What a year! Just been diagnosed with extensive bronchiectasis, asthma, sinus disease and now, MAC. The latter is caused by mycobacteria entering the lungs. These mycobacteria can be found in anything from shower heads to swimming pools and is present in our every day lives. Unfortunately, for people with a weakened immune system and/or bronchiectasis, it is more difficult to manage. My 'MAC' has given me nodular growths, particularly in the lower lobes of my right lung although there are some (I think) in my left lung.
I'd just got over the shock of discovering I had COPD (which is the 'umbrella' bronchiectasis falls under) and only this week (on my 56th birthday!) received a letter from consultant confirming that the mycobacteria is 'avium intracellular' variety. I am having chest x-ray and ct scan in next few days and comparisons will be made with those that were taken 3 months ago. This will enable the consultant to determine if I need to start my 'anti biotic' regime - a triple whammy of anti-biotics for between 15 and 18 months.
I don't smoke (never have). I have an active lifestyle but since losing my husband I've been in decline with my health in terms of getting frequent/recurring chest infections. I have also felt more tired, particularly over recent months, and some days am shocked by the lack of mobility I can achieve. This is the hardest part for me because although in my mid-50s I am 'young at heart' and thought I had taken care of myself to a good degree.
Sorry this is such an epistle but I am disappointed at the lack of information on the web about MAC disease and bronchiectasis. In fact, in the UK there seems to be a bias towards mentioning that MAC occurs in people with HIV and AIDS. I don't have either of these! My MAC is because of weakened immune system caused by, allegedly, my lack of care for my health during the 16 months of caring for my husband and the inevitable grieving that I suffered afterwards.
I am intelligent and have a good grasp of anatomy, physiology and our bodies in general. If I'm honest, I am depressed at the thought of future with 'my MAC' and bronchiectasis. Is there anyone else out there who is only in their fifties with both of these conditions, as well as asthma? If so, I'd very much like to hear from you.
Nice to be part of a community of people that I can share this with.