Jamie, I was diagnosed ten years ago by CT. My main complaint was cough. I have always had respiratory illnesses starting at age 12 with a bout with Pneumonia, and continuing with perhaps 10 or more Pneumonias since that time along with maybe 25 or 30 bronchial infections and then asthma in the last 10 years.
After being diagnosed with Bronchiectasis (BX) in 2007 I continued with really only a cough and a few respiratory infections. There was not any dramatic reduction in energy and my asthma was under control. i continued to work until 3 years ago and only stopped to begin to do other things like travel and acting and writing.
This all changed a little over two years ago after coming off of the Pacific Crest Trail in California walking up and down 4000 ft mountains in 105 degree heat and feeling perfectly more or less fine.
A month or so after coming off the trail I began to feel unhealthy with increased cough, sinus drainage, increase phlegm production, but most of all an marked decrease in my energy levels.
I saw a several doctors where I receive my medical care but they were sort of baffled until I saw the doctor who diagnosed me with BX. She did another CT scan of my chest and found what seemed to be a slight increase of the damaged in my lungs but maybe not enough to explain my fatigue.
I was an RN for 30 years so did a little more investigation on my own like being checked for “Vally Fever” which causes symptoms of fatigue and is prevalent in the area I was hiking on the PCT. But I didn’t have Valley Fever.
After seeing an ENT doctor I did have a sinus surgery that cleared my sinuses of some areas of infection he said. But again no decrease in my fatigue.
I have found a very good support group at the “Patient” web site for information like diet and exercise and of course personal support.
Since I was in and out of medicine clinic about every 4 to 6 weeks for antibiotics and steroids I decided to try using Azithromycin 250 mg MWF and that has helped with a considerable decrease in infections. I have had one infection since staring the AZ nine months ago but tested for Pseudomonas in my sputum.
I do have a concern with taking the Azithromycin long term as was pointed out by one of the members on our site, for example.
I would like to ask if going to Mayo Clinic in Rochester might be of big help for me, perhaps doing some other regime of antibiotics to decrease the number of infections as has been pointed out. My Pulmonologist here in New Orleans is not familiar with any uses of long term antibiotics and am seeing an infection disease doctor for the AZ.