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amn17
@amn17

Posts: 25
Joined: Sep 14, 2018

Working and holding a job while suffering from NTM (MAC)

Posted by @amn17, Sat, Oct 6 1:33am

Hi, is everyone working and holding a job while dealing with NTM? If so I'd like to hear about your experinces and what kind of jobs you have and how do you manage woking while dealing with a chronic disease and side effects of medications. Not to forget the emotional and psychological pressure of this disease.
I am a hairdresser and have been off work and considering career change because I find my job physically vey demanding and it makes me too tired and I believe I shouldn't push myself too hard but instead keep my immune system high and not stress myself much. Can anyone offer their opinion or medical advice on whether as a hairdresser dealing with hair and hair products and blow drying hair can affect my MAC or not?
Also which job are better to avoid as a NTM/MAC patient and are more harmful to the lung condition.
Thank you in advance 🙂

REPLY

Hi, @amn17 – I agree with you, it would be great to know more about how others with NTM/MAC manage working and holding down a job while dealing with NTM/MAC and side effects of medications. Hoping that members like @auntgranny @windwalker @alleycatkate @flib @ling123 and @ginak will share some of their thoughts on this topic and also offer any insights about jobs to avoid with this disease. They may also have some opinions specifically about your work as a hairdresser dealing with hair, hair products and blow drying hair affecting your MAC.

Has your doctor weighed in on your consideration of a career change, @amn17? Where are you leaning currently as far as staying with your hairdresser position or making a change?

I saw the posting by @amn17 but did not think my response would offer much help. Although I have been diagnosed with MAC, I do not have any of the symptoms many others have, such as weight loss, fatigue, etc. I'm not on any drug treatment and, therefore, do not suffer any side effects. So I have no problem holding down a full-time job. Also, my line of work is vastly different. I'm a computer programmer. I spend majority of my working hours sitting in front of a computer rather than standing up. I don't have other underlying diseases or weakened immune system either. Hopefully others are able to provide more valuable opinions and insight on this topic.

amn17 —- I'm responding although I have no answers. I've not been diagnosed with MAC — just a little of it but Mayo's didn't feel it was enough to take the meds. I have bronchiectasis. I'm older — 77 — so I don't have a regular job. We are farmer/ranchers and the work I do depends on whether I feel like doing it. I have raised and shown Labradors for more than 30 years and Mayo's suggests I not be around the animals more than necessary. I have a young man who has worked for me a long time and I'm blessed with that. I cook lunch each day for the guys who work here. I was a music teacher for 27 years and I have a real estate business in town. So….. my work is varied and I can go at my own speed. So, again, I'm not much help but I didn't want to not respond. I do pretty well most of the time. When I'm having a flare (and am doing so right now) I don't feel so great with the meds but feel lucky to be able to do what I can. I think the hairspray might not be the best environment for you but….. you should ask your doctor about that. I feel sure he will most likely say the same in that I doubt hairspray is recommended for anyone with a lung problem.

@auntnanny

amn17 —- I'm responding although I have no answers. I've not been diagnosed with MAC — just a little of it but Mayo's didn't feel it was enough to take the meds. I have bronchiectasis. I'm older — 77 — so I don't have a regular job. We are farmer/ranchers and the work I do depends on whether I feel like doing it. I have raised and shown Labradors for more than 30 years and Mayo's suggests I not be around the animals more than necessary. I have a young man who has worked for me a long time and I'm blessed with that. I cook lunch each day for the guys who work here. I was a music teacher for 27 years and I have a real estate business in town. So….. my work is varied and I can go at my own speed. So, again, I'm not much help but I didn't want to not respond. I do pretty well most of the time. When I'm having a flare (and am doing so right now) I don't feel so great with the meds but feel lucky to be able to do what I can. I think the hairspray might not be the best environment for you but….. you should ask your doctor about that. I feel sure he will most likely say the same in that I doubt hairspray is recommended for anyone with a lung problem.

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@auntnanny Thanks for response.

@ling123

I saw the posting by @amn17 but did not think my response would offer much help. Although I have been diagnosed with MAC, I do not have any of the symptoms many others have, such as weight loss, fatigue, etc. I'm not on any drug treatment and, therefore, do not suffer any side effects. So I have no problem holding down a full-time job. Also, my line of work is vastly different. I'm a computer programmer. I spend majority of my working hours sitting in front of a computer rather than standing up. I don't have other underlying diseases or weakened immune system either. Hopefully others are able to provide more valuable opinions and insight on this topic.

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@ling123 Thanks for responding. You are right its much easier without symptoms and I think computer programming or office jobs are easier to manage for NTM patients.

@lisalucier

Hi, @amn17 – I agree with you, it would be great to know more about how others with NTM/MAC manage working and holding down a job while dealing with NTM/MAC and side effects of medications. Hoping that members like @auntgranny @windwalker @alleycatkate @flib @ling123 and @ginak will share some of their thoughts on this topic and also offer any insights about jobs to avoid with this disease. They may also have some opinions specifically about your work as a hairdresser dealing with hair, hair products and blow drying hair affecting your MAC.

Has your doctor weighed in on your consideration of a career change, @amn17? Where are you leaning currently as far as staying with your hairdresser position or making a change?

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@lisalucier Thanks for your response and involving others 🙂 I haven't talked to my doctor about career change yet but thanks for reminding me. I'm leaning more towards a career change but perhaps would take time.

@lisalucier

Hi, @amn17 – I agree with you, it would be great to know more about how others with NTM/MAC manage working and holding down a job while dealing with NTM/MAC and side effects of medications. Hoping that members like @auntgranny @windwalker @alleycatkate @flib @ling123 and @ginak will share some of their thoughts on this topic and also offer any insights about jobs to avoid with this disease. They may also have some opinions specifically about your work as a hairdresser dealing with hair, hair products and blow drying hair affecting your MAC.

Has your doctor weighed in on your consideration of a career change, @amn17? Where are you leaning currently as far as staying with your hairdresser position or making a change?

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@amn17…I wish I had some input regarding your hairdressing work and your health. I am fortunate to have mild bronchiectasis and mac and am also retired. I personally try to stay away from anything that could be problematic for my lungs so I understand your concern about your career choice. I guess your Dr would hopefully have good advice on the subject. I do wonder about the effect of the chemicals/aerosols as I am sure you do. Does your shop have good ventilation? Would your shop get an air purifier for you? I hope your Doc has some answers for you…. I would start there. Best of luck. Kate

Liked by amn17

Looking for air purifier recommendations or feedback on ones that don't work well

@ann17, Hello. Fatigue has been the greatest problem for many of us with this disease. That alone makes it difficult to go off to a daily job. I left the workplace in 2005. I was too ill to continue. I went on disability in 2007. I was fortunate enough in that I had rental income to suppport me along with my husband's financial support. @auntnanny and @alleycatkate both brought up good points about the aerosols and chemicals involved in hair salons. You didn't mention whether or not you also have bronchiectasis. If you do, all of those fumes are a no-no. For example: if I use hairspray on my hair, I will cough non-stop all day. Moroccan oil…forget about it! The smell of it tears me up. Is there any way you can move your business to your home? That way you could set your own hours and save on space rental. You could advertise that you have a chemical free zone for those with asthma and other lung issues. I would go to a salon like that if they had one here. I actually left my hair appt. once due to the heavy smell of a Brazillion Blow-out in there. If you are considering a carreer change; perhaps some kind of office job where you are not on your feet. Please keep me posted on what you decide. Before I forget, were you also diagnosed with bronchiectasis?

Liked by tdrell, amn17

@lch713

Looking for air purifier recommendations or feedback on ones that don't work well

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@lch713 I know that Sharper Image used to sell them. I bought mine at Lowe's. It has a hepa filter that I periodically rinse. It is filthy, so it must be working. You can Google it and then read reviews.

@lisalucier

Hi, @amn17 – I agree with you, it would be great to know more about how others with NTM/MAC manage working and holding down a job while dealing with NTM/MAC and side effects of medications. Hoping that members like @auntgranny @windwalker @alleycatkate @flib @ling123 and @ginak will share some of their thoughts on this topic and also offer any insights about jobs to avoid with this disease. They may also have some opinions specifically about your work as a hairdresser dealing with hair, hair products and blow drying hair affecting your MAC.

Has your doctor weighed in on your consideration of a career change, @amn17? Where are you leaning currently as far as staying with your hairdresser position or making a change?

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Hi sorry it took so long to respond. My notices are going to my SPAM folder and I have been away. Although I have bronchiectasis and MAC/MAI (diagnosed from a lung resection 2 years ago to have a nodule removed). I don’t have any symptoms. No weight loss, fatigue, night sweats. I have never been prescribed any antibiotics so I have no side effects. I use my Aerobika twice a day with 50 breaths each time for lung clearance. I just recently retired, I was a Speech teacher in a NYC public school. I don’t think my job was very physically difficult so I had no problems going to work. I’m sorry I can’t be of much help. I have noticed a lot of the members seem to work in education or in the medical field, (nurses). I can’t remember which member was keeping track of everyone’s profession to see if there was some commonality between those of us with MAC, I’m not sure if she ever found anything, but, unfortunately, I don’t remember who it was. Personally, I would be careful about breathing in the types of chemicals you must deal with daily; hairspray, straightening solutions, dyes, etc. No need to put any additional stress on our lungs. Definitely speak to your Dr to make an informed decision. Best of luck.
Gina

@windwalker

@ann17, Hello. Fatigue has been the greatest problem for many of us with this disease. That alone makes it difficult to go off to a daily job. I left the workplace in 2005. I was too ill to continue. I went on disability in 2007. I was fortunate enough in that I had rental income to suppport me along with my husband's financial support. @auntnanny and @alleycatkate both brought up good points about the aerosols and chemicals involved in hair salons. You didn't mention whether or not you also have bronchiectasis. If you do, all of those fumes are a no-no. For example: if I use hairspray on my hair, I will cough non-stop all day. Moroccan oil…forget about it! The smell of it tears me up. Is there any way you can move your business to your home? That way you could set your own hours and save on space rental. You could advertise that you have a chemical free zone for those with asthma and other lung issues. I would go to a salon like that if they had one here. I actually left my hair appt. once due to the heavy smell of a Brazillion Blow-out in there. If you are considering a carreer change; perhaps some kind of office job where you are not on your feet. Please keep me posted on what you decide. Before I forget, were you also diagnosed with bronchiectasis?

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@windwalker Hi, thanks so much for your response. I do have bronchiectasis and MAC. I don't work with bleach or hair colour right now, just hair product as I work at a blow-dry bar and not a full salon. I am considering a career change in the long run because as you said this job is very physical and one way or another involves using chemicals. But till then I might have to stick with it for a bit longer.
I should mention I was diagnosed 2 years ago and but I didn't have any symptoms as in night sweat or weight loss. Untill recently I had few episodes of coughing up blood and chest pain. I am better now and on more antibiotics but I find my lungs more sensitive now to dust and so forth… I will keep you posted after I speak to my Doctor about it.

Hi there. Yes…I've continued to work full time but thank Goodness I don't have an extremely physical job. My career is in employment law/human resources. I've been at my company for years and am fortunate enough to work for one where I can eat a lunch at my desk then go lay down in the women's lounge for an hour to get me through the day. It's hard no matter what kind of job we have dealing with this disease. Some times are better than others. I get "flare ups" causing me to get the fevers and night sweats back along with the digestive issues from the meds and this disease and I end up being depleted of my nutrients etc. I just listen to my body and rest when I can. Every morning is a challenge though – full of anxiety of facing the day. Hang in there.

@ginak

Hi sorry it took so long to respond. My notices are going to my SPAM folder and I have been away. Although I have bronchiectasis and MAC/MAI (diagnosed from a lung resection 2 years ago to have a nodule removed). I don’t have any symptoms. No weight loss, fatigue, night sweats. I have never been prescribed any antibiotics so I have no side effects. I use my Aerobika twice a day with 50 breaths each time for lung clearance. I just recently retired, I was a Speech teacher in a NYC public school. I don’t think my job was very physically difficult so I had no problems going to work. I’m sorry I can’t be of much help. I have noticed a lot of the members seem to work in education or in the medical field, (nurses). I can’t remember which member was keeping track of everyone’s profession to see if there was some commonality between those of us with MAC, I’m not sure if she ever found anything, but, unfortunately, I don’t remember who it was. Personally, I would be careful about breathing in the types of chemicals you must deal with daily; hairspray, straightening solutions, dyes, etc. No need to put any additional stress on our lungs. Definitely speak to your Dr to make an informed decision. Best of luck.
Gina

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@ginak Hi Gina. It was me who is keeping track of what our member's occupations are/were. Nurses came in first, followed by teachers on those who are suseptible to Mac infection.

@amn17

@windwalker Hi, thanks so much for your response. I do have bronchiectasis and MAC. I don't work with bleach or hair colour right now, just hair product as I work at a blow-dry bar and not a full salon. I am considering a career change in the long run because as you said this job is very physical and one way or another involves using chemicals. But till then I might have to stick with it for a bit longer.
I should mention I was diagnosed 2 years ago and but I didn't have any symptoms as in night sweat or weight loss. Untill recently I had few episodes of coughing up blood and chest pain. I am better now and on more antibiotics but I find my lungs more sensitive now to dust and so forth… I will keep you posted after I speak to my Doctor about it.

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@amn17 Yes! Please do keep me posted.

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