough.

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@heathert Thank you Heather!

Liked by heathert, gaelawree

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@joan912

My husband was diagnosed with MAC and subsequently bronchiectasis. His doctor at first prescribed the big 3, but later told him not to take any, if he won’t take all 3. He had a bad reaction to Rifabutin, which caused chest pains. He asked if there was a substitute for that, but apparently not.

He had 2 CT Scans, one in March, the second in May. The second did show some improvement, but also diagnosed bronchiectasis, which the first Scan did not. He asked for another one this month. Now his doctor told him that he doesn’t need another CT Scan at all, and, if anything, he could have a Chest X-ray. A chest X-ray cannot diagnose bronchiectasis so, to me, her response is outrageous. His doctor seems to be very ineffective and doesn’t seem to care about his well-being. She never asks how he is, nor offer any solutions to his constant sputum. I’m afraid to ask for another pulmonologist at Kaiser, because I’m afraid they will back each other up, or at least not contradict each other.

Does anyone have experience with Kaiser? My husband wants to see numerous other pulmonologists in other cities and wants me to take time off from work (let alone spending a lot of money since it will all be out of pocket), to make appointments for him (he doesn’t work). I simply cannot do so, since I have no backup for my job. I’m willing to travel to one place, maybe Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

If I can stay local, does anyone have a recommendation for a well-respected, knowledgeable MAC doctor in the Bay Area of California?

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@megan123 Congrats on the bicycle! I went for an afternoon ride today. It was very invigorating. My lungs said "Ahhhh, tjank you for tje work-out!" I am struggling with a pinched merve in my back and I tried riding it out today. I think it helped. I hope that you enjoy your bike as much as I do mine.

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@joan912

My husband was diagnosed with MAC and subsequently bronchiectasis. His doctor at first prescribed the big 3, but later told him not to take any, if he won’t take all 3. He had a bad reaction to Rifabutin, which caused chest pains. He asked if there was a substitute for that, but apparently not.

He had 2 CT Scans, one in March, the second in May. The second did show some improvement, but also diagnosed bronchiectasis, which the first Scan did not. He asked for another one this month. Now his doctor told him that he doesn’t need another CT Scan at all, and, if anything, he could have a Chest X-ray. A chest X-ray cannot diagnose bronchiectasis so, to me, her response is outrageous. His doctor seems to be very ineffective and doesn’t seem to care about his well-being. She never asks how he is, nor offer any solutions to his constant sputum. I’m afraid to ask for another pulmonologist at Kaiser, because I’m afraid they will back each other up, or at least not contradict each other.

Does anyone have experience with Kaiser? My husband wants to see numerous other pulmonologists in other cities and wants me to take time off from work (let alone spending a lot of money since it will all be out of pocket), to make appointments for him (he doesn’t work). I simply cannot do so, since I have no backup for my job. I’m willing to travel to one place, maybe Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

If I can stay local, does anyone have a recommendation for a well-respected, knowledgeable MAC doctor in the Bay Area of California?

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The new norm….lol..that sucks with the pinched nerve…that happened to me years ago from skiing…naproxen really helped…did you draw those 2 black horse pictures…they were beautiful…I luv horses, always have…so talented✌️

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@joan912

My husband was diagnosed with MAC and subsequently bronchiectasis. His doctor at first prescribed the big 3, but later told him not to take any, if he won’t take all 3. He had a bad reaction to Rifabutin, which caused chest pains. He asked if there was a substitute for that, but apparently not.

He had 2 CT Scans, one in March, the second in May. The second did show some improvement, but also diagnosed bronchiectasis, which the first Scan did not. He asked for another one this month. Now his doctor told him that he doesn’t need another CT Scan at all, and, if anything, he could have a Chest X-ray. A chest X-ray cannot diagnose bronchiectasis so, to me, her response is outrageous. His doctor seems to be very ineffective and doesn’t seem to care about his well-being. She never asks how he is, nor offer any solutions to his constant sputum. I’m afraid to ask for another pulmonologist at Kaiser, because I’m afraid they will back each other up, or at least not contradict each other.

Does anyone have experience with Kaiser? My husband wants to see numerous other pulmonologists in other cities and wants me to take time off from work (let alone spending a lot of money since it will all be out of pocket), to make appointments for him (he doesn’t work). I simply cannot do so, since I have no backup for my job. I’m willing to travel to one place, maybe Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

If I can stay local, does anyone have a recommendation for a well-respected, knowledgeable MAC doctor in the Bay Area of California?

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@megan123, hi Megan, I drew & painted the two horses, they are painted from a photograph of my Friesian horses. Windwalker Terri & I were sharing our art.

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@gaelawree

Hello group, my name is GaeLawree, I was just diagnosed with Mycobacteria Avium Complex (MAC), I haven’t started treatment yet, appt with doc next week. I am 66 & have had shortness of breath for a few years. I was diagnosed with COPD & got progressively worse. I had to really push to get doctors to find the MAC. I don’t seem to have other problems. I am active as much as I can be. I have horses & ride three times a week & I like gardening. I have a stationary bike to ride too. This diagnosis gave me hope of getting over this but as I researched it I got worried, I’m worried about the long term antibiotics. I have hypothyroidism & Hoshimoto’s & went through a 9 month protocol & got that under control. Now I think the treatment for MAC will really mess that all up. I have read a lot of previous posts & learning a lot. I am glad I found this group because I think this treatment is going to be tough.

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@gaelawree all you need to do is wear your mask when you work around them.  I saw on the news the other night that horses can have à pulmonary disease but I can’t remember how it was call.  They said human can not catch it from horses but horse can from another

horse. You may know about that already but it was news for me. It is a contagious pulmonary disease for horses. Nick

Liked by gaelawree

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@gaelawree

Hello group, my name is GaeLawree, I was just diagnosed with Mycobacteria Avium Complex (MAC), I haven’t started treatment yet, appt with doc next week. I am 66 & have had shortness of breath for a few years. I was diagnosed with COPD & got progressively worse. I had to really push to get doctors to find the MAC. I don’t seem to have other problems. I am active as much as I can be. I have horses & ride three times a week & I like gardening. I have a stationary bike to ride too. This diagnosis gave me hope of getting over this but as I researched it I got worried, I’m worried about the long term antibiotics. I have hypothyroidism & Hoshimoto’s & went through a 9 month protocol & got that under control. Now I think the treatment for MAC will really mess that all up. I have read a lot of previous posts & learning a lot. I am glad I found this group because I think this treatment is going to be tough.

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This kind of chat does not belong on a medical website you are filling up my email box with chatter I'm going to have to get off and I didn't want to emails are supposed to be for medical content only

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Your painting and jewelry are so beautiful.

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@gaelawree

Hello group, my name is GaeLawree, I was just diagnosed with Mycobacteria Avium Complex (MAC), I haven’t started treatment yet, appt with doc next week. I am 66 & have had shortness of breath for a few years. I was diagnosed with COPD & got progressively worse. I had to really push to get doctors to find the MAC. I don’t seem to have other problems. I am active as much as I can be. I have horses & ride three times a week & I like gardening. I have a stationary bike to ride too. This diagnosis gave me hope of getting over this but as I researched it I got worried, I’m worried about the long term antibiotics. I have hypothyroidism & Hoshimoto’s & went through a 9 month protocol & got that under control. Now I think the treatment for MAC will really mess that all up. I have read a lot of previous posts & learning a lot. I am glad I found this group because I think this treatment is going to be tough.

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Hi Karen and everyone in the MAC group,
I can appreciate that some members would like to keep the discussions on Mayo Clinic Connect focused on medical issues only. One of the hallmarks of a connected community of members supporting one another while living with chronic conditions is the spill over into “off-topic” discussions as people get to know one another.

To respect everyone’s use of this community and to choose what conversations they take part in, I suggest that non-medical discussions be kept in separate threads. For example: @windwalker started this discussion a while back that is a great place to talk about more than just MAC:

– We are so much more than our disease https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/we-are-so-much-more-than-our-disease/

If anyone has any questions about the use of Connect and the supportive, informative community you’ve built, please send me a private message or contact me using this form: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/contact-a-community-moderator/

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@gaelawree

Hello group, my name is GaeLawree, I was just diagnosed with Mycobacteria Avium Complex (MAC), I haven’t started treatment yet, appt with doc next week. I am 66 & have had shortness of breath for a few years. I was diagnosed with COPD & got progressively worse. I had to really push to get doctors to find the MAC. I don’t seem to have other problems. I am active as much as I can be. I have horses & ride three times a week & I like gardening. I have a stationary bike to ride too. This diagnosis gave me hope of getting over this but as I researched it I got worried, I’m worried about the long term antibiotics. I have hypothyroidism & Hoshimoto’s & went through a 9 month protocol & got that under control. Now I think the treatment for MAC will really mess that all up. I have read a lot of previous posts & learning a lot. I am glad I found this group because I think this treatment is going to be tough.

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Or…have those conversations in private messages available on this site.

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