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Carol is a MAC lung disease patient who has been compensated for her time.
Carol first sensed that something was wrong when she noticed a constant need to clear her throat. She mentioned it during her annual physical in early 2014, and her doctor ordered a chest X-ray to rule out allergies as the cause. Upon reviewing the results of the X-ray, he diagnosed her with bronchiectasis and referred her to a pulmonologist. Over the next several months, the pulmonologist conducted quarterly computed tomography (CT) scans on Carol’s lungs, which showed increasing signs of inflammation. Frustrated by his lack of urgency and growing uneasy with the possibilities she was uncovering online, she pushed for a sputum test. The results showed that she had Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) lung disease.
“You have to be your own advocate, so learn as much as you can on your own. What you find may raise more questions, but that’s what your doctor is there for.”
Kelsey is a bronchiectasis patient who has been compensated for her time.
After having undergone radiation treatment to her lung in 2016, Kelsey began experiencing a crackling sound when breathing, especially while lying down. Her specialist reviewed her CT scans, but despite noticing some damage from the radiation, did not make a diagnosis or advise further treatment. For the next few years, Kelsey tried to deal with it as best as possible. But as time went on, she began coughing and needing to clear her throat more than usual. What started as a dry cough became a mucus-producing cough that was more persistent with physical activity. Her doctor would prescribe antibiotics that would help for a few months, but the symptoms would always return. In 2021, after coughing up blood one day, Kelsey’s boyfriend urged her to go back to the doctor. Her original specialist referred her to a primary care physician, who referred her to a pulmonologist. Finally, after five years of searching for an answer, Kelsey’s CT and pulmonary function test results confirmed that she had non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis.
“For me, it’s important not to make this my identity. I want to feel like I’m living my life and not focusing only on being a sick person.”